Local Dutch broadcaster RTV Noord Holland recently launched an advertising campaign involving posters with the question: "Are other jihad families living in Het Gooi?". The poster refers to two families with children living in the area who, last year, were alleged to be planning to move to Syria and help ISIS. The posters were hung at bus stops in the cities Huizen and Hilversum (Het Gooi is the area around Hilversum). The Muslim community in the Netherlands, as well as non-Muslims have responded with shock, many voicing their concerns that this campaign increases Islamophobia and encourages the assumption that islam and terrorism are one and the same thing.

Several people have compared the campaign with the persecution of the Jews during the Second World War. Ali Osman, board member of Moslims in Dialoog, for instance, said: "It is not the same, but back then it also happened in steps. First the Jews were not wanted anymore, then they became second-rate citizens. That also seems to be the case here."

As a reaction to this recent uproar, Paul van Gessel, director of RTV Noord Holland that is responsible for the campaign of bigotry and jingoism, told the current affairs show Dit is de Dag:
'We focus on a theme which is important in a region,' 'Jihad fighters are an issue in Het Gooi. We are a journalistic organisation and we ask questions.'

Poster reads: "Are other jihad families living in ‘t Gooi?"
How exactly a handful of alleged IS-supporters in an area with approx. 220,650 inhabitants (or about 0.005% of the population in the area) translates to "Jihad fighters" being ''an issue'' in the region is beyond me. If there truly was a Jihad-issue in Het Gooi, the problem could have been dealt with in a different manner. Instead of hanging up posters that exacerbate the disadvantageous social and economical position in which Muslims in Holland find themselves, they could have made efforts to educate people (Muslims and non-Muslims) about the real origins and purpose of ISIS. Investment could also have been in spreading information about the difference between someone committing violent acts in the name of a religion and the other peaceful followers of that same religion. This would have helped to alleviate the stress that the average Dutch Muslim has to deal with and discourage young adults of Muslim faith from falling prey to ISIS propaganda.

Alas, Paul van Gessel and others appear to have a different goal in mind.
© Twitter/Moslims in Dialoog
Interestingly, this poster was hung in a street named 'Laan 1940-1945'. Coincidence?

Tweet: "Do we truly want this to happen again in the Netherlands? #Holocaust #Muslimhatred"
Image (a German sign) on the right reads: "Jews are not wanted in our region."

Parallels between then and now

In January this year, news site DutchTurks published a short article entitled (translated): "Propaganda! - What is the PVV trying to tell us?". PVV is the anti-Islamic political party called 'Party For Freedom' led by Geert Wilders, who is infamous for his rabid anti-Muslim stance. In this article several pictures are shown that present parallels between the anti-Jew propaganda during World War Two and the current anti-Muslim propaganda. Author Yunus writes (translated):
Under the guise of freedom of speech, every opportunity is seized by the PVV nowadays to dehumanize and to present Muslims as inferior. This is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews in the past. Because I am against anti-Semitism and Islamophobia and any other form of hatred, I find it my duty to take a closer look at the propaganda spewed by PVV. See and judge for yourself.

Disclaimer: The pictures below do not have the function to serve as propaganda, but to show that there are parallels to be drawn between hate propaganda of the past and the present. Lest we never forget.
Here they are:

Left tweet: Martin Bosma, Dutch politician and former journalist, and member of the PVV, tweets: "Inbreeding among Muslims and its consequences.", he links to this article: "Muslim Inbreeding: Impacts on intelligence, sanity, health and society". The author of this article, Nicolai Sennels, dislikes Muslims and Islam in a similar manner as the political party PVV does. For a critical look at his 'Muslim inbreeding' article, and more, see this article. Here's an interesting bit:
Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association wrote an incredibly bigoted article coming to the conclusion that American Muslims should be deported. In the article Fischer discusses a book by Nicolai Sennel and Sennel's conclusions which Fischer says he agrees with. "His [Sennel's] sobering conclusion, with which I agree: the integration of Muslims into Western societies is "impossible."
Right tweet: Tweeter asks Bosma: "Where did we see this before Martin? Ah, that's right:"
Storm : blad der Nederlandsche SS 06-06-1941 [Paper of the Dutch SS]
1. Judaism is for all European nations equally racially strange. Its historical and mental danger can therefore not be abolished by any "adjustment". The risk of its presence in Europe can only be countered by its complete expulsion from European space.
2. Judaism is due to the uniqueness of inbred-determined racial blending also strange to the so-called "Semitic people".
3. Therefore, based on racial-political considerations, nor a migration to an European country, nor a migration to for example a country that belongs to the Arabs outside Europe, is eligible.
Above left: Screenshot of an article entitled: Wilders wants an anti-sharia declaration. Geert Wilders wants Dutch citizens with a passport from a Muslim country to sign an anti-Sharia declaration in which they denounce the violent form of Islam.
Above right: A picture of an anti-Jewish declaration from 1942. This is a document issued by the government or by an agency designated by the government stating that the candidate filling the form has no Jewish parents.

(Above) image top left and right: Harm Beertema, Dutch politician and former educator, and member of the Party for Freedom, tweets "St. Geert defeats the Islamic dragon."
(Above) bottom left and right: Nazipropaganda: Two images showing Nazis defeating the 'Jewish dragon'.

Above left: Nazipropaganda depicting the worm as the Jew.
Above right: Image by cartoonist Steph Bargol depicting a Muslim as a worm.

As Yusuf wrote, see and judge for yourself...

"Let them drown."

On Sunday April 19th this year, a boat carrying hundreds of Libyan refugees on its way to Italy, capsized off the coast of Libya. Approximately one thousand innocent people drowned. Any normal person with a conscience was horrified at this "tragedy". But there are those who are not only indifferent to these deaths, but applaud them.

While some say Rest In Peace, others say Good Riddance.
Most Dutch people are familiar with the mindset of a particular group of Dutch citizens who despise immigrants and want nothing to do with them, many of them proud supporters of the political party PVV. Wilders' followers, and others, not only lobby for less Muslims in Holland, in particular Moroccan citizens, but want immigrants from anywhere and everywhere to be sent back home.

Shortly after the mass drowning was reported in mainstream media, the Facebook page 'Nederland mijn Vaderland' [Netherlands my Fatherland] shared the following update on its page (translated): "Breaking news: around 400 refugees have drowned!". Facebook page 'PVV Nederland' shared this status but removed the exclamation mark: "400 immigrants drowned..............". Reactions on both these statuses from members of the FB pages were shocking to say the least. They included:
'great', '400 is too low', 'saves us a lot of money', 'well, at least they won't be able to come our way now', 'more, more, more', 'party timeee.....', 'Whooohoo!', 'we can send 400 new ones to that region', 'enjoy drowning, you parasites', 'Let them drown, these fortune hunters. Potential welfare recipients, that's what they are.' etc.
Many such posts were deleted by the administrators of the pages who wrote: "Of course we'd rather not have them [refugees] in Europe. But applauding their death is stretching it! According to me they're just normal people..." Considering what these Facebook pages ultimately stand for, one may wonder whether the administrators' motive behind deleting these reactions had to do more with being 'politically correct' and staying out of trouble than with any real concern for the victims.

Wilders fights for "freedom" in Texas

© Youtube/PVVpers
Geert Wilders at Muhammad Cartoon Contest, Garland, Texas, 3 May 2015
While some of Wilders' supporters were celebrating the death of hundreds of innocent people, Wilders himself recently attended a Cartoon Contest in Dallas, Texas that supported 'artists' who enjoy mocking Muslims and Islam in their cartoons. Wilders was there to award the best Muhammad cartoonist with $10,000. Because nothing says 'freedom of speech' like being able to doodle something sectarian about a religion's prophet; the practice of which deserves recognition and a rich reward.

Never mind that in reality U.S. citizens have lost and continue to lose their freedom in many ways at the hands of psychopathic individuals in positions of power. Never mind the freedom Americans have lost by having the NSA keep track of everything they write and say. Shouldn't the violation of human rights in the form of religious hatred be condemned by people who claim to stand for freedom for all? Or how about highlighting the real threat? But I forget, that's "conspiracy theory and therefore not important. According to Wilders the real and only threat to freedom lies with Islam.
Speech Geert Wilders at Muhammad Cartoon Contest, Galrland, Texas, 3 May, 2015

... Your statement, my statement, the statement of every single person present in this room here tonight is clear: We will never allow barbarism, we will never allow Islam to rob us of our freedom of speech! Never!

I know from my own experience how dangerous it is to stand for this freedom. I know how dangerous it is to speak the truth about Islam.

I am on death lists of Al-Qaeda and the Pakistani Taliban and terrorists from ISIS because I tell people the truth about Islam. Islam has declared war on us, on our Judeo-Christian civilization. Islam wants to rob us of the freedoms and liberties. Islam and freedom are totally incompatible. ...
It's hard to take Wilders' radical ideas seriously, considering that less than 2 percent of terrorist attacks in the E.U. are religiously motivated. As for the U.S.:
Islamist militants lag far behind other groups when it comes to carrying out terrorist attacks in the U.S. too. According to FBI data compiled by the Princeton University's Loon Watch, Islamist extremists were responsible for just 6 percent of terrorist attacks between 1980 and 2005 — falling behind Latino groups, Extreme left-wing groups, and Jewish extremists.

Charles Kurzman, a sociology professor at the University of North Carolina, has called Muslim Americans "a minuscule threat to public safety."
Wilders is nothing but a Dutch pawn with a horrible hair-do, useful only to keep people ignorant of important matters, to have them believe they have freedoms while in reality most of them have already been stripped away by their government. Wilders' job may be to instill unnecessary fear and hatred into people and thereby further the divide-and-conquer agenda of the "elite". What better way to shift the blame from the snakes in suits on top, by blaming a minority group that in reality poses little or no threat to anyone?, karikatur
More worthy of a prize.
Another 'attack' on our freedom

As the above mentioned draconian doodle contest was ending, two gunmen drove up to the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, where the contest was held, and opened fire, injuring one security officer. Both gunmen were killed by the Garland police, with no other casualties. Even before the motive of these gunmen became clear, Wilders was confident enough to write to Dutch public broadcaster NOS:
"I had just spoken for half an hour at the event on Freedom of Speech and cartoons and the dangers of Islam and had just left when it happened. Terrible. It was very close. I hope that the wounded officer is doing well. It is an attack on freedom of expression. Unacceptable. The only appropriate answer is going on. But it is not easy."
One of several anti-Muslim tweets that were posted a day after the Garland shooting

By now, ISIS (which, as most of us know, is a Western-created proxy army) supposedly has taken responsibility for the attack. It is interesting to note that at least one of the two suspects has been "under FBI surveillance and investigation since as early as 2007", and yet was still able to carry out this attack. Sounds fishy, and it is. If you haven't already, do read this article by Tony Cartalucci for more information about the Garland shooting: Spreading hatred and Islamophobia - Western Gladio networks behind Garland, Texas shooting.

Cartalucci explains:
[...] it is clear that "free speech" is a canard used by both the "left" and "right" to distract from the real purpose of the Garland shooting, and other acts of provocation like it. It distracts from the fact that all of the perpetrators have been well-known to security agencies for years, even sentenced and/or imprisoned by various courts, as well as investigated and kept under surveillance. It distracts from the fact that the event at the center of the attacks was organized and carried out by those who themselves have actively sought to curtail the freedoms of others, not to mention foster wars that have ended or otherwise destroyed the lives of millions. It distracts from the fact that the very Neo-Cons telling the world to fear "Islam" represent the same special interests arming and funding literal Al Qaeda and ISIS terrorists across North Africa, the Middle East, and even Central and East Asia.
Violence, racism, threats, and discrimination
© Tom van der Put / MaricMedia
Two weeks ago, a swastika was drawn on one of the pillars at the entrance of a mosque in Breda.
All of the above, whether it's RTV Noord Holland's 'keep your eyes on those Muslims' campaign, the outrageous 'let those Libyans drown' posts by some Dutch citizens, or Wilders' actions causing anti-Islamic sentiment here and abroad, they all affect Muslims' daily lives negatively, in one way or another - and attacks on mosques have been no exception. A recent (April 26, 2015) published report entitled Monitoring Muslim Discrimination by Dr. Ineke van der Valk concludes the following:
The research reveals several numbers related to anti-Muslim Discrimination. 39% of the 475 mosques in the Netherlands have experienced discriminatory aggression, for example arson. 68% of the mosque organizations that filled in a survey stated they have experience with aggression, mainly the smashing of windows. This has caused both material and psychological damage to these specific Muslim communities. 85% of the mosques reported the incidents to the police, but 51% didn't feel they were helped or taken seriously. One can thus state that anti-Muslim discrimination is a serious issue. The research further delves into the reasons behind the aggression. Reasons that are mentioned are for example the presentation of Muslims/Islam in the media, lack of knowledge about Islam among the public and reactions to terrorist attacks.
To name one example of mosque harassment, on the morning of January 19th this year, Muslim practitioners were shocked to find the following threatening letter at the Gultepe mosque in Rotterdam:

Threatening letter addressed to the Gultepe mosque in Rotterdam
"You are the most ungrateful and disgusting people in the world! You have your own schools, shops, butchers... because Dutch [education, cuisine] is not good enough for you cockroaches! It's over now... Go away if you still want to live. In the meantime, everyone hates you! No fireman will save you from a fire. No policeman will save you when you're in need. No hospital, no doctor would want to heal you. And the pharmacists... they will give you the wrong medicine so that you will become even more ill... You cannot trust anyone anymore. So go away now while you still can, because "death" is in your mosque! In every mosque the wind will come in while the windows and doors are closed! That's death!! It's PayDay!"
Harassment, threats, and discrimination not only take place in and around places of worship for Muslims, but also at work, on the street, at school, pretty much anywhere. For example, the Dutch Chief of Police, Gerard Bouman, wrote in an intern blog that Muslim cops are excluded, belittled and treated without respect by their colleagues. Bouman further pointed out that Muslims on the street are similarly treated in an unfair manner. For instance, they will be approached because "they might be wearing an explosive belt", and even if there's no threat at all, they "still are labeled as potential terrorists." In addition, at the request of the Anne Frank Foundation and FORUM, research institute Panteia conducted a survey, entitled 'Muslim discrimination in secondary education', among 498 teachers, which revealed that two out of three Muslim teachers experienced discrimination in the class last year.

Final thoughts

Some may argue that discrimination is 'normal' as it takes place virtually anywhere and against different ethnic groups or different religion practitioners. However, it is as clear as day that discrimination against Muslims has been on the rise ever since the 9/11 attacks and the following attacks thereafter in the West. If we turn a blind eye to this increase, we may indeed, at some point re-experience yet another racially and religiously-motivated pogrom - and this time the target will be Muslims. Luckily there are many Dutch citizens who treat one another with respect, decency, support, and understanding. Nonetheless, it is worrying that "Muslims/Islam, asylum seekers and foreigners" are high on the list of concerns among Dutch citizens, when the real threat to Dutch citizens, and the citizens of the world, comes from the same people and institutions that are encouraging them to hate Muslims.