The Dutch intelligence and security agency AIVD has published a report on right-wing extremism. Their press release is called “Slight rise right-wing extremism in The Netherlands“, so naturally, mainstream media and politics are sounding every alarm they can find to tackle this urgent and serious problem. The press release states:
More often than before, right-wing extremists make statements glorifying violence against Muslims or the government. Although they rarely actually use violence, the AIVD is concerned about the climate that is forming in The Netherlands.
Over the past couple of years, there has been a slight increase in right-wing extremism in The Netherlands. In the past, this used to be hallmarked by neo-nazism, fascism and antisemitism, but these days anti-Islamic sentiment is particularly dominant. Besides that, the ‘alt-right’ ideology has emerged here, following the US.
The activities of right-wing extremists are mostly non-violent. Verbal violence is on the rise however, meaning aggressive and inciting language. Their self-confidence is growing in terms of confrontations with left-wing extremism. But that latter group still appears more willing to use violence.
Another point of attention is the threat that ‘intellectual’ right-wing extremism poses to the democratic order.
- The far right rarely uses violence
- The far left is still more violent than the far right
- But we should be very alarmed by the far right anyway
- For some unclarified reason, opposing islam is considered ‘right-wing extremism’ and compared to what nazism and fascism was a number of years ago
- The ‘intellectual’ right-wing poses a threat to democracy itself – although, again, they are non-violent and simply oppose an ideology (which actually fits several characteristics of right-wing extremism)
It doesn’t seem to occur to the AIVD that the ‘intellectual right’ is not a new right-wing ploy, but it is a natural evolution that intellectuals are turning to the right as the left is becoming increasingly authoritarian and remain in denial about some of the largest problems facing our societies.
Perhaps it would be useful for the authorities to actually do something about the left’s political violence to show to the right that violence does not pay. Because so far, the left is still celebrated as the side of peace, love and tolerance, hardly any left-wing extremists are ever arrested or do jail time – while they manage to derail many peaceful events and gatherings with violence and threats of violence. The bottom line is: either political violence works, or political violence works for the left. Whichever way you slice it, it’s hard to blame frustrated young right-wingers for at some point wanting to test the system.
The right has been kept down for decades with political tricks and a broad pro-establishment front in politics, media, entertainment, and basically all aspects of public life. The right has been warning against multiculturalism and islamization for decades, but they have been vilified for it. By now, most of their warnings have come true – and more. But the right continues to be marginalized and demonized.
It is quite shocking that a national intelligence agency does not distinguish between the nazism and fascism that was seen as right-wing extremism years ago and criticism of islam, which they are passing off as right-wing extremism today. Criticism of islam is criticism of an ideology – no ideology should be above criticism. To equate opposition to islam with racism betrays a blatant political partisanship.
They are lumping non-violent anti-islamic sentiment in with right-wing extremism in order to determine a “slight increase” in right-wing extremism. Non-violent anti-islamic sentiment. And members of parliament are sounding the alarm, mainstream media are running screaming headlines “Terrified of the extreme right”.
As the country’s most popular right-wing blog Geenstijl points out:
Our government is labelling criticism of islam as suspicious, and thereby socially undesirable, and thereby more dangerous. It is becoming more dangerous for everyone who opposes the backward regression of islam, everyone who speaks out against it and gets involved in the debate.
Geenstijl chief editor Bart Nijman adds on Twitter:
Huh? Waar dan? Ik zag afgelopen weken een islamitische terreuraanslag, een antiterreuroperatie tegen 7 moslims, een imam die genitale verminking propageert, linkse kraakstudenten, en voltooid vakantieverlof voor Volkert – maar nergens iets extreemrechts om bang van te worden… pic.twitter.com/IxoJCS2v1z
— Bart (@BartNijman) October 3, 2018
Eh? Where exactly? In the past weeks, I have seen an islamic terror attack, an anti terror operation against seven Muslims, an imam promoting female genital mutilation on TV, left-wing students squatting in a University building, and Volkert van der Graaf [who assassinated Pim Fortuyn] being allowed to emigrate [thus escaping the supervision of the Dutch justice system]. But nothing extremely right-wing that would terrify me…