Yesterday saw the publication of the Third report on the Netherlands (pdf) by the European Commission for Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). Here's the news as reported:
The new report from the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance said Islamophobia in the Netherlands has 'increased dramatically' since 2000. 'The criminal justice system, and notably the police, still needs to enhance its role in monitoring and countering racially-motivated offences,' the report said.It's conclusions were shocking, as were their recommendations.
'The tone of Dutch political and public debate around integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities has experienced 'dramatic deterioration,' the report say and goes on to warn of a 'worrying polarisation between majority and minority communities'. It criticises the official approach to integration for focusing too much on the 'perceived deficiencies' among the minority population.
The Netherlands Muslims - around 6% of the population - face 'stereotyping, stigmatising, outright racist political discourse and biased media portrayal,' the report continues. Anti-semitism is also on the rise.
The report calls on the Dutch authorities to take the lead in promoting a public debate on integration that avoids 'polarisation, antagonism, and hostility'. It calls on ministers to take steps to counter the use of 'racist and xenophobic discourse in politics' and review a number of policies which it says result in direct and indirect racial discrimination.
In particular, the report singles out anti-immigration MP Geert Wilder's PVV party which it says has been 'particularly vocal in proposing controversial policies and in resorting to racist or xenophobic discourse, targeting above all Muslim communities'.
However, the report notes: 'members of mainstream political parties rarely take a stand against this type of discourse.'
The actual contents of the were as one has come to expect from a commission with an agenda. Moreover, the all-too-well-known 'bait and switch' that equates islam to race, which makes anti-islamic sentiments equak to racism, is used to its maximum effect to paint the Dutch as the most intolerant, xenophobic and narrowminded peole on earth.
We've seen it before and we will undoubtedly see more of it in the future. However, the report's complete disregard of the increasingly strident manifestation of islam in Dutch society, to which the observed 'islamophobia' is the reaction, seems to indicate the report didn't even try to be evenhanded, or neutral. Or professional, for that matter. In that regard it should come as no surprise that the ECRI based virtually it's entire report on 'conversation' they've had with the 'Commissie Gelijke Behandeling' (Commission for Equal Treatment) featured on this blog before. See here, for instance.
It is sublimely ironic and at the same time deeply symbolic that this report appeared on the same day when news came that in Denmark five muslims were arrested for plotting to murder Kurt Westegaard, the cartoonist who gave the world the turban-bomb drawing.
And to further illustrate the one-sided approach to the subject: anti-semitism gets a nod, noting, as the report does, that since 2000 the number of atisemetic incidents have increased dramatically. However, the fact that this increase is largely due to anti-jewish sentiments within the muslim community is cowardly being avoided.
This is par for the course and as familiar as it is infuriating. However, what is new, and utterly shocking, are the ECRI recommendations, which blatantly state that freedom of expression and conscience should be dispensed with. From the executive summary of the the Third report on the Netherlands (highlights by me - KV):
In this report, ECRI recommends that the Dutch authorities take further action in a number of areas. It recommends in particular that the Dutch authorities: take the lead in promoting a public debate on integration and other issues relevant to ethnic minorities that avoids polarisation, antagonism, and hostility among communities; take steps to counter the use of racist and xenophobic discourse in politics; oppose publicly and vigorously all manifestations of Islamophobia; and review a number of policies in the light of the prohibition of direct and indirect racial discrimination. ECRI also recommends that the Dutch authorities monitor the effectiveness of the integration measures introduced since ECRI’s second report and address the integration deficit among the majority population through a number of awareness raising and educational measures targeted at this part of the Dutch population. ECRI furthermore recommends that the Dutch authorities: make a wider use of positive measures to redress disadvantage and discrimination experienced by ethnic minority groups in a number of fields, including employment; investigate racial profiling practices; and take a number of measures aimed at countering Islamophobia, antisemitism and racism and racial discrimination towards Antilleans, Roma, Sinti and other groups.In short the ECRI recommends criminalizing free expression, especially where 'islamophobia' is concerned, forced integration of the Dutch into muslim communities and positive discrimination.
Elsewhere in the report, the ECRI recommends raising the maximum penalty in criminal law provisions against racism and racial discrimination in force in the Netherlands, contained in Article 137 of teh Dutch Criminal Code. Currently these sentences range from 3 months (aiding in the spread of discriminating materials) to 2 years (spreading discriminating materials for a living). ECRI further urges the Dutch government to introduce measures to combat thoughtcrime views expressed on the internet.
This could all be shrugged off as the radical ramblings of some cultural-marxist NGO, but the ECRI is part of the Council of Europe. As such it is part of our supreme government in Brussels. It represents, one suspects, the official policy and views of the EUnion and receives guidance from it. And that is decidedly scary.
[INSTANT UPDATE] That the subliminal message of the ECRI to the muslim community in the Netherlands has been understood loud and clear was illustrated this morning (NL). The Ibn Ghaldoun islamic highschool in Rotterdam, suspected of fraud and embezzlement of governemt funds, refuses to repay the 1.2 million euros it has unjustly received. Their grounds for not doing so: It's a witch-hunt against Islam. 'Apparently there is no place in the Netherlands for islamic education'. Undoubtedly they will find the ECRI on their side.