Leyla Yıldırım
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Islamophobia in the Netherlands
Constructing mythologies surrounding reverse colonisation and Islamisation through politics and protest movements
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This chapter briefly examines Dutch rule over the East Indies, particularly focusing on the brutal and violent occupation of Indonesia. Colonial attitudes during this period framed Islam as a heretical faith and viewed Muslims as a primitive people. This colonial legacy of suppressing Islam and viewing Muslim practices as backwards forms the backdrop of current-day anti-Muslim racism and bias in the Netherlands, addressed throughout the rest of the chapter. Islamophobia in the Netherlands includes interpersonal forms, through the emergence of nativist Euro-nationalist groups like the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the Occident (Pegida), as well as other far-right anti-Muslim groups. Their protest towards Muslim institutions and fear-mongering, promoting the myth of European Islamisation, are endemic in public discourse and have brought about exclusion and violence towards Muslim communities in the Netherlands. This situation is exacerbated through institutional forms of Islamophobia, including integration policies, which reinforce notions of the moderate ‘good Muslim’ in contrast to the radical ‘bad Muslim’. However, these binaries are increasingly becoming inconsequential, through the rise of extreme far-right political figures, who have normalised rhetoric framing all Muslims as an incompatible fifth column to the state.

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