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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Islamophobia on the rise in the Netherlands

A European human rights watchdog says Islamophobia is gaining ground in the Netherlands, with Muslim minorities facing increasing violence and discrimination. A report released on Tuesday by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) not only says that Islamophobia has increased, but it also decries the tone of the debate about ethnic minorities in general within Dutch politics and media.

The report is not totally negative. The ECRI concedes that progress has been made in a number of the fields highlighted in its previous report in December 2000. The Netherlands has become party to several international instruments that are relevant to combating racism and racial discrimination. Work is underway for the establishment of a network of professional local anti-discrimination bureaus throughout the country.

Efforts have been intensified to record and counter discrimination within the criminal justice system. Independent research to monitor racism and racial discrimination nationwide has been commissioned and will be carried out regularly. Attention has also been given to the disadvantaged position of members of ethnic minorities on the labour market, and measures have been taken to tackle racial discrimination in access to places of entertainment. [Link]

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