Netherlands: Concern about tone of Islam discussion

National Coordinator for Anti-terrorism (NCTb) Tjibbe Joustra fears the effects of the tone that some prominent Dutch are taking in the discussion of Islam, he says in the AD on Monday.

The paper claims that Joustra is referring to statements from MP Geert Wilders and Ehsan Jami, founder of the Committee for Former Muslims. But a spokesperson for Joustra says his comments were made in general, without reference to any specific individuals.

Joustra says in the paper: "When someone says those kinds of things, I have mixed feelings about that." "Radical statements like that can be the straw that breaks the camel's back for people who are on the verge of becoming violent."

The anti-terrorism coordinator stresses in the article that freedom of expression is all important. "Everyone may say what they like, but that does not mean that you have to say everything. You should think before you open your mouth."

Joustra adds: "We have almost a million Muslims in the Netherlands, and the large majority disapproves of any form of violence. The group of extremists that we are worried about consists of a few hundred people. If you listen to some of the discussions recently it seems as if people do not have that perspective on the situation."

Geert Wilders responds in the AD that Joustra's comments are "inappropriate." The politician had already received criticism from an NCTb office employee earlier this year about his rhetoric.

Liberal VVD leader Mark Rutte said on the Radio 1 Journaal that he was "surprised" that Joustra was getting involved in the discussion. He wants to pose questions to Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin on the matter on Tuesday.

Source: Expatica (English)

See also: Netherlands: Muslim anger at Wilders

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