Rabat – A Dutch Jewish Commission based in Amsterdam has spoken out against threats against Muslims and prevalent Islamophobia. The Liberal Jewish Community of Amsterdam (Liberale Joodse Gemeenschap Amsterdam) published a letter on the first day of Ramadan on April 13 .
In its letter, the community’s dialogue committee denounces recent threats against mosques in the Netherlands,describing Dutch intolerance as reaching an “all time low.”
The Jewish group highlighted how its community is all too familiar with the possible consequences of Dutch intolerance, hinting at rampant antisemitism in the Netherlands in the 1930s.
At the time, the Jewish community faced similar rhetoric as Muslims do today. This rhetoric included eerily similar accusations of being a “foreign threat,” being “unwilling to integrate” while the community was constantly being asked to prove their loyalty to the dominant culture.
During World War 2, three out of four Dutch Jews were murdered in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany, making the Netherlands the country with the largest relative impact on its Jewish community, with Anne Frank as its most famous victim.
The Jewish community emphasized how current threats against mosques and rhetoric drenched in Islamophobia were “in the past used against Jews and now applied to threaten Muslims.”
Recently, Dutch mosques have received several severe threats of violence. On April 9, a letter addressed to a mosque in the sleepy suburban town of Almere stated that “all Turks and Moroccans” should leave the country, and that “all Muslims are criminals that should be burned alive.”
Dutch anti-Islam extremists have not just resorted to threats and intimidation. On the night of April 2, a 40-year old man set alight a mosque in the town of Gouda.
“We will fight this form of hatred with every fiber of our being,” the April 13 letter stated as it announced that the Jewish group will raise the issue of Islamophobia in the media and national politics.
The Jewish committee writes that it aims to resist “language, actions and expression that remind us of a very dark period in our past.”
Letter of support
Addressed to Dutch Muslims, the Jewish community’s letter announced that “together with you we will make the effort to stop the threat of the current climate of Islamophobia and reverse the tide.”
In a message of support, the letter stated that “there are far more people that stand with you than oppose you, unfortunately they do not receive the same media attention.”
The Jewish community of Amsterdam ended their message of support by stating their belief that “the majority of people are moral and desire to live in peace.” It emphasized the importance of the Muslim and Jewish community standing together in the face of Islamophobia “putting pressure on our democratic values.”
“We wish you strength, especially at the start of the month of Ramadan, a month for reflection, charity and mercifulness,” the letter concluded, wishing Muslims a “Ramadan Mubarak to you and yours.”