Anti-Muslim violence in the Netherlands falls

THE HAGUE: Incidents of anti-Muslim violence have dropped in recent months in the Netherlands after hitting a peak following the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected Islamic extremist, officials said.

Dutch police figures showed 44 incidents of anti-Muslim violence were reported between November 23, 2004 and March 13, 2005, the Dutch justice and home affairs ministries said in a letter to the Dutch parliament Tuesday.

The incidents included threats, arson attempts and vandalism. In November 2004 alone, more than 120 incidents of anti-Muslim violence were reported including numerous attacks on mosques and Muslim schools.

“The figures from the police seem to justify the conclusion that the number of incidents has declined,” the ministers said in the letter.

They stressed that the government should nonetheless “stay alert in regard to Muslim institutions” after another arson attempt against a Muslim school March 27.

Several people have already been convicted in the Netherlands for carrying out anti-Muslim attacks. On March 8 a 25-year-old Dutch man received a prison sentence of a year and a half after he tried to set fire to a mosque in Heerenveen in the northern Netherlands.

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AFP, via The Peninsula (Quatar), France
Apr. 14, 2005

Religion News Blog posted this on Friday April 15, 2005.
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