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Netherlands

Experts warn of ‘new form of extremism’ in northern Netherlands – The Northern Times

Anti-extremism experts at the University of Groningen call Further government actions to counter their statements have increased right-wing extremism in the northern provinces of the Netherlands. This is the main message of the first regional study of extremism and radicalization in the Netherlands, Phenomenological Extremist North Holland.

Researchers Pieter Nanninga, Leonie de Jonge and Fleur Valk suggest that certain sections of the population in the north of the Netherlands have gravitated to the extreme right during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of the recent culprits are , has been leveled to the peasant protests. It started three years ago and flared up again last summer. The development has largely gone unnoticed, as policy makers and law enforcement “often emphasize jihadism” and “play a limited role in extremist activity in her three northern states.” One of the study’s authors, de Jonge, said: Said The NRC said, “It’s quicker to consider a bearded man who speaks Arabic an extremist than a farmer who runs into the door of the state legislature.”

RUG researchers say extremist elements were able to use the protests to draw vaccine hesitant people to their cause. Many legitimate protesters stood shoulder to shoulder with others advocating anti-government action. Widespread societal dissatisfaction and distrust of government is reflected in many internet posts. “We see far more cross-pollination than we did a few years ago, such as the Far Right joining farmers’ protests, especially online,” said de Jonge.

Some recent incidents – the door of Groningen’s state parliament being slammed with a tractor during a peasant protest and a Molotov cocktail being thrown through the window of a journalist who investigated an anti-lockdown group – have extremist views. It suggests that people are getting bolder these days. Advocates of anti-extremism believe more needs to be done to address emerging threats and shift focus “still heavily reliant on jihadism.” Researchers say the growing threat from far-right movements could also target government climate action and immigration policies.

Different ways of expressing extremism

“This kind of extremism is characterized by strong ‘anti-government’ sentiment expressed in many ways,” De Jonge told The Northern Times. “It can be any form of government, agency or eliteor they may dislike certain government policies, such as COVID-19 restrictions or nitrogen emissions. “

According to researchers, the northern Netherlands has certain features that make it interesting to study the region. Some problems are more prominent than others in the country, such as asylum seekers, wind turbines, earthquakes and farmers. “Anti-Randstad” sentiment has also played a role in the spread of the extremist phenomenon. This is not surprising, but these extremist incidents are just the tip of the iceberg,” the researchers said.

Another important factor is cross-contamination between individuals and groups, especially online. De Jonge called his domain a “black box” online, making him feel something to investigate further. “It’s difficult to prevent or counter extremist incidents and actions if you don’t know what’s going on online,” de Jonge explains. For privacy reasons, local authorities cannot look into people’s social his media.

In their recommendations, de Jonge and colleagues call for increased training, expertise and awareness about online extremism, as well as increased investment in police and local government capacity. For the future, de Jonge suggests follow-up studies to compare their findings with the situation in other parts of the Netherlands.

https://northerntimes.nl/experts-warn-of-new-forms-of-extremism-in-northern-netherlands/ Experts warn of ‘new form of extremism’ in northern Netherlands – The Northern Times

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