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– Twenty-First Century Crusades?
tension and backlash against Muslims in Europe
The Netherlands: The Fallen
Mask of Moderate Muslims
People who were considered moderates are now fearlessly and publicly
joining anti-Jewish extremists.
The Netherlands is an effective looking glass to bring out many poorly
publicized attitudes of parts of the European Muslim community. Events
of this past summer have brought several major issues to light.
The first one was the public appearance of Dutch Islamo-Nazis, who began
openly supporting ISIS and Hamas.
The second was the support shown for the Islamo-Nazi movement, Hamas, in
a variety of public demonstrations.
These gatherings, for the most part, were falsely billed as “pro-Gaza”
or “anti-Israel” manifestations. Muslims were not the sole participants.
Among the co-organizers of these hate-gatherings were sometimes Dutch
political parties such as the Green Left  or the Socialist party.
Less prominent to the public eye was a third phenomenon: the masks
falling off individuals who were formerly perceived as moderates, and
who do not have an extremist Muslim background. At first glance, events
were perceived as isolated occurrences. However, due to the strong
support some of these individuals received, mainly from parts of the
Dutch Muslim community, it became clear that the problem of false
moderates is bigger than previously thought.
Much media attention was given to a tweet by Yasmina Haifi. Haifi had
been a candidate of the Labor party in the 2012 parliamentary elections,
although of very low rank and unlikely to be elected. On the 13th of
August, she tweeted, “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam…it is a plan of
Zionists who want to blacken Islam.” Haifi thus tried not only to
whiten the world’s most extreme Islamo-Nazi movement, but in addition,
tried to spread a conspiracy theory about Jews, for which she used the
The Netherlands, like much of Western Europe, is fertile ground for
conspiracy theories about Jews and Israel. Five million adult Dutchmen
think that Israel is “in the process of exterminating the
Palestinians”. When asked in a poll whether or not they agree with
such a statement, they answer affirmatively - but remain largely passive
regarding their opinion. Haifi, however, actively spread her conspiracy
The Haifi tweet received much attention because she was employed as a
project manager in NCTV, the main anti-terror organization of the Dutch
government. When she was subsequently suspended from her position,
the Haifi affair got a new turn. A website was established to support
A remark posted to the site by a commentator under the fictitious name
Nizar Mourabit read that while he agrees that ISIS doesn’t represent
either Islam or modern Muslims, he insists that ISIS being “a Zionist
conspiracy is not true”.
The site moderator removed the comment, writing, “This site is meant for
people who support Haifi, thus for those who believe there is a
relationship between Zionism and ISIS”. The so-called quality Dutch
daily, NRC, then interviewed the site moderator, Ismail Selvi, who had
in the past been expelled from the Dutch military academy.  The paper
apparently thought it necessary to give a platform to Haifi’s absurd
fantasies. At that moment, there were about 6,800 supporters of the
website. Haifi subsequently left the Labor party, most probably because
she was afraid that she would be expelled.
Another so-called moderate Dutch Muslim who lost her mask is Fatima
Elatik, a Labor party politician. In the past, in an official function
she held, Elatik helped provide funds for the cleanup of an old Jewish
cemetery in Amsterdam. This summer, however, she actively participated
in one of the pro-Hamas demonstrations, one of those masked as
anti-Israel demonstrations. While attending the demonstration, she was
seen publicly embracing a friend who was wearing a t-shirt with the logo
“Free Palestine - Stop Genocide”.
The organization Moroccan Dutchmen (SMN), representing the Moroccan
immigrant community, supported Elatik. They considered it scandalous
that Esther Voet, the head of the pro-Israel lobby, CIDI, had criticized
Elatik, who, in SMN’s opinion, the Jews should consider their ally in
the fight against anti-Semitism. The SMN apparently thinks that
Elatik helping the Jewish community clean an old cemetery is a valid
counterweight against Elatik participating in a demonstration which
supports the mass murder propagandists of Hamas.
Garnering less attention, but still of importance, was an interview
published in the Dutch daily, Parool, with Tofik Dibi, a former
parliamentarian of the Green Left party. During the interview, Dibi
admitted that he was becoming radicalized. He remained silent, however,
about the fact that Hamas propagates the murder of Jews and that the
closure of Gaza is the result of Hamas attacks on Israel and not the
reverse. Later on, Dibi wrote that the behavior of the Israeli
government should be qualified in the same way as that of ISIS. That
kind of statement was only possible because the Dutch press rarely, if
ever, mentions the similarity in genocidal ideology between ISIS and
When Dibi was still a Dutch parliamentarian, he had proposed that Jews
should learn about the Nakba, while Muslims should learn about the
Holocaust. Dibi conveniently forgot, however, that not only did the
Nakba not take place in the Netherlands but that it was the result of
the failure of the Palestinians and of their Arab allies to succeed at
their plan of mass murder of all Jews living in Israel.
A more marginal Dutch political figure whose character was revealed is
Chahid Soliman. In the past, he had been a public representative of the
Green Left party in the town of Oosterhout. In August, he posted to his
Facebook the following: “To be clear, ISIS, Boko Haram and Netanyahu
are, for me, the same.” “Stop the Israeli smuggle of weapons via
Amsterdam airport. Netherlands, do not become guilty of the Gazacaust.”
And also, “Solidarity with Yasmina Haifi. ISIS has nothing to do with
Islam. It is a plan of Zionists to blacken Islam.”
Soliman had even more to say on Facebook: “Auschwitz was full of
millionaires.” “A pity that Hitler didn’t finish his work.” And finally,
“We wait for the return of Hitler.” The latter ones he removed after a
day or so. 
 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “‘Vijf miljoen Nederlandse neo-NSB’ers, negende
vervolg. De voorgeschiedenis van het Nederlandse islamonazisme vanaf de
moord op Van Gogh,” Dagelijkse Standaard, 8 Ocktober 2014. [Dutch]
 “27 juli Rotterdam: Sta op voor Gaza demonstratie,” Groen Links
Midden Oosten Werkgroep, 25 July 2014. [Dutch}
 “Zondag 10 augustus : Vredesmars Voor Gaza,” Utrecht for
 “PvdA-ambtenaar: ISIS is complot van zionisten,” Telegraaf, 13
August 2014. [Dutch]
 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Nederlands Duivelse Visie op Israel,”
Dagelijkse Standaard, 6 March 2013. [Dutch]
 “Ministerie schorst Haifi,” Telegraaf, 13 August 2014. [Dutch]
 Alexander Bakker, “‘Omstreden ambtenaar krijgt bijval.” Telegraaf 17
August 2014. [Dutch}
 Arjen Schreuder, interview met Ismail Selvi, “Zo gek is dat niet, om
te denken aan zionistische betrokkenheid bij IS,” NRC, 28 August 2014.
 “Haifi uit PvdA na ophef om tweet,” Elsevier, 19 September 2014.
 Alex Ringeling, ‘‘Tonen nazivlaggen bij pro-Palestina demo
schandalig” thepostonline 14 July 2014. [Dutch]
 Bert Brussen, “Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders
vierkant achter Fatima Elatik,” thepostonline, 14 July 2014. [Dutch]
 Addie Schulte, interview met Tofik Dibi,’Tofik Dibi: “Israël
schendt Nederlandse waarden,”’ Het Parool, 2 August 2014. [Dutch]
 Tofik Dibi, Khalil Aitblal, “Waarom moslims zich niet uitspreken.
Mogen we individu zijn, Margalith?’” De Groene Amsterdammer, 10
September 2014. [Dutch]
 Ratna Pelle, “Het zionistische complot tegen de islam,” Israel
Palestina Info, 20 August 2014. [Dutch}