A poll by Maurice de Hond on Sunday indicates that 70% of the Dutch think there should be more border controls in the wake of the Paris attacks and that 56% think there is a real chance of a similar attack in the Netherlands.
Here is a round-up of reactions from politicians, religious leaders, commentators and a Syrian refugee.
Prime minister Mark Rutte: ‘We are dealing with extremists who have only one goal: to destabilise our society by inciting hatred, sowing division and spreading fear,’ he said in a statement on Saturday. ‘Our best response to these barbaric people is to show that we will not be divided. Not in the Netherlands. Not in Europe. Our values and our democratic legal order are stronger than the fanaticism of a small group. We will not be intimidated. We are in the majority and we will not bow to intolerance. Violence and extremism will never win out over freedom and humanity.’
Imam Yassin Elforkani: ‘The hard reality is that the attackers legitimise their deeds with theology. We cannot avoid this. We cannot continue to say that this has nothing to do with Islam,’ he told the Volkskrant. The Dutch Muslim community must ‘combat’ the IS interpretation of the Koran, he said. In particular, they should do this ‘in small groups, as parents talking to children or in coffee and tea houses.’
PVV leader Geert Wilders: ‘We first have to acknowledge that this is all to do with Islam. Terrorists are not doing this in the name of Jesus or the pope but Allah.’ The Netherlands has to stop all immigration from Muslim countries, he said in the Telegraaf. ‘It’s simple and something the entire country wants: close the borders, leave Schengen and don’t let people who have been fighting in Syria back in. The army should patrol the borders between the official crossings.’
D66 leader Alexander Pechtold: ‘What does “close the borders” mean? It would mean no more aircraft landing at Schiphol, not one more ship in the Eemshaven, not one more German person doing their shopping in Roermond,’ Pechtold is quoted as saying by the Telegraaf. ‘Closing the borders is a complete illusion. You can bring in border controls but they will damage our economy. We should be asking how IS is financed. Oil. We should be less dependent on Russian gas and Middle Eastern oil.’
Journalist Peter Couwenburg, writing in the Financieele Dagblad: ‘The alienation of French youth is not unique. There are many people who do not feel at home in the current, complex society… this is one of the challenges for Europe; to build a new, dynamic society with perspective and a role for everyone, young, old or new arrival. It is a challenge for politicians and for industry, but mainly for ourselves. Europe is all of us.’
Houssam Moussa, a Syrian refugee from Damascus. ‘This has nothing to do with refugees. This is the violence we have been fleeing from,’ he said in the AD. ‘It was a normal day and I was in the mosque with my son when a car bomb went off. My son was injured. It is an unpredictable form of violence, and we have fled from it … explosions and murder were everyday events in Damascus.’
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation