Yesterday, the NRC, one of the main newspapers in The Netherlands, in its printed edition, published a short but damning column against immigration in Europe and more specifically, in The Netherlands. The title of this piece is “The biggest historical mistake”. Unsurprisingly, the writer’s conclusion is that immigration is bad for the country because it diminishes trust among the population. His premise is that a diverse people do not trust each other due to racial and ethnic differences and that such lack of trust is detrimental to the country’s well being. “In communities with more ethnic homogeneity, the trust among people is higher”. This is what passes for “information” in one of the best read newspapers.
However, as if the above wasn’t alarming enough, the column draws supporting data (and I use the term data very loosely here), from a book called “The immigration taboo. Ten scientists about facts”. This pamphlet pushes the idea that the reason foreigners do not “integrate” into Dutch society because of lower IQ levels and it supposedly legitimizes such outrageously racist statement through “scientific” facts.
Since the writer mentions not only the book itself but also the publishing house behind it, Uitgeverij van Praag, I checked out what other material they produce and to the surprise of none, I found out that they publish gems such as this one “On, on to the battle to liberate Jerusalem!”, a book described as “not the usually politically correct nonsense to demonize the crusades”. It doesn’t escape me that Breivik himself was obsessed with this topic and saw the crusades as a fundamental founding moment of European identity and sought to vindicate the war against Muslims, Islam and the Arab world as not only necessary but key to the “survival of Europe”.
That people like the writer of this column, the writer of the book vindicating the Crusades and those behind the publishing house exist doesn’t surprise me. What does shock me is that Dutch mainstream media legitimizes this racism and places it on the public opinion as “fact”. These are the “facts” later on used by politicians and other media to justify more draconian measures and downplay the deadly results of these policies and rhetoric. Then, when immigrants are murdered (as was a Turkish man less than a month ago because of his ethnicity), writers and media pretend that such murders are a deviation, not the norm. Well, NRC just proves how the machinery for the normalization of violence against the Other operates. And they are among those firmly leading the path.
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