Ineke van der Valk: New Publication Dutch Islamophobia

By Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik e.V.
In this post we will introduce you to the new
publications by Ineke van der Valk about Islamophobia and Discrimination in the
Netherlands. Her most recent book entitled “Dutch Islamophobia” is the
continuation of her first publication about Islamophobia ProMosaik e.V. had
already presented and translated into German
and Italian.
ProMosaik e.V. convinced of the importance of the exchange among Islamophobia
researchers to struggle against prejudice and discrimination of Muslims in
whole Europe. Therefore, we have interviewed the author about this book as
well. For the interview with the author about Monitor Moslim Discriminatie,

Ineke van der Valk is a researcher who specializes in
racism, extremism, ethnic relations and diversity in multicultural societies.
She holds degrees in Educational Studies and Ethnic Studies and a Ph-D in
Discourse Studies from the University of Amsterdam. She obtained her doctorate
focusing on the interplay between social sciences and discourse analysis with a
comparative study of the perception of ethnic issues in the political discourse
of the Netherlands and France, paying special attention to the extreme right.
The title of the thesis was: Difference, Deviance, Threat. Before she worked as
a senior researcher in the Research Department of the Anne Frank House, Monitor
Racism & Extremism project where she studied processes of (de)radicalisation
of right-wing extremists, Islamic extremism and Islamophobia. She also worked
at the University of Amsterdam, where she participated in a joint research
project with the University of Vienna on racism in European countries. She was
a community worker and human rights activist in the 70-ies and 80-ies. She has
published on issues relating to racism, right wing and jihadi extremism,
political radicalisation, representation of ethnic issues in politics and the
media, citizenship and integration, the post-war history of immigrants in the
Netherlands, human rights in Morocco and intercultural education.

Ineke van der Valk
Dutch Islamophobia

Reihe: Islam in der Lebenswelt Europa, LIT Verlag
Bd. 9, 192 S., 29.90 EUR, 29.90 CHF, br., ISBN 978-3-643-90662-5
Dutch Islamophobia: This book discusses
the phenomenon of Islamophobia in a number of ways in which it is expressed in
the Netherlands. After a theoretical 
introduction, an assessment  is
given of  how Islam/Muslims are viewed in
the Netherlands. This is done historically on the basis of a comprehensive
study of their representation in history. Subsequently a number of surveys of
contemporary attitudes towards Islam/Muslims are critically discussed. A
separate chapter reports findings of 
studies about  attitudes and  discriminatory practices of youngsters and
secondary school pupils, as well as findings about the representation of
Muslims in textbooks and stereotypes that teachers come across in educational
practices. The changing image of the Netherlands from a country of tolerance to
a country of intolerance that has evolved in the last decade, is mainly due to
the politics of Geert Wilders and his PVV. Expressions of Islamophobia and
discrimination in the political and public arena by the PVV are also covered as
are the changing attitudes and policies of the Dutch government that show a
growing awareness of the danger of islamophobia. Data on discrimination in
general and of Muslims in particular from different institutions and
specialised agencies, from press articles and court cases are also covered.
They show that it is a difficult task to present an accurate report on the
‘state of the art’ knowledge on these issues in the Netherlands. It is striking
to see the gap between the discrimination experienced, as it is reported in
surveys on the one hand and on the other hand, the numbers of complaints and
reports to the police and antidiscrimination agencies as well as the incidents
reported in the media. Finally an overview 
is provided of acts of violence against the presence of Islamic places
of worship that have been perpetrated in the last decade. For the first time
administrators of  mosques are asked to
report their experiences and give their opinions on this issue. This study is
based on a survey of them, on in-depth interviews with some of them, on
informal discussions with representatives of organizations as well as on desk
research. It gives an informative insight into the situation related to violent
incidents against mosques, its prevalence, character and effects. The report
concludes with a reflection  and

Report Monitor Muslim Discrimination
By Dr. Ineke
van der Valk
6 March 2015
The present  Dutch report Monitor Moslim Discriminatie is
my second publication on islamophobia in the Netherlands. It discusses the
Dutch situation from where the first report ended, in particular the time
period after 2011. The underlying research project builds on this earlier
research. It is part of a longitudinal Monitor project that collects data,
analyses this phenomenon and highlights contexts and backgrounds.
The objectives of this project
to increase  insight into islamophobia as a
form of racism, its causes, incidence, impact and consequences;
to  obtain public and official recognition of
islamophobia as a separate form of discrimination comparable to anti-Semitism,
in order to better monitor it in the future;
to contribute to the development of  counter
policies and practices to be used by municipalities, national governments,
civil society organizations and the public at large.
These objectives are
achieved  through data gathering, secondary analysis of research data of
academic and specialized institutes, empirical in-depth research on specific
issues (desk research, interviews, surveys), dissemination of research outcomes
via lectures, academic conferences, (press)interview and advocacy activities
and through contributing to capacity-building by empowering ethnic minority
civil society organizations with knowledge, insight and policy recommendations.
The idea behind it is in short that hate speech and acts must not take place
without reply based on facts and voice.
Although it has sometimes 
been claimed that the Netherlands is ‘the front line in the clash of
civilizations’, islamophobia is not only a Dutch but equally a European and
international problem. Everywhere in the western world extremist actors
abuse  existing economic and social crises to set Muslims apart and make
them scapegoats.  This research project is therefore equally relevant for
international audiences of scholars, politicians, policy makers and ethnic
minority communities, in particular for its for its assistance in shaping policies. 
Download Report
At this point in time the report
is only available in Dutch, but which includes an English summary. See this link for downloading the report.

Rampoldi (MR): Why did you decide to write a second book about islamophobia in
the Netherlands?
Ineke van der Valk (IvdV): My
monitor islamophobia project runs until 2018. It is important to monitor
developments and thus also to report about them. It is a new field of study and
there is a lot to do, I therefor make regular reports, as books or as web
publications in pdf.
MR: What
did change in the period between the first and the second book? 
IvdV: Very important is the
fact that political parties do not cooperate any more with the PVV. Also
islamophobia is now on the agenda of politics and media, much more than before
as a result of my previous work and efforts of Muslim organizations. At the
same time it is increasing as a reaction to islamist terrorist attacks and
events like what happened in Koln on new years’ eve. People tend to generalize
too easily.
MR: Which
are the main objectives of the book?
IvdV: Contribute to knowledge
and insight into a modern form of discrimination.
MR: What
can we do to change islamophobic minds in the Netherlands?
IvdV: Develop counter speech
to counter racist propaganda and hate speech, online and off line. Contribute
to awareness raising in education, politics, the media and other important
sectors of society. Organize dialogue and encounter between people of different
religion and non-religious people too.
For more information on what
to do see the recommendations at the end of the book, or alternatively in Dutch
at the end of the last report can be download on this web site or on the
website of  IMES, University of Amsterdam
MR: How
important is the translation of books about islamophobia to network people in
whole Europe and to promote understanding about islamophobia?
IvdV: Very important, it will
be possible to make comparisons between different countries and to contribute
also to awareness raising in countries were the issue is  present but

MR: Which
proposals would you make to social workers and Muslim and Non-Muslim activists
struggling against islamophobia for an open and tolerant society in Holland and
IvdV: Cooperate, get to know
each other and strife together for a better world, regardless of differences of
religion, color,  ethnic background, gender and sexual orientation.