Jihadism currently poses a major threat to national security and democracy in the Netherlands. Therefore, the government is taking measures to prevent and combat jihadism in the Netherlands.
What is jihadism?
Jihadism is an extreme ideology that calls for a 'holy war' against 'non-believers'. Jihadists exploit Islam in order to impose their convictions and way of life on others through violence.
Jihadism in the Netherlands
The Dutch government currently views jihadism as a major threat to national security and democracy. The misguided ideas of jihadists are a far cry from the Islam that most Muslims practice. The government believes it is important not to blame Muslims in the Netherlands for the actions of jihadists.
Central government uses a combination of measures to combat and prevent jihadism, both on the street and online.
The authorities will take firm action against those who perpetrate violence, use hate speech, attempt to recruit others or return from a conflict zone. This includes the following measures:
- confiscating the passports of persons who are on the verge of travelling to a jihadist conflict zone;
- stopping the benefit payments of jihadists who have already gone to a conflict zone;
- prosecuting people who attempt to recruit others or call for violence.
At the same time, the authorities are also trying to prevent people from becoming radicalised in the first place. The sooner this happens, the better. This includes the following measures:
- making young people less susceptible to propaganda;
- supporting the families of radicalised young people;
- working together with imams and mosques.
These and other measures are set out in the plan of action ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’ (in Dutch). Every quarter the government sends a progress report on the plan of action (in Dutch) to the House of Representatives.
Collaborative approach to jihadism
The plan of action ‘An Integrated Approach to Jihadism’ was jointly drafted by the Ministry of Security and Justice and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. Other ministries are also helping implement this plan of action, as are the police, the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), the Public Prosecution Service and the municipalities.
Organisations and members of the public, such as mosques, teachers, parents and schoolchildren, are also involved in this process.