I have long since stopped using the word ‘moderate’ in relation to Muslims who appear not wanting to subjugate me, their mask is bound to slip whether they’re cognizant of it or not.
NOTE: The following article by Dr.Manfred Gerstenfeld was recently published at Israel National News, and republished here with the author’s consent.
The Netherlands: The Fallen Mask of Moderate Muslims
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.1 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 Left2 or the Socialist party.3
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.”4 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 term “Zionists”.
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”.5 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 theory.
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 position6, the Haifi affair got a new turn. A website was established to support her.7
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”.8 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. 9 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.10
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”.11
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.12 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.13 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.14 That kind of statement was only possible because the Dutch press rarely, if ever, mentions the similarity in genocidal ideology between ISIS and Hamas. 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. 15
1 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]
2 “27 juli Rotterdam: Sta op voor Gaza demonstratie,” Groen Links Midden Oosten Werkgroep, 25 July 2014. [Dutch}
3 “Zondag 10 augustus : Vredesmars Voor Gaza,” Utrecht for Palestine,
4 “PvdA-ambtenaar: ISIS is complot van zionisten,” Telegraaf, 13 August 2014. [Dutch]
5 Manfred Gerstenfeld, “Nederlands Duivelse Visie op Israel,” Dagelijkse Standaard, 6 March 2013. [Dutch]
6 “Ministerie schorst Haifi,” Telegraaf, 13 August 2014. [Dutch]
8 Alexander Bakker, “‘Omstreden ambtenaar krijgt bijval.” Telegraaf 17 August 2014. [Dutch}
9 Arjen Schreuder, interview met Ismail Selvi, “Zo gek is dat niet, om te denken aan zionistische betrokkenheid bij IS,” NRC, 28 August 2014. [Dutch]
10 “Haifi uit PvdA na ophef om tweet,” Elsevier, 19 September 2014. [Dutch]
11 Alex Ringeling, ‘‘Tonen nazivlaggen bij pro-Palestina demo schandalig” thepostonline 14 July 2014. [Dutch]
12 Bert Brussen, “Samenwerkingsverband Marokkaanse Nederlanders vierkant achter Fatima Elatik,” thepostonline, 14 July 2014. [Dutch]
13 Addie Schulte, interview met Tofik Dibi,’Tofik Dibi: “Israël schendt Nederlandse waarden,”’ Het Parool, 2 August 2014. [Dutch]