Nikki Sterkenburg Discusses Extreme Right Activism in Dutch Newspaper Trouw and on Dutch News Programme RTL Nieuws
On Wednesday 19 February an extreme right activist killed nine people in the German city of Hanau. A pattern can be discerned in the attacks that occurred in Germany over the last few years. In 2018 there were approximately 1000 incidents. The question is how big is the extreme right threat in the Netherlands? Nikki Sterkenburg discusses the issue in Dutch newspaper Trouw and on Dutch news programme RTL Nieuws.
Extreme right groups are not growing in size, according to Nikki Sterkenburg, PhD candidate at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs of Leiden University. But their ideology has spread towards topics that appeal to a wider audience such as migration or the Black Pete discussion. Sterkenburg also believes that the tone of the debate has become more polarised. 'The number of racist statements has increased significantly over the last few years. I see a shift in what is considered to be acceptable language.' Sterkenburg says that extreme right activists are not very likely to resort to violence, with the exception of the man who detonated a fireworks bomb in front of the house of a Somalian family in 2015. It is usually limited to threats and vandalism, continues Sterkenburg. 'When an activist actually resorts to violence, you will notice there is little solidarity within extreme right circles.