Muslim activists: Islam "unjustly smeared" by Dutch media

According to a group of 23 Islamic organizations, Dutch media is unnecessarily and unjustly smearing "being a Muslim" and the Islam religion, referring to targeted media attacks on Muslim scholars who wanted to speak in Rijswijk, Utrecht and Eindhoven.

The Alliance of Islamic Organizations Hague Region wrote a letter to Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice about this matter, calling it a "worrying development" in society, ANP reports. The letter was sent to the Ministry on Tuesday, and the Ministry has confirmed that it was received.

In the letter the organizations criticize the media's use of terms such as "hate preacher", "jihad families" and "hate beard". According to them, the current social climate is fueled by certain media and the Dutch government's lack of clarity.

The Islamic organizations write that it is increasingly difficult for the managers of houses of worship to convince their people that they can participate in society as fully-fledged Dutch people. "In this discussion we cannot exclude that there is a double standard and that Muslims are put down as second-class citizens, without the government standing up for them."

The organizations hopes to enter a discussion with Minster Van der Steur to find lasting solutions to the problem.