Anti-asylum center protest in Geldermalsen, Dec 16th 2015 (Photo: Geldermalsen zegt nee tegen AZC/Facebook) Anti-asylum center protest in Geldermalsen, Dec 16th 2015 (Photo: Geldermalsen zegt nee tegen AZC/Facebook)
Researcher: Dutch generally accept refugees; Violent protests "exceptional"
The asylum debate riots in Geldermalsen were terrible, but incidents like that are at least the exception, not the rule. Generally the reception of asylum seekers is going really well, according to researcher Leo Lucassen, professor in migration. "In most cases it simply goes well." Lucassen said to RTL Nieuws. The situation did sometimes get out of hand this summer, but compared to Germany there is very little violence against asylum seekers in the Netherlands. "In Germany there were hundreds of attacks on centers the last few years. In the Netherlands we have less of that, so in that sense we can consider ourselves somewhat fortunate." The municipality of Geldermalsen is considering plans to open an asylum center in the town that can house up to 1,500 refugees. That would make it one of the largest asylum centers in the country. According to Lucassen, it is too early to say why exactly things went so wrong in Geldermalsen, but he thinks the size of the asylum center and the rush to make a decision played parts. "People only heard about it on Friday. Especially with such a large center, you should take more time." The fact that Dutch are generally good about accepting refugees was confirmed by the Social and Cultural Planning Office last week. In the report The Social state of the Netherlands 2015 the SCP states that there was no increase in Islamophobia and xenophobia in the Netherlands over the past ten years.