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Willemijn Aerdts on role of Dutch intelligence service in Dutch Haga Lyceum affaire

Earlier this year, the Cornelius Haga Lyceum, an Islamic secondary school in Amsterdam, received a lot of media attention. The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) published an alarming official notice that caused quite a stir. Earlier today, the content of a report written by the Inspectorate of Education was leaked. The main conclusions were that the alleged claim of Salafism could not be maintained and that the students’ integration into society is not being obstructed.

Willemijn Aerdts, Lecturer Intelligence and Security at the Institute of Security and Global Affairs at Leiden University, appeared as a guest on a programme of Dutch radio channel NPO1 to answer the following question: Has the AIVD jumped the gun? ‘I believe that based on this report, it’s too soon to say for certain. Only time will tell.’ Aerdts is of the opinion that the Inspectorate of Education and the AIVD have completely different tasks and, as a result, look at schools from a different perspective. ‘The AIVD will have had good reason to publish their official notice.’

The Inspectorate of Education and the AIVD

Aerdts continues: ‘the Inspectorate of Education looks at the curriculum as it is now while the AIVD also issues warnings about possible future events. The service is tasked with keeping the Netherlands safe and looks to protect the democratic legal order. This means that they concern themselves with more than just current events. They also look into how these might play out in 1, 2, 3 or even 5 years from now. And these Salafistic ideologies are typically known to take a certain amount of time to gain momentum. This doesn’t mean in the short term, but typically over the span of a number of years. And that is why the service has issued their warning.’

In closing, Aerdst is of the opinion that it is impossible to draw comparisons between these reports.

You can listen to the interview (in Dutch) on NPO 1.

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