2004

In June, the OSCE conference in Paris on the relationship between racist, xenophobic and antisemitic propaganda on the Internet and hate crimes took place, with 80% of the speakers being INACH members. More about the conference here.

Between August and December 2004 new INACH network nodes in Moldova, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria were identified for training. In December 2004 a number of them participated in the annual INACH conference in Basel, Switzerland.

At the October 2004 OSCE Human Dimensions Implementation Meeting, we built on the success of the June 2004 OSCE conference on the relationship between racist, xenophobic and antisemitic propaganda on the Internet and hate crimes and succeeded not only in mainstreaming data gathering as an instrument to combat online hate crime but also found the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODHIR) willing to facilitating Conference space, Computers and connections for the training workshop.

The central electronic reporting mechanism (database) was created in October 2004 as a beta-version and tested in November and December. It was officially released to the network nodes on CD-rom in February 2005.

November 2004 saw the horrible murder of Theo van Gogh, which rocked the Netherlands and other European countries on their foundations and gave cause to both anti-fundamentalist, anti-terrorism sentiments and anti-Muslim feelings and acts. A wave of ugly incidents rolled over the Netherlands. Muslim institutions and Mosques were attacked and burned. Politicians spoke harsh language against terrorism and fundamentalism but were lax in condemning the anti-Muslim acts. Magenta Foundation, together with RADAR, the largest Anti Discrimination Bureau in the Netherlands, took out a one-page large add in a national newspaper, under the slogan ‘Dutch Citizen by conviction’

The add was undersigned by a cross-section of Dutch organizations and individuals and called for solidarity, understanding and respect between the citizens of the Netherlands. In the months after the murder Magenta Foundation organized think-tanks and meetings about the situation and answered countless information requests from foreign NGOs both in Europe and elsewhere