AIVD keeps watch on six Islamic groups
24 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — Amid news that four imams will be deported for allegedly inciting Muslim radicalism, the Dutch security service AIVD has revealed it is keeping a close watch on six mosques and Islamic organisations.
24 February 2005
AMSTERDAM — Amid news that four imams will be deported for allegedly inciting Muslim radicalism, the Dutch security service AIVD has revealed it is keeping a close watch on six mosques and Islamic organisations.
One of the suspicious mosques is the Al Fourkaan mosque in Eindhoven. Three imams that Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk intends to deport all give sermons at the mosque.
It has also been reported that a fourth imam will be deported. He is said to be an imam at Iskender Pasa Camii mosque in Rotterdam. He allegedly provoked hatred and incited people to jihad or holy war.
Meanwhile, an Interior Ministry report in August 2004, 'Saudi Influences in the Netherlands', described the six mosques or groups as "mosque associations with an outspoken Salafist character originating from a mission and finance from Saudi Arabia".
The Salafist movement in the Islamic faith is a fundamental form of Islam that is often characterised by anti-western attitudes. Anything that is at odds with 'pure Islam' is rejected.
It was the alleged Salafist nature of the beliefs espoused by the three Eindhoven imams that prompted Minister Verdonk to withdraw their residence permits, leading to their deportation, newspaper Algemeen Dagblad reported.
An investigation by the AIVD indicated that the imams were consciously contributing to the radicalisation of Muslims in the Netherlands. The imams are also accused of being involved in — or tolerating — the recruiting of Muslims for jihad or holy war.
All three imams are appealing against a decision to withdraw their residence permits, while the fourth imam was taken to an airport on Thursday to await his deportation.
A spokesman for the AIVD has confirmed that the security service is keeping six organisations under surveillance.
They are: the El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam; Centrum Sjeikh Al Islam Ibn Taymia in The Hague; the Al Fourkaan mosque in Eindhoven; the Moskee Al Mouahidine in Helmond; the Stichting voor Islamitische Jongeren in Breda; and the Islamitische Stichting voor Opvoeding en Overdracht van Kennis in Tilburg.
The El Tawheed mosque, in particular, has sparked controversy in the past by selling books advocating the beating of women and the murder of gays. MPs have previously called for its closure.
The Dutch Cabinet 'declared war' on Islamic extremism following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by an alleged Islamic militant in November last year. One of the methods the government announced it would use was the expulsion of "radical imams".
The government also called on universities in January this year to set up courses for people who want to become Islamic clerics. Most of the imams working in the Netherlands are recruited directly from Turkey and Morocco, news agency AFP reported.
The government is concerned that these imams are not integrated into Dutch society and could set a bad example for the Muslim community.
The Education Ministry approved a plan on 2 February by the Free University in Amsterdam to offer a master's degree in Islamic spiritual guidance.
The ministry will contribute EUR 1.5 million in subsidies and the first students are expected to complete their degrees in 2006. But the appointment of imams will remain the responsibility of mosques.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news