Dutch expel fourth imam

24th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

24 February 2005, AMSTERDAM — A cleric from a Rotterdam mosque has become the fourth imam to be ordered out of the Netherlands, it has been reported.

24 February 2005

AMSTERDAM — A cleric from a Rotterdam mosque has become the fourth imam to be ordered out of the Netherlands, it has been reported.

The fourth man was brought to an airport on Thursday, the biggest selling daily newspaper in the Netherlands, De Telegraaf, reported.

Although he was not named, the newspaper cited "well-informed sources" identifying him as an imam at Iskender Pasa Camii mosque on the Insulindestraat in the Rotterdam district of Bergpolder.

He was being expelled after being found to have provoked hatred and inciting people to jihad or holy war.

The Rotterdam mosque found itself inadvertently in the news last year following the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh. A Muslim man was arrested for the killing, which appears to have been motivated by Van Gogh's short film 'Submission' that criticised the treatment of women under Islam.

Shortly after the murder on 2 November, an artist painted a mural with the words "Gij zult niet doden" (Thou Shalt Not Kill) across the road from the Rotterdam mosque.

The police quickly moved in and removed the sign and a media cameraman who recorded their actions was arrested. Later, Rotterdam Mayor Ivo Opstelten said he sincerely regretted the police response.

Meanwhile, the three imams whose expulsion was announced on Tuesday are to appeal against the deportation orders. 

The Justice Ministry in The Hague said on Tuesday that it was ordering the deportation of the three imams, all of whom preach at the Al Fourkaan mosque in Eindhoven.

This is the first time that the government has moved to deport clerics, one of the new measures announced in response to Van Gogh's murder.

The Dutch security service AIVD accused the three imams of posing a threat to national security by 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.

The management of the Al Fourkaan mosque dismissed the AIVD's claims and said on Wednesday the three imams would appeal against the decision by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk to withdraw their residence permits.

They have two weeks in which to lodge an appeal. In a statement, the mosque suggested the expulsions were being used as a test case by Verdonk. 

Muslims attending the mosque on Wednesday expressed shock at the deportations and some burst into tears, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

Eindhoven Mayor Alexander Sakkers was also reportedly surprised by the minister's decision. But calling for all the facts of the case to be made public, he said he had no reason to doubt Verdonk's claims about the men.

The Eindhoven mosque is one of the six Muslim organisations being investigated by the AIVD. An earlier AIVD report described Eindhoven as a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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