Radicals winning in Dutch mosques, government warns

7th June 2006, Comments 0 comments

7 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — Radical Muslims are gaining influence over their moderate co-religious at an increasing rate in the Netherlands.

7 June 2006

AMSTERDAM —  Radical Muslims are gaining influence over their moderate co-religious at an increasing rate in the Netherlands.

This was the main finding of the fourth progress report on combating terrorism which Interior Ministers Johan Remkes and Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament on Wednesday.

It said that ultra-orthodox Salafism in particular was making its presence felt in an increasing number of mosques. This is a radical branch that seeks to return to the "pure Islam" of the days of Mohammed.

Adherents often shun western society and criticise efforts by other Muslims to integrate into Dutch society. The movement has been linked to the Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia.

Followers of radical Islam have successfully used the internet and lectures to win over more followers and gain control of moderate mosques, Remkes said. Both he and his colleague said the ideological influences exerted by radical Muslims was a cause for concern.

Conservative MP and Muslim critic Geert Wilders criticised Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for her behaviour during a visit to a mosque in the Hague on 3 June. She removed her shoes on entering the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague and refrained from shaking hands with Muslim men there in accordance with their strict religious beliefs. The visit was to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the mosque.

Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende praised the Queen's behaviour as an example of the type of religious tolerance needed in the Netherlands.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]

Subject: Dutch news

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