Western Europe's biggest mosque opens in Netherlands
Western Europe's biggest mosque opened on Friday in the Dutch city of Rotterdam, five years behind schedule with organisers blaming obstruction from far-right politicians for the delay.
The mosque, which is built with two 50-metre (164-feet) high minarets, can accommodate 3,000 worshippers and will be a centre for charity, mutual understanding and forgiveness, said its chief adminstrator Abdelrazak Boutaher.
Construction began in 2003 and was slated to last for two years, but organisers said far-right opposition had delayed the project.
"This horrible thing doesn't belong here but in Saudi Arabia," said Geert Wilders, the Dutch far-right leader, on his Twitter account.
The mosque is funded by the Al Maktoum Foundation, a charitable organisation established by Dubai's ruling family.
Immigrants account for about 25 percent of the Netherlands' population, but anti-immigrant feeling is strong with Wilders' Party for Freedom making strong gains in this year's general election.
© 2010 AFP