Dutch minister to appoint army imam as planned

20th April 2009, Comments 0 comments

The ministry of defence is going ahead with the appointment of the Moroccan imam after he distanced himself from his comments stating that Christians are still at war with the Muslim religion.

THE HAGUE – Deputy Defence Minister Jack de Vries is going ahead with the appointment of a controversial imam from the Moroccan community as an army chaplain.

The appointment of imam Ali Eddaoudi from Morocco has been opposed by many MPs as he was said to have criticised Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende. He had called the prime minister a hypocrite who was worth less than a doormat. Eddaoudi is also alleged to have said that Christians are still at war with the Muslim religion.

Eddaoudi was one of the two imams appointed earlier in the month to give spiritual support to Muslims and non-Muslims in their ranks.

For over a week, De Vries conducted interviews with various parties and Aydin.

The deputy minister stressed Eddaoudi has distanced himself from the controversial comments and said there are no concrete reasons why the contract with the imam should be withdrawn.

The ministry of defence spent five years trying to select imams for the post, but had been hampered by disagreement between different Islamic organisations until recently.

The Dutch armed forces employ about 50 Protestant pastors, some 40 Roman Catholic almoners, humanist representatives, two rabbis and two Hindu spiritual guides. No figures are available for the number of Muslims or people of Muslim origin in the Dutch armed forces.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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