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NETHERLANDS: Wiretapping equipment in Salafist mosques?

NL Times (15.11.2020) – https://bit.ly/2Kw683U – Forum for Democracy, a conservative political party, wants to install wiretapping equipment in Salafist mosques if there is a suspicion of criminal offenses. That is what FvD Member of Parliament, Theo Hiddema, said in the television program WNL on Sunday.

 

He argues that there are “a lot of coercive measures” in criminal law to deal with criminal organizations, which he says Salafist schools and mosques are. “They are sowing hatred and division against unbelievers and apostates, and that is a crime.”

 

According to the FvD, insufficient work has been done to detect Salafism in the Netherlands. “There are hundreds of hate schools. You can bet that things are not right there. It has never been said to an imam: now it’s enough, you sow hatred, and then we close our doors. If you say that, all hell breaks loose,” proclaims Hiddema.

 

The former head of the Supreme Court, Geert Corstens, who was also present during the WNL broadcast, emphasized that evidence would be needed before implementing any measures. He also advocates silencing these organizations through civil law processes.

 

A report released by the National Coordination for counter-terrorism found that there are various factions of Salafism present in the Netherlands: the apolitical faction, the political faction, and the jihadist (violent) faction.

 

According to the former boss of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD), Dick Schoof, Salafism does not pose an acute threat to Dutch society. In the long term, however, the ideas could spread in the Netherlands.

Photo: Mosque in the Netherlands Ale_Mi DepositPhoto Deposit Photos.





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THE NETHERLANDS: Firework bombings targeted Amsterdam home flying an LGBT flag

By Janene Pieters

 

NL Times (14.09.2020) – https://bit.ly/32BfrXb – A home in Amsterdam Oost twice had fireworks bombs explode in front of it over the weekend. Resident Jesper Raaijman believes that his home is being targeted because of the rainbow flag hanging from his balcony, he said to Het Parool.

 

“I was sitting on my couch with my curtains open a little when I heard something fall on my balcony and someone running away,” the 35-year-old man said to the newspaper. “I went to see what was going on, and then saw a red flash. I realized I had to get away because the glass may shatter. That didn’t happen, but my flower box was blown up.”

 

That was around 8:45 p.m. on Saturday. On Sunday at 8:15 p.m., another fireworks bomb exploded in front of Raaijman’s home, then on the ground floor.

 

Raaijman is shaken. “I just hope it stays at that,” he said to the newspaper. He is also worried about the children who play in the area. They could get hurt if there are more attacks.

 

He, with the rest of the Oostpoort neighborhood, hung rainbow flags to show solidarity with a gay couple in the area, whose rainbow flag was pelted with eggs in two incidents at the end of July. On August 19th, Raaijman’s home was also targeted. A friend looking after his house opened the balcony doors and had rotten eggs thrown at her.

 

“More attention needs to be paid to this. I think that this must not be possible for Amsterdam standards, that this happens that apparently you cannot have a rainbow flag hanging on your balcony,” he said to the newspaper.

 

A spokesperson for the Amsterdam police confirmed the two fireworks bomb incidents to Het Parool, and that Raaijman pressed charges. The police’s team focused on anti-LGBTQ incidents is investigating.





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NETHERLANDS: Small group of orthodox Muslims causing problems in mosques, Council of Mosques says

By Janene Pieters

 

NL.Times.NL (17.02.2020) – https://bit.ly/2P76Nsh – A small group of younger, orthodox Muslims are causing problems in mosques by pressuring other believers to follow a the “strict” course, Said Bouharrou, vice-president of the Council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands, said to the parliamentary committee investigating foreign influence in Dutch Islamic institutions on Monday, NOS reports.

 

“They are told ‘you are not a good Muslim’,” Bouharrou said. This small group of orthodox believers also accuse other Muslims of sowing divisions in the faith, he said.

According to Bouharrou, there are 15 to 20 mosques in the Netherlands that are ultra-orthodox and causing problems. And the silent majority does not make itself heard. But he thinks that by acting more strongly, the Muslim community can solve this problem itself. “The solution is that they enter into the public debate,” Bouharrou said, adding that this also means speaking out against orthodox or extremist preachers on social media.

 

Influences from the Gulf states must be tackled, he stressed. “We have to do something to make those influences smaller,” Bouharrou said. It is “by definition” undesirable if people from abroad are involved in the boards of Dutch mosques, he said.

 

The government’s role is limited, because acting may infringe on the freedom of religion, Bouharrou said. But certain obligations to openness and transparency, and supporting the “resilience” of the Muslim community can help, he said.

 

Bouharrou also said that he was shocked by threats aimed at Hajer Harzi of the Al Houda mosque in Geleen, after she spoke to the parliamentary committee. He called her testimony brave. “We need more such heroes in the country,” he said.

 

Monday was the fourth day of witness hearings in an investigation the Tweede Kamer launched after NRC and Nieuwsuur reported that at least 30 Islamic organizations in the Netherlands receive funding from conservative Gulf states like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

 

Earlier this month a group of Islamic organizations asked the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, to not focus only on mosques in their investigation, but also look into foreign money flows to political parties, churches and synagogues.

 

 





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NETHERLANDS sees highest number of anti-Semitism reports in 30 years

By Janene Pieters

 

NL.Times.NL (17.02.2020) – https://bit.ly/2SVpm3I – The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported to the Netherlands’ information and documentation center on Israel CIDI last year increased by a massive 35 percent compared to the year before. CIDI received 182 reports of discrimination against Jewish people – the highest number since the center started keeping track 30 years ago, NOS reports.

 

In 2014, CIDI saw a peak in anti-Semitism reports at 171 incidents. “At the time, the anti-Semitism was related to the flare-up of te conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. There is no such link in 2019,” the center said. The number of incidents decreased to 126 in 2015 and 109 in 2016, after which they started to increase again.

 

Last year there were particularly more reports of insults, increasing from 18 in 2018 to 44 in 2019. CIDI did not include anti-Semitic expressions on social media, though the center is concerned about it. “Social media companies are still taking too little action against anti-Semitic and other racist expressions on their platforms.”

 

CIDI fears that its figures are just the tip of the iceberg. “What makes the increase all the more poignant is that victims of anti-Semitism rarely make a report to the police, because the fear that a report will lead to nothing.

 

The police also noted an increase in discrimination reports. Last year 460 incidents of discrimination were reported to the police, 16 percent more than in 2018.

 


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