Many Dutch mosques funded by foreign organisations seeking to promote hardline Islam, warns committee
Amsterdam: A committee of Dutch lawmakers have warned that several mosques in the Netherlands are being funded by foreign organisations seeking to promote a hardline, anti-democratic version of Islam.
The committee is headed by Michel Rog.
Accordion to media reports, the Rog-led committee voiced concern about the influence of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar on the Dutch Muslim community.
The list of donors is dominated by Salafi organisations, who overwhelmingly fund mosques that share their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam. Donors also influenced the appointment of mosque leaders, imams and preachers, as well as the type of education and literature on offer, the committee said in its concluding report to parliament, reports Dutch News.
It found that the Diyanet, the Turkish state’s religious arm, exerted a strong political influence on the Turkish religious community in the Netherlands. All Diyanet preachers are appointed and employed by the Turkish government. Conservative religious groups also used social media extensively to promote their message, reports the newspaper.
The report said mosques tended to use unorthodox financial constructions to obscure who their backers were and how much they received, while government organisations lacked the resources to investigate them, the newspaper report further said.
However, the committee did not make any recommendation on the issue.
Some members of the Islamic community attacked its remit as ‘prejudiced’ because it focused exclusively on foreign donations to mosques and not churches, reports Dutch News.
‘It is for political parties now to draw conclusions and to decide how far it is necessary or to take more measures than there are currently,’ the committee was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
Representative image of a mosque from Pixabay