Well-meaning officials in the Dutch government thought they had it all figured out: to stop “radicalism” in the country’s mosques, well-educated Dutch-speaking imams were needed. To address the perceived need, a state-funded program was created to do just that, and turned out a cohort of imams ready to go to work eliminating violent fundamentalism from Dutch Muslim society.
But — surprise! — they’re not wanted by Dutch Muslims. Not only are they too expensive, but the congregations in the mosques like Islamic radicalism just fine, thank you very much. They want no truck with these fancy-pants Dutch-speaking “polder imams”.
So not only did the state pay for the training of the new imams, it will now have to provide them with unemployment benefits. Another little joke on the Dutch taxpayer.
According to NIS:
Mosques Refuse Dutch ‘State Imams’
THE HAGUE, 24/07/09 — Not a single mosque in the Netherlands has to date been prepared to take on an Imam trained in the special government courses. “Mosques have no money and no confidence in the ‘polder Imam,” reported Trouw newspaper yesterday.
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The Free University Amsterdam, the University of Leiden and Hogeschool InHolland college have developed Imam training courses, at the initiative of the cabinet. It wants to put a stop to the ‘import’ of Imams from Morocco or Turkey. These are said to be conservative, get in the way of integration of Muslims and sometimes incite to radicalisation.
The universities and college courses supply Imams that speak Dutch and understand Dutch society. But the Imams trained in the Netherlands should not count on a job for now. “Poor mosques have no money for expensive, qualified Imams. Additionally, the older generation of mosque-goers, who pay contributions and therefore decide what happens there, do not want a Dutch-speaking Imam at all,” says Trouw.
Hat tip: TB.