Municipal politicians in Amsterdam are shocked — shocked! — to discover that there has been “radicalization” and recruiting for the Islamic State in the city’s mosques.
Major concerns about Amsterdam’s radicalization policy
Amsterdam city council members are very worried about the radicalization policy of the municipality, now that new abuses have re-emerged in recent publications. Tomorrow De Telegraaf will publish a revealing story about the Salafist El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam West, which provided accommodation for ISIS gangs and terrorists.
On Thursday NRC [daily paper] published a story showing that jihad recruiters in Amsterdam had years of free play when the police and the municipality did not keep each other informed about whether or not investigations had been completed. Tomorrow De Telegraaf will publish an article showing that a ‘jihad club’ for children was established in the El Tawheed mosque. This is apparent from a photo and police information.
The VVD [center-right party] councilor Marianne Poot reacted to the NRC stories, which she finds ‘enormously disturbing’. “Terrible that two jihad recruiters could just go their way in Amsterdam. How is this possible? We have spoken so often about the radicalization approach in the council. And this has never come forward. Not in any research,” she says.
Annabel Nanninga of Forum for Democracy [FvD] speaks of a ‘serious systemic crisis in radicalization policy’. “The time for investigations and guidance to Salafists is now over; FvD calls Mayor [Femke] Halsema to action. The dangerous hotbeds, the mosques El Tawheed and Arrayaan, must be closed immediately. Coffee shops and catering businesses should be at least boarded up. These places are poison for the youth of Amsterdam, for the well-meaning Muslims and for the Netherlands.”
Council member Boomsma in the past asked written questions three times and wondered whether there was any propagation of extremist ideology in the mosques. The answer was always: “We have no indications.” The exasperated CDA member: “Apparently Amsterdam wanted to include these men, involved in mosques, in the approach in the category of ‘recruiter’. How do I reconcile that?” He thinks Halsema must be transparent. “Everything has to be aboveboard. This is too crazy for words! Why has no end been put to recruiting? They could do their thing for years: poisoning Amsterdam’s youth ideologically. A coarse scandal.”
Mayor Halsema announced a new investigation yesterday after the NRC article. [She said] that there were already worries about the Amsterdam approach, where there would have been a ‘religious spasm’ and where little connection with other cities was sought. The Amsterdam approach to radicalization was leading internationally shortly after the murder of Theo van Gogh, but that has long since ceased, concluded Beatrice de Graaf and Daan Weggemans, from the universities of Utrecht and Leiden, in February. The hard conclusion was that Amsterdam should be much more transparent. “The shutters must be open. Confidentiality, whether expressed through official fear or commercial interest, must be avoided as much as possible, at least within the networks of the city itself.”