Parliamentary commission concludes Dutch mosques influenced by non-free countries
by Michael van der Galien
June 25, 2020
The parliamentary commission that conducted an investigation into the funding of mosques and Islamic schools has concluded that they are influenced through “financiers from non-free lands who want to exercise their political-religious influence in the Netherlands.” This concerns “fundamentalist messages that reject the core values of our society.”
The Tweede Kamer needed a commission in order to conclude that? Literally, everybody knew all along that there were problems, but oh, oh, the Second Chamber had to first investigate it thoroughly, and only then could they could say it.
The most important criticism is directed towards Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia. There imams are trained and indoctrinated with an extreme version of Islam, and then sent out to the Netherlands. “Muslim communities are also bombarded with strict religious messages via social media.”
The commission also whines about Turkey— The Diyanet (Turkish agency for religious affairs) is said to “hold a political grip on the visitors to the mosques and the Turkish Dutch”. If that was true, then you still ask yourself what would be illegal about it. It is completely logical that a country wants to have contact with its citizens, even if they live elsewhere. The Netherlands does no different. And the message from Turkish Diyanet imams is really never anti-democratic and never affects the fundamentals of the democratic constitutional state. Perhaps the connections with Turkey are underscored, but yes, in the Netherlands, we have allowed the people to have two passports. So it is logical and even defensible that Turkey contacts its people and treats them as Turks. Which they always are.
As regards the anti-democratic, anti-West messages that are preached in Arab and Moroccan mosques: This must naturally be discussed directly with the countries. Possibilities to stop it must be looked at… if the possibilities are legal.
Because yes, in the Netherlands, we have religious freedom. Foreigners can be influenced by the content of religious leaders’ speeches.
Oh no, does Michael really write now that they are free and must be free?
Yes, indeed. Yes. There is one limitation, however, that we can place: When the message is against the law. So if they, for example, call for the use of violence against certain people or groups. Legally, you can intervene if they call for the overthrow of the democratic constitutional state itself. Then you can intervene as a government.
But in all other cases, that cannot be done.
Then how to deal with it? By fighting it from the other angle: by understanding that the problem is that Arab and Moroccan mosque-goers are seemingly susceptible to an “extremely conservative” (read: fundamentalist or worse) message. So something went wrong either during integration or, if they were born and raised in the Netherlands, in their upbringing. Where did ‘we’ go wrong?