Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Corporation License Revoked

August 13 2010

Muslim broadcasting corporation OUMA Broadcasting Corporation Universal Muslim Association has had its license revoked by the Dutch Media Authority. The license loss comes as a result of conflict between the two parties comprising the new broadcasting company over the appointment of an interim director: TSMON Foundation Muslim Broadcasting Corporation Netherlands and the OUMA foundation, which was formed by the organisation Academica Islamica. OUMA was to start its broadcasts on radio and television on September 1 2010.

Internal Tension Threatens Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Company

Disagreement regarding the appointment of an interim director may lead to the breakup of the Netherlands’ newest Muslim broadcasting company. According to
Dutch broadcasting regulations, religious groups are entitled to airtime every week on national public radio and television channels. As there is just one broadcasting license per religion, broadcasting requires close cooperation between several groups whose views do not always agree. OUMA was created after the downfall of previous Islamic broadcasting organizations and was awarded a five year broadcasting license last year. It encompasses rival factions SMON, which champions the continued leadership of Maurice Koopman from the previous company, and Acadmica Islamica, which claims an agreement not to appoint people involved in the previous broadcasting organization bars Koopman from eligibility. The new OUMA combination will begin broadcasting in September.

Dutch Muslim Organizations Boycott Israeli Dates

Several Muslim organizations in the Netherlands, including the Council of Dutch Moroccan Mosques (RMMN), the Islamic Foundation of the Netherlands (ISN)
and Milli Gorus, are asking Muslims to boycott the purchase of Israeli dates during Ramadan. The boycott is the response to the late May Israeli attack on an aid convoy
for Palestinians, in which nine activists were killed and several people (including two Dutch) wounded. The boycott is to be launched after prayers on Friday July 9, one
month before the start of Ramadan.

Dutch Muslims Create Website for Critical Discussion

Members of the Islamic community in the Netherlands have started a website as a platform to provide critical discussion about Islam. The site, nieuwemoskee.nl (‘new mosque’), is created independent of government funding and is intended to stimulate public debate on Islam’s position in Dutch society, as well as to provide “a platform for critical voices from all schools of thought, whether they be reformist, conservative or fundamentalist”, comments Arnold Yasin Mol. According to Mol, who heads the Deen Research Centre for modern Islamic thought and sits on the board of the Dutch Muslim Party, the website hopes to meet the demand among young Muslims to express their opinions.

Difference in ethnic and immigrant dutch voting opinion

20,000 potential voters in the upcoming national elections filled out an online questionnaire that indicates their position on issues of immigration and integration. The guide, created by Maroc.NL, was filled out by as many ethnic Dutch as immigrants, and results suggest that responses from the two groups vary considerably:  for example, while 68% of Turks and Moroccans completely disagree that “Islam doesn’t fit in a democratic state”, almost half of ethnic Dutch respondents believe Islam is incompatible with democracy.  The most popular parties among non-Western respondents were the Dutch Muslim Party, the GroenLinks (Greens) and the SP (Socialists).

Study finds no sharia courts in Netherlands

A recent study has found that due to the ethnic and religious diversity of Dutch Muslim groups, the existence of an official legal institute for all Muslims in the Netherlands is not possible, and no Sharia courts currently exist in the country.

The study was conducted by Radbound University Nijmegen for the Ministry of Justice and sent by the ministers of Justice and Integration to Dutch parliament. It notes that while practices of counseling and conflict-arbitration on the basis of Sharia exist in the Netherlands, it does not take the form of settling disputes. Rather, Muslims ask among peers or scholars for advice about issues in which Islamic concepts and life in Dutch society offer choices. The cabinet response admits that the study alleviates concern about the existence of Sharia courts, while restating its position ensuring that there will be no parallel legal orders in the country.

Sharia in Netherlands (Dutch)

A recent study has found that due to the ethnic and religious diversity of Dutch Muslim groups, the existence of an official legal institute for all Muslims in the Netherlands is not possible, and no Sharia courts currently exist in the country.
The study was conducted by Radbound University Nijmegen for the Ministry of Justice and sent by the ministers of Justice and Integration to Dutch parliament. It notes that while practices of counseling and conflict-arbitration on the basis of Sharia exist in the Netherlands, it does not take the form of settling disputes. Rather, Muslims ask among peers or scholars for advice about issues in which Islamic concepts and life in Dutch society offer choices. The cabinet response admits that the study alleviates concern about the existence of Sharia courts, while restating its position ensuring that there will be no parallel legal orders in the country.

Children of Dutch immigrants less religious than their parents

A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Utrecht reveals that children of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands practice their religion less rigorously than their parents. The overwhelming majority still see themselves as Muslim. The results stem from a survey of 2000 members of the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch communities and published in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, measuring how “vibrant” religious feelings and practices were between the two generations. The younger generation scored lower on both counts.

Other results from the report include the observation that highly-educated Turks and Moroccans describing themselves as Muslims practice their faith more than the lower-educated, which is exactly the opposite among the first generation. Finally, the research suggests that the assimilation of immigrant groups in the Netherlands will take “several generations.”

Liberal mosque serving Dutch-speaking Muslims may have to close doors

Amsterdam’s liberal Polder mosque is behind on rent payments and may face closure if it cannot solicit enough in donations to cover its bills.

The Polder mosque is a special place in the eyes of its attendees. As one Dutch Muslim describes his experience there, “normally it’s in Arabic but here they translate it. So I understand everything. I’m not the only one who thinks like this.”

Netherlands announces new Islamic broadcaster

The Dutch Media Authority announced that the Dutch Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (SMON) has received the new broadcasting permit for Islam and may begin broadcasting in September 2010.

The decision follows several months of conflict among Islamic broadcasters in the Netherlands, who operate during the percentage of time set aside for religious groups in Dutch media. Internal divisions between previous broadcasters NMO and NIO led to their dissolution.

The Dutch Media Authority has been reviewing applications for the replacement since October 2009, choosing SMON over the Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (SMO) and Joint Muslim Broadcasting Foundation (VMO)