Fawaz Jneid, a Syrian-Dutch imam who preached until 2012 in the As-Soennah mosque in The Hague, became a controversial figure after cursing Islam-critics Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh in a speech at the mosque. The years after, Fawaz was heavily criticized for being considered part of the Salafi branch in the Netherlands and for preaching an ‘intolerant message’. Recently, the imam was given a restraining order for six months in certain areas of The Hague. This is possible because of a new anti-Terror law that makes it possible for terror-suspects to be detained longer without rock-solid evidence.
According to the Dutch security services, because Fawaz preaches an ‘intolerant’ message in a neighborhood prone to radicalization, he is a potential safety danger. The security services received support from Paula Krikke, the mayor of The Hague, who in addition requested the restraining order against Jneid. She stated: “(…) Together with many citizens of The Hague, I work hard to make living in the city as free and safe as possible for everyone. A stage for Fawaz Jneid and his extremist opinions is at odds with this. Because of that, we try to do everything to prevent him from getting a foothold in this city.”
Not only did Fawaz Jneid himself appealed against the sentence, a few Dutch Muslim organizations and (Salafi) Muslims have protested against the restraining order. Fawaz called the restraining order ‘propaganda against Islam’ and argues that he has worked with the security services to prevent young people from radicalization. The organizations and individuals that protested Fawaz’s sentence, have called the restraining order an “illegitimate form of oppression” and targeting Fawaz in particular a ‘witch hunt’. The sentence is considered illegal by the protesters, because Fawaz was never convicted of sedition or hate-speech. They also believe – like Fawaz – that in reality, the sentence is a concealed anti-Islam measure. In a pamphlet circulating on the Internet, an anonymous writer stated: “We regret to note that this is a case of (…) a selective anti-Islam measure that does not only affect imam Fawaz, but also the Dutch Muslim in his rights and freedoms.”
https://www.ad.nl/den-haag/imam-fawaz-krijgt-gebiedsverbod-vanwege-haatpreken~ad986312/ https://www.ad.nl/den-haag/fawaz-naar-rechter-om-gebiedsverbod-dit-is-propaganda-ik-ben-geen-terrorist~a0262b8e/ https://www.ad.nl/den-haag/salafisten-schieten-haatimam-te-hulp~ad9c136a/
31 March 2012
Sheikh Fawaz al-Jneid has been suspended from the Sunnah mosque in The Hague for at least three weeks after allegedly insulting board members and disturbing a meeting. In an interview Sheikh Fawaz commented that he does not intend to abide by the mosque’s injunction and accuses the board of trying to prevent him from speaking on political matters during Friday prayers. Meanwhile a lawyer acting on behalf of the mosque board has provided a letter proposing measures to curtail Sheikh Fawaz’s authority within the mosque.
Sheikh Fawaz Jneid (1963) was born in Syria, trained in Saudi Arabia and became an imam in the United Arab Emirates. He left the UAE after protesting the presence of American troops in 1991, and arrived in the Netherlands where he became one of the primary figures in the Dutch salafist movement. Jneid is affiliated with the As-Soennah mosque in The Hague and is prominent at a national level for his political activity, but is not linked to violence. He has been at the center of several controversies which have received considerable attention in the national press, including his condemnation of Theo van Gogh and Hirsi Ali.
A group has been founded in the Netherlands calling on Muslims to fight for the establishment of a Dutch Islamic state. Sharia4Holland has split from Sharia4Belgium, and wants sharia law to be introduced in the country, and is active on the internet including on facebook and YouTube. The National Counter-Terrorism Coordinator has announced that the national intelligence agency is aware of the group and its activities, and it has yet to commit a crime.
Meanwhile, Imam Sheikh Fawaz Jneid of the as-Soennah mosque in Den Hague has distanced himself from Sharia4Holland, while the Freedom Party requested that the Interior Minister ban the organization.
October 12 2010
Anti-Islam MP Geert Wilders has been summoned for by a court in The Hague for charges of damaging the reputation of a local imam. Fawaz Jneid is claiming damages for the use of his image in Wilders’ 2008 anti-Islam film Fitna. Dutch law does not allow the use of pictures of individuals without their explicit consent. Jneid claims his portrait rights have been infringed, that Wilders broke the law, and that his good name has been damaged. He is seeking 55 000 euros in damages.
Meanwhile, Wilders’ court case for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims entered its second week. The public prosecution said that Wilders should be found not guilty of insulting Muslims and non-western immigrants as a group, reasoning that by likening the Quran to Mein Kampf, Wilders criticized Islam rather than Muslims.
Dutch news site AD has removed an image of the Vilks cartoon after using it to illustrate a story on the plot to murder the Swedish cartoonist. Acting editor Bart Verkade notes that the site received many offended responses, including an email campaign organized by the As-Soenna mosque in The Hague. In covering the story about the removal of the cartoon from AD, both De Pers and Elsevier reprinted the image, to further criticism from Imam Sheik Fawaz Jneid of the As-Soennah mosque.
Imam Fawaz Jneid, who has been described as a radical cleric, is suing Geert Wilders, maker of the anti-Quran film _Fitna,’ for EUR 55,000 in damages, claiming that Wilders damaged his reputation. Jneid was featured in Wilders’ film, and claims that he was unjustly portrayed as being connected to extremism and terrorism, damaging his good name and honor. In addition, a photo of him was used in the film without the imam’s permission. Wilders dismissed the claim.