Danes Restrict Imams To Stifle Muslim Radicals

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent Denmark will crack down on the immigration of Islamic preachers to try to stifle radicalism among its Muslims. A parliamentary bill does not mention the Islamic faith, but Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, has made the target of the legislation clear in announcing restrictions on “foreign missionaries”. The bill is expected to be passed by parliament within weeks. To cater for the Danish constitution, which bans any form of religious discrimination, the legislation will affect all religious persuasions. About 30 organisations under the banner of the Danish Missionary Society reacted strongly to the proposals yesterday, saying the government was “stifling the freedom of religion and thought”. The new laws are expected to curtail seriously the activities of some imams, who have been at the centre of controversy for making statements alleged to be anti-Semitic, or against current legislation.”

Denmark: Danes Restrict Imams To Stifle Muslim Radicals

By Julian Isherwood, Scandinavia Correspondent Denmark will crack down on the immigration of Islamic preachers to try to stifle radicalism among its Muslims. A parliamentary bill does not mention the Islamic faith, but Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, has made the target of the legislation clear in announcing restrictions on “foreign missionaries”. The bill is expected to be passed by parliament within weeks. To cater for the Danish constitution, which bans any form of religious discrimination, the legislation will affect all religious persuasions. About 30 organisations under the banner of the Danish Missionary Society reacted strongly to the proposals yesterday, saying the government was “stifling the freedom of religion and thought”. The new laws are expected to curtail seriously the activities of some imams, who have been at the centre of controversy for making statements alleged to be anti-Semitic, or against current legislation.

Dutch Conservatives Want Stricter Laws For Islamic Schools; Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues

Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali says her party, the VVD, wants to see stricter legislation governing Islamic schools. The conservatives claim these schools are teaching children to discriminate against women, homosexuals and the indigenous Dutch population. She made her remarks during a parliamentary debate on a new integration bill put forward by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Most parties support the minister’s plans, but the left-wing opposition has criticised a proposal that would make migrants pay part of the cost of their integration courses. They argue this will force many people into debt. Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues Christian Democrat Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has criticised a proposal by the conservative VVD party to monitor Islamic schools. She says the proposal breaches an article in the constitution guaranteeing educational freedom. VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for an end to government support for certain Islamic schools. She says they promote intolerance towards homosexuals and Jews, and are opposed to equality for women. The Lower House debate on Islamic education in the Netherlands has further intensified. Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven, a Christian Democrat, has rejected a Conservative proposal to set additional requirements to such schools. The minister has not yet vetoed the motion of Conservative parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she did say it violated article 23 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of education. The minister also opposes the Conservative’s request that all board members of Islamic schools have Dutch nationality. The other house factions also reject the motion. Although Ms. Hirsi Ali’s resolution has thrown Conservatives themselves into a commotion, the party is not withdrawing it. The house debate will continue next week.