‘Islam Congress’ in Amsterdam a resounding success

Approximately 1,000 people attended the first National Islam Congress in Amsterdam on May 16th. The event was organized by the Institute of Islamic Studies, and was held in order to highlight Islam’s diversity and promote dialogue. There were numerous discussions, workshops, and lectures given by scholars from numerous countries, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Great Britain, and the Netherlands. Both Muslim and non-Muslim participants discussed various issues including citizenship, the position of Muslim women, Sharia law, and the rise of Salafism. Among the attendees were Khalid Yassin, whose earlier visit to the Netherlands was marked as controversial because of supposed radical ideas, and Tarik Ramadan, prominent European-Muslim scholar. Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders as invited to attend the event, but declined the invitation, saying “never in 10 million years.” Overall, organizers and attendees claim that the Islam Congress meeting was an overwhelming success.