Social Affairs Minister comments on denying visas for non-Dutch Imams

Dutch Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher has commented that non-Dutch Muslim clerics preaching hatred in Dutch mosques and glorifying terrorism may be denied visas. The decision is part of a wider program to counteract the radicalization of young Dutch Muslims.
Asscher made the comment to newspaper Telegraaf, saying , “If an imam from Syria wants to preach here and does not have peaceful intentions, he will not get a visa… We will also make the lives difficult of Dutch imams who grew up here and spread hatred.”

Netherlands Freedom Party nominee defended radical imam

The Netherlands’ anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV) faced embarrassment this week after learning that a prospective MP nominated by the party has defended a radical imam. Lilian Heider defended imam Imraan Kariman in 2007 for an inflammatory speech leading to a ban on his public speaking. Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV, called at the time of the speech case for the Imam to be deported.