Tensions erupt between Moroccans and Moluccans in Culemborg, Netherlands

A series of confrontations have erupted in recent weeks between Moroccan and Mollucan communities in the central Netherlands town of Culemborg.

Conflict between youths of the two communities began on New Years Eve and have continued, with police making several arrest, erecting physical barriers between the communities, and banning public gatherings of over three people for a period of two weeks.

Although tensions continue, the city held a march of reconciliation on January 7, which was attended by 250 people.

News reports address a number of sources for the conflict. NRC assigns the responsibility for the “race riots” to competition among young men, while Radio Netherlands Worldwide stresses ethnic divisions, though also noting that most Moluccans in the Netherlands are Christian while the Moroccan community is predominantly Muslim.

Mosque shooting in Malmoe, Sweden

The mosque at Islamic Center in Malmoe, Sweden was subject to a shooting on New Years Eve. Someone shot through a window into a room with a handful of people. No one was hit, but one imam was injured by shattered glass from the window.

Bejzat Becirov, founder and vice president of Islamic Center, believes the attack was aimed at the mosque as such and not towards any specific person. Swedish police are regarding the shooting as attempted murder.

Dutch drop case against 3 suspected of attack plan

Dutch prosecutors closed a case against three men arrested in New Years Eve, on suspicion of planning an imminent attack. The reason given was that there was no evidence against them. Police arrested three men after the intelligence said the suspects – Two Moroccan men and one Sudanese man, were about to carry out an unspecified act of violence. The three suspects now have the right to compensation for the time they spend in detention.