“Deradicalization” Process Offered to Dutch Muslim Fighters Returning from Syria

November 8, 2013

 

Following press coverage about Dutch Muslims traveling to Syria to join armed struggle, television programme EenVandaag reports on the fate of those who return to the Netherlands. The Dutch Muslim fighters who have to date returned from Syria have not been arrested and prosecuted but have been given a job or course and accommodation.

An estimated 20 men have returned from Syria and have been taken up in ‘deradicalization’ courses on return to the Netherlands. The program involves finding the men training and jobs, and arranging homes for them if necessary.

The Netherlands is thus diverging from Belgium, where returning fighters are immediately arrested and prosecuted.

 

NIS Newshttp://www.nisnews.nl/returning-jihadists-not-arrested-but-helped.html

Dutch Public Servant Fired for Informing on Mosque Schools

October 31, 2013

 

The Rotterdam public servant who told journalists that Mosques run illegal boarding schools has been fired by the city council with immediate effect.

Based on confidential documents and interviews, NRC Handelsblad reported last year that mosque boarding schools exist in Rotterdam among other locations which had no licence to have children stay overnight. Fifty girls were living the attic of one of these mosques. The government carried out no supervision of these schools.

The public servant who tipped off the newspaper received a letter of dismissal on Monday in which he was accused by the city council of “serious dereliction of duty.” The letter also says he created a “feeling of unsafeness” at the municipal organisation, by “recording and distributing an internal meeting.”

 

NIS News- http://www.nisnews.nl/whistle-blower-on-illegal-mosque-schools-sacked.html

Euro-Islam summary for original story: http://www.euro-islam.info/2013/05/22/alleged-mosque-boarding-school-revealed-in-rotterdam/

Update: Dutch Court Jails Man for Plans to Fight in Syria

October 31, 2013

 

Last week, Nos television reported that a Dutch man had been jailed for planning to travel to Syria to take part in armed resistance against president Assad. Ignition fuses, aluminum powder and instructions for making explosives were among items found in his home.

The Rotterdam district court ruled that making preparations to travel to Syria, including buying a plane ticket and collecting funds, can be seen as preparation for murder and is punishable by law. The ruling is significant for the public prosecution of the Netherlands because until now there has been no jurisprudence on the issue, and this ruling will have implications for others planning to travel to Syria for similar purposes. The Public Prosecutor’s Office publicly commented on its support of the verdict.

In addition to jailing one man for a year on these grounds, a second man has been sent to a psychiatric hospital for the same intention. Mohammed G. collected money, cancelled rent, packed bags, and read ‘Jihadist texts’ as preparation for fighting in Syria. However, the man suffers from psychoses and will not receive a sentence but rather must go to a psychiatric hospital.

 

Dutch Newshttp://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/10/dutch_jail_man_for_preparing_t.php

NIS News: http://www.nisnews.nl/court-rules-preparing-for-jihad-is-a-crime.html

Comments by Rector of Islamic University Rotterdam Draw Attention

October 18, 2013

 

The rector of the Islamic University of Rotterdam (IUR) has become the target of press attention after publishing an article stating his views on various aspects of Islamic practice for Sunni and Alevi Muslims and his perspectives on current political events in Turkey. The publication appeared on the personal website of rector Ahmet Akgündüz in Turkish. It has been summarized in Dutch and English news sources in the Netherlands with considerable variation.

Newspaper Trouw notes that Akgündüz states the impossibility of dialogue with anyone who does not adhere to the six principles of faith and five pillars of Islam, and that it is not permissible to intermarry with or eat food slaughtered by some Alevi Muslims. According to Trouw, he further opposes the building of a Sunni-Alevi mosque complex nearby Ankara.

The English publication NIS news claims that Akgündüz’s publication calls opponents of Turkish Premier Erdogan “enemies of Islam”. Their quotation of Akgündüz’s statement that stoning is “one of the prescribed punishment within Islam” is amplified as material for the headline of their article “Islamic University Dean Supports Stoning”.

The unclarity over Akgündüz’s position and the controversial article prompted attention from the Dutch government, with members of the Liberal (VVD), Labour (PvDA), and Christian Democrat parties citing concern about the article, primarily due to the role of the Islamic University of Rotterdam in training Imams in the Netherlands.

In response to the controversy, the IUR has issued a press release stating that it stands in solidarity with the rector, emphasizing his academic qualifications and asserting that the views he presents in his writings are sufficiently neutral and not politically motivated. The press release also asserts that the statements in the media misquote Akgündüz’s position, directly contradicting the quoted positions regarding the acceptability of marriage to or eating meat slaughtered by Alevi Muslims.

Conversation in the press, and clarifications of Akgündüz’s position, is ongoing.

 

 

Personal website post of Ahmet Akgündüz (Turkish)- http://new.ahmetakgunduz.com/?p=112

NIS News (English)- http://www.nisnews.nl/islamic-university-dean-supports-stoning.html

Trouw (Dutch)- http://www.trouw.nl/tr/nl/5091/Religie/article/detail/3528817/2013/10/17/Rector-Islamitische-Uni-dialoog-met-niet-moslims-is-onmogelijk.dhtml

Press release IUR (Dutch)- http://www.nieuwwij.nl/nieuws/iur-onjuiste-berichtgeving/

Terror Suspect Worked as Imam in Dutch Penitentiary

15 September 2011

NIS News reports that a man convicted in Morocco for involvement in the deaths of political opponents has worked as an Imam in the Dutch city of Tilburg. Hasan B. was arrested in Spain on July 20 at the request of Moroccan authorities. Previously, B. worked as an Imam in the Tilburg Penitentiary (PIT), after being hired as a temporary worker by the ministry’s Spiritual Care Services.

Dutch Moroccan Youth Overrepresented in Crime Statistics

Researchers for the Tijdschrift voor Criminologie (Journal of Criminology) claim
this week that over half of Dutch Moroccan youths have come into contact with
the police: some 54% of young Dutch Moroccan men, compared with 23% of
young men in the country overall.
The research report was picked up by several newspapers offering differing
commentaries on the results. Dutch News notes that the research does not
indicate how frequently police contact resulted in charges and convictions. The
NIS News, on the other hand, reports that more than half of the Dutch Moroccan
youths “have committed one or more crimes before they reached the age of 22”.
The researchers do not conclude why Dutch Moroccan youth are
overrepresented in crime statistics. They suggest that low socioeconomic status
and cultural factors may play a role, as well as citing Belgian research indicating
that police are more likely to question immigrant youths than white natives.

Tilburg mosque mined for blocking cell phones

The Islamic Association for Education and Transfer of Knowledge has been fined for operating a device to block cell phone usage in the vicinity of a Tilburg mosque.

The banned device, which sends out strong radio signals that make phoning in the immediate vicinity impossible, blocks cell phone use as well as reception for emergency services.

NIS News reports that the mosque halted cell phone usage in order to allow worshipers to pray in peace. It faces a fine of 650 euros.

Former director of Netherlands Muslim Broadcaster arrested

The former director of the Netherlands Muslim Broadcaster (NMO), Frank Williams, has been arrested for accepting bribes of at least 600.000 Euros. His son, daughter-in-law, and a film producer have also been arrested. The four suspects were arrested in a criminal investigation of misuse of the broadcasting funds of the NMO, one of the public broadcasters subsidized by the government, NIS reports. The finance ministry announced that Williams is suspected of “forgery, defrauding the income tax service and taking bribes as director of the NMO”.

Terror threat in the Netherlands ‘substantial’

According to Dutch government counter-terrorism chief Tjibbe Joustra, the threat of a terrorist attack in the Netherlands is higher than ever. At present, the threat level rests at its second highest level – “substantial.” Justra, however, said that he believes the level should be set to “substantial plus.” He dies not say what specific threats have lead to this occasion.

See full-text articles:

Radio Netherlands

NIS News

Dutch News

Dutch take Islamic festival as their own

According to a new poll by the Dutch Centre for Folk Culture, the Dutch have adopted the Sugar Feast – a celebration marking the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan – as one of their favorite cultural traditions. In a top 100 list of favorite traditions, the Sugar Feast came in as number 14. Several thousand people responded to the poll about what traditions they considered important for themselves and for the Netherlands as a whole.

See full text articles:

Religious Intelligence

NIS News