Dutch muslims targeted in voting campaigns

Various religious and social organizations are addressing the Netherlands’ Muslim population in advance of national elections on June 9, 2010. While some organizations are encouraging active participation in the election, others are urging Muslims not to vote. Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir set up a website and handed out flyers at Dutch mosques urging Muslims not to vote, as no candidate provides sufficient support for Muslims while their participation would legitimize the election.

Alternately, the Council of Moroccan Mosques in North Holland is urging Muslim participation in the election.  The Dutch Moroccan Alliance has produced a video and will send representatives into the community to speak Moroccan youth in an attempt to “get out the Moroccan vote.”

Netherlands mosques build anti-radicalization program

In an effort to prevent radicalization among Muslim youth, administrators of 18 mosques in the province of North Holland will attend a study week in April. Operating on the premise that youth become radicalized as a result of isolation and exposure to organizations outside of mosques, the program provides strategies for recruiting youth to mosques. During the study week participants will learn how to reinforce the social function of the mosque and make it more accessible for youth, and will also acquire skills in recognizing and dealing with radicalization should it occur.