December 17 2010
The Essalam Mosque in Rotterdam was opened by the city’s mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and city councilor Hamit Karakus on December 17. It is the largest mosque in the country, and opens after seven years of construction and considerable controversy surrounding the extent of “foreign influence” on the project. The building will serve around 2.500 Moroccan Muslims living in the Rotterdam South district.
The Rotterdam Essalam administration is applying for a restrictive ban on five rebellious members of the organization. According to the administration, these five persons and their presence is leading to escalation within the mosque; this marks the first time that a mosque administration is trying to ban members from praying in their mosque, with the help of a court in the Netherlands. Administrators and some visitors to the mosque are upset with influence from Arab financiers from Dubai – who are helping to finance the building of a new large mosque in Rotterdam-South – of which building has currently stopped.