Dutch benefit event “radical” Muslims in Utrecht cancelled

A benefit event organized by the Dutch Muslim organization World Wide Relief in Party Centre Luxury in the Dutch city of Utrecht was cancelled by the centre. Spokesperson of Party Centre Luxury Gino Shaho stated that it was not known that “radical Muslims” would attend the benefit event.

The organization World Wide Relief organized a similar event last year were they collected money for Palestine, Birma, and South-Morocco. But at that event no speakers were invited. Among others, this years event would feature two controversial Muslim preachers, the saudi shaykh Assim al-Hakeem and the Dutch convert Abdul-Jabbar van der Ven.

The management of the party centre was not in tune with the perceived political implications of the event. According to Shado World Wide Relief has reacted in an understanding way.

Questions have been asked about the event by members of the Dutch parliament. Earlier this week Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders retracted the visa for three imams that were to attend a similar event in the Dutch municipality of Rijswijk. The parliamentary members wanted to know if visas were also extended to the guests at the event in Utrecht.

Dutch Imam Elforkani quits preaching after threats

Yassin Elforkani, youth-imam from Amsterdam, decided to stop preaching in the Omar al-Farouk mosque in Utrecht since he is being threathened by extremists Muslims. They view him as a traitor and apostate because he tells youth not to go to Syria and Iraq to fight the jihad. He is therefore known as Holland’s most well-known critic of jihad.

Celebrating Ramadan in Friesland

8 August 2013

Muslims in the Netherlands celebrated of Eid al-Fitr and the end of Ramadan on 8 August 2013. To mark the event NL Times carries a profile of one man’s celebrations in the Netherlands. Youssef Nashmi is a 30 year old Syrian man living with his family in the province of Friesland. Nashmi’s account contrasts his experience celebrating in the small village of Oosterwarde- with few Muslims and no mosques- compared to activities in major cities such as Utrecht and Amsterdam, home to the majority of the Netherland’s nearly one million Muslims.

Alleged Mosque Boarding School Revealed in Rotterdam

May 16 2013


A civil servant in Rotterdam has provided information revealing that there are allegedly Turkish mosque-related boarding schools operating in the city. According to his information the Faith mosque has housed girls as a residence, against the fire regulations which would not allow for the mosque to have a housing license.  The NRC Handelsblad reports that there are “boarding schools” of the sort in Arnhem, Utrecht, Breda and Amsterdam as well as Rotterdam.

The media attained the information about the mosque from the civil servant, who first gave the information to the city. The Rotterdam city council has sent a letter to the “whistle blower” stating that his job will be terminated with immediate effect because of his dereliction of duty in sharing information considered secret.

Public Advertisements “Censored” in Utrecht

14 April 2012

A poster displayed in a primarily Muslim neighbourhood of Utrecht which depicts a woman in a short, strapless dress has been covered over. A black plastic bag has been taped atop the posters, which are promotional material for the city’s museum weekend. A message on the bag reads, “La ilahe il Allah- No Sexually Tinted Advertising In Our Suburbs. Stand Up And Fight Against This Case To Protect Our Children!” A second poster depicting a woman in a bikini was also covered briefly.

While the event prompted reactions online and PVV leader Wilders raised the event in parliament, reaction in the neighbourhood have been mixed. Radio Netherlands Worldwide quotes local Muslim residents with a range of reactions, including Muslim women whose attention had not been attracted by the posters or their covers, and others who see no use in the move to cover the image.

Controversy over female bodies in public campaigns has circulated in the Netherlands before, as when feminist and also religious organizations objected to lingerie and other advertising posters in 2010.

Moroccan Dutch Politicians Discuss Their Role in Islam Debate

9 November 2011

Moroccan Dutch politicians recently gathered in Utrecht to hold a debate regarding their work as political representatives and the position of Muslims in the Netherlands, NOS reports. The debate was an initiative by Labour councilor Latif Hasnaoui. Topics included those which will impact Muslims in the Netherlands, such as the proposed bans on ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the headscarf. The debate also involved conversation about the balance the politicians strike between speaking for Muslim supporters and adhering to their party’s political line.


Integration Courses Not Requirement for Turkish Immigrants to Netherlands

16 August 2011


The Utrecht Court of Appeals has determined that the Netherlands cannot require Turkish immigrants to undergo integration courses. The appeal follows a 2007 ruling that all immigrants must successfully complete integration courses, a decision which has been decided conflicts with an EU treaty which includes a statement disallowing discrimination between Turks and EU citizens. The latest decision exempting Turkish immigrants from integration courses cannot be appealed.

Concerns in Netherlands that ‘Mosque Square’ Houses May Sell for Less

19  July 2011


A housing developer in the Netherlands has lodged an objection to the name of a new square in Utrecht. Bouwfonds is concerned that houses in “Mosque Square” (named for its location next to a mosque) will sell for lower prices.

Dutch Muslim Groups Offer Protection for Threatened Churches

Following the mention of three Coptic churches – located in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam- on a website considered to have links to Al Qaida, Muslim organizations in the Netherlands have denounced the threat. The Dutch Muslim Council, the Council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands and the Federation of Islamic Organizations have offered protection to the churches in a statement in the Telegraaf. “It is up to us to do so because Al-Qaeda is claiming to act in the name of Islam. Christian Copts, us (Muslims), and all Dutch have the same enemy: the terrorists,” the statement said. “We can’t sleep at the idea that Christian Copts may be attacked here, in the Netherlands.”

Dutch School Regulates Headscarves “Too Close to Eyebrows”

October 28 2010

A secondary school in Utrecht has announced that women wearing headscarves have at least 90% of their face visible. ANP reports that the secondary school in the city of Utrecht introduced the rules in June. Teachers will not speak to those wearing scarves that are not at least two centimeters above their eyebrows.