After members of the extreme-right group Identitair Verzet [Identitair Resistance] shortly occupied the Al Hijra mosque in the city of Leiden, the Contact Body Muslims and Government (CMO) is afraid for an escalation of anti-Muslim violence.
CMO, representing 80% of the Dutch mosques takes the incident very serious, says spokesperson Yassin Elforkani. There have been incidents before, but this was the first time that an action was committed and coordinated by a ideological driven group. There are moreover signs that more actions will follow.
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.
According to Contact Institution Muslims and Government (CMO), mosques need to provide more support to families of people going to Syria and Iraq. These people are in need of contact with people going through the same situation and also practical support, which they both don’t get from Islamic communities.
Yassin Elforkani, who is working for CMO, responds to the plan of establishing a support centre for families of jihadis’ (see: ‘Support centre for families of jihadis’), saying that this plan can only be successful when there is a ‘bond of trust’, since parents shouldn’t be afraid that their information will be handed over to the police, for instance.
Moroccan imams in Utrecht have erected their own union. The Moroccan Imam Union (Marokkaanse Imam Bond, MIB) will pose quality demands on imams, give courses and training, advise authorities, and serve as a contact point for the media, said the union’s interim-chairman and imam Yassin Elforkani. Elforkani said he places value on the importance on the organization having a professional profile, saying that not just anyone can call themselves an imam.