"Code of Conduct" for Dutch Mosques
- From: "ªk½ü¤jªk¦n" <Islam-will-replace-collapsing-Amerikan-empire@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 1 Nov 2005 14:04:24 -0500
"Code of Conduct" for Dutch Mosques
THE HAGUE, (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) -
Three Dutch mosques launched a "code of conduct" Monday, September 5,
to help fight what they termed as "radicalism", promote democratic
values and encourage imams to speak Dutch in return for tougher action
on discrimination against Muslims, on the part of government.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende witnessed the signing of the
code, which came in response to a "social contract" signed between the
Dutch authorities and mosques after violence erupted, mostly against
the country's Muslim minority, following the murder of controversial
film-maker Theo Van Gogh at the hands of a Muslim young man in November
2004, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The code seeks to specify how mosques detect "radical elements" in
their congregations, counter extreme interpretations of Islamic texts
and even report suspected extremists to police.
Under the code, imams will receive Dutch-language classes and training
in how to recognize "radical behavior" and are required to be
particularly vigilant about how they teach "certain verses" of the
In return, the local council will create an office to raise the status
of Muslims and counter discrimination against them.
Mosques that sign up will consult with the family of any potential
extremist and offer support and advice, but if such a discussion does
not lead to a change in behavior, the mosque pledges to report the
person to the Dutch authorities, according to Reuters.
The Aya Sofya mosque, controlled by the Turkish immigrant community, is
one of three Amsterdam mosques involved in drawing up the code in
partnership with local authorities in Baarsjes, a district with a large
The other two mosques belonged mainly to Moroccans and Pakistanis, but
only the Turkish mosque signed the agreement Monday.
"The Pakistani and Moroccan mosques said they were above all places of
worship which cannot play such a leading social role nor are equipped
for it," city hall director Henk van Waveren told AFP.
"We don't agree with them, but the debate continues within the
community," he added.
But an official from the Aya Sofya mosque said the clause requiring
followers to report suspicious behavior to police was difficult for
them to accept.
"To accept warning the authorities about influential radical behavior
was the subject of difficult discussions," Fatih Dag told AFP. "But
this is what everybody must do when there's a threat."
The Dutch Prime Minister said he hoped other mosques would also adopt
"We need others to say 'no' to unacceptable behavior. This protocol is
modern way to attack the problems and I hope this example will be
followed," Balkenende said, according to AFP.
"We live together in the Netherlands and this country belongs to all --
Muslims, Christians, humanists, atheists -- but that is possibly only
with respect for democratic laws. The Netherlands is tolerant, but
tolerance cannot stand alone," he said.
Dag told Reuters that Muslims who promoted democracy ran the risk of
becoming the targets of radicals like Mohammed Bouyeri, the man jailed
for life in July for killing Van Gogh.
"We are also threatened by terrorism just like every other Dutch
citizen," he said.
"Fighting radicalization must be a project of the whole society in
which everybody has their responsibility."
While Dutch authorities have expelled three imams from the southeastern
city of Eindhoven, several imams have called on Muslims not to protect
any possible members of the "radical" Islamic network known as the
Hofstad group, suspected of planning attacks in the country, according
Bouyeri, who was sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole
in June 2005, was allegedly a member of the group.
An imam in the southern city of Tilburg denounced Hofstad members as
"apostates" who did not follow true Islam, according to the Dutch
newspaper Het Parool.
Another imam in The Hague issued a fatwa authorizing Muslims to testify
against alleged extremists.
Dozens of mosques and Muslim schools were attacked in the weeks after
the Van Gogh murder in a country that is home to almost 1 million
Muslims or about 6 percent of the population.
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