"While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances — to The Lambeth Walk."

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Largest Mosque in Holland Inaugurated - Police Denied Pork in Ijsseland

It seems some confusion reigns over the treatment of Muslims and the current status of Islam in The Netherlands.

According to the following article, you'd be forgiven for thinking it was a confident creed in ascendancy:

The Essalam mosque, which is the largest in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Western Europe, has been inaugurated in Rotterdam.

The mosque was officially opened by Rotterdam Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and Alderman Hamit Karakus (Housing and Town Planning) of the Rotterdam municipality. They, respectively Moroccan and Turkish, are Muslims themselves. Among the invited guests were the ambassadors of Dubai and Morocco, reported the Dutch English-language media NIS News.

The construction of the Essalam mosque, which offers space for 1 500 Muslims, took seven years and cost EUR 4 M. The new mosque, built in a traditional style with 50-meter minarets, is the biggest Islamic house of prayer in the Netherlands and one of the biggest in Western Europe.

The construction of the mosque did not go without trouble over concerns of the foreign funding much of which came from the Maktoum Charity Foundation of Dubai sheikh Hamad bih Rashid al-Maktoum, who also has placed his followers on the mosque management board.

Much opposition to the building existed in the years past, among others among the local population. Construction was halted for months several times.

Rotterdam city council threatened to withdraw the building permit, mainly under pressure from Liveable Rotterdam, the biggest party among white Rotterdammers. As well, a portion of the Moroccan Muslims who would make use of the mosque did not want the intervention from Dubai, NIS News points out.

So, the objections of the pesky Dutch locals were overcome, and the largest mosque in western Europe now stands in Rotterdam. You'll note that Rotterdam's Moroccan mayor was in attendance at the opening ceremony, along with many Muslim dignitaries.

Can this be right? Perhaps our eyes deceive us, because according to the leader of the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA), Job Cohen, Muslims in The Netherlands are "excluded like 1930s Jews":

Muslims are excluded from present-day Dutch society, as also happened with Jews in the 1930s, in the view of Labour (PvdA) leader Job Cohen.

Cohen drew the controversial comparison in an interview with Vrij Nederlands weekly. He links his views to the rise of Geert Wilders. In reaction, the Party for Freedom (PVV) leader rejected Cohen's criticism as "disgusting."

Cohen, himself Jewish, recounts how his mother experienced around the time of the outbreak of the Second World War that Jews were slowly being excluded. He also sees this alienation now in society.

Yes, I'm sure his mother would be able to recall grand new synagogues being opened at around the same time, whilst Jewish mayors crowed in triumph about steam-rolling over the wishes of the majority - or, not.

Perhaps she might get some unpleasant flashbacks if she walked down the street in many Dutch cities and encountered some of these poor, excluded "youths," however.

It's strange because I don't see Muslims in The Netherlands being excluded - I see their every whim being catered for.

Take the following case from Ijsseland:

The Ijsseland regional police force supplies only pork-free lunches boxes, in order to take Muslims into consideration.

At first they offered both halal and regular lunch boxes. "But that didn't work," says a spokesperson. There weren't enough, or they didn't get to the right people. "We want to be a diverse force, therefore we take each other into consideration."

Lunch boxes are usually given out only during large-scale police operations. "More police forces do it this way."

Yes, they "want a diverse force" - so actual Dutch officers can just do as they're told and shut up about it.

Sounds like a real anti-immigrant dystopia, doesn't it?

It seems to me the only thing likely to turn Dutch people away from being inclusive is the special treatment many immigrants get, and the behaviour they display towards the natives in return.

Either way, to compare the situation with what Jews went through in the 1930s is very offensive - to the Jews.

Hat tip: Islam in Europe.

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