The visas for imams invited to speak at a charity fund-raising event in Rijswijk were cancelled because of ‘public order concerns’, the cabinet told parliament on Tuesday in a written briefing.
The meeting was due to be held in Rijswijk on March 8, but the Telegraaf reported that several imams accused of preaching hatred and encouraging jihad would be at the event.
The visas for a number of preachers were subsequently cancelled on the recommendation of the counter terrorism unit NCTV.
‘The visas for three preachers were withdrawn with an eye to the risk of public disorder, against a background of the unrest engendered by the meeting in Rijswijk,’ the cabinet says in its briefing.
There were seven preachers invited to the meeting, of whom five needed a visa. All five were granted a visa, but three of these visas were cancelled, the cabinet says.
‘It is not always immediately apparent if there is a risk to public order. Therefore it is essential that the option for cancellation remains available, even at the last minute, if the context changes or new information becomes available which makes allowing a preacher into the country undesirable,’ the cabinet says.
The Rijswijk event has since been cancelled althogether.
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