Saturday 19 October 2019

Amsterdam’s mayor shakes up strategy to deal with radicalisation

Photo: Depositphotos.com

Amsterdam’s new mayor Femke Halsema wants to take action against radical imams who do not break the law but are still ‘undesirable’, according to the city’s local paper the Parool.

In addition, Halsema wants an end to mosque financing from the Middle East, if aimed at increasing radicalisation. ‘It is unacceptable if Amsterdam’s citizens are being persuaded or forced to adopt certain beliefs by foreign governments with financial and political resources,’ Halsema said in a briefing to the city council.

The briefing is the first indication of the new mayor’s approach to radicalisation, the paper points out. Her predecessor, acting mayor Jozias van Aartsen, had commissioned a report into how the city could work together with orthodox institutions but Halsema has now pulled the plug on that project.

The mayor also says staff who work on radicalisation projects should be properly screened by the security services. Some 59 people are currently subject to the city’s anti-radicalisation strategy, of whom 20 are women, the paper said.

Halsema said her concrete proposals to deal with radicalisation will be clear in the autumn, when they will be discussed by the full city council.

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