Wednesday 22 March 2023

Amsterdam’s mayor says closing mosques where imams sow hate is ‘a last resort’


Amsterdam’s mayor Femke Halsema has told local broadcaster AT5 that she will close down mosques if imams are spreading messages of hate but ‘only as a last resort’.

Halsema, who outlined her strategy to deal with radicalisation in a briefing to councillors shortly after taking office, said that closing mosques is ‘a very rigorous [action] and that is something you only do as a last resort.’

You must be able to act if ‘an imam gives disgusting sermons, such as saying women should be subservient or that homosexuality is a crime,’ the mayor said.

And she reiterated that unlike her predecessor Jozias van Aartsen, she did not plan to develop links with fundamentalist and salafist organisations.

‘I will not invite people who are not democratic and who do not take equality between men and women seriously to the office,’ she said.

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