THE HAGUE -- If Amsterdam city council bars construction of the
Westermoskee mosque, a great demonstration of Turks from throughout Europe will
be held. The possibility of this degenerating into violence cannot be ruled out,
the Turkish organisation Milli Gorus warns.
The controversial Westermoskee in Amsterdam will be built come what
may, said Fatih Dag of the Turkish mosque organisation in Trouw newspaper. If
the government blocks its building, Milli Gorus will call on Turks throughout
the whole of Europe to demonstrate. Dag hopes this would be a peaceful
procession, but fears it could get out of hand. "Our people are emotional and
someone crazy can just be walking among them," he said in the
The building of the 42 metre tall, 18-million euros Neo-Ottoman
Westermoskee was blocked months ago after Milli Gorus' orthodox German head
office replaced management in Amsterdam. After that, reports surfaced that Milli
Gorus had wheedled billions of euros out of Turks since the 1990s by having them
invest in Islamic investment funds.
Amsterdam politicians advised against the building of the new
Westermoskee in the 1990s for fears of the orthodox course, but after much
lobbying, the project was last year dubbed a symbol of integration by the then
Justice Minster Donner, who laid the foundation-stone. Last week, it was made
known that municipal authorities and Milli Gorus had suspended their cooperation
on the building anyway.
If the licence for the mosque is definitively withdrawn, this would
be "extremely foolish," warns Dag. "I will then immediately call for a
demonstration. If every Milli Gorus mosque in Europe sends a bus, it will
certainly be busy. I have not tipped off Al Jazeera, but they will certainly get
wind of it, and I will speak to them. That will go out to the entire Arabic
world, cross my heart. All Muslims have a satellite dish, so they will see that
a beautiful project for Muslims is being forbidden here."
"Do not forget", added Dag in Trouw, "that we began the project
with a number of Turks, but with all the hindrance, it has now become a matter
for many Muslims throughout the Netherlands. I expect a revolt among them,
naturally within the legal boundaries, but still: Our people are more emotional than you Europeans. And there can be a crazy person among them."
Amsterdam's Mayor Cohen declined to comment on the apparent threats by Dag. According to his spokesman, the mayor does however want to hear "what is going on" personally from Dag.
They threaten us and threaten us, and we just keep backing up.
Eventually, some people are going to have to stand up and start pushing back.
In Switzerland, the largest political party in Parliament is moving to ban Minarets.
That's good news, but the threats are coming in that case as well. And, the authorities are allowing it.
Hirsi Ali went to Australia, and the Muslims threaten.
Oh, and now I see that 50% of Belgians want headscarves banned. Threats commence in 10, 9, 8, 7 ...