Muslim prayer leaders are leaving the Netherlands because they no longer feel welcome, increasing the risk that radicals could to fill the void, a Muslim leader said in an interview published on Thursday.Since it is a known fact that rats are among the first to leave a sinking ship, one would be forgiven to hazard a guess on the character and moderateness of the imams leaving teh Netherlands. Or not allowed in, for that matter.
Mohamed Ousalah, the vice-president of the Dutch Association of Imams, was quoted in the De Telegraaf newspaper saying that 180 of 450 mosques in the Netherlands no longer had an imam because foreign-born imams were leaving the country.
But that would be wrong, ofcourse. No, the blame for this is put squarely where it belongs:
'Since the attacks of September 11 2001, imams have been connected with extremists and terrorists. They are faced with an enormous image problem,' Ousalah was quoted as saying.They unfairly 'have been connected'. Never mind that the imams that are called for to be expelled usually have a record of sermons not exactly urging believers to be at peace with the world at large or Dutch society in particular.
'The government is also guilty because it is doing nothing about the problem,' he said. 'Even worse, the politicians are often calling for imams to be expelled.'
As the Brits are fond of saying: Good riddance to bad rubbish. Here's hoping many more believers give up their ambition to turn the Netherlands into a Sharia state and move to places in the world where they don't have to embarrass themselves over small white crosses, or what not.
[INSTANT UPDATE] Islam in Europe is also blogging this.