A truly shameful act

Today De Dagelijkse Standaard came out with a stunning bit of news: Dutch government finances Ground Zero mosque (NL). No, this is not a joke, or a bit of sick satire. This is real.

Esther has the news in EN. Evidently, the Dutch government gave a grant of 1,000,000 euro to the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), the organisation headed by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, that wants to erect the infamous Ground Zero Mosque.

You'd think that PvdA (Labour) Bert Koenders (p), then state-secretary for International Development Aid would do so quietly, but it is all out in the open. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs website announces the grant as part of the Dutch Millenium Development Goals. The project is nominally called 'Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equity (WISE) Compact Program.', of which the ministry happily declares:
WISE Compact will work with local and national women leaders and the organizations they work in. The programme aims to provide: a) a global infrastructure for shared work among Muslim women’s groups, organisations, institutions, and networks, b) religious context for Muslim women’s dialogue about, and advocacy for, their rights, c) an institutional voice for gender equality, and d) accessible knowledge about effective ways to promote the equitable ethic of Islam.
It assures us that the 1,000,000 is not thrown away on the most tasteless project in recent history, but that it will 'promote gender equality and empower women'. Because we all know islam is big on female equality and empowerment, don't we?

It is one thing to openly pander to what is now your main constituency as the PvdA: The muslim vote. However, it is another thing entirely to grant money to an organisation that wants to defile the site of the biggest crime in recent history with a religious building dedicated to the god in whose name that atrocity was perpetrated. It is utterly shameful. There is no other word for it...

[UPADTE001] More EN coverage by NIS News, including the fact that the PVV (and only the PVV) is taking the government to task over this scandalous absurdity.

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