Mosque attacks continue in Netherlands

23rd Feb 2018
Mosque attacks continue in Netherlands

Islamic Center Drachten was set alight on February 11 (Photo: Facebook)

Nadine Osman

A mosque in northern Drachten town, Netherlands, has come under an arson attack on February 11, according to the manager of Islamic Center Drachten Foundation.

The mosque, used mostly by Moroccan-origin worshippers, is operated by the foundation.
The foundation manager Khalid Bennaceur said: “Community members who came to pray in the morning said they smelled turpentine inside the mosque. Later, when we came for noon prayer, we realised that there were burn marks on the wall and windows had been broken at the back side of the mosque.”

The attack took place at around 4 am local time. He added that a person was seen breaking the back window of the mosque and running away after the fire. Police have begun an investigation into the incident, he added.

The attack is the second of its kind in just one week. A mosque in the Dutch port city of The Hague was vandalized on February 2. A Turkish flag was crossed with red paint with slogans against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and “Islam out” also written on it was placed on Ahi Evran Mosque.

In January, the far-right ‘Rechts in Verzet’ movement hanged anti-Islam banners and a headless model in front of the Emir Sultan Mosque in Amsterdam. The banners hanged outside the mosque read: “Islam must be stopped. We do not want a mosque tied to [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan in northern Amsterdam.”

In September 2017 an under-construction mosque in the south-eastern Netherlands was targeted by the same far-right group.

The group hanged anti-Islam banners at the roof of Tevhid mosque in Venlo city. The group, draped banners reading “Stay away. The Netherlands belongs to us. We don’t want mosque and Muslims in our neighbourhood” both in Turkish and Dutch. They also shared the photos of banners on social media and claimed they “occupied” the mosque.

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