Dutch Imams 'Leaving in Droves'

January 19, 2007

Author: Sam Wilson

Source: BBC News


Moderate Muslim preachers are leaving the Netherlands and being replaced by more extreme clerics, senior Dutch Muslim officials have warned.

Nasr Joemann of the Netherlands' Muslim Contact Group (CMO) said imams felt discriminated against and were leaving for France and Spain.

Of 450 Dutch mosques, 180 had no imam, leaving a vacuum that uncertified clerics were filling, he told BBC News.

The Dutch government said it had planned a meeting on the matter.

The CMO will be among the organisations present at the talks on 31 January with Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.

The justice and immigration department said it would not comment on the matter until then.