Imams Asked to Speak in Dutch, Teach Dutch Values and Customs

October 3, 2003


On October 3, 2003 reported that "Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Hilbrand Nawijn asked Imams and preachers in mosques across the country to use the Dutch language in their sermons. He also pressed them to convince members of the Islamic minority to comply with the values and customs of the Dutch society. Imams play a major role in rectifying the negative image of Islam and are steering the Islamic community to merge into the Dutch society, added the minister. The statements of Nawijn, a member of the far-right List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) party, came Tuesday, October 1, during his inauguration of a school for training Islamic preachers and Imams to only use the Dutch language for their religious sermons...According to some Muslim activists, the school is a chance for Muslims to rectify misunderstandings inside the small Muslim community and help its members abandon extremist tendencies. Most Muslims, however, were dumb founded by Nawijn's statements that only Dutch must be used in Holland's 450 mosques."