Translated by Thomas from NRC:
The influence of Salafism, an ultra-orthodox movement within Islam, is on the rise within Dutch mosques. Last year, local and national governments and the police have received dozens of reports from mosques about Salafists who are trying to gain influence. …
The reports are about Salafist youth who attempt to take over the mosque’s board, or are spreading an intolerant message in the mosque. Salafism is an Islamic movement that wants to return to the ‘pure Islam’ from the time of the Prophet Muhammad. The government considers Salafism as a problematic ideology because it’s message works against integration and rejects democratic values.
The General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands (AIVD) will not say whether or how many reports the service has received about Salafists. However, the service confirms that more and more mosques are under the influence of Salafism, and that in some cases this has resulted in ‘tensions’. A spokesperson for the service declared:
“Some mosque boards manage to keep the Salafists out, other boards have been completely taken over by Salafists. The vulnerability is increasing compared to before.”
Conflicts between mosque board and Muslim youth
Until a few years ago Salafism in the Netherlands was limited to a number of Islamic centers under the direction of Arabic-speaking imams. They have been joined now by several Dutch-speaking imams that spread the Salafist message. These imams are especially popular among young people. The message of this ‘new’ Salafist preachers has close resemblance to Jihadism, the AIVD concludes in its final report.
In several mosques the rise of Salafists has caused conflicts between the mosque board – which in many mosques consist of older, more moderate Muslims – and young Muslims, who are more sensitive to Salafism and want more influence. For instance in the Al Fath Mosque in Arnhem, Salafist youth attempted to join the board. That failed. The same thing happened in Al Karama Mosque in Amsterdam – that mosque was taken over by Salafists last year.