Renowned Dutch rabbi condemns PEGIDA after attack on mosque


A renowned rabbi from the Netherlands wrote an open letter to the anti-Islamic, xenophobic group Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamification of the West (PEGIDA), condemning last week's attack targeting the construction site of a planned mosque.

Rabbi Lody van de Kamp said that PEGIDA's attitude was "shameful," referring to the incident in the Dutch city of Enschede.

Last week, unidentified attackers dressed up as priests spread pigs blood at the mosque's construction site, while also performing a fake religious ceremony.

Van de Kamp underlined that he was looking forward to the opening of the mosque in the city, adding that he felt strong solidarity among the community after the attack.

State Secretary Sander Dekker said Wednesday during his speech at the Dutch parliament that although PEGIDA was shrinking in the Netherlands, the group continued to radicalize.

Enschede Mayor Onno van Veldhuizen previously labelled the attack as "disgusting" and claimed that it was carried out by the fascist Klu Klux Klan.

The Dutch city hit headlines last year, after five locals threw a Molotov cocktail at another mosque, while some 30 people, including children, were inside the building. No one was injured in the attack.

The suspects were later identified and put in prison, after a judge ruled that the attack was a "terrorist act."

The far-right PEGIDA group emerged in eastern Germany after the ruling government decided to open its doors to Muslim refugees fleeing war in 2014. Several chapters were also opened throughout the Netherlands, promoting protests in Amsterdam and The Hague.

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