Muslims call on Dutch authorities for security in mosques amid racist, PKK attacks

ANADOLU AGENCY
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands
Published 31.01.2019 00:07
According to a 2017 report, 364 mosques in the Netherlands have been targets of extremist attacks.
According to a 2017 report, 364 mosques in the Netherlands have been targets of extremist attacks.

Muslims in the Netherlands have demanded security measures against violent attacks coming from far-right leaning individuals and members of the PKK terrorist group on establishments run by the Muslim community and mosques.

Worried about the increasing Islamophobic attacks in the country in recent years, Muslims want security measures to be taken not only in the capital Amsterdam but across the country. Besides racist attacks, they are also forced to protect themselves from members of the PKK.

Ali Dede Taş, head of Geylani Foundation in Rotterdam, told Anadolu Agency that the people visiting the mosque for prayers as well as children coming for religious training felt anxious. "We have always been uneasy and feeling as if someone could throw something in any moment since the attack on our mosque last year," said Taş. He also urged the Dutch government to take action against the attacks as soon as possible "without waiting until something happens."

"The Dutch government did not condemn the mosque attack last year, which is a racist approach. It didn't provide security measures and didn't even make a reassuring statement," said Orhan Keleş, a Turkish expat. Keleş said, "Synagogues are protected throughout the country. We are not opposed to any religion, they need to be protected as well."

"But the mosques have been under more attacks and we do not understand why the mosques aren't being protected," he added.

According to the European Islamophobia Report 2017, prepared by the Ankara-based Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), a rising wave of Islamophobia has taken hold in Europe. The report revealed 908 crimes, ranging from verbal and physical attacks to murder attempts, targeting Muslims in Germany, as well as 664 in Poland, 364 in the Netherlands, 256 in Austria, 121 in France, 56 in Denmark, and 36 in Belgium.

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