ROTTERDAM – A Muslim leader in Rotterdam has urged the Dutch government to take immediate action against Islamophobic attacks targeting Muslims and mosques in the northwest European nation, Anadolu Agency reported.
“We’ve always been uneasy and feel as if someone could throw something in any moment since the attack on our mosque last year,” said Ali Dede Tas, head of Geylani Foundation who expressed in fear that the Dutch Muslim worshippers visit the mosques with anxiety.
A member of the Muslim community, Orhan Keles, said: “the Dutch government must take action against the attacks as soon as possible without waiting until something worse happens.”
“The government didn’t 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.
“Synagogues are protected throughout the country. Yes, they need to be protected as well. But the mosques have been under more attacks and we don’t understand why the mosques aren’t being protected,” he added.
According to the 2017 European Islamophobia Report, a rising wave of Islamophobia has taken hold in Europe reaching as much as 908 crimes; ranging from verbal and physical attacks to murder attempts. No less than 364 of which were committed in the Netherlands alone.
Islam is the second largest religion in the Netherlands, practiced by 4% of the population according to 2010–11 estimates. Most reside in the nation’s four major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.
The early history of Islam in the Netherlands can be traced to the 16th century when a small number of Ottoman traders began settling in the nation’s port cities.
As a result, improvised mosques were first created in Amsterdam in the early 17th century.