Maxime Verhagen (MSN)
AMSTERDAM “” The directors of El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam have hit back at politicians who have called for it to face sanctions for selling a book that advocates the murder of gay people.
Parliamentarians debated on Wednesday whether the book – De weg van de moslim, or the way of the Muslim — should be banned or whether the mosque should be closed down and its officials prosecuted for distributing the book. …
Officials at the mosque pointed out the book is available from many outlets in the Netherlands and that several educational institutions, including Hogeschool van Amsterdam, use the book as study material.
“El Tawheed has done nothing more that sell the book as a bookshop. It is for sale everywhere, so why is it only El Tawheed that is committing a crime by selling this book,” the foundation asked in a press release.
The foundation asserted that if the book was so offensive, it and not the mosque should be banned.
The Islamic foundation accused politicians and the media of stigmatising the mosque unfairly.
“When it comes to El Tawheed, there is no question of an even-handed approach, and incorrect characterisations are unhelpful and contribute to a discordant world view,” the foundation said.
The mosque denied its clerics preached hate and instead spread a message of peace and forbade oppression.
“El Tawheed therefore does not call for extremism, violence or violation of Dutch law,” it said.
Meanwhile, another Expatica article tells us that “the parliamentary party leader of the Christian Democrat CDA party, Maxime Verhagen, has called for a new law to outlaw activities that threaten democracy.”
Under such a law, Islamic religious leaders, or imams, and directors of mosques in the Netherlands could be held criminally accountable if, for example, the call for gay people to be murdered, Verhagen told newspaper Trouw.
He was responding to his party leader, Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende, who suggested last week that the current laws might have to be strengthened if they were not sufficient to block the dissemination of the controversial book, ‘De weg van de moslim’.
There was a storm of protest last week about the book — translated as the Way of the Muslim — which is available at El Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam.
The book advocates violence against women and killing gay people. Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings, it says. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book suggests.
Earlier in April another book available at El Tawheed mosque, ‘Fatwas of Muslim Women’, caused uproar when it emerged it backed the idea of female circumcision and beating women who lie to their husbands.
The controversial mosque has been accused of preaching intolerance and the oppression of women. One of the mosque’s clerics infamously described non-Muslims as “firewood for hell”.
Verhagen said the book ‘De weg van the moslim’ would not itself be banned. “But a combative democracy would prosecute anyone who publishes the book with the intention of undermining constitutional rights,” Verhagen said.
That’s a strange statement. They would prosecute for intentions, but not for the book itself?