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Friday 28 November  
The Essalam mosque, Rotterdam still has not been completed. Photo - Philip Smet
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Rotterdam, Netherlands
Rotterdam, Netherlands

Rotterdam mosque: complete or demolish?

Published on : 23 January 2010 - 9:00am | By Philip Smet
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It has been seven years, and the construction of the Essalam mosque in Rotterdam has still not been completed. Rotterdam council has informed the mosque executive that its building permit will expire if it cannot provide proof of adequate funds to complete the project. So the question is, will the Moroccan community in Rotterdam South ever be able to pray in a new mosque?

The Essalam mosque is a striking building, even when still under construction. Its two minarets tower above a 25-metre dome. The site is located between a park, an apartment building, a school, some roads and a railway line. There is plenty of space for Essalam, which means peace.

Two men standing near the fence are looking at the building. “I have no faith in the project”, says one. “Seven years, and still it is not finished”. Both men have lost all hope that another mosque will ever be built. “No, we will never get a permit for a new building”.

No hope
Work on the project, originally scheduled to be finished in 2005, has been halted for several months; the money ran out and the builders walked off the job. A week ago, Labour Party councillor Hamit Karakus issued an ultimatum. He is demanding a guarantee that the money necessary to complete the project is available.

The money – 2.6 million euros according to the mosque executive – is to come from Dubai. A rich sheikh who runs the Al Maksoum Foundation has already financed several mosques in Europe. He has already funded the Essalam mosque to the tune of several million euros, but a few more are needed.

2,500 Moroccan Muslims
The new mosque is intended for the about 2,500 Moroccan Muslims in Rotterdam South. One of them,  Mohamed Ebraymi is critical of the executive:

"Ninety-nine percent of the people in this community support me”, he says. Mr Ebraymi has even taken the mosque executive to court to demand clarity.

"We are living in a democratic, transparent society, but this executive refuses to provide clarity. The site is ours; we traded it for the site of the old mosque. We raised funds. I want to know what happened to our money. We want guarantees that we will not face a situation in which we can only come in to pray and then be told to clear out. It’s unacceptable that the sheikh should own the building”.

Mr Ebraymi says Moroccans in the Netherlands can raise enough money to complete the construction of the Essalam mosque.

Islamophobia
Ronald Sørensen, the leader of powerful local party Leefbaar Rotterdam feels that mosques have no place in the city anyway.

"This triumphalist building suggests: here we are and we are not going to integrate”, he says. "People have the right to pray if they want to. You can do that at home. You can also do that in small, unpretentious buildings which do not attract much attention. Islam evokes many negative emotions. The news is dominated by Muslims causing problems. People in our country are afraid of those problems”.

Mr Sørensen believes councillor Hamit Karakus should make a decision and, after years of delays, the building permit revoked.

Guarantee?
The mosque executive is hard at work to restore confidence in the project. However, even though the Al Maksoum Foundation in Dubai has assured them that the money will be made available, there is no sign yet of an official bank guarantee.

The chair of the mosque executive, Abdelrazak Boutaher, arrives at the building site several hours later than planned. A meeting at city hall lasted longer than expected. A few construction workers are working on the mosque.

"We need another 2.6 million to complete construction", he says. "The money is here. It came from Dubai. However, he does not want to discuss the councillor and his demand for a guarantee. Sorry, it’s a very sensitive issue.”

The Essalam mosque must be finished in October, the chairman says. Will that work? “It has to.” And the building’s conspicuousness is not a problem, he says.

“Why are churches so tall? Why are high-rise buildings so tall, or bridges? It’s supposed to be that way. No minaret, no mosque. They go together!”

The councillor refuses to say what exactly will happen when the bank guarantee fails to materialise.

Photo - Philip Smet

External links:

www.leefbaarrotterdam.nl (Dutch only)

 

Discussion

Jeremiah Cullar 26 March 2011 - 6:11am

This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I've joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your excellent post. Also, I've shared your web site in my social networks!

DR.MUSIC 15 March 2011 - 10:06am / EARTH

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3953628,00.html
"RESEARCHERS LINK SCHIZOPHRENIA AND VIOLENT PSYCHOs DUE TO ISLAMIC VIELS AND BURKHAS"
'Researchers say babies born with low vitamin D levels may have an increased risk of developing schizophrenia later in life.
'The three-year study tested blood samples from babies in Denmark and found having low vitamin D levels doubles the risk of developing the disorder.
'The findings could encourage pregnant women to get more sunshine or take a vitamin D supplement. {And NOT wear a burka or niqab! - dda}
'Professor John McGrath, from the Queensland Brain Institute, says the study is further evidence of vitamin D's link to brain development.
"Many years ago we thought it was totally implausible to prevent schizophrenia, it seemed to be such a mysterious, poorly understood group of illnesses," he said.
"I think this new result suggests that maybe it will be possible to prevent schizophrenia."
Now, let's think about it. Yemen. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Afghanistan. The more rigidly-Muslim Muslims, everywhere; generations of women totally covered-up whenever they go outside.The likelihood that many or most of those women are Vitamin D deficient is high; and if they're Vitamin D deficient during pregnancy, then their babies' brain development may be seriously compromised.
It should be noted that at the end of a news report on women being forced to wear hijab in Gaza University
the following information was included:
'Lack of Vitamin D because of veils”
'A Jordanian study published this week asserted that 87% of women between the ages of 18 and 70 in Jordan suffer from a lack of Vitamin D as a result of insufficient sun exposure and not enough milk consumption.
'The researchers linked this phenomenon to wearing the hijab. 'According to the findings, **92% of women who wear a hijab suffer from a lack of Vitamin D** 'This figure increases to 96%, according to the survey, when it comes to women who cover their faces as well with a niqab."
Put that information together with the results of the Danish study and it appears that those who wear the Muslim female slave rag, whatever form of it they wear, stand a very good chance of scrambling their babies' brains. SO THE NEXT TIME YOU SEE A WOMAN IN A BURKHA REMEMBER THE CULT OF ISLAM IS FORCING WOMEN TO LITERALLY BREED VIOLENT PSCHYCOS.
WHEN WILL MUSLIMS REALISE THAT ISLAM IS HARAM ?

robertjackson 10 March 2011 - 12:17pm

I will come back to read some more.
My blogs: web design | web design singapore

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SJVP 24 January 2010 - 5:04pm / Nederland

Too much religion and politics lately on this site, lets get more interesting articles like success stories, happy stories. A hint, I like the ones about people making the world a better place to live in. We need some good articles about extraordinary people, or about inventions, or great stories of past heros etc. You use to put lots of nice articles on here like that. I really miss that.

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freespeech 23 January 2010 - 10:12pm / The Netherlands/USA

"This triumphalist building suggests: here we are and we are not going to integrate” and its minarets are also symbols of power. You don't need minarets for a prayer mosque. This was the issue in Switzerland, what these symbols stood for. How heavily the dutch establishment sleeps. Aaah, multiculturalism. Without it — without its fanatics who believe all civilizations are the same — the engine that projects Islam into the unprotected heart of Western civilization would stall and fail.

jasmin 23 January 2010 - 1:33pm / India

Why don't you enlighten visitors about Calvinism, Protestantism and other Dutch beliefs. There is too much Islam on your site that makes one wonder that why you blow their trumpet always...

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