Halsema: 'Worry about Salafism in Amsterdam' News

Halsema writes in a letter to the Amsterdam city council that she has read in recent weeks in the policy of Amsterdam that 'radicalization and polarization' must occur. In the letter, Halsema refers the research announced by Jozias van Aartsen to cooperation with orthodox and salafist Islamic organizations to the trash. She chooses a "different approach" and wants to build a "solid scientific network" that can provide solicited and unsolicited advice in the field of radicalization.

Halsema reports that jihadism is the most important terrorist threat in the Netherlands and that also applies to Amsterdam. "Almost all reports of radicalization in our city are about young people who adhere to jihadist ideas," says the mayor. She refers to attacks in other European cities and reports that the threat level is still at level 4. "The war in Syria and the defense of the caliphate have been the last years for jihadists as justification for the armed struggle. Now the current violence in Europe is an end in itself. "

Share this concern

Halsema quotes a study showing that there is a risk of mixing between criminal and jihadist networks and environments. "In Amsterdam, the development of Salafist networks is worrying," Halsema writes. She points to the Cabinet, which has expressed its concern about those persons and those organizations who, out of certain Salafist teachings, incite hatred, intolerance and isolation and try to limit the freedom of others. "I share this concern," says Halsema.

"Also in Amsterdam there seems to be a growing number of mosques whose board, the permanent imam, external speakers and the visitors adhere to or preach salafist faith. Sometimes this shifts from orthodoxy to a fundamentalist, aggressive dislike of the democratic constitutional state and of the equality of, for example, women and homosexuals. "


In her letter to the city council she announces a number of measures before a substantive plan comes up in the autumn. In any case, there will be better screening for civil servants who handle highly confidential information. "I am going to consult with the Minister of the Interior and Kingdom Relations to expand the number of functions that will be screened by the AIVD." The Reporting and Advice Center for Radicalization will also be made better known. There was a decrease in reports in 2017 and 2018. "This could indicate less radicalization but it is more logical to assume that the awareness of the reporting center is not large enough."

Hatred hate preachers

In addition, the mayor thinks that she has too few resources to counter anti-integrative and anti-democratic expressions. "Recurring issues are speakers with a radical, jihadist message or (salafist) mosques who receive money from countries like Kuwait or Saudi Arabia."

Although the municipality can ask for financial openness with permits, land allocation, a lease agreement and the Bibob Act, and for Salafist preachers also the police and the Public Prosecution Service can take place in the hall, according to Halsema there is sometimes a need for "firmer measures and the municipality appears to not having the tools. "Halsema:" In consultation with the G4, the NCTV and other relevant partners, I will make an inventory of possible shortcomings in the administrative instruments in the coming months and prepare a proposal for adjustment. "

She finds it "unacceptable" when "Amsterdam citizens are persuaded or forced by a foreign government with financial and political means to adhere to or express beliefs."

In the autumn the city council will be presented with an adapted program on radicalization and extremism. In Amsterdam, 59 people were admitted to a special anti-radicalization program, of which 20% were women.

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