‘Gulf States Funding Islamic Organisations in the Netherlands’

AlFitrah mosque in Overvecht, the Netherlands

More than 30 Islamic organisations in the Netherlands have either received or requested financial assistance from several Gulf States, namely Kuwait and Saudi Arabia.

For years, the Dutch government has made sure this information never saw the light of day –  until now.

Confidential documents

Today the Dutch newspaper, NRC, and television show Nieuwsuur, released – based on three confidential documents of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs – a list of the Islamic organisations who have  requested financial support from Gulf States from 2010 and on. According to the documents millions of Euros have been ‘invested’ by both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

One of the documents shows, very specifically, the payments made to Dutch mosques. Both NRC and Nieuwsuur reported that almost 10% of mosques in the Netherlands have either requested or have already received financial contributions from countries in the Gulf States.

Al-Fath mosque in Dordrecht

Al-Fath mosque in Dordrecht. Credits: Merlin Daleman

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in response to the article published by NRC, had the following to say: “The reason why these documents were never published in the first place, is due to the diplomatic nature of these documents – ergo the need for secrecy.

Furthermore, we’re afraid that if we don’t keep this information secret, these countries will stop telling us what organisations they’re financially supporting”.

Gulf States

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have been informing the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about which organisations have requested financial contributions ever since 2010. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would then judge whether the contributions were “desired” or not.

The Dutch parliament has requested the government to be more transparent about the financial support coming in to the country. Especially because of “Islamic fundamentalism” practiced in these Gulf States and its Salafist movement – more importantly: Salafi jihadism – spreading its ideology to Dutch mosques.

Islamic Radicalisation

Due to foreign financial contributions Islamic fundamentalism has grown staggeringly in the Netherlands. A confidential memo, of the NCTV (anti-terrorism coordinator) now in the hands of NRC and Nieuwsuur, shows that only four years ago ‘there were 13 Salafist mosques in the Netherlands’, in 2018 this number has increased to 27.

The amount of Salafist imams has equally more than doubled, from 50 to 110.

Even though the NCTV is an organisation that works closely together with the government, Mark Rutte, the Dutch prime minister, previously told parliament that “it simply isn’t possible to give an estimate of Salafist organisations active in the country”.

Mark Rutte next to Jean-Claude Juncker

Mark Rutte next to Jean-Claude Juncker

Mosques in the Netherlands

The map above shows where the mosques are located that have received financial help from countries in the Gulf States.

On this map are the 39 mosques that have already been funded or have requested financial help from countries in the Gulf States. The names of the mosques are retrieved from the 3 lists that both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia shared with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Kuwait 1, Kuwait 2, Saudi Arabia).

Mosques that have previously received financial contributions in the past, have already been included in this map.

 

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