The Nijmegen municipality is subsidizing an ultra-Islamic and anti-Western organization.
The Ar Rayaan foundation wants to promote knowledge of Islam, and provides introductory lessons about prejudices against Islam in schools in Nijmegen. According to an investigation by the Dit is de Dag Radio-1 program, the foundation got 3,500 euro this year from the municipality for giving introductory classes and informational evenings.
This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog - islamineurope.blogspot.com
Though the classes seem to have a moderate character, the message on their website is ultra-Islamic. The website provides space to two controversial Islamic speakers [ed: Zakir Naik and Ahmed Deedat]. One of them was refused entrance to the UK last month. The Ar Rayaan website also says that polygamy is a good idea in the West, because due to the large number of gays, there's a surplus of women. the site also displays antisemitic cartoons.
[ed: The website also links to the Dutch Hizb ut-Tahrir site, and in general seems to put a great emphasis on missionary activity].
Arabist Leo Kwarten says it is 'particularly weird' that this organization receives subsidies. Nijmegen VVD council member Hayke Veldman is surprised about the Ar Rayaan subsidy and sent questions to alderman Tas. A spokesperson for the Nijmengen municipality says that the only condition for subsidies as regarding content is that the foundation discusses social issues.
In response the Ar Rayaan foundation replied that the article was not based on facts. Their response is summarized below.
1. The articles on the foundation website were not written by members of the foundation, and are there merely for information. The reported standpoints are not supported by definition by all members.
2. The foundation is devoted to the integration of Muslims in Nijmegen society, and this by actively participating in social debates and together with other parties name the problems and jointly try to solve them.
3. The foundation is independent and has no links to extremist organization which want to damage the constitutional state, and distances itself of all organizations/activities which lead to that.
4. The foundation devotes itself against the shaping of a negative image of Islam. This my organization introductory lessons in schools and organization tours in the mosque. The foundation received for these activities a subsidy from the Nijmegen municipality. Due to its social value and its great success, the foundation wants to continue this work.
The foundation says that the texts with the controversial context were removed from the site. The articles had unfortunately caused some anxiety which conflicts with the aims of the foundation.