Tilburg: imam denies allegations

Imam Salam denies he made anti-Western statements, while at the same time forcing everybody on the show to follow his own customs. The show can be seen here (Dutch)


Tilburg imam Ahmed Salam appeared last night on the "Pauw en Witteman" TV program and denied that his called to cause harm to the Dutch state. He also denied making other anti-Western statements that were ascribed to him. He said it was all based on a misunderstanding.

Imam Salam made the news in 2004 when he refused to shake hand with then minister Rita Verdonk, on camera. Tilburg mayor, Ruud Vreeman, said at the end of last year that Salam did not belong in the Netherlands due to his radical Islamic ideas. On "Pauw en Witteman" Salam said that the mosque now had good relations with the municipality.

In 2002 Ahmad Salam caused a sensation in 2002 in Tilburg. He preached that men should treat their wives with physical violence. He also preached earlier that men should marry women who work outside the house, because women become disobedient through it. He also said the Muslim boys and girls shouldn't swim together.

VVD parliament member Henk Kamp said last week that intentional thwarting of integration should be punishable. They should lose the Dutch nationality and the mosques were they preach should be closed.

SP leader Jan Marijnissen, who was also present on the show, thought Kamp's reaction was too hasty, especially since the imam denied he made the statement. He found the talk round the table an absurd "Yes, I did"-"No, I didn't" kind of game, since those who claimed the statements had been made were not present on the show. According to Jeroen Pauw and Paul Witteman the statements came up for discussion in a three-way meeting between the public prosecution, the police and mayor Vreeman. Marijnissen said as well that the separation of boys and girl in Muslim schools was more of a problem for him, than what happens in mosques.

The imam had brought his son, Suhayb Salem, who has caused much dispute as well, for much needed translation. The imam, who had come to the Netherlands from Syria in 1989 does not yet speak Dutch well. The two had demanded that no alcohol (ie, wine) be drunk by the table, since their belief does not allow it. Pauw and Witteman complied with the demand, and all guests, including Marijnissen and author Auke Kok, were served with water. This drew from Kok the observation that this alcohol ban was forced on him by the imam and his son.

In the show of Pauw and Witterman it was also made clear that Suhayb Salem, who had been engaged to the Samira Dahri from Utrecht, a teacher who refused to shake hand, was one of the advisers of the Commission for Equal Treatment that Dahiri had turned to. Sahayb said there was no problem of conflict of interest, since the teacher was then not yet his future wife.

Source: FOK (Dutch)

See also:Netherlands: Thwarting integration should be punishable , Netherlands: Who said shaking hands is respectful anyway?


Tilburg imam Salam did call upon his followers to "damage the state and not pay taxes." He has also told them 'Be aware that the unfaithful want to do something to Islam, deal with it accordingly."

That's according to mayor Vreeman, on being asked. After Ahmed Salam and his son Suhayb appeared on tv show Pauw and Witteman Wednesday, he also broke his silence. "I already saw it coming that they would deny their statement."

Vreeman says he's basing himself on various sources among them the police, researchers and the intelligence service AIVD.

source: Brabants Dagblad (Dutch)

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