Netherlands: Government discussion partner has ties to Muslim Brotherhood

A former company building in Zaandam, under the smoke of a chocolate factory, looks ready for demolition. On the first floor there's a neat room: a spotless carpet, big conference tables and a full bookcase. The glass doors offer a look at the Dutch branch of the most powerful Muslim movement in the world: the Muslim Brotherhood. A sign is missing, like the motto of these fundamentalists: Allah is our goal, the Koran is our constitution.

A. Hijzelendoorn of Amsterdam, the owner of the building, is surprised at the tenants: "sometimes they come here in the evenings with big groups of children, it then looks like a school. And a few times per month there are gatherings. Their leader came to me recently: if he can buy the whole building. Financing was not a problem he said, since there's a big sponsor in England."

The man who came with the proposition was Yahiya Bouyafa (45), a Dutch-Moroccan who is steadily getting more and more influence within the Muslim community. His sponsor is the Europe Trust in Birmingham, according to intelligence services the financial vehicle of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Palestinian Hamas, the Egyptian Islamic Jihad and Al-Qaeda all sprouted from the Brotherhood.

De Telegraaf revealed in march that prominent leaders of the movement are pulling the string behind the scenes in the two biggest mosque organizations in the Netherlands, the Moroccan Essalam in Rotterdam and the Turkish Milli Görüs, who is building the disputed Wester Mosque in Amsterdam.

Bouyafa, who lives in IJsselstein, is the 'big man' behind several Brotherhood related organizations in the Netherlands. He is president of the Europe Trust Nederland foundation and the Federation of Islamic organizations in the Netherlands (Federatie Islamitische Organisaties Nederland). According to the regulations of both institutes there is a very close relationship with the Europe Trust in Birmingham. The company building in Zaandam is the Dutch base camp.

Bouyafa has recently been appointed the new chairman of Contact Groep Islam. In January 2005 this group was recognized by minister of integration Verdonk as a discussion partner with the government. This was following a study in which the group was described as a "solid organization with a following of about 150,000 Muslims in the Netherlands."

Bouyafa is the successor of the known "TV imam" Abdullah Haselhoef, who recently dramatically announced his emigration to Germany. Haselhoef fled Krabbendijke after a series of destructions and vandalisms. This week he says that he fled out of necessity but that an experienced man is replacing him for consultations with the government. Bouyafa was also on the Dutch Muslim Council for a time. Haselhoef says he doesn't know of any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.

The new consultation partner of minister Ella Vogellar came up already several times in investigations of the intelligence services on branches of the Muslim Brotherhood. In secret reports, seen by De Telegraaf, Bouyafa comes up like a spider in the web of the fundamental movement that wants to implement the strict Islamic sharia law.

In the recent row about the statements of Vogelaar about Islam, Boyafa appeared for the first time on the scene as the successor of Haselhoef. The PvdA minister said in the Trouw newspaper that Netherlands would get an Islamic tradition in addition to the Judeo-Christian one. Bouyafa couldn't' agree more with her. "Her approach is correct. Muslims are a part of Dutch society. That you can't deny. You shouldn't make a monster of Islam."

Vogelaar's action fit into Bouyafa's and the Muslim Brotherhood's pursuit to come to "a organized infrastructure", the intelligence report says.

Bouyafa played an important role within a conservative Moroccan mosque organization that initiated the vision of Vogelaar years ago. As chairman of the mosque in his town Ijsselstein, Bouyafa met these conservatives and was secretary of their foundation.

"The foundation wants to promote that Islam will occupy its own place equally next to Christianity and Judaism in Dutch society," according to an intelligence report.

Bouyafa - not available for comment since he's on vacation in Morocco this week - comes from the Berber town Boubker-Oudja, on the border with Algeria. He originally lived in Eindhoven, where he was secretary of the Foundation of Islamic Elementary Schools in 1987, which is tightly coupled with the disputed Al-Fourkaan mosque. In the beginning of the 90s he moved to IJsselstein to almost directly become the leader of the local mosque. He also managed for some time 'Pizzeria Grillroom Dame Bianca' in Utrecht.

Together with his son Bouyafa, as owner of the Noer Al'ilm publishing company, he published a series of Muslim books, among them the standard work of Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, an ideologist of the Muslim Brotherhood. Every now and then Bouyafa comments on the Sheik's website, as a Dutch Muslim leader. The sheik is persona-non-grata in the US where he's seen as a "theologist of terror".

Bouyafa worked actively in building up on the Muslim Brotherhood in the Netherlands. As well as leading the institutes in Zaandam, he holds a top function in the League of the Islamic Community in the Hague. The founding of the League did not go by unnoticed by the intelligence services, as appeared from the introduction to the report: A very good introduced source came with the report that the League could be a umbrella of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Netherlands."

Bouyafa's co-director of the League is Syrian Ibrahim Akkari - according to intelligence sources he's active in the PvdA. Akkari was director of of the Rotterdam foundation Al-Aqsa, that was put on the terror list in 2003 due to given aid to the Hamas.

A former director of the League, Jordanian Rashad al-Baz from Vlaardingen, was treasurer of Al-Aqsa. Akkar and al-Baz were both connected to known members of the Hofstad Group, according to the intelligence services.

But Bouyafa is connected in yet another way to Hamas activists and fund-raisers. The executive director of the Europe Trust in Birmingham, the boss of Bouyafa's branch in Zaandam, is also the leading figure of Interpal in England. This organization has been considered by the US and Israel as terror financier.

Till recently a company was registered at Akkaris' personal address of an man who also played an important role in the top ranks of the Europe Trust. This is Sheik Al-Hajeri from Kuwait, who is the vice president of the Kuwait Joint Relief Committee - an assistance organization that is suspected in the US of having possible ties to Al-Qaeda.

Against this background, the Muslim Brotherhood has worked an expanding its influence in the Netherlands. The most recent yearly report of the Europe Trust reports of a planned acquisition of the company complex in Zaandam. The fund works further to start up projects in Utrecht and Eindhoven. The goal: "the promotion of education and social welfare".

The assumption in the intelligence world is that on the long term the Brotherhood is out to get more power for Muslims. The AIVD spoke in a public report at the end of 2004 of "secret, non-violent strategies" on an international level.

"By these strategies it's been chosen not to come to a direct, violent confrontation with the government authorities, but to gradually undermine them by entering and finally taking over the civil service, the judiciary, the educational institutions and the local governments."

The AIVD also observed possible threatening activities for the Netherlands, "Addressed at a concealed entry policy in politics and social institutions."

Sources: De Telegraaf (translated from Open Source Intelligence) (Dutch)

See also: Netherlands: Muslim Brotherhood have ties with Hofstad Group, Netherlands: Mosques under Muslim Brotherhood control, Netherlands: A Judeo-Christian-Muslim state, AIVD Report: From Dawa to Jihad (pdf, Dutch)


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Anonymous said...

Wake up Europe. Listen to Sir Winston Churchill:

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyzes the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step." -- Sir Winston Churchill - circa 1899