Rotterdam: Mosque turns to court against critics

The Rotterdam Essalam mosque administration is applying for a restriction order against five rebellious members.

According to the administration their presence leads to escalation within the mosque. This is the first time that a mosque administration is trying to ban members from a Muslim prayer house with the help of a court.

For quite a few years there's been a struggle between the mosque administrators and some of the mosque visitors who are upset at the influence of Arab financiers from Dubai, who are financing the building of a new mega-mosque in Rotterdam-South.

The building work has currently stopped. The municipality insisted that the building will be finished September 1st, but completion is being delayed.

The five members also want clarity regarding mosque finances.

According to J.C. Debije of the Essalam mosque, the five men had been warned of an entrance ban last year. Debije says that for a while they had kept quiet, but that in April things blew up again. During a meeting the microphone was snatched and it was called to fight this administration.

Debije estimates that the mosque will get its injunction. "The mosque is not a public space, but rather the property of a particular association, which decides who may or may not come in." He says the ban will last two years.

Mohamed Ebrayimi, one of the five Moroccan Muslims leading the opposition against the mosque administration, calls this attempt a gross scandal. "It's unbelievable that we want to forbid us from prayer in the house of god. The administration wants to shut up critical visitors. If the judge allows this, then anything is allowed. Then any administrator can forbid access to the mosque with this argument. I thought that Saddam Hussein was really dead, but apparently he still lives."

Sources: Telegraaf, AD (Dutch)


The court has decided on a 6 month restriction order against the five 'rebels'. The mosque administration are allowed to refuse people who don't follow the rules or cause disorder.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

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