In a press release today the National Dutch Mosques Organization (Contact Moslims Overheid – CMO; an official representative of Dutch Muslims uniting about 380 out of 450 Dutch mosque organizations) condemns the ‘inhumane practices and acts of terror’ of ISIS. According to CMO the Dutch Muslim community does not feel any sense of belonging with their acts and ‘human language has no words to describe the extreme acts of violence against several groups’.
The CMO statement comes after several demonstrations in which young people expressed their sympathy for IS: during a Gaza demonstration in July and a recent counter protest against an anti-ISIS demonstration that marched through a migrant area in The Hague. According to CMO these public displays of sympathy are ‘shameful’ and have to be seen as ‘rebellious expressions’ of grievances about their own position in society. ‘They are often not aware of the evil with which they associate themselves’.
The CMO states that the Dutch Muslim community has to take up its responsibility and be vigilant and alert for youth with problems. They call upon everyone to join forces and come up with a total and preventive approach against radicalization of Muslim youth. Countering polarisation in society and religious education have to be vital parts of that approach according to CMO.
In its press release CMO acknowledges that the conflicts in the Middle East have consequences for Dutch society which is why the associated mosque organizations will step up their activities to contribute ‘to world peace, starting in Dutch society’. The board of the CMO has called upon the associated mosques to pay attention to this during the Friday sermon.
Full statement in Dutch:
CMO is not the only Muslim organization in Europe denouncing IS(IS). See for example the statement of the Muslim Council of Britain: Not in our Name: British Muslims Condemn the Barbarity of ISIS