No apology rector Imam school
Ahmet Akgündüz, rector of the Islāmic University in Rotterdam, refuses to apologize for controversial statements about Turkish protesters who opposed the policies of Prime Minister Erdogan.The protesters would be wicked and supporters of Assad, who kill Muslims, according to the rector.
Minister of Social Affairs, Asscher, demanded the Turkish rector take that back his statement, but the rector told the NOS he was not planning to do so. Akgündüz did not elaborate on the matter before. The university responded in writing.
Akgündüz claims he was quoted incorrectly, so he does not need to apologize. He wonders aloud since when it became an insult to tell an atheist he is an atheist. He did not make the statement about the protestors to offend them. He made an observation.
Akgündüz claims to be an honorable Turkish citizen, who is interested in the developments in his country, just as he is involved in developments in the Netherlands. As a rector he never got mixed up in politics.
Akgündüz relies on his academic freedom, but the Labor party does not accept that. Keklik Yücel, spokesperson for the PvdA, finds the response of the rector worrisome.
The government must ensure the University of Rotterdam does not train imams who turn their backs to the Dutch society, according to Yücel.
The government is examining whether the accreditation, the power to initiate imams at the Islāmic University, should be repealed. Minister Asscher (PvdA) of Social Affairs is discussing the options with his colleague Bussemaker (PvdA) of Education.
Following the controversy surrounding the rector, the Islamic University has received a lot of hate mail. The Executive Board is concerned about the safety of the rector and has reported to the police.