Mega Mosque losing support; Christian party refuses on religious grounds
The arrival of the new mosque in Gouda Noord now hinges on the decision of opposition party ChristenUnie's decision next week. The VVD and SGP have already decided to vote against the plans, Omroep West reports.
The mayor and the aldermen wants to put the medical daycare Gemiva, the special needs school De Ark and the Islamic Center El Wahda in the old Prins Willem Alexander Barracks. All three institutions have been looking for a new, larger location for at least 10 years. The three existing mosques in Gouda are overflowing with people and want to merge together into one large Islamic center. The mayor and the aldermen requested a loan from the City Council to move Gemiva and De Ark into the new location, the mosque will pay its own part in the complex.
During the debate in Gouda last night, the City Council had its first chance to give its opinion regarding these plans. The plans received fierce criticism from opposition parties. There is a lot of resistance in the are due to the expected traffic and parking pressure. The VVD already announce that the party will not approve the loan application. The SGP caused a commotion when Arjan Versteeg said: "Everyone can have room to pray, but the Islamic faith does not recognize Christ as the son of God. Therefore we cannot support the construction of the mosque."
The PvdA, D66, GroenLinks and Gouda Postiief were enthusiastic about the plans, despite the negative image about the "mega mosque" in the media. The PvdA stated that the Muslim community earned all respect in the past 50 years. The ChristenUnie will only make its decision next week.