Councilmen: Amsterdam job subsidies funneled to mosques

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Tens of thousands of euros in subsidies for computer and application training in Amsterdam was allegedly diverted to mosques, claim city councilmen from VVD and SP. They want the municipality to investigate a possible violation of separation between church and the state, reports Volkskrant.

There was money transferred to a Turkish and Moroccan mosque out of accounts of two socio-cultural foundations, the councilmen say. The foundations also have Moroccan and Turkish affiliations.

The political parties examined financial statements of the Moroccan foundation for 2009 and 2010. Tens of thousands of euros appear to account for entries like “Designated mosque fund," “Donations for mosque” and ”Single supplement equity allocation mosque fund."

The Turkish foundation’s accounts show that the organization paid rent for a mosque out of subsidy money, the politicians claim.

“If it is found that public money is spent on worshipping, it has to be repaid,” a VVD councilman Rik Torn told the paper. “Why is money people need to find a job going to a carpet shop selling prayer rugs?” Peter Kwint from SP asked. “The money is not provided for that.”

The two foundations receive subsidies from the former Amsterdam district Oost-Watergraafsmeer, now a part of Amsterdam Oost, and grants for social activation of vulnerable groups.

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