Rotterdam blocks "radical" Islamist lecture, discussion

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The Rotterdam-Zuid community center De Put has denied Islamic-movement Hizb ut-Tahrir permission to give a lecture on Friday.

This was done under pressure of, among others, the CDA, according to newspaper AD. On Sunday faction leader Sven de Langen called Hizb ut-Tahrir "really a bad club". "We must under no circumstances offer a stage in our city to people who want to establish the Sharia and pursue the establishment of a caliphate", he said. De Lange handed this message to Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb on Sunday, with broad support from coalition partner Leefbaar Rotterdam.

Mayor Abouthaleb stated, however, that his hands are tied. "As long as public order and safety are not in danger, the municipality can not prohibit this movement to give a lecture", a spokesperson said to AD.

Hizb ut Tahrir is planning to hand out flyers with the organization manifesto to all mosques in Rotterdam on Friday afternoon in protest. "In Dutch, so that everyone can read what we really stand for and to demonstrate that the CDA is spreading lies about us", spokesperson Okay Pala said to the newspaper. "Our aim to introduce Sharia law and to establish a caliphate does not apply to the Netherlands. We want to rid Muslim countries of bad regimes and declare an Islamic Salvation state. We therefore completely do not want to overturn the Dutch democracy, as the CDA suggests by calling us 'dangers to the state'".

De Lange said that he is "happy and relieved" that the community center denied the movement permission to give the lecture and he is not impressed by the flyer action. "My confidence in the mosque managements is large. There common sense rules. They should also see nothing in Hizb ut Tahrir and their hostile message."

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