Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons) - Credit: Lodewijk Asscher (Photo: Rijksoverheid.nl/Wikimedia Commons)
Friday, 26 February 2016 - 07:35
No ban on Salafist Islam says Dutch cabinet
Salafist organizations can be banned if they break the law, but the cabinet will not impose a general ban. The government will however, keep a closer eye on such organizations, Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs wrote in a letter to the Tweede Kamer, lower house of parliament, NU reports. Late last year a majority in the Tweede Kamer asked the government to investigate whether it is possible to ban groups from the ultra orthodox branch of Islam because they are concerned about radicalization. "The basis of our rule of law is individual freedom. That's why the government does not want to forbid a religion or step into the personal belief of people", Asscher wrote. Salafist organizations can continue receiving money from countries like Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. But the government will demand more financial transparency from these organizations and the Dutch embassies in the Gulf region are trying to get more insight into "the origin and purpose of finance flows to Dutch houses of prayer". The government and municipalities will also work closer together to help local governments deal with such organizations should it be necessary. The exchange of information will improve and schools and municipalities will receive clear instruction on what they can do if a Salafist organization causes problems. On radio program Dit is de Dag Asscher also denounced VVD leader Halbe Zijlstra's plans to stop protecting religious groups from criminal prosecution. "That does not contribute to a solution", he said.