Dutch mosques, increasingly threatened, get no extra security

Threatening letter sent to at least 10 mosques in the Netherlands, 25 Feb 2016 (Photo: @ahmedmarcouch/Twitter). (Threatening letter sent to at least 10 mosques in the Netherlands, 25 Feb 2016 (Photo: @ahmedmarcouch/Twitter))

Mosques in the Netherlands are increasingly facing threats, almost on a daily basis. Yet no extra security measures will be implemented to protect them at this stage. But should it be needed, there will not be a second's hesitation to give extra security, Minister Lodewijk Asscher of Social Affairs said after a meeting with mosque managements, NOS reports.

Mosques are the targets of violence and aggression far more often than is reported in the media, the Volkskrant wrote on Friday. According to Dick Schoof, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security, police information shows that incidents at mosques happen almost daily. These incidents range from harassment to assault. University of Amsterdam researcher Ineke van der Valk recently stated that very few mosques report incidents, so the number may be much higher.

Asscher and Schoof arranged the meeting with mosque managements following a number of recent incidents, including threatening letters sent to about 20 mosques and a Molotov cocktail thrown at a mosque in Enschede. The Public Prosecutor considers this last incident an act of terrorism. 

Schoof promised he will send a letter to municipalities urging them to keep an eye on mosques. He emphasized the importance of municipalities having good contact with mosque managements "so you know how to quickly find each other if needed". There will also be follow up meetings where the threat level around the mosques will be discuss and the need for extra security reassessed.