Immigration office to train workers to spot Islamic extremists

Officials working at the Immigration and Naturalization Service will soon be trained in a basic course on Islam. Among other things, they will be trained on how to tell the difference between a religious Muslim and an extremist, RTL Nieuws reports.

The training will be given to the question- and decide staff at the service. These are staff members who are in contact with asylum seekers and other newcomers to the country on a daily basis. They will be trained in the field of religion and the different movements within Islam.

"If someone drops the term 'Alla-hu akhbar' during questioning, you do not want all employees thinking that they have a terrorist in front of them", Arabist Jos van Aken, one of the teachers at the service, explained to RTL Nieuws. "For many Muslims, this is a phrase they regularly use if they see something special.

The training will also focus on Salafism in Islam. "Only a small group of Salafists use violence and attack others who don't believe in 'their' true Islam". Van Aken said. "It is the most extreme form of Salafism we hear most about in the media. But the vast majority of asylum seekers coming to the Netherlands, fled precisely these kinds of people."