Anti-Islam leader plans apology to mosque; Said he “prefers to see it burn”

Ulu Mosque in Utrecht
The Ulu Mosque, under construction in the Lombok neighborhood of Utrecht. October 17, İhsan Deniz Kılıçoğlu / Wikimedia Commons

The PVV's leader in Utrecht Henk van Deún is planning to meet the leadership of the Ulu mosque in order to apologize for his statements made on Monday evening. On a radio interview he said he would "rather see the mosque burn down" in reply to a fellow local politician saying it should be a symbol for the city.

Later on the talk radio broadcast Van Deún refused to withdraw his statement, and on Twitter he would only acknowledge his words "had been cumbersome". NoW, he is reportedly trying to apologize directly to the Ulu mosque for his word usage.  

"That's the least I could do", Van Deún told newspaper AD. Utrecht's PVV leader is still convinced that the mosque should be shut down. "But it has to be done without any violence. We want to do it through a legal procedure". According to him, Ulu management has shown a positive response to his request for dialogue. 

After the provoking statements Utrecht's mayor Van Zanen made contact with the mosque: "Yesterday evening I talked with the leader of the mosque. We often communicate and we easily sort things out. I will repeat once again what I said in my New Year's speech: go for the city and not against each other". 


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