Controversial British Sharia preacher taught at Amsterdam school: report

High school classroom
High school classroom. (Photo: HaMinh1997 / Wikimedia Commons)

The controversial British Sharia preacher Haitham Al Haddad gave "covert" lessons at the Cornelius Haga Lyceum in Amsterdam, newspaper NRC reported on Friday based on a confidential official message that intelligence service AIVD sent to mayor Femke Halsema of Amsterdam in January. 

The message also says that other radical Islamic people were also involved in the school and that the school management funded a Chechen terrorist movement, according to the newspaper.

It was this official message that prompted Halsema to raise concerns about the school and call for the school board to resign two weeks ago, NRC writes. The AIVD uses such official messages to warn other government agencies about organizations and people who might pose a danger. 

London based Al Haddad is a Salafist preacher who is known for anti-Semitism and hate speech, according to ANP. He previously made headlines in the Netherlands in 2012 due to statements he made while speaking in De Balie. He said that adulterous Muslim women from the West would love to travel to an Islamic state to be stoned to death - the correct punishment for adultery, according to him. 

Early this month the national coordinator for counterterrorism NCTV and and intelligence service AIVD revealed that employees of the school wanted to devote a large part of lessons to Salafist doctrine, and that some employees had links with terrorist organization Caucasian Emirate in the past. A short time later it was revealed that the Education Inspectorate was prevented from doing its job during an unannounced visit to the school on March 6th. Last week Minister Arie Slob for Primary and Secondary Education informed parliament that a school director told the Inspectorate that "if the lesson visits were to take place, there may be disturbances and that he could not control his people”.

The controversy that followed these revelations prompted a group of Islamic organizations to also call for the board of the Cornelius Haga Lyceum to resign. They want the board to take responsibility for the controversy that arose around the school, and to put their own interests aside in favor for the general interest of good Islamic education in the Netherlands.

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