Monday, June 30, 2008

Amsterdam Mayor pleas for Subsidising Radical Mosques

EU: Someone put the Netherlands out of its misery please. This is the worst interpretation of seperation of church/state that has been made in forever. That or this is the biggest reverse psych job ever.

Mayor Job Cohen of Amsterdam is prepared to give subsidies to radical mosques. He is thereby adopting a quite remarkable interpretation of the principle of separation of Church and State.

According to critics, separation of Church and State is violated if a government authority subsidises construction of a church or mosque. But Cohen disagrees. Conversely, in his view the separation of church and state would however be violated if government subsidised only moderate Islam and not radical Muslims.

Cohen gives his remarkable views in a memorandum, 'Separation of Church and State,' launched by Amsterdam last weekend. In an interview with Trouw newspaper, he defended his policy on encouraging the building of mosques.

"The Netherlands was always a country of minorities whose rights needed protection. We do not involve ourselves with the content of religions, nor they in our administration.

But that does not mean that we may not support any religious institutions, that we may not deploy any Imam to address radicalising youngsters, or even sometimes offer some extra support for building a mosque, synagogue or 'black' church, because the groups that make use of it are in a deprived situation. Yes, that means that we can also support an orthodox mosque if we have the arguments to assert that this mosque is in its place there."

Cohen continues: "If you provide subsidies, you do have to give arguments as to why. One reason can be that a house of prayer can make a contribution to the cohesion in a district. But trying to influence the teaching in the mosque (...) by imposing conditions on the belief that the people profess, that does mean violating the separation of Church and State."

....Cohen refers to the Westermoskee mosque as an example of discrimination against radical Muslims by the government. He provided a subsidy for its construction, but "the De Baarsjes district executive (...) only wanted to finance it if the mosque would propagate a liberal Islam." This meant the principle of separation of Church and State had been lost, the Labour (PvdA) mayor repeated. "The city will continue to support religious institutions if the executive considers this necessary, but will not specify what they must say in a mosque."

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