Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moroccan Government " Invites" Imams from Netherlands

This article was posted on Radio Netherlands website, it is pasted below:

At least 40 imams on surprise visit to Morocco

Published: Tuesday 28 October 2008 20:05 UTC

Last updated: Tuesday 28 October 2008 20:05 UTC

The governing bodies of mosques in the Netherlands are alarmed by the departure of at least 40 imams for a government-paid trip to Morocco. The authorities in Rabat invited the imams to Morocco and the clerics left without consulting the boards which administer the mosques. Nearly a quarter of the imams in the Netherlands are taking part in the trip.

A Moroccan organisation in the Netherlands says the Moroccan authorities have been increasingly interfering with the affairs of mosques in the Netherlands. The group says the imams feel they have no choice but to accept such invitations, a situation which it describes as "undesirable".

Labour MP Jeroen Dijsselbloem says the affair is yet another example of Moroccan government interference with Moroccans living in the Netherlands. He has asked the cabinet to raise the issue with the Moroccan authorities. As a result of the imams' unannounced departure, many Muslims went to the mosque for Friday prayers only to find them closed. There are around 170 Muslim houses of worship in the Netherlands.

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