Participating in the ceremony were Stadsdeel chairman (some kind of subaltern mayor) Van Waveren , Mr. F. Bijdendijk, president of the building corporation "Het Oosten" and Mr. Kabaktebe, an official of the Turkish socio-religious organization Milli Görüs. It's probably that mean disposition of mine again, but I suppose that no alcohol was served. Nevertheless Mr. Donner was quoted as saying:
It is a symbolic mixture of cultures, of Turkish Dutchmen in a jacket of the Amsterdamse School (an architectural movement - MFBB), the Westermoskee cannot be without the efforts of building corporation Het Oosten, the name refers to the Westerkerk (Western Church - MFBB), once the biggest protestant church of Amsterdam. Once church towers were the symbol of the wealth of the city. They pointed the way through the landscape. While they still mark a rich past, the religious aspect has all too easily vanished from the city. The 43m high minaret is seen through that prism as an enrichment of the neighborhood".
Keep in mind that Donner is an important member of the Dutch Christian Democratic party CDA. Here is a maquette of the mosque as it will look like upon completion:
The mosque is going to be built on the former RIVA industrial site, which was bought in 1994 by Milli Görüs. For those who have never before heard of this organization: although it pretends to denounce radical islamism, it has a dubious history and is said to pose liberally outwards while preaching radically inside the hundreds of mosques under its patronage. Its very name, meaning "National Vision" is taken from a book by former Turkish PM and islamic strongman Necmettin Erbakan, who in 1996-1997 was the leader of a coalition government between his own Welfare Party (Refah) and the True Path Party. Erbakan was one of the funders of Refah, and as such had a leading hand in the 1980 pro-Islamic protests, which resulted in one of those typically Turkish military coups. Refah was banned and Erbakan closed out from politics for 7 years.
While Milli Görüs is not considered a radical islamist organization in The Netherlands, the Germans, always lesser airheads, do monitor it closely, and with reason, for its islamist agenda. E.g., the Bundesverfassungsschutz, Germany's domestic intelligence agency, has repeatedly warned about Milli Görüs' activities and described the group in its annual reports as a "foreign extremist organization". The agency has:
...also reported that "although Milli Görüs, in public statements, pretends to adhere to the basic principles of Western democracies, abolition of the laicist government system in Turkey and the establishment of an Islamic state and social system are, as before, among its goals."
In short, this is the organization whose Dutch branch is building the new Westermoskee. Head of Milli Görüs Holland is a certain Hadi Karacaer, a so-called moderate Muslim who last year had the misfortune to be spotted rather dramatically when he let slip down his guard for a brief moment. Dutch Disease Report linked to the following revealing article (translation from Dutch by Jihadwatch):
Cid Martel of the Dutch Disease blog has kindly sent along this revealing translation of a Dutch story from Trouw. Cid explains: "A small Dutch Christian party called ChristenUnie (ChristianUnion) is trying to figure out how to deal with Muslims. Some feel Muslims are a threat, others think that Christians need to be open to people from other cultures. There was a debate recently between the party leader and the director of Milli Gorus. It started out fine but suddenly Haci Karacear, the director, dropped his mask. This is from a column which appeared in today’s Trouw newspaper by the excellent French-Dutch publicist Sylvain Ephimenco: "Haci Karacaer was rather provocative. He hammered home that Europe has its roots in Islam. “Europe does not have Judeo-Christian roots. We gave them to you!” When they talked about religious education things got even more heated. “André, try to keep up with the facts. Demographics tell you that a school board can’t continue to proselytize. I’ll go as far as to say that the Christian identity of these schools doesn’t mean a damn thing.”
Also sprach Haci Karacaer, Fuehrer of Milli Görüs Woodenshoeland. Just remember, this fella has gotten a clown like Donner, who is supposed to represent Dutch Christians, so far as to officially start the building of a gigantic mosque smack in the middle of Amsterdam, openly declare that Christendom is dead, and that a 43-meter high minaret where soon muezzins will wake up Jan Klaas at 5 o'clock in the morning is "an enrichment of the neighborhood". Duh.
From a purely financial view he may be right however, as the sad pointe of this story proves. At one of the entrances of the De Baarsjes neighborhood, at the spot where during WWII a father and his son were murdered by the German occupiers, has stood for decades a small humble monument in the form of a white cross, bearing the very neutral inscription "Aan hen die vielen" (to those who fell - MFBB). It has now been removed, and tens of thousands of euros have already been collected by the various local animist bridge clubs (ok, I made that last one up) to pay for a monument more in line with the new ethnic composition of the neigborhood. As The Brussels Journal reports:
The effects of the immigrant vote will soon be visible. The Amsterdam borough of De Baarsjes has already decided to remove a white cross which serves as a memorial to the Second World War. The cross is situated not far from the place where a mosque is being built. According to the authorities “Muslims and Jews” take offense at the cross as a war memorial. “We told them that it is a Dutch tradition to refer to the dead with a cross. However, the cross is seen as a reference to Christianity. I can understand this,” the local (Christian-Democrat) councillor, Jan Voetberg, said.
Yeahyeahyeahyeah... you read me well. So another christian democratic zealot, local CDA councilor Jan Voetberg, has agreed to remove a white cross because it is a reference to Christianity (wow!) on the insistence of "Muslims and Jews". As soon as I read that Muslims AND Jews had asked to remove a small monument in the form of a cross I knew that something was stinkin' here like the Mother of All Brontosaurus Kakas. Voetberg indeed at one point said that first the Pakistani, then the Turkish, then the Moroccan mosques AND finally the local synagogue had asked to remove the cross. As soon as this flat lie got out, the local Jewish community, spearheaded by a very upset Auchwitz-survivor Bloeme Evers denied this vehemently. Adding the alleged synagogue protest was just another perverse attempt to apologize the outrageous demands of the islamic community which apparently uses a different vocabulaire when it comes to enjoying the enrichment of the neighborhood.
Anyway, it appears that not all Dutchmen have been neutered yet since this outrageous decision led to a plethora of angry protest letters from all over the country. On March 11, the good De Baarsjes councillors were prompted to issue a communique promising that the monument, at this moment in storage at the communal cleaning facilities, will be placed back on its original location as soon as the mosque is ready. That would be then, uh, let's say in 2008, right? So you all hear me folks, rendezvous in 2008 at the entrance of the al-Baarsjes kasbah for the official re-inauguration of a WWII monument in the form of a white cross!!! Don't forget your hijabs ladies!
Give me a break. On second thought, no, give me a Prozac.