Netherlands: Mosque plans run into difficulties due to public protests

Sultan Ahmet Mosque, Zaandam, the Netherlands. (AFP)

It is becoming increasingly difficult to win permission to build new mosques in the Netherlands because of public opposition, the Muslim lobby group CMO said on Tuesday.

Not only are people living close to the planned location more likely to protest, but the mosque management do little to motivate public support, the CMO said.

The organisation is aware of problems in at least 10 local authority areas, including Zoetermeer, Groningen and Assendelft.

In three cases, the problems have arisen since the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and the recent row over ‘hate imams’, spokesman Yassin Elforkani told news agency ANP.

‘People think lots of mosques are being built but many of them are replacing older houses of worship which are hidden in old garages and schools,’ he said. ‘But as new buildings, they become visible’…