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Vught Prison. Wikipedia

Dutch high security prison stocks radical jihadist books

A Dutch daily revealed on Friday that the library at the high security prison in Vught, stocked books by radical Muslims, including by people banned from entering the UK for praising suicide bombings.

Published: January 7, 2019, 7:57 am

    The Hague

    According to De Telegraaf, such books are made available for prisoners, including for radical Muslims.

    MPs from the Christian Democratic party CDA and the anti-Islam PVV have since demanded that the government explain why the books are kept in a prison library used by people convicted of terrorism offences in the Netherlands. ‘

    “It is incomprehensible that such books are being loaned to dangerous prisoners,” said MP Madeleine van Toorenburg.

    “It is hard enough as it is to help prisoners ditch their radical ideas and it does not help if they can read books about intolerance and armed jihad in their own cells.”

    But VVD parliamentarian Foort van Oosten told the daily that taking action against “wrong” books is not soemthing which is done in a free society. “We can’t exactly go through every book looking for offensive texts and removing them,” he argued.

    Among the books which De Telegraaf singled out, are works by Bilal Philips, who has been banned from Britain and whose books were taken out of British prison libraries in 2016.

    The Dutch prison service has confirmed that controversial books are in the library but said that experts assess all requests for loans to see if they should be granted.

    PVV leader Geert Wilders understandably expressed his anger in the wake of the revelation. Wilders responded to De Telegraaf ‘s report that the prison library in Vught is full of extremist literature, by saying that it was “totally disturbed”.

    In the prison in Vught, convicted terrorists are kept, including Mohammed B, the murderer of Theo van Gogh.

    “There are books in the library that glorify the armed jihad, suicide attacks and the humiliation of Jews and Christians. The fact that the books are available is striking, because in the terrorist department, deradicalisation of detainees is a key issue.”

    Wilders – who has been threatened for years by radical Islamists – has accused Prime Minister Rutte of knowingly stocking Vught’s bookshelves with inflammatory Islamist literature, because the VVD member wanted the terrorists to be comfortable. “Totally disturbed,” the member of parliament added.

    Over the past 24 hours, Wilders also accused the Prime Minister of doing too little to bring back Dutch nationals kidnapped by terrorists and suggested that Rutte resign.

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