Skip to Content

Stock photo

Dutch government launches investigation into Islamic funding

The Dutch cabinet will launch an investigation into informal weekend schools in the Netherlands following the news that Turkey is to fund 12 Saturday and Sunday schools for children aged six to 17.

Published: February 14, 2019, 6:28 am

    The Hague

    The aim is dig deeper into which countries other than Turkey will be funding informal schooling, social affairs minister Wouter Koolmees said. The investigation has been launched, Koolmees said, because he “shared MPs concerns” about the development.

    “The Netherlands is a free and open society and that means that everyone is free to decide what courses or education programmes they follow,” the ministry statement said. “Countries are free to stimulate their own language and culture abroad… and this is something the Netherlands does too. However, the cabinet does not consider it desirable if this education hinders integration in the Netherlands, stimulates anti-democratic opinion or encourages opposition to the rule of law.”

    The Turkish government has meanwhile agreed to share the curriculum at the weekend schools and other relevant information with the Dutch authorities, according to Koolmees. It has claimed that the emphasis of the schools will only be on “language skills”.

    In total Dutch Turkish organisations made 18 requests for grants to fund the schools and 12 have been honoured with funding amounting to €16 500 per year from the Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities project, to help “local and expat citizens”.

    The Dutch education ministry funds a special network for Dutch education world wide which works with some 200 schools.

    The YTB “organises cultural activities and give legal consultancy for human rights and all kinds of support to Turkish people living abroad” it states on its website.

    It is not easy to prevent money flows from “unfree countries” to mosques in the Netherlands and the prohibition of this financing is not yet being discussed.

    This was deduced from a letter by Koolmees to the House of Representatives, urging the government to investigate how this should be done. More research is urgently needed, according to the letter.

    Nieuwsuur and NRC Handelsblad reported earlier that at least thirty Islamic organisations in the Netherlands have applied for or received funding from the Gulf States in recent years, with millions of euros from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. The information has been kept secret up to now.

    Funding coming from certain Gulf states have been highly controversial because these countries have actively been exporting extremism organisations to the Netherlands. The Dutch House of Representatives wants more transparency about money flows.

    According to Koolmees, the solution lies in reciprocity. A financing ban could therefore apply to countries that do not have religious freedom and to countries that do not allow The Netherlands to financially support its own organisations, as Saudi Arabia and several Gulf states do currently.

    In the coalition agreement, this reciprocity has already been noted, but whether it can actually be done in practice, is still being legally tested, says Koolmees.

    “The government is aware of the risks involved in a ban on foreign financing, such as undesirable political consequences, damage to the credibility of the Netherlands in the area of ​​rule of law and human rights worldwide and possible damage to NGOs active abroad,” said Koolmees.

    Keep ​your language polite​. Readers from many different countries visit and contribute to Free West Media and we must therefore obey the rules in​,​ for example​, ​Germany. Illegal content will be deleted.

    If you have been approved to post comments without preview from FWM, you are responsible for violation​s​ of​ any​ law. This means that FWM may be forced to cooperate with authorities in a possible crime investigation.

    If your comments are subject to preview ​by FWM, please be patient. We continually review comments but depending on the time of day it can take up to several hours before your comment is reviewed.

    We reserve the right to del​ete​ comments that are offensive, contain slander or foul language, or are irrelevant to the discussion.


    France to outlaw anti-Zionism as anti-Semitism

    ParisDuring his speech at the dinner of the Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France (CRIF) [Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France] , a powerful Jewish lobby in France, President Emmanuel Macron announced that France "will implement the definition of anti-Semitism defined by the International Alliance for the Memory of the Holocaust (IHRA)".

    Matteo Salvini. Photo:

    Italian Senate panel votes against Salvini’s ‘migrant kidnapping’ trial

    RomeParty activists from the League's coalition partners led by Luigi Di Maio have been invited to vote for or against the lifting of the parliamentary immunity of the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini.

    UK faces policing crisis as cops quit in huge numbers

    Law enforcement chiefs in Britain are struggling to find enough specialist detectives with three-quarters of stations admitting that they cannot fill vacancies because of the rate at which experienced officers are quitting the force.

    French official criticises British resolve to stop illegals

    In the fight against networks of human traffickers in the English Channel, the president of the Regional Council of Hauts-de-France has pleaded for stronger cooperation between France and Britain to end illegal immigration.

    Smartphones stolen in Barcelona turn up in Marrakesh

    A profitable black market in smartphones is encouraging the theft of mobile phones in the coastal city of Barcelona.

    Bertelsmann study: Does Germany really need more immigrants?

    Germany supposedly needs 260 000 immigrants each year, a study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has recently found. But the findings have drawn much criticism and incomprehension.

    Number of migrants in German prisons at a record high

    BerlinMigrant inmates in German prisons have skyrocketed, a new survey of the Justice Ministries in in Germany's 16 federal states show.

    Hungary launches seven-point family plan

    BudapestHungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has announced a family protection plan in his state-of-the nation address in Budapest on Sunday.

    Act XIII: Protester’s hand torn off by police grenade

    ParisDuring the clashes that took place in front of the National Assembly in Paris over the weekend between police and Yellow Vests, a protester lost his hand. Tensions rose a notch in Paris on Saturday, February 9 on the occasion of Act XIII of the protest movement.

    UK Counter Terrorism interviews 8-year-old

    LondonIn Britain, an eight-year-old Muslim boy was questioned by two counter-terrorism police officers and a social worker at a school in east London because he had become so radicalized.

    Go to archive