Four of the largest mosques in the Netherlands yesterday announced that they would lock their doors during prayer times after six people were killed in an attack on a mosque in the Canadian province of Quebec.
In a statement, the four mosques that include Masjid Al-Azraq in Amsterdam, Masid Al-Sunnah in the Hague, Masjid Al-Salam in Rotterdam and Masjid of Omar Al-Faruq in Utrecht said “We feel that we have to lock the doors of the mosque when prayers are taking place”. Many surveillance cameras have also been set up in the Al-Azraq mosque which is located in the south-western outskirts of the Dutch capital.
Thousands of worshippers take part in the prayers that are held in the four mosques daily. Saeed Bouhro, from the Dutch – Moroccan Council of Mosques told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that the “barbaric acts such as the Quebec attack contribute to increasing the global hatred of Muslims”. He continued by saying that “the mosque is an open building that should be available at all times throughout the day for anyone looking for peace and tranquillity…But we must be cautious of such terrorist attacks. It is unfortunate that we are forced to take these strict safety procedures”. He also pointed out that the mosque leaders are in close contact with the Dutch National Coordinator for Security and Counter-terrorism.
The Netherlands is preparing for parliamentary elections in March and anti-Islam Dutch MP Geert Wilders is leading in opinion polls. Wilders has promised to close all mosques and Islamic schools and ban the Quran if he becomes prime minister.