LONDON: A Dutch parliamentary inquiry has published a report setting out concerns over ongoing funding by Qatari and Turkish organisations to religious centres and mosques that appear designed to promote control by the donors and the Muslim Brotherhood.
The committee wrapped up months of hearings under the chairmanship of MP Michel Rog, who has asked parliament to endorse its report.
“The findings definitely give us cause for concern. It is with that urgency that the committee presents this report,” said Rog.
Payments running into tens of millions of euros were spread across the country but the concentration of money by certain donors into a handful of institutions, including Amsterdam’s Blue Mosque and Rotterdam’s Essalam Islamic Cultural Centre and the Middenweg Centre.
In testimony Ronald Sandee, a terrorism expert, pointed to the purpose behind providing finance and said there were strategic motivations for a stream of donations. “For countries like Qatar and Turkey there is also a political reason to exert influence, which is a kind of soft power through the Muslim communities they try to control.
The US-based expert Lorenzo Vidino, director of the Programme on Extremism at George Washington University, said Qatar funding promoted a Muslim Brotherhood narrative that was divisive and pushed an “us and them” mentality.