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Radical Muslims stage coup at a Dutch public broadcaster

Forced merger backfires

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Radical Muslims may have taken control of the Dutch Muslim Broadcaster (NMO). At least three of the public broadcaster's eight directors are considered to extremely controversial.

Until recently, the Netherlands had two Islamic public broadcasters: the moderate NMO and the orthodox Dutch Islamic Broadcasting Organization (NIO). Media watchdog Commissariaat voor de Media pushed the two into a merger so that the Islamic faith pillar would have a single representative body in the public system. This apparently resulted in NIO staging a coup at NMO.

Islamic broadcaster NMO has been allotted 2.5 hours of TV broadcasting time each week. Following the alleged coup NMO now has a board of eight directors, all representing orthodox Islam groups. The representatives of the liberal Alevitic and Ahmadiyya movements, who previously ran NMO, have been pushed out, as they have publicly acknowledged.


Among the members of the new board of directors is Yahia Bouyafa, who is believed to have close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Another is Abdelmajid Kayroun, chairman of the Al Farouq mosque in Utrecht, whose imam was deported from the Netherlands in 2001 as a spy for the Libyan secret service. Also holding a directorship is Mohammed Nanhekhan, a member of the radical movement World Islamic Mission.

The Commissariaat voor de Media says it has "no indications" that anything is wrong. It will only launch an inquiry if the Justice Ministry or the secret service AIVD requests such action. Second Chamber member Jeroen Dijsselbloem who is Labour Party critic for media affairs expressed his concern over an ”increasing influence of conservative Islam within various Islamic organizations in the Netherlands".