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Mosques refuse hiring Dutch educated 'Polder Imams'

University graduates unwanted

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

THE HAGUE - Not a single mosque in the Netherlands has taken on an Imam trained in special government courses. "Mosques have no money and no confidence in the 'polder Imam," the Trouw daily newspaper quoted its sources as saying.

At the instigation of the Dutch government, the Free University Amsterdam, the University of Leiden and Hogeschool InHolland college have all developed their own Imam integration courses and Dutch studies. The government wants to put a stop to the 'import' of Imams from Morocco or Turkey as these are seen as overly conservative, getting in the way of the integration of Muslims and at times inciting followers to radicalization.

The universities and college courses offer the mosques Imams who speak Dutch and understand Dutch society. It appears that the Dutch Imam course graduates should not count on obtaining a position as a Muslim clergyman for now.

Poor mosque organizations have no money for expensive, qualified Imams, Trouw’s sources say. Older generation of mosque-goers, who contribute and therefore set its policies, do not want a Dutch-speaking Imam, according to the newspaper.