Rotterdam to Sack Whiste-Blower on Mosque Schools
THE HAGUE, 16/05/13 - Rotterdam city council wants to sack the civil servant who revealed there are illegal Turkish mosque-related boarding schools in the city.
The man gave documents pertaining to a mosque boarding school to newspaper NRC Handelsblad. The paper now says the man has received a letter from Rotterdam city council stating that he will be fired "with immediate effect" because of "serious dereliction of duty" as the documents are considered secret.
Opposition parties Liveable Rotterdam (Leefbaar Rotterdam) and Socialist Party (SP) find the city's actions wrong. They say the civil servant first reported the circumstances - scores of young girls were living in the attic of the Faith mosque - to the city before involving the media. The mosque appeared to have no license to house the girls overnight and furthermore their quarters did not meet fire regulations.
Ronald Schneider of Leefbaar Rotterdam, the largest opposition party, said "because of the whistle-blower, alderman Hugo de Jong established that the mosque boarding school existed and had developed plans to monitor developments there. In short: some good has happened thanks to this man."
Hundreds of children live in often poorly maintained mosques in the Netherlands. The government often does not know the boarding schools exist, the NRC Handelsblad reported recently.
There are known to be mosque boarding schools in Arnhem, Utrecht, Breda and Amsterdam. In Rotterdam alone, there are three such schools with a fourth being set up.
Academic Mehmet Sahin of Amsterdam's Vrije Universiteit, who follows mosque boarding schools, estimates there are some 3,000 children studying in these schools. Regulations are strict, with prayers at 03:00, he says.