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Dutch Muslims concerned by mosque attacks

Dutch citizens joining ISIL and far-right rhetoric are cited as factors fueling assaults on Muslim houses of worship.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - An unidentified man wearing a hoodie placed fireworks in the window of the Selimiye Mosque in Enschede, a city in the Netherlands, on December 14. A few seconds later, the fireworks exploded, breaking the window.
The motives of the perpetrator remain unclear - he has not yet been caught - but mosque board member Sezgin Akman said he suspects the attack was inspired by hatred of Islam.
"Maybe someone wanted to tell us we are not welcome," he said, adding the mosque has received several threatening letters in the past.
More than one-third of the Netherlands' 475 mosques have experienced at least one incident of vandalism, threatening letters, attempted arson, the placement of pigs' heads, or other aggressive actions in the past 10 years, according to research by Ineke van der Valk, author of the book Islamophobia and Discrimination.
The Kuba Mosque, in the city of IJmuiden, said it has counted more than 40 such incidents since its founding in 1993.
Far-right: 'Wrecked by immigration'
For their part, Dutch Muslims blame what they describe as biased media coverage of Muslims and far-right politicians such as Geert Wilders for inciting mosque attacks.
In the past, Wilders' far-right Freedom Party (PVV) has compared the Quran, Islam's holy book, to Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf; has called Islam a "fascist" religion, and has proposed raising taxes on headscarves. On November 26, Machiel de Graaf, one of the PVV's members of parliament, claimed that "Dutch schools are overwhelmed with a number of children who are named after Mohammed".
"The Dutch unity, identity and culture are being wrecked by immigration and via wombs. Various Islamic leaders have said this, such as Qaddafi," de Graaf said during a debate about integration.
However, the PVV denies its politicians' statements regarding Muslims and Islam incite aggression.
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