Amsterdam will secure mosques. According to the municipality, the chance of an attack is real. Jewish institutions in the city are already secured.

This appears from an overview of concrete measures announced by Mayor Femke Halsema in her approach to radicalization. According to her, there is an ‘increased possible threat to Islamic institutions’ in Amsterdam and the ‘chance of an attack is real’.

That is why mosques and other Islamic institutions receive extra security in the short term, as happened with Jewish institutions, the mayor writes. Jewish institutions are protected by advanced cameras and extra supervision by the police.

At the end of last year, the spokesperson for the Nasr mosque in Oost was threatened in a film because the mosque had refused a death peace for a mother and daughter from Amsterdam who had died in Syria.

Greater threat

For some time now the security services have signaled a greater threat from an extreme right perspective. In a general sense, the threat in the Netherlands is still ‘substantial’ and comes mainly from a jihadist perspective.

Halsema set out the guidelines for its radicalization policy at the end of August. She then announced that she would stop rapprochement with Salafist organizations, deployed by her predecessor, Jozias van Aartsen.

Now Halsema comes with concrete measures. For example, there are blocks at different places in the city that must prevent attacks with cars or trucks. Such obstacles have already been established at the Nieuwendijk, the Kalverstraat and the Heiligeweg.

‘Anti-democratic education’

The municipal government wants to actively combat ‘anti-democratic education’. Earlier this week, Halsema pleaded for additional guidance from Koran schools in Elsevier Weekblad. In her letter she writes that antidemocratic views and an active aversion to the spread of the Netherlands must be prevented. Amsterdam will actively intervene in this.

The municipality wants to tackle perpetrators of non-violent but also extremist behavior, for example by conducting additional research into license applications. Parties that object to this behavior receive a reward, for example in the form of legal assistance.

With the national government, Amsterdam will investigate how they gain more control over unwanted financing, often from abroad, which makes extremist behavior and terrorism possible. She said she wanted to tackle the financing of mosques from abroad.

To convert

Attention is also paid to converts who are confronted with violence. Recently the denominations in Amsterdam warned that converted ex-Muslims must regularly fear their safety and that for years.

To prevent radicalization of Amsterdammers, Halsema wants to train parents in ‘resilient parenting’. In addition, she establishes a large network of Amsterdam women who support each other and advise the college. She believes that the role of women in vulnerable neighborhoods is underused.

The municipality will hire more people to tackle radicalization. From 2020, 1.8 million per year will be needed extra for staff and materials.