Is Islamophobia welcome in Utrecht?

Supporters of the far-right Islamophobic group Pegida staged an anti-Islam demonstration outside the Abi Bakr Issidik Mosque Utrecht last Wednesday.

The demonstration was held outside the Mosque, frequented by members of the Moroccan community, in Utrecht, the central Netherlands.

During the demonstration, members of Pegida made speeches and showed a movie insulting Islam.

Tight security measures were taken around the mosque, including the installation of high barricades, and extra police were dispatched to the area.

After the Pegida demonstration, some local residents behind the barricades clashed with security forces.

Police detained two people.

Jamal Houri, press secretary for the mosque, told Anadolu Agency, an international news agency headquartered in Ankara,  that Pegida tries to be deliberately provocative.

“Even though the area they chose for the demonstration was provocative, the mosque administration and community decided not to follow their provocation and ignored them completely, this is the best response we can give them. Because paying attention to them works in their favour.”

We have to ask, though freedom of speech is important, what is the point of Pegida demonstrations other than to attempt to ferment unrest and division in society. They appear to have a very negative view and not one that adds to societies good. Let them protest by all means, but deny them what they want and that is publicity. We at Utrecht Central will make this the last mention of Pegida on our pages until they have something relevant to say.
Islamophobia is not a good starting point.

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Jon Wilkins

Jon Wilkins is Welsh and lives in England. He is a writer. A Europhile and Remainer, he is a regular visitor to Utrecht and has set his crime novel series in the city.

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