Wednesday, November 23, 2005
Netherlands: Muslim organizations fighting over imam appointments
Two Muslim organizations are fighting over the commissioning of imams to the Dutch army.
CGI (Contact Group Islam) and CMO (Contact Body Muslims and Government). Both groups claim they're the best party to provide imams.
The army wants to appoint another imam this year and overall to appoint at least two imams to care for the spiritual needs of Muslims in the army. The army had contacted both organizations in order to recruit imams, but that decision seems to be backfiring. An army spokesman is quoted as saying:"They don't agree with each other.. but because they're both officially recognized, we're continuing consultations with both parties."
Both organizations are accusing the other of trying to sabotage the deliberations. CMO wants to fill the two imam slots with one Sunni and one Shiite, leaving CGI with a "half position" to fill. CGI claim that they represent all Muslim streams and that they can provide however many imams are needed for every stream - Sunni, Shiite, Ahmadiyya and Alewites.
There are several hundred to a thousand Muslims in the Dutch military.