Mosque set on fire in Netherlands

There has been another fire in a mosque in the Netherlands, in what appeared to be the latest in a spate of attacks.

Police said the mosque, in the south-eastern village of Helden near the German border, was set on fire early on Saturday.

They said it was not immediately clear if arsonists were behind the attack.

There have been more than 20 incidents of fires or vandalism at Muslim buildings since the murder of the controversial filmmaker Theo van Gogh.

His suspected killer, an alleged Muslim radical of Dutch-Moroccan nationality, was arrested.

Tensions are running high in the Netherlands since the killing.

There have also been a string of retaliatory attacks on Christian churches.

Parliament has been debating how to deal with the growing problem.

There have been calls from some right-wing politicians to deport radical Muslim clerics and close down mosques where they operate.

MPs have asked the government to draft new legislation forcing Dutch mosques to employ only Imams who have studied Islamic religion in the Netherlands, a proposal that is widely supported.

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Nov. 13, 2004
Geraldine Coughlan

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 13, 2004.
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