The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, has dropped a plan to ask religious groups to formally renounce violence against people in the LGBTQI+ community after criticism of how it tackled the issue.
The mayor wrote a letter to mosque leaders earlier this month, asking them to sign a pledge to “completely reject discrimination and violence against the LGBTQI+ community,” adding that “some perpetrators have done so in the name of religion.” We are doing this,” he pointed out.
However, some reacted angrily after discovering that the Christian and Jewish communities weren’t asked to make the same gesture, reportedly days later.
By focusing on the mosque first, the mayor “will no longer make me part of the solution or the person involved with the victims,” said the spokesman for the Blue Mosque in North Amsterdam at the time. Nordine Wildman said, “You put me in the position of the perpetrator.”
The mayor told local broadcaster AT5 on Friday that he had decided to end the project because he did not want it to become a “political statement.”
“I wanted to do this with other people so I don’t have to force it on other people’s faces,” she said.
She said the issue is not confined to a particular religious group, but is part of street culture. “The problem is wider, bigger, deeper and more serious,” the mayor told the station. “And I wish many religious groups would have stepped forward first and said that everyone should be safe in public as far as they are concerned.”
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl
The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all our readers who have donated in recent weeks. Your financial support has allowed us to extend our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into evenings and weekends, keeping you up to date with the latest developments.
DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years. Your contribution makes this possible.
If you haven’t donated yet and would like to donate,
Ideally, you can do so by credit card, or through Paypal.