Dutch government lies on Saudi money for Dutch mosques

This video says about itself:

5 December 2017

Is Saudi Arabia “returning to moderate Islam”? Mehdi Hasan weighs in.

One of the issues discussed in that video is the recent uncritical corporate media propaganda for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, eg, in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman.

How ‘moderate’ that ‘Islam’ of the prince really is can be seen from the fate of the Saudi women who forced the government to rescind its ban on women driving cars. These courageous women are now imprisoned and may get the death penalty.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Researchers of financing of mosques: Foreign Affairs Department acted against us

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not fully cooperated with the RAND

The RAND Corporation, according to Wikipedia, ‘is an American nonprofit global policy think tank created in 1948 by Douglas Aircraft Company [later: McDonnell Douglas, by now: part of Boeing corporation] to offer research and analysis to the United States Armed Forces. It is financed by the U.S. government and private endowment’.

So, to use an understatement, not really an objective organisation without any militarist agenda.

But no matter how establishment they are, even their research gets into trouble when the government of NATO country The Netherlands fears that it might reveal too much of its links with the regime of Saudi Arabia (prominent allies of United States President Trump and of other NATO governments).

study on the financing of mosques by ‘non-free countries‘. Minister Blok

of Foreign Affairs. Successor to Halbe Zijlstra, like Blok a member of the right-wing VVD party. Zijlstra had to resign after it turned out that he had lied about supposedly aggressive speech by Russian President Putin.

said yesterday that they had cooperated, but the RAND Corporation researchers strongly deny that.

The researchers say that in 2014 they accidentally obtained a secret list of mosques from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was forwarded by an employee from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment who still “found” the list in his mailbox. When the researchers turned to Foreign Affairs to request more information, they were refused. Blok emphasized yesterday in a letter to Parliament that there was [supposedly] no conscious covering up of documents.

In a fact sheet that the researchers published last night, they say that an employee of the ministry made it clear to them that the list of mosques that had asked for money from Saudi Arabia was confidential. It was not intended that this information would be included in their research or that they would report about it.


The House of Representatives has been requesting information about Dutch mosques financed from the Gulf States since 2004. The embassies of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait provide that information confidentially to the Dutch government. But the Dutch government has always said that this information did not exist.

This reminds me of United States nuclear weapons, which have by now been at Dutch Volkel military base for decades. Everyone knows these nuclear weapons are at Volkel. But after all that time, the Dutch government is still in denial about it.

Only after a Freedom of Information request by Nieuwsuur TV in 2016 it turned out that there were indeed such lists.

The RAND researchers conducted research into mosque funding in 2014/2015, but had to conclude that they were not getting far due to a lack of information. They only had the “accidentally” sent list of the Social Affairs employee. “For the purpose of the research, not so much the names of the institutions were important as the fact that information was exchanged at diplomatic level”, they write in their account of facts.

From yesterday’s letter by Blok:

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in good conscience, fully cooperated with RAND during the investigation at the end of 2014 to conduct research in complete freedom, and there was no question of consciously covering up documents.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.