The Mosque of West Amsterdam – Al Jazeera World

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For the past 16 years, Huseyin Gunduz has dreamt of building a mosque in the Dutch capital, Amsterdam.

Having had to perform congregational prayers in factories, community centres and people’s basements; he has spent years campaigning and fundraising to build a place of worship and make his dream a reality.

In The Mosque of West Amsterdam, we follow Huseyin as work finally nears completion on the Western Mosque.

“The thought of the outcome and success leaves me speechless,” he says. “I believe we’ll be rewarded in the afterlife for our contribution and efforts.”

Known locally as Westermoskee, the structure – modeled on Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia – is in urgent need of funds to be completed.

From its conception, in the early 1990s, to the present day – construction has been fraught with controversy, as well as political and financial difficulties.

Planning problems, corruption scandals, local opposition and anti-Islamic prejudice have plagued the project, halting development for nearly a decade.

The extreme-right leader Geert Wilders, whose Freedom Party is riding high in the opinion polls, has also been an outspoken critic, leading to growing local opposition.

This film looks at how Huseyin tries to raise the capital necessary for development while trying to bridge relations with residents who are growing increasingly weary of the mosque.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Why do Muslims come to the west?
    They don't like our people, our women, our culture and our customs, so why are they here?
    We don't need them, so why let them come?
    They have their own countries don't they? So why do they need ours?
    They will be much happier in the lands of their fore fathers among their Muslim brothers and in their paradise of Sharia law.
    We don't need these mosques and their ugly wailing imans .
    The mosques are nothing more than snake pits of seditious serpents plotting against the west to take it over, they themselves say that.
    Watch UNDERCOVER MOSQUE-THE RETURN on YouTube and you will learn what future they have for us infidel westerners.
    Geert Wilders is so right and the liberal left are ruining our countries and our children's children will curse us forever.

  2. At least they are not the savage arab or black sunni muslims. I could probably trust them more. The turks in my belief will not let arab culture and saudi thinkings such as wahhabis infiltrate their mosque. How many terrorist Turks have you heard of?

  3. It's strange to me that the Dutch let you to built it like it is. It's bitterly ugly, it doesn't fit within the local architecture and the 'architects' didn't even try to adapt, integrate it A SLIGHTEST BIT, the organizers didn't learn anything about the local culture, architecture, environment (whatever), nor paid a tiny respect to it, and just built this pile of s*it (it may be considered beautiful at their home, where they have poor architectural traditions, basically earth, but it shouldn't work like this in Amsterdam). What I learnt from this is that the Muslims don't respect the Dutch as much as they respect the Muslim, the Muslim feel superior within the Western world, this is very arrogant. You try to make it like home, it means that you build the uncivilized world within the civilized one.

  4. "They cannot build churches in Muslim countries."

    It is true that Islamic extremism is on the rise in the Muslim world. But, apart from Saudi Arabia, you can find churches in many Muslim countries, even in Iran. Saudi Arabia is indeed the birthplace of Islam. But, the country is not the indicator of what the entire Muslim world looks like. We are humans, we have our own differences.

  5. 30:47 She is wrong about one thing. If she visited Turkey, she would see there are alot of churches in Turkey. And i don't mind if more is built. Everyone must be free to practise their religions.

  6. 30:00 Look at this ignorant woman. She says a Church built in Muslim country would face protest…the first churches in the world were built in Muslim countries and they still stand….ie Bethelehm in PALESTINE

  7. Build mosques if you want (though, I am against religion in general), but when you want a big or large mosque, it does seem to indicate that you just want to show/prove how great your religion is or stamp your culture on the city in which you live…Islam isn't any worse than Christianity, in of itself, as both are full BS and of hatred, but the biggest difference, as far as I can see, is most westerners don't care about Christianity or have the good sense not to listen to their church leaders…
    Furthermore, I am sure this guy would invite all and sundry to his new mosque to promote 'tolerance', but would then refuse to enter a church, if invited to, as it is against his religion…
    Muslims aren't any worse than Christians, but they love or believe that BS too much…

  8. As someone with muslim background and ancestry that extends thunders of years I want to say these people building the mosques after fleeing their home countries are the ones creating the terrorist funding ISIS. This money should go to all the western family victims of muslim terrorism. They do not care about local communities and have loyalties to muslim nations more than Europe. When will the west get it???

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