By BEILA RABINOWITZ
December 20, 2010 - San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - The largest mosque in Western Europe has opened in Rotterdam, Holland, despite attempts to stop it by leading Dutch politicians.
According to the NRC Handelsblad, "The mosque is financed by the Al Makhtoum Foundation from the wealthy sjeik Hamdan bin Rashid Al- Makhtoum from the United Arab Emirates. The Dutch security service has investigated his alleged financial ties to jihadists. For that reason House members Wilders (PVV) Eurlings (CDA) and Eerdmans (LPF) attempted unsuccessfully six years ago to forbid the funding." [translated from the Dutch, source, Jules Seegers, Largest Mosque in Western Europe Opened in Rotterdam, NRC NRC Handelsbad, http://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2010/12/17/grootste-moskee-west-europa-geopend-in-rotterdam/]
Upwards of 1,500 [some sources estimate as many as 3,000] congregants can be accommodated in the prayer room of the Essalem Mosque, drawn from Holland's huge Moroccan Muslim immigrant community. The building is 4 stories high and the minarets dwarf the towers of the Feyenoord Stadium which is located nearby.
The mosque was inaugurated by the Muslim Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb and legislator Hamit Karakus, who was instrumental in bringing the project to completion.
It has been predicted that over the next decade Rotterdam will become the first Muslim majority city in Europe.
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