02 January 2011

Essalam Mosque

The Essalam Mosque, located in Rotterdam is the largest in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Western Europe. The Mosque has opened its doors to the general public. It has taken many years to build it and the structure has forged through a rough beginning.

Frankly, I am engaged in continuous new learning on the similarities of other human beings and focus less on myself. Living in Rotterdam has helped in my learning process. The local residents I have interacted with and their contributions to Rotterdam are simply beautiful. Rotterdam is a dynamic city with a blending of traditional cultures and people with rapid growth of immigration of people from a variety of cultures and post-war architecture changing the face of the city.

My heart breaks to witness the endless polarization, fighting, loss of life, destruction of properties and the raping of land with misinformation, in the name of religion or some notion of supremacy. It is beyond belief what untruths and hate some self-absorbed 'leaders' and legislators choose to promulgate in regional and national media outlets. They are often fueled by greed, outrageous amounts of money and ignorant people lost in fundamental ideologies. These misguided people would rather stir hatred and confusion and keep the masses poor and struggling for basic living resources so that their personal agendas can take root. Not much different than the western European Dark Ages.

I have committed myself to meet more Muslims that live here. I will. I had to read a lot to understand more about their religion to see what similarities they have with mine. In basic terms I understand that a Muslim is a person who believes the Qur'an  (the religious text of Islam) 'is the verbal divine guidance and moral direction for mankind'. A Muslim is a follower of Islam, (the religion). Nearly a quarter of the world's population are Muslims, or people that follow the practices of Islam.

"Islam is currently one of the 'hottest' topics in the public arena in the Netherlands. The debates about Islam in the Netherlands are interwoven with the discussion on integration and acculturation of immigrants, since the majority of the non-Western immigrants in the Netherlands are Muslim. . . Statistics, as presented in this project report,
At Home in Europe show that 13% of the Rotterdam population, or 80,000 persons are Muslim. The largest of these communities are predominantly from Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds (75%) and approximately two-thirds of these groups are Dutch citizens. There are also Surinamese, Pakistani, Bosnian and Indonesian Muslim communities in Rotterdam. Almost 50% of the Muslims in Rotterdam were born in the Netherlands and are second-generation."

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