Watching a tense story unfold in the Netherlands

This is one of those tense stories that doesn't require commentary. The question is whether this report from Expatica in the Netherlands will draw much attention from mainstream media and human-rights groups on this side of the Atlantic.

Let's just start at the beginning, with an early public call for the closing of a powerful mosque. The Dutch Parliament has been debating the activities and the future of the El Tawheed mosque.

Why would leaders in such a live-and-let-live culture do such a thing?

MPs want Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk to explain what they intend to do about the book "De weg van de moslim."

The publication -- translated as "The Way of the Muslim" in English -- is said to advocate violence against women and killing gay people. Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book allegedly suggests.

This episode follows an earlier controversy about a book entitled "Fatwas of Muslim Women," which critics say teaches that women who do not tell the truth should recieve 100 blows and that the "husband's duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the home without his permission." It also calls for Muslim girls to be circumcised.

Some Dutch politicians want "The Way of the Muslim" banned, if the accusations about its contents are true. Adding to the tensions, a cameraman was assaulted at the mosque when journalists tried to buy the book. The Expatica report noted that a "female reporter managed to buy the book, albeit while accompanied by police protection."

The key question: Will Islamic religious leaders openly reject the book's contents?

The debate continues and there is little or no sign of coverage in U.S. media, other than a few web sites -- such as In an update from Expatica, officials at the mosque say they are the victims of negative stereotypes.

Officials at the mosque pointed out the book is available from many outlets in the Netherlands. ... The mosque denied its clerics preached hate and instead spread a message of peace and forbade oppression.

"El Tawheed therefore does not call for extremism, violence or violation of Dutch law," it said.

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