Dutch mosques are beginning to
phase out Arabic-only sermons. Research at Utrecht University has shown
that Surinamese Muslims are leading in this respect.
Researcher Nico Landman told the ANP agency that such a development
is logical, seeing that Dutch is the language that the Surinamese
commonly speak in the Netherlands. There are approximately 20 Surinamese
mosques in the Netherlands.
In the Moroccan-Dutch community preaching in Dutch is growing,
according to Amsterdam imam Yassin Elforkani. He pointed to the Ulu
mosque in Utrecht and the Blue mosque in Amsterdam as two prominent
examples. The rise of Dutch can be explained by the desire to reach
young Dutch Muslims, most of whom do not speak Arabic, Elforkani said.
Dutch-Moroccan youths also prefer Dutch when communicating on Facebook
and other social media.
The majority of the approximately 200 Moroccan-Dutch mosques,
however, stick to Arabic for their sermons, although they are usually
followed by a summary in Dutch.
Researcher Landman pointed out that the picture is different in the
Turkish community, where Turkish is still the dominant language, both in
mosques and outside.
The Roman Catholic church gave up Latin-only masses after 1964,
following a papal decree which allowed the use of vernacular languages.
In protestant churches, Dutch has been used since they were founded in
the 16th century.
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