Turkish vs. Moroccan

Two of the biggest immigrant groups in Holland are the Turks and the Moroccans, so they form the bulk of the Muslim population here. Inshallah I’ll start looking for a mosque to start praying at soon, and one thing I know is that there are Turkish mosques and Moroccan mosques. Coming from Cairo, I find this separation strange. From what I know, there are mosques for Muslims – from anywhere. It’s weird that here you have a Moroccan mosque and a Turkish mosque. Of course that doesn’t mean they only allow Moroccans/Turks in, but I’m sure it’s rare to find a Moroccan in a Turkish mosque.

I guess I should try and find a Moroccan mosque, since the imam would speak Arabic. That’s another thing I need to check – do the imams speak Dutch or Arabic/Turkish? If they do the sermons in Dutch, a lot of older immigrants probably won’t understand it (although if you move to Holland you should definitely learn the language). On the other hand if they do it in Arabic/Turkish, a lot of the younger Muslims won’t understand it, since they’ve grown up speaking and knowing Dutch. So I wonder how they balance that here.

There are also usually cultural centres attached to mosques, which would be very interesting to check out. I wonder if they have classes and language lessons. I’ve been living by myself here in the Hague for 3 days now and I’m already really lonely! I can’t imagine how hard Ramadan is going to be since I’ll be having iftar by myself without my family for the first time ever. I really hope to meet lots of nice Muslims here. I feel like that would motivate me to become a better Muslim and it would also just feel nice to have people who understand why you pray 5 times a day or to break the fast with.

Inshallah I’ll meet people soon.

What about where you guys live? Are mosques separated by nationality? Or are they multi-cultural? What language are the sermons in? Does this mean only certain segments of the Muslims population attend?

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