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?