Ex-Muslim Under Protection After Attacks
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS (BosNewsLife)-- The chairman of the Netherlands-based Central Committee for Ex-Muslims confirmed late Monday, August 6, that he has been put under special police protection after being attacked over the weekend.
Ehsan Jami, 22, who is also city councillor of the left-leaning Dutch Labor Party (PvdA) in the municipality of Leidschendam-Voorburg , said he was beaten up Saturday, August 4, by three men while leaving a supermarket.
Both Jami and a female companion were reportedly injured in the attack in Voorburg, which was carried out by two Moroccans and a man from Somalia , Dutch media said.
It was the third time that Jami was attacked, prompting the Dutch National Coordinator Terrorism Suppression to intervene, Dutch television reported. "Yes I can confirm that I have protection and feel myself more safe," he told the Dutch television news show NOVA.
"This is the third time [I was attacked] and better late than never. I can not say where I am now," he told NOVA by telephone. The case underscored concerns about perceived growing influence of Muslim militants targeting ex-Muslims and Christian converts in the Netherlands .
However, the " Netherlands is a democratic country and it should be normal to have an open discussion here and freedom of religion," said the Iranian born Jami, who himself abandoned Islam. "We continue the good fight and I want to express that there should be religious freedom," he added.
Dutch officials have linked the attacks to the student's involvement in the Central Committee for Ex-Muslims which he founded in May and his remarks about Islam in media.
He recently told Dutch news paper Trouw he was convinced that "if Prophet Muhammad would live today you could compare him with Osama bin Laden or [former Iraqi leader] Saddam Hussein." Jami described the prophet as "a terrible man, someone who speaks beautiful words, but who behind your back, uses a knife to stab you."
Jami's protection comes at a time when the Netherlands remains on edge following several high profile cases including the murder of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch film director who was killed by Islamist Mohammed Bouyeri in 2004.
That murder was linked to Van Gogh's involvement in the controversial film 'Submission' about alleged human rights violations of women under Islam.
Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script for the film, was put under police protection and later moved to the United States where Time magazine described her as one
of the "100 most influential people" in the world.