Dutch Mosques Attacked After Filmmaker Killing

Several Dutch mosques were attacked by arsonists this weekend as tension in the Netherlands grew after the murder of an outspoken filmmaker by a suspected Islamist extremist, the ANP news agency reported on Sunday.

Mosques in the city of Rotterdam and the towns of Breda and Huizen were attacked, although not badly damaged, while pamphlets insulting to Islam were plastered on another mosque in Rotterdam, ANP said.

In Amsterdam, where film director Theo van Gogh was stabbed and shot on Tuesday, a center for immigrants was daubed with red paint. A Dutch-Moroccan man, suspected of being an Islamic extremist, was charged with Van Gogh's murder on Friday.

In the town of Huizen near Amsterdam, ANP said police had detained three people suspected of trying to start a fire at a mosque early on Saturday. Police said they were caught in the act by members of the mosque.

In the southern town of Breda, unknown suspects lit a fire at a mosque in the early hours of Sunday, but the fire had already been extinguished by the time police arrived, ANP said.

Police detained a 24-year-old man on suspicion of setting a fire at a mosque in Rotterdam on Sunday morning. Only the door was damaged. Insulting pamphlets with pictures of pigs heads were plastered on another mosque in Rotterdam.

Early on Friday, several fires broke out at a new mosque belonging to a Moroccan religious association in the central town of Utrecht. Police said they were investigating arson.

Far-right protesters have marched in Amsterdam and Rotterdam to express their anger at Van Gogh's killing, while the government has urged calm amid fears of retaliation in a country where hostility toward foreigners is on the rise.

The Netherlands is home to almost a million Muslims or almost 6 percent of its population of 16 million. The majority of Muslims are from Turkey and Morocco.

A poll by RTL Nieuws showed 47 percent said they felt less tolerant of Muslims since the killing of Van Gogh, while another survey showed support for a populist who wants to stop immigration from Turkey and Morocco rising to 12 percent.