Dutch Education Minister Jet Bussemaker announced that there is a parliamentary debate over the Islamic University of Rotterdam for cancellation of the “university status” of the institution due to Rector Ahmet Akgündüz’s repeatedly hateful and discriminatory remarks against Turkey’s minorities and the Gülen movement.

According to the amendment that Bussemaker is working on, the government will intervene if an educational institution does not perform its task of “promoting social responsibility.”

The Islamic University of Rotterdam announced earlier this week that it will no longer cooperate with education ministry watchdog NAVO’s investigation into the quality of the institution. NAVO launched another investigation into the institution because of Akgündüz’s remarks.

Bussemaker criticized Akgündüz’s remarks, saying the actions of the rector are in conflict with Dutch values and norms. “A rector does have a lot of academic freedom as figurehead of an institution, but it goes with great responsibility,” she said.

Prior to Turkey’s June 2015 general elections, Akgündüz called on potential voters to the pro-Kurdish HDP: “Think over that by voting for HDP, you would be supporting gays, Armenians, those willing to destroy religious values, racists, terrorists, and media outlets opposing Turkey in the US and the EU.”

 

This article originally appeared in Turkish Minute on September 18.