Flanders: State Security Service prevents recognition of two mosques

Twee of the eight mosques nominated by the Belgian Muslim Executive for recognition, were not recognized after negative advice was received from the State Security Service. This information was provided by Flemish Minister of Integration and Internal Affairs in answer to a question posed by Vlaams Belang representative Wim Van Dijck.

In December minister Keulen recognized the first six mosques in Flanders. Starting this year they will get subsidies and their imams will be paid by the state.

the Muslim Executive, the representative body of Muslims in Belgium, had nominated eight Islamic communities. A mosque can be recognized after advice from the province and municipality administration and from the Minister of Justice. In December it was said that the procedure of the two mosques was still ongoing.

"The reason why State Security didn't provide favorable advice for the two mosques is unknown to me. The State Security Service didn't give any commentary."

The two mosque communities are Arabic-speaking.

The minster wants to recognize 30 mosques by the end of his term.

Minister Keulen also said in his answer that the Muslim Executive had notified him that the system of 'rotating' imams will not be practiced in the recognized mosques any more. The imam is therefore linked to the mosque, similarly to the case by Catholic priests and their church. The minister also said that an imam who works in a government recognized and subsidized mosque will indeed not be exempt from the integration course requirement.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Wallonia: 10% of mosque recognition requests denied, West Flanders: Advice against recognizing Muslim community

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