Brussels: Minister launches center for Islamic culture in Flanders

Flemish minister of culture Bert Anciaux introduced his Expertise Center for Islamic Culture in Flanders (Expertisecentrum voor Islamitische Culturen in Vlaanderen, ECICV) in Brussels Thursday.  Both government and the people can go there for information about Muslim culture in Flanders.

"From a study that I had conducted through Ghent University it appears that the demand for knowledge about Islam is big," according ot Bert Anciaux. "Our principal sources of information is after all not contact with Muslims, but the media, that all too often present a distorted picture."

The minister says that the people, the media and those in the middle like schools have a great need for objective information about Muslim culture.  "It contains after all more than religion alone," according to Anciaux.  "It is also a culture and a civilization."

Already in 2008 the minister set 140,000 euro for the foundation of the Expertise Center.  Starting 2009 it will get an annual subsidy of 200,000 euro.  That amount will enable the center to collect and distribute information about Muslim culture.

Abdelhay Ben Abdellah, head of the center, explains they will stock information on their own, but also make an inventory of what exists in Flanders.  "Additionally we want to give the initiative for academic study of Islam culture in Flanders.  In this way we will bridge between the academic world and the public."

The expertise center will open within several weeks on Gallaitstraat in Schaarbeek(Brussels suburb) and is open for everybody.  The building will also be used for debated and seminars about Muslim culture in Flanders.

Source: Knack (Dutch)


Anonymous said...

Abdelhay Ben Abdellah happens "by accident" to be of the same political party as the minister (Vl.Pro or ex-Spirit). So it is a clever way to first establish an organisation and his boss and later provide them subsidies without that the nomination gets scrutinized. A real case study os stealing state money for ones own objectives

Iftikhar Ahmad said...
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