Antwerp: Mosques propose stewards against football riots

Antwerp: Mosques propose stewards against football riots

Via De Standaard (Dutch):

Representatives of the 43 mosques of the Antwerp Mosque Consultative Body condemned the recent riots in Borgerhout after football matches. They say they're reaching out to the city council in order to better guide Moroccan youth and their parents. Mayor Patrick Janssens (sp.a) applauds the initiative.

Furthermore, Nordine Taouil, chairman of the Muslim council, proposes that in the future they will provide stewards that could intervene and mediate when there are problems with the police.

Taouil, himself an imam, says that concrete proposals were recently made to the city council on how to prevent riots such as the one of June 4, after the Morocco-Algeria match. The mosques want to have lectures and meetings, led by specialists, to teach the parents how to better control their children.

For events that might get out of hand, such as football matches, Taouil wants specially trained stewards from his own community. "Because the youth often respond all the more aggressively if the police acts roughly," says Taouil. "Although we will also make it clear to the youth that their opinion of the police must change."

Janssens is happy with the mosques' initiative. "We will sit together ASAP and see what we can undertake."

Taouil doesn't want to lay the responsibility for the riots fully on the youth and their parents. "It's a collective responsibility, since the youth have no outlets, no recreation spaces as an alternative. And the owners of the shisha bars naturally think only of their business and now of their educational function."

Filip Dewinter (Vlaams Belang) wants of an attempt by the imam to make Borgerhout into 'a Muslim enclave'. "It's once again proven that Muslim fundamentalists incite the youth with the ultimate aim to make Borgerhout into a Muslim enclave when they represent authority and not the authorities."