Belgium: Islam discriminated, says researcher

Belgium: Islam discriminated, says researcher

Via GvA (Dutch):

"Islam is discriminated in Belgium. It's never recognized in a true multicultural fashion," writes researcher Jonathan Debeer (Policy Research Centre on Equal Opportunities, Antwerp University) in a recently published book. His study also shows that Muslims reject the Muslim Executive.

Debeer sees discrimination of Islam in many fields:

- Islam was recognized already back in 1974, but mosques were only recognized in 2007.

- The newly recognized religious community have to satisfy various formalities that didn't apply in the past (such as submitting annual budgets).

- The Muslim Executive represents the whole of Islam, but all candidates are screened by State Security and many democratically elected persons are rejects. That doesn't happen by other religions.

- The Flemish decree of public worship was written for Catholicism with its hierarchical structure, and hasn't been adapted to Islam.

His research also showed that Muslims themselves are critical of the Muslim Executive. They don't agree on its functions (administrative or also religious?), they think it's inefficient, they think that they delay the recognition of new mosques and imams. Above all, Muslims say that the Executive is not representative. The Turks and Moroccan in the Executive fail to agree on things.

Debeer criticizes the Magits report, which calls for one representative body for every recognized religion. Debeer says this fits the Catholic mold, and that religions should be represented by multiple bodies.