Foreign imams to be flown-in as Ramadan backup

Foreign imams to be flown-in as Ramadan backup

Belgium's Muslim authority has renewed an invitation to foreign imams to observe prayer during the month of Ramadan, due to a lack of sufficient preachers in the country.

A temporary months-long Belgian visa will be delivered to 81 Moroccan imams, 49 of which are reportedly dispatched by the Moroccan Ministry of Religious Affairs, according to Dutch-language newspaper De Morgen.

The imams will be charged with leading prayer in Mosques across Belgium during the month of Ramadan, which started on May 6.

Although it is not the first time the Muslim Executive of Belgium resorts to flying-in foreign imams due to a lack of Belgian-born preachers, some Islamic leaders have expressed concern over the matter.

"They don't know our society at all and don't speak the language," Antwerp-based imam Nordine Taouil told De Morgen, adding this poses a problem, as the religious leaders are "not trained to give the right answers" to Belgium's Muslims during this significant period.

With an estimated 300 imams and just under 400 mosques, Islam is the second largest faith in Belgium by the numbers, behind Christianity.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times

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