Belgian army seeks Muslims in new diversity recruitment campaign

Belgian army seeks Muslims in new diversity recruitment campaign
Credit: © Belga

A new recruitment campaign launched by the Belgian military wants to encourage people of diverse backgrounds to join the army's ranks, with a special focus put on drawing in people of the Islamic faith.

Under the title "Can I work in Defence as a Muslim?" the campaign videos show a straightforward exchange between a job candidate and an army officer, as they discuss opportunities for Muslims in the military.

In the video the officer explains that anyone with a Belgian or EEA nationality can work in the military, which is a "neutral organisation," where everybody has the same rights and obligations.[0]=68.ARColsv27XGR5mmFRNt6TbCa3bGJ_mBSV2hRJmU13ARP0ITgHEBjYBmH5EHUiy9eh63dnY51C604dwtmgKHODp_15KzDrHHXn_bu04XVeLgsS7MQJEtmAI5xOzFVTiOPgnXYZnn9NwzMcdqGAhNVnWE6yY1r1btDheJEirSPdzHJUN_u7tHPAptmOhyOAIcY61WsbM5Gfw2YPJYVs4guhP8qylMzCehkkPlp0NBNHgCpOFeNys7z8vvRnFmsvoyMQb6hJ-BoIyuoTym4NivWqEt3qsWGgrDCfGTtAwg9QOpEf0oOXPi4kDNVEA-lYzkxXh_fpHd1y9KQdpPn7urBDEFj1lTbBFJCD3dcdA&__tn__=-R

The army allows Muslim soldiers to "temporarily isolate themselves" in order to observe prayer, so long as it is possible to do so during a mission, the officer says.

The campaign also says that religious representatives, such as Imams working "exclusively for the army" can provide support to Muslim soldiers.

Additional videos of the campaign also list a series of benefits for army staff, such as the reimbursement of transport fees or a special bonus for soldiers who bike into work.

The new campaign follows news that the army is struggling to attract new recruits into its thinning ranks, with additional staffing pressure added by the coming retirement of nearly half of the army's current forces.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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