The Flemish Minister for Home Affairs, Liesbeth Homans, announced yesterday (Sunday) that she wished to strengthen the criteria for recognising local religious communities. Examples would be mosques and in all such cases she is calling for a “clear financial plan.”
Invited to talk on the independent television channel, VTM, she also confirmed that each religious community should clearly state that Belgian law always “takes precedence over Sharia law.”
Homans (of the New Flemish Alliance) has exercised her powers in this regard by formally applying to the federal government for recognition of 43 mosques.
She stated having sent 43 files to the Federal Minister for Justice, Koen Geens (Flemish Christian Democrats), for his opinion. The latter returned a positive view in respect of recognising 20 mosques.
Homans stressed, “This is only an A4 sheet of paper.”
She added that she would no longer recognise further mosques without an in-depth report by State Security, on a case-by-case basis. The Minister said, “I have no wish to compromise security in the current climate.”
She explained that she wished to reinforce criteria for recognition through two concrete measures. These are that each religious community sets out a clear financial plan, detailing the funding mechanisms and signs a document confirming adhesion to the European Convention of Human Rights.
Homans concluded, “Our laws rank above Sharia law – that must made be clear.”
The Brussels Times