Commission head asks Mayor if he plans to close Brussels Great Mosque
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    Commission head asks Mayor if he plans to close Brussels Great Mosque

    © Belga
    © Belga

    The president of the parliamentary commission of inquiry into terrorist attacks, Patrick Dewael (Open Vld) has written to the Mayor of Brussels, Philippe Close, to ask whether he intends closing the Great Mosque of Brussels. In early May, the Coordination Unit for Threat Assessment (OCAM) sent a report to the follow-up commission of the Commission of Inquiry alerting it to the literature available at the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium (CICB), the institution that manages the Great Mosque of the Fiftieth Anniversary. Salafist-inspired books, most of them written between 1980 and 2000, inciting the faithful to join the armed religious war and to persecute homosexuals or describing Jews in an infamous manner were among the works in the centre. These books were reportedly also used as training material to teach many of the people trained at the Great Mosque, mainly imams.

    At a Wednesday meeting of the follow-up commission, many concerned parliamentarians asked what the situation was with regard to ending the convention between Belgium and the World Islamic League, an institution controlled by Saudi Arabia that had mandated the CICB to run the Great Mosque.

    Following the recommendations of the commission of inquiry, the Federal Government had announced that it would end the agreement with one year’s notice.

    “Based on the new municipal legislation, it is up to the mayor of the town on whose territory the institution is established to take steps to close it,” Dewael wrote. “As indicated, OCAM’s report, combined with the final report of our commission can provide a certain number of useful motivational elements, just as the current judicial investigation. May I ask you to inform the follow-up commission if you plan to take such a measure?”

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times