Antwerp mosque should lose official recognition, says Flemish Minister
Share article:
Share article:

Antwerp mosque should lose official recognition, says Flemish Minister

Opened in 2007, the Noor-ul-Haram mosque of the Pakistani-Indian Antwerp Islamic Association has been dealing with internal disagreements since 2016. Credit: Noor-ul-Haram Antwerp/ Facebook.

The Flemish Minister for Integration and Interior, Bart Somers (Open Vld), wants to withdraw official recognition of the Noor-ul-Haram mosque in Antwerp because of internal disagreements that have been going on there for over three years.

Somers wants to pull the mosque’s official status because internal disagreements are “jeopardising the mosque’s functioning,” the minister said, adding that the problems that have arisen with the mosque have nothing to do with extremism.

Opened in 2007, the Noor-ul-Haram mosque of the Pakistani-Indian Antwerp Islamic Association has been dealing with internal disagreements since 2016 when the board of the non-profit organization stopped allowing the imam to enter prayer rooms and instead appointed a new, not officially recognised, imam.

“Social relevance of a religious community is one of the conditions for maintaining [official] recognition,” Somers explained, adding that “sustainable anchoring within the municipality is difficult if a conflict drags on for years.”

“Moreover, it is not acceptable to us that essential administrative and decree provisions are not complied with and that the recognised imam has simply been replaced by a new imam that is not recognised,” Somers explained.

Following an investigation, the Integration and Interior section of the Flemish government has advised that the process of withdrawing the mosque’s official status be initiated, De Standaard explains.

If official recognition of the mosque is withdrawn, there will be financial repercussions for the Noor-ul-Haram mosque, as only recognised mosques receive subsidies from the Flemish government.

Evie McCullough
The Brussels Times

Latest news

More politicians than ordinary citizens at the Conference on the Future of Europe
The second Plenary of the Conference took place on Saturday in the European Parliament in Strasbourg and discussed the contributions from the ...
Belgium’s Consultative Committee to meet on Tuesday
The next meeting of Belgium's Consultative Committee, scheduled for Friday, has been brought forward to Tuesday at 4:30 PM, according to local media ...
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Unilever are world’s biggest plastic polluters
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Unilever were found to be the world's biggest polluters of plastic in a report published by Branded on Monday. Over 11,000 ...
Four men charged with illegally buying thousands of live ducks to hunt on private land
Four Belgian men will appear in court on Monday facing charges related to the purchase of thousands of ducks, which were then released into a private ...
More wolf attacks: 15 deer killed at family resort over the weekend
Fifteen deer were killed by wolves in the Belgian province of Limburg this weekend, between Saturday night and Sunday morning. The deer were ...
Cost of breast cancer still too high for many patients
Breast cancer still carries too high a cost for patients when one in nine women in Belgium will face the disease before reaching 75, according to a ...
Gare Maritime: Brussels’ most exciting new architectural project
A generation ago, the Gare Maritime in the Tour & Taxis industrial site was an abandoned wasteland. It is now a model for urban renewal and ...
Belgium in Brief: Rules For A Fourth Wave
It's the news that nobody wants to hear, but here we go again. Belgium’s council of ministers will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss ...
Belgian grandparents to walk across Scotland for COP26
A group of Belgian grandparents has set off on a 100 km hike that will take them from Belgium to the Scottish city of Glasgow, just ahead of the ...
Rise in fuel prices will bring Belgian State €547 million in tax, say Workers Party
The sharp rise in fuel prices that have been felt across the continent will bring an additional €547 million to the Belgian State, the Workers' Party ...
Amid backlash, Brussels police chief promises to do better for sexual assault victims
After multiple rallies against sexual violence took place in Brussels last week, with victims offering testimony of poor treatment from police when ...
Person hit by train in Brussels
A person was hit by a train in the tunnel between Brussels North and Brussels Central at around 10:20 AM on Monday, railway network manager Infrabel ...