Brussels mayor Philippe Close has said he does not have a say in whether the Grand Mosque will be closed or not. Patrick Dewael (Open Vld), the President of the Commission investigating the attacks, has asked Mr Close whether he planned to close the Mosque. “The Grand Mosque in Brussels is in a federal building, so it is in their hands”, a spokesman for Brussels mayor Philippe Close said on Friday. He explained he had asked the federal government for their opinion on the 17th of May but had not yet heard nothing back.
At a Communal Council meeting on the 14th of May, Philippe Close said he wanted “clear action against displays of intolerance”. He said he would back the federal government’s decision, as they own the building.
The President of the Parliamentary Commission investigating the terrorist attacks, Patrick Dewael (Open Vld), wrote to Mr Close to ask him whether he planned to close the Mosque or not.
The request comes after OCAM handed the Commission a report detailing concerns about the literature available at the Brussels Islamic and Cultural Centre. The Centre manages the Grand Mosque in Cinquantenaire.
Salafist inspired books incite Muslims to perform jihad and persecute homosexuals. They also lambast Jews.
“We have requested a copy of the report and asked Prime Minister Charles Michel about closing the Mosque. We haven’t had a response yet”, Philippe Close’s spokesman said on Friday.
Brussels “wants a response and is open to discussion, concertation and opinions. If the federal government wants to close it, the mayor won’t stop them”.
As the federal government will have to take over the case and ensure the Grand Mosque is not a threat, the mayor himself will not make the decision on whether to close it. However, a communal decree would be necessary.