Imams paid by authorities must also speak Belgium’s languages, says the Justice Minister Koen Geens. He talked with the Muslim Executive Council about introducing a language clause, De Standaard said on Monday. An imam, like any other representative of a recognised religion, is paid by authorities. “A language clause must be introduced”, explains the Minister. An imam must speak French in the French community, and Flemish in Flanders. “The diverse reactions from Muslim authorities have shown me they are open to debate”.
There is, however, no question of imposing a language. The Constitution guarantees religious freedom and freedom to associate. Authorities cannot intervene in religious matters.