Montasser AlDe’emeh has closed his De Wag Naar centre. He had been helping young radicalised Muslims since early 2015. He also helped their families and those who left to fight in Syria and returned to Belgium. He confirmed this to Knack.be on Sunday. “The ball is in the authority’s court. I can’t carry on doing this alone”, he explained. He is an expert in jihadism, fighters back from Syria, and the radicalisation process.
Montasser AlDe’emeh opened his first centre in Malines in 2015, which was operational until the end of that year. After the Paris attacks, he opened a second centre in Molenbeek, which he financed himself with no subsidies from authorities. Such support “would have undermined my credibility with a certain group of radical Muslims. I also don’t believe in the government’s programs on this subject, and don’t want to associate myself with them”, he told Knack.
But, disappointed with the response from the political powers, Montasser AlDe’emeh ended his commitment to De Weg Naar on Sunday. He feels he has not been heard by the political deciders. Mr Alde’emeh has also had to deal with threats from radical Islamist groups, and has recently received death threats.
He said it is now up to authorities to deal with the radicalisation problem. “Today is May 1st, nearly a month and a half after the attacks in Brussels and Zaventem; I don’t feel real efforts are being made to fight the root causes of fundamentalism”, he said.