The Muslim Executive, the body that represents Belgium’s Muslim community to the public authorities, is to take on 18 women in religion-related roles for the first time.
The Executive will take on nine theological experts and nine preachers, who will work in the officially recognised mosques in Belgium, who will be paid for by the federal government.
The Muslim Executive, as well as being the recognised point of contact between the government and Belgium’s Muslims, also organises Muslim education and the presentation and training of imams, and is the body through which local mosques seek official recognition.
The 18 vacancies will be split evenly between the three regions of Belgium – three theologians and three preachers each for Flanders, Brussels and Wallonia. At present, the number of recognised mosques in the regions stands at 28, 39 and 17 respectively.
The Executive – official title the Executive of the Muslims of Belgium (EMB) – has also been given the clearance to employ four advisers nationwide. The salaries of all 22 new posts – worth a total of 780,000 euros a year – will be paid by the federal justice ministry, which has the responsibility for all religions.