The Belgian government cuts food to the governing body of the Muslim faith

Not independent enough, too undemocratic and transparent, subject to foreign interference… In short, “a sum of failures” and D’“inexperience”. The Belgian Minister of Justice, in charge of the cult, Vincent Van Quickenborne, a Flemish liberal, had for several months made an uncompromising statement to the Executive of the Muslims of Belgium (EMB), a body that, at the time of its official recognition, appeared as model in Europe in the mid-1990s. The ax fell in mid-September: the minister deprived this body, which is the official interlocutor of the authorities and is responsible for the temporary management of this cult, its official recognition and its subsidy (was 639,000 euros in 2021).

Reduced to “current affairs” for weeks, immersed in a legal vacuum, the OGE is experiencing an existential crisis and the minister’s call to the Muslim community, which has some 400,000 members, to organize itself to create one more tool that favors a better integration. . The Executive denounces, for its part, “a manifestly unconstitutional and unacceptable action” of the minister

The Muslim cult was formalized in 1974 in Belgium, which in particular authorized it to benefit from public funds, as did the Catholic, Orthodox, Jewish, Protestant and Anglican cults, as well as the Secular Action movement. The Constitution required the government to recognize a representative body of the Muslim community. The mission of this body: to appoint imams paid by the Ministry of Justice and teachers of Islamic religion – “religious and philosophical” courses are in the program of primary and secondary schools -, examine the files for the recognition of mosques and, then, exercise guardianship over them, etc. “It is the principle of separation of the Church (or Churches) and the State that allows religions to acquire with total independence an organ of their choice”explains Caroline Sägesser, member of the Center for Sociopolitical Research and Information.

After twenty years of delay on the part of both parties, in 1994 a first executive with a general assembly was recognized and it was constituted in 1998. Organization of elections by universal suffrage and control by the intelligence services to avoid a radical drift.

Persistence of a “foreign influence”

You have 56.38% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *