Expatica news

Mosques receive official recognition

18 June 2007

BRUSSELS – The government of Flanders will officially recognise a total of eight mosques for the first time this autumn. The mosques will then be entitled to receive the same subsidies as other religious institutions. The recognised mosques will be spread over the various provinces and will also be divided among the Arab and Turkish-speaking communities.

Minister for Integration Marino Keulen (Open VLD) has discussed this with the Muslim Executive, the representative organisation for Islam in Belgium. It will also take into account recommendations from the provincial governments, municipal governments and the state security service. Not all the recommendations have yet been submitted.

“In contrast to Wallonia, which is recognising 43 mosques at once, Flanders will recognise about eight mosques a year,” says spokesperson Peter Dejaegher.

Islam has been recognised as one of Belgium’s six religions since 1974. If the mosques are soon recognised, imams will receive a salary from the ministry of justice, as do priests and other spiritual leaders.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Belgian news