Liesbeth Homans, of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), a nationalist party represented in the federal government, will begin the process of withdrawing recognition of the Fatih mosque in Beringen, Limburg, the country’s second largest mosque, the Belgian press reported yesterday (6 April).
Une #mosquée de #Beringen nid d’espions ? @LiesbethHomans en serait convaincue ! #islam @de_NVA#Belgique https://www.rtbf.be/info/belgique/detail_espionnage-homans-compte-retirer-la-reconnaissance-d-une-mosquee-a-beringen?id=9573747 …
Une mosquée de Beringen nid d’espions? Liesbeth Homans en serait convaincue
La ministre flamande des Affaires intérieures Liesbeth Homans (N-VA) va entamer la procédure visant à retirer la reconnaissance de la mosquée Fatih à Beringen, dans le Limbourg, la deuxième plus
The mosque is part of the Diyanet network of the Turkish Ministry of Religious Affairs, which has been criticised over allegations of espionage and surveillance. Accordingly, the imam and his team would inform the Turkish government about ongoing debates in the Turkish community in Beringen. Of the town’s 46,000 inhabitants, 7,000 are of Turkish origin, most of them former miners. Turkey would like to locate and identify local Gülen supporters, Het Laatste Nieuws reported.
Liesbeth Homans had already asked Federal Justice Minister Koen Geens last December that the Sûreté, the Belgian counter-espionage agency, to send her the information required for the possible withdrawal of recognition of the mosque. She received it this week.
“From the documents delivered to us, it appears that practices have taken place in Beringen, which go against the conditions applying to the mosques recognised in Flanders,” the minister said.
For his part, the Socialist Party (SP.a) Mayor of Beringen, Maurice Webers, says he does not understand this initiative: “I regularly meet the mosque officials, talk about everything. Bridges are built and should not be destroyed,” he stated.
She also said that the mayor’s objections were “strange”, as there have been rumours of Turkish interference for several months already.
The Muslim Executive of Belgium must now give its position, and the local management of the mosque will have the opportunity to defend itself.
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