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Belgium Grants Permits to 10 New Mosques to Fight Extremist Ideology | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Hassani Abdelhadi, the imam of Attadamoun Mosque, attends the Friday prayer at the mosque in the neighbourhood of Molenbeek, in Brussels, Belgium, Picture taken November 20. To match Insight- REUTERS/Youssef Boudlal

Brussels, Cologne – The Ministry of Justice in Belgium confirmed that it is arranging to grant permits for establishing a number of mosques, a measure taken in line with the governmental plan for confronting extremist ideology.

The Muslim Executive of Belgium states that there are 64 Mosques located in Brussels, among which only 14 have been given permits. The unauthorized mosques conduct their services in secret.

The Ministry of Justice stepped in to resolve the present situation by deciding on granting ten new mosque permits for practice.

After the new certification is put in effect, Muslim places for worship in the country would reach 24.

As for Germany, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (a division belonging to the Federal Ministry of the Interior) on Tuesday announced that its department currently monitors over 90 mosques spread across the country. Head of the office Hans-Georg Maassen expressed his deep concerns regarding the increasing number of mosques which require monitoring.

He clarified that concerns are mainly provoked when confronting what he dubbed “backyard mosques”, in reference to societies and unlicensed worship centers which practice their preaching and rites in old abandoned buildings.

On the other hand, Belgian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander De Croo said that the government has, since the end of 2015, and over the past four months, dedicated 500 million Euros for bolstering security. In his statements to the Dutch broadcasting channel VTM, he said that the former government had never come forth with a similar step to prevent security breaches.

The official had been responding to criticism conveyed by the opposition – represented by the Socialistische Partij Anders (a Flemish socialist party in Belgium) – on the government’s failure to allocate funds to bolster security.

Socialist party leader John Crombez, on the event of Labor Day, gave a roasting speech in which he directly suggested that the funds spent on fighter jets could be otherwise invested in the security of local citizens.

Deputy PM De Croo responded to Crombez’s commentary by underscoring the importance of maintaining both internal and foreign security, given that the role performed for homeland security is being attended just as devotedly as the regional role played by the country.