BRUSSELS (Brussels Morning) – Minister of Justice Vincent Van Quickenborne (Open VLD) is not impressed by the renewal project of the Executive of the Muslims of Belgium. This became apparent on Wednesday from his answer to a question from N-VA MP Koen Metsu in the Justice Committee. “I see little of the hoped-for renewal and professionalisation and regret that the Muslim community has been kept on a leash for months by its so-called representative body.”
The Muslim Executive, the official representation of the Islamic religion in the country, came up with a renewal project at the end of January, based on the recommendations in the internal evaluation report of June 2020, which indicated that the organisation has been experiencing structural problems. The executive wants, among other things, to become financially independent from the government and also plans an election of future members of the bodies of Islamic religion.
Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne has so far been unable to comment on the plans, but last Friday received a letter from the Muslim Executive containing the reorganisation model. “I wanted to give the announced renewal at every chance, but there are quite a few missed opportunities,” the House Judiciary Committee said on Wednesday.
The minister believes, among other things, that there is still far too little room for female members in the Muslim Executive. It imposes a minimum quota of two women per region – Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels – but that is only a recommendation. “In the best case scenario, there are six women out of a total of fifty members. That is not progress,” said Van Quickenborne.
Van Quickenborne also has questions about financing. The mosques are said to fund themselves, but the Muslim Executive also cites “other sources of funding,” he said. “Will it be the Belgian mosques that contribute?”, it sounded.
At the end of last year, the minister already blocked an operating subsidy of 600,000 euros for the Muslim executive. That decision was motivated, among other things, by the lasting influence from Morocco and Turkey on the organ.