Every time the adhan, or Muslim call to prayer is raised in Molenbeek, the call echoes another twenty times. This is because the district is home to 21 mosques, earning the district the reputation of being the Islamic center of Brussels.
In the heart of Molenbeek is the Al-Khalil mosque, which is the largest in mosque in Belgium, and accommodates about one thousand worshippers every Friday for prayers, and also serves as a cultural and social center for the local Muslim community. The number and diversity of the mosques in Molenbeek points to the greater diversity and tolerance in Belgian society, says Abdel-Karim Al-Kebdani, the director of the Al-Khalil mosque.
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Brussels -In Molenbeek, students can enroll at the Avicenna Islamic school. The private school is not recognized and receives no subsidies. In order to obtain a certificate, the students have to take an examination before the examining board. Respect and discipline. Those are two values which the Avicenna school imparts. The posters of the French-speaking school hang at windows of the building beside the Al-Khalil mosque in Molenbeek. If all goes well, it will begin as early as September with the first and second years of secondary education. The news that there would be an Islamic school had been circulating for a while. Yesterday, the school’s organizers could not be reached. Avicenna is to be -in theory at least -a school for girls and boys, for Muslims and non-Muslims. […]