Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said in an interview to Sud Presse that the recognition of the Muslim faith in Belgium needs to be linked to certain conditions, such as the surveillance of imams. Reynders wants to better control the training of imams and their teachings in mosques in order to prevent radicalisation. State financial aid towards the faith needs to be met with state scrutiny and influence upon the organisation of the faith, according to him. He wants to collaborate with Muslim communities in his efforts to clamp down on the radicalisation of Muslims in the country.
The executive of the group Muslims in Belgium, Semsettin Ugurlu, stated that ‘10% of the population of Belgium are Muslims and thus citizens with a right to practice their cult (…) the subsidies must not be used as a means to pressure” the community.
In a follow up to the story, Ugurlu proposed an imam school in Belgium in order to avoid recruiting imams taught elsewhere than in Belgium.