Belgium grants official recognition to 43 mosques

After several years of largely neglecting its Muslim community’s financial needs, Belgium has taken a tangible step toward Muslims by officially recognizing 43 mosques in the country. The decision paves the way for the mosque officials to be provided a monthly wage and housing by the state from now on. Belgium’s Muslim community remained deprived of several financial privileges, although Islam was officially recognized as one of the religions in the country in 1974, along with six other religions. Interior Minister of the Valon region Philippe Courard received a delegation from the Belgian Muslim Executive (EMB), the institution that officially represents the country’s more than 500,000 Muslims. Courard signed a governmental decree that will officially recognize 43 mosques, 26 of them belonging to the Turkish community.