Saudis' Grand Mosque concession revoked

The Federal Government has revoked the Saudi-Arabia’s concession to run the Grand Mosque in Brussels. In future the mosque in the city’s Jubelpark will be run by a not-for-profit organisation made up of representatives of local Muslims and of the Muslim Executive.

The Grand Mosque has been in the news regularly over the past few years. In the 1960’s the late King Boudewijn gave the concession to run it Saudi Arabia for 99 years.

However, the Parliamentary Investigative Commission into the attacks at Zaventem Airport and the Maalbeek metro station two years ago came to the conclusion that a Wahhabist-Salafist form of Islam was being practised at the mosque and that this could lead to radicalisation.

The Commission recommended revoking the concession, which has now happened?

The Interior Minister Jan Jambon (Flemish nationalist) says that the concession can be revoked without incurring costs. The new arrangement is intended to ensure that Salafist influences are banished from the mosque.