BELGA

Belgium’s Muslim Executive asks for extra security around mosques

The Executive of Belgium Muslims (EMB) and Coordination Council of Muslim Institutions of Belgium (CIB) have issued statements strongly condemning Friday’s attack on a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christ Church. Both organisations add that hatred towards Muslims has been on the increase for years. They believe that it is time for European law-makers to make Islamophobia a specific offence as is already the case for anti-Semitism and racism.  

 

"The perpetrator, who acted with hideous cold bloodiness, appears to have ideological links with like-minded people in Europe and elsewhere. This is why the Belgian state needs to take serious and urgent measures to protect Islamic places of worship and to prevent anything bad happening” the statement reads.  

Belgium’s Muslims also believe that the attacks should be the catalyst for “unprecedented collective action” as “the survival of democracy is at stake”  

EMB and CIB have asked the Belgium’s Muslims to be extremely careful especially near to mosques and Islamic cultural centres.  

Jewish community leaders have expressed their support for Belgium’s Muslims in the form of a letter sent to the chair of the EMB Mehmet Üstün. They condemn the attack that they describe as “barbaric”. Among those that signed the letter was the Chief Rabbi of Brussels Albert Guigui. 

Book of remembrance

A book of remembrance has been opened at Brussels Town Hall. Anyone that wishes to can write a message of support to the relatives of those killed in the Chirstchurch attack.

The Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close (Francophone socialist) has also expressed his sympathies with the victims of the attack.