False start for Moslem Executive at Brussels Grand Mosque

Questions are being raised about the goings on at the Grand Mosque in Brussels.  The imam who preached in the mosque last Friday spoke not a word of Dutch or French and has been accused of having close ties with Saudi Arabia.

The Grand Mosque in Brussels recently came under new management.  Belgium's Moslem Executive has taken over from the Islamic and Cultural Centre of Belgium whose contract was ended exactly because of too close ties with Saudi Arabia.  The Moslem Executive that is the government's official interlocutor for matters of Moslem faith stands accused of making a false start at the Grand Mosque. 

Antwerp imam Nordine Taouil claims that the imam who preached last Friday is even paid for by Saudi Arabia.

But Belgian justice minister Koen Geens (Flemish Christian democrat) seems keen to brush any beginner's mistakes under the carpet: "The Moslem Executive appointed four imams for Friday prayer.  Last Friday somebody who does not speak Dutch or French took the prayer, but it was simultaneously translated into Dutch and French.  It won't happen again.  It's a beginner's mistake in a period of transition."