Leuven mosque attacked on New Year’s Eve

The Leuven mosque at the centre of a recognition row last year has been vandalised.  A brick shattered the glass door of the Al-Ihsaan mosque on New Year’s Eve, while graffiti was sprayed on the mosque entrance.

It was former Flemish government minister Liesbeth Homans (Flemish nationalist), who wanted to withdraw the mosque’s recognition last year accusing it of links with Salafism, a fundamentalist version of Islam.  Flemish integration minister Bart Somers (Flemish liberal) recently had to conclude that there was insufficient evidence to withdraw the recognition, but placed the mosque under heightened supervision.

Muslims attending morning prayers discovered the acts of vandalism on New Year’s Day.  A sign directing worshipers to the mosque had also been made illegible. Police are on the case and are eager to establish the identity of the culprits and learn their motives.

A spokesman for the mosque wondered why the attack had to happen now “exactly during a period of important religious holidays when bringing people together was key”.