Mehmet Üstün

State intelligence links Muslim executive president with extremism

A Belgian intelligence service report seen by VRT states that the mosque in Heusden-Zolder (Limburg) led by Mehmet Üstün plays an important role in the dissemination of extremist ideas in the most easterly of Flemish provinces.  Mehmet Üstün is the president of Belgium’s Muslim executive, the body that represents Belgium’s Muslims in talks with the government. Mr Üstün has rejected the accusations as “false and unfounded”.

The intelligence report contains the findings of the annual evaluation of Belgium’s mosques that enjoy official recognition.  The Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Heusden-Zolder is also included. Several members of the Üstün Family including Sefa Üstün and his uncle Mehmet are in charge of this mosque.

The report states that the Sultan Ahmet Mosque plays an important role in the dissemination of extremism in Limburg.  Mehmet Üstün, the president of the Muslim executive, is mentioned by name. At issue is the co-operation the mosque has embarked upon with other organisations including the IIC or Islamic Information Centre.  State intelligence says the mosque allows the IIC to use its premises and also organises activities with its youth wing. It accuses the IIC of disseminating extremism among young people in Heusden-Zolder and the wider area.

Mr Üstün has taken to social media to reject the allegations.  “All accusations are false and unfounded” he writes on Facebook.  “Clearly there is confusion with an association that has nothing to do with the mosque or its representatives.”

“I can only assume this is an instance of intentional manipulation of information aimed at damaging the reputation of myself and my community.”

Mr Üstün adds that this report confirms some people in Belgium wish to diabolise some Muslims by attacking representatives of Islamic bodies in an unfair way.

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