Justice minister orders intelligence service to investigate Muslim executive

Belgian justice minister Vincent Van Quickenborne (Flemish liberal) is seeking an intelligence service audit of Belgium’s Muslim executive.  The executive represents Belgium’s Muslims and is the government’s main interlocutor in decisions affecting the Muslim community.  Mr Van Quickenborne says that continuing with the same executive leadership is a non-starter.

The justice minister has asked Belgium’s intelligence service to carry out a full investigation of the Muslim executive.  He has also declared the body in breach of agreements.

Controversy has surrounded the Muslim executive for months now.  Mr Van Quickenborne has criticised the executive leadership in the past and now says that continuing with the same people in the job has resulted in an untenable situation.

“It’s hard to work with them.  I’ve noticed a lack of professionalism, a lack of transparency.  All forms of reform are resisted”.

The justice minister urged the executive to employ a commission of renewal, but hasn’t noticed anything of this in practice. He is now taking legal steps and is declaring the executive in breach of agreements.   It’s the second time this happens.

Mr Van Quickenborne wants the Belgian intelligence service to investigate foreign interference in the Muslim executive. 

“There are Belgian and international reports showing that organisations like the Diyanet of Belgium and the Rassemblement des Musulmans de Belgique are vehicles that foreign governments use to keep the Muslim community in check”.

The Diyanet of Belgium is an umbrella organisation grouping Muslims of Turkish heritage.  The Rassemblement is the body that offers guidance to the dozens of imams that Morocco sends to Belgium during the Ramadan each year.  Both organisations have been criticised in the past due to their closeness to the Turkish and Moroccan governments.

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