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New imams should be educated in Belgium, says commission

14:34 19/10/2017

The parliamentary commission investigating the incidents leading up to the terrorist attacks of 2016 at Brussels Airport and Maalbeek metro station has submitted its final report, which is focused on radicalisation.

The report, which is due to be discussed in parliament in detail next week, states that once a young Muslim is radicalised it is extremely difficult to go through a deradicalisation process. It is therefore more important, the report says, to focus on radicalisation prevention efforts.

Among the commission’s suggestions for prevention – much of which is carried out under the leadership of the regions and municipalities – is to increase the presence of neighbourhood police officers, train social workers to recognise signs of radicalisation and improved the education of teachers of religion in primary and secondary schools.

The commission also recommends that regulations be passed requiring new imams to have been educated in Belgium and to speak  both French and Dutch. The goal would be to prevent imams from travelling to Belgium from other countries to run mosques, thereby risking the spread of Salafism.

Written by Lisa Bradshaw