Belgium bans the Imam of the Grand Mosque in Brussels

Belgium has banned Mouhameth Galaye Ndiaye, Iman of the Grand Mosque in Brussels, considered “very conservative and dangerous for national security”, announced today the Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Theo Francken .

“There is a problem with the Great Mosque in Brussels, everyone knows. I took the decision to withdraw the right of residence card from the imam of this mosque,” Bel-RTL told the secretary from the N-VA (Flemish nationalists).

The decision is part of the “fight against Salafism”, which Theo Francken presented as “a priority for the government” led by liberal Francophone Charles Michel.

“We really had very clear signals that he is a very radical Salafist, very conservative and dangerous man for our society and our national security,” added Mr. Francken about the imam targeted.

Abdelhadi Sewif, of Egyptian origin,opposed the decision taken in March 2017 not to renew his residence permit.  The Grand Mosque of Brussels, located in the Parc du Cinquantenaire near the European institutions, is a high place of Islam in Belgium, financed by Saudi Arabia. In the aftermath of the Brussels jihadist attacks, which killed 32 people on 22 March 2016, Mouhameth Galaye Ndiaye preached has been criticized, sometimes even described as a breeding ground for Belgian jihadism, which the authorities have always defended .

In the spring, Mouhameth Galaye Ndiaye and Jamel Saleh Momenah, then director of the Islamic and Cultural Center of Belgium who manages the premises, had been auditioned by the parliamentary inquiry commission set up after the attacks. These hearings were held in a tense climate. “Mr. Momenah did not wish to testify and the prosecution had to demand his arrival,” said Thomas Vanwing, the spokesman of the president of the commission Patrick Dewael according to the AFP.