Islam in Post-Modern Europe

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The influx of refugees fleeing war-torn homelands and making their way into Europe is one of the major concerns of European countries. The Economist has recently picked up Belgium to highlight how “Belgium Struggles to Manage its Burgeoning Islamic Scene” (www.economist.com accessed 16 July 2018). The challenge at hand is to prevent radicalism but there are challenges posed by the Muslim factions and the Belgian society.

This is an issue which was highlighted well in advance by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmadaa, Head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat. In various speeches and press conferences, Huzooraa had alerted Europe of what could be coming its way with the huge numbers of prospective refuge-seekers flooding into Europe through both land and sea. Huzooraa had advised European nations to keep their guards up and ensure that all possible measures were in place to deter radical extremists from slipping through. The governments of European countries must have done what they could, but they seem to be at a loss with dealing with the growth of in-house radical extremism.

Experts can suggest what the demographic map of a country looks like, and this much they have done in the case of Belgium: two main divisions: the French-speakers and Dutch-speaking Flemings. But they have also identified new sections emerging on the social map of Belgium, especially highlighting an increase in the Muslim population and their political dispositions within their religious affiliations. The Moroccans and the Turks have been the two major players in the Belgian-Muslim community and new arrivals are having to be part of one of the two.

The Brussels bomb attacks in March 2016 left authorities concerned where this burgeoning Muslim population might be pushing their country to. In this concern – which seems to have turned into an anxiety and obsession – the authorities terminated the arrangements under which the Muslims with Saudi affiliations managed the affairs of Brussels’ Great Mosque. 

The control is reported to have been transferred to Executif de Musulmans en Belgique (Executive of Muslims in Belgium) which was, administratively speaking, a dormant group of Muslims. The reasons of this move came to surface through a leaked intelligence report of anti-Semitic, homophobic and violent extremism literature being present in the mosque. Here, we are not commenting on this report; we aim at seeing what measures could possibly be taken because the Belgian authorities seem to be confused over the issue of harnessing the rising extremist tendencies in Belgian Muslims. Why do we see it as confused? Simply because a couple of days after handing over the administration of the Mosque to a Mr Echallaoui (of Moroccan descent) of EMB, the office was revoked and passed on to M Mehmet Ustun of Turk descent. 

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Previous Mayor of Dilbeek, Priest of Dilbeek and one Councillor of Dilbeek at Dilbeek Jamaat Iftar Program | AMJ Belgium

This hide-and-seek could go on forever but would never solve the problem at hand. A viable and durable solution can only come from a Muslim community with no political interests and no inclination towards extremist tendency. Such a community does exist in Belgium already. 

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, under the auspices of Hazrat Khalifatul Masih Vaa, is working day and night to introduce to the Belgian nation the true face of Islam; a community that has no political motives; a community that condemns all forms of extremism; a community that teaches its adherents to love their country and to be loyal to it, to the extent that they should be ready to sacrifice their life, wealth, time and honour for the country that they live in.

Dr Idrees Ahmad, National President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat in Belgium, told Al Hakam that they have opened the doors of their mosques to be visited by any member of the public and to see for themselves what the Jamaat preaches to its members. He told us how dignitaries, academics, politicians and intellectuals were invited to various events organised by the Jamaat and how this exposure has brought about a very positive change in their perception about Islam. 

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Governor of Limbourg region and mayor of Hasselt in one of our new year reception program | AMJ Belgium

Dr Idrees Ahmad spoke to us about the Peace Walks that were organised by the Belgium Jamaat after the extremist attacks in Brussels and how this has not only attracted media attention but also sent out a positive message of Islam to the Belgian nation.

Word Crisis and the Pathway to Peace, a work of great excellence by Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih Vaa, has now become a textbook on the topic. The Belgian Jamaat has been presenting this book to the prominent members of the Belgian government, but we share here a link for it to be accessed online by not only Belgian authorities, but any person who wishes to play a role in the establishment of global peace and doesn’t know where to start. This is where to start:

www.alislam.org/pathway

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