Turkish media is reporting that Belgium is preparing to ban foreign funding of mosques, including Turkey paying imams’ salaries. According to the BBC Turkish report:
October 8, 2021: In the Flemish part of Belgium, the government is preparing for a new regulation to end Ankara’s involvement with Diyanet mosques. The Flemish government, which will limit financial resources or aid from abroad to mosques in Belgium, will also prevent imams from being paid by Turkey. With the new regulation, a 4‑year waiting period will be introduced for the license of places of worship, and the licenses of mosques belonging to the community that encourage discrimination, hatred or violence in the society will be revoked. The Turkish government is concerned about the new regulation in Belgium. In a statement made by the Turkish Embassy in Brussels, it was said, “We hope that the Belgian authorities will show due diligence so that the aforementioned draft law does not harm the freedom of religion and worship in the country.”[…]
62 of the mosques in Belgium are affiliated with the Belgian Diyanet Foundation (BDV), the branch of the Presidency of Religious Affairs in this country. The Flemish government’s decree to limit foreign influence, including reducing Turkey’s influence on Belgian mosques, was passed by the vast majority of parliament. The decree is expected to enter into force after being read a second time at the request of the Green Left Party and the Flemish Interest Party. [Translated by Google with edits]
Read the rest here.
The Belgian Diyanet Foundation (Turkish: Belçika Diyanet Vakfı) controls around 70 of the approximately 300 mosques in Belgium and is the Belgian branch of the Diyanet, Turkey’s state institution for managing religious affairs. In Belgium, believers buy or have a mosque built at their expense and hand it over to the Belgian Diyanet Foundation. The Diyanet then sends a Turkish-trained imam and pays his salary, much like the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) in other European countries.