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Muslim Executive takes legal action against justice minister for violating right to religious freedom

14:28 10/09/2022

Belgium's Muslim Executive has filed a complaint against justice ministers Vincent Van Quickenborne, saying he has persistently violated their right to practice their religion.

The group's complaint against Van Quickenborne is being filed before various international human rights organisations.

Earlier this week, Van Quickenborne reacted to a ruling condemning the Belgian state for pushing the Executive's former president out of office, saying he was appealing the decision.

"Even after the justice minister was convicted by the Brussels Court of First Instance for a serious violation of freedom of religion and freedom of association, the minister persists in openly insulting and humiliating the representative body of Islam in Belgium,” the group said.

“Immediately after the conviction, Van Quickenborne announced that he wanted to ‘go after more shenanigans and blunders’, thus once again transgressing not only decency but also fundamental constitutional rules.”

In that conviction, the Brussels courts established that the Belgian state, through Van Quickenborne, illegally interfered in the activities of a religious authority by forcing the former president of the Executive, Salah Echallaoui, to resign.

In December 2020, Vincent Van Quickenborne had publicly called for a renewal of all the organs of the Muslim Executive, referencing a state security report that pointed to Moroccan interference in the Great Mosque of Brussels.

Written by Helen Lyons