“Those who come to spread hatred in our society have no place here,” he said in a statement. The Immigration Office received a request for renewal of the residence and work permit of the imam in question in October 2020. It then carried out an investigation, which revealed that the person could infringe public order or national security, explained the secretary of state.
Therefore, the man’s residence permit will not be extended, he added. At the same time, the imam is also ordered to leave the territory.
This decision has already been taken in mid-December 2020, but the data subject still has the right to be heard, which was done in mid-January. There were, however, no new elements that could have influenced the decision, he said. The Immigration Office sent the decision to the municipality of residence of the person concerned.
“Those who come to spread hatred in our society have no place here,” said Mahdi. “We cannot tolerate the stigmatization of the LGBT community and the dissemination of such messages. I find it difficult to accept the homophobic statements that are made within a religious community. As an imam, you have to give the example, especially if you have already obtained the right to work in Belgium. Anyone who does not want to respect our values must suffer the consequences “.
Earlier in the day, the Flemish Minister of Living Together, Bart Somers (Open Vld), announced that he was starting the procedure for lifting the recognition of the Yesil Camii mosque in Houthalen-Helchteren, Limburg, due to the homophobic statements by the imam. It is not certain that these facts relate to the same man.