Belgium Moves to Expel Mosque Imam, Citing National Security Threat


Belgium authorities have taken steps to remove an Egyptian imam named Abdelhadi Sewif from one of the country’s largest mosques, and expel him from the country.


MEMRI has had its eyes on Imam Abdelhadi Sewif for some time for the radical rhetoric he preaches in Belgium.

According to intelligence officials, this imam preaches such vicious rhetoric he’s now being considered a “national security” threat.

The imam’s lived in Belgium for 13 or so years already.

The Washington Free Beacon has the story:

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Immigration Minister Theo Francken revoked the permit of Imam Abdelhadi Sewif, a man of Egyptian origin who had lived in Belgium for 13 years, AFP reported.

Sewif had been a Islamic religious leader at the Saudi-financed Grand Mosque, which is located nearby to the European Union headquarters in Brussels. Francken said the imam was “very radicalized” when describing the reason for the decision.

“We have had very clear signals he is a man who is very radicalized, salafist, very conservative and dangerous for our society and national security,” Francken told local radio broadcaster Bel-RTL.

“Everybody knows there is a problem with the Grand Mosque in Brussels. I decided to withdraw the residency permit of the imam of this mosque,” Francken added.

The decision not to renew Sewif’s permit was initially made in March, but after he appealed, the decision is under review and a Judge is expected to review the case on Oct. 24.

Belgium has experienced a rising problem with radical Islam, particularly leading up to the deadly March 2016 bombings in Brussels. The attacks, which killed 32 and injured over 300 people, were a devastating exemplification of the growing problems with radicalization, the Washington Post reported. After those events, the Grand Mosque had to defend itself against claims of “forcing practices of Islam” and of developing a “hotbed for extremism,” according to AFP.

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