Rabat - Two Muslim civic organizations in Belgium will play a “think tank role” and propose preventative measures to counter extremism in the country, which experienced terrorist attacks on a subway station and an airport in its capital Tuesday morning.
Rabat – Two Muslim civic organizations in Belgium will play a “think tank role” and propose preventative measures to counter extremism in the country, which experienced terrorist attacks on a subway station and an airport in its capital Tuesday morning.
In a press release published on Tuesday by the Union of Mosques in the Brussels Region (UMRB) and the Platform for Muslims in Belgium (PBM), the two organizations condemned the bombings committed by two Belgian brothers named Khalid el-Bakraoui, aged 27, and Ibrahim el-Bakraoui, aged 30.
At least 31 people were killed and over a 100 people were injured in the attacks.
“Union of Mosques of the Brussels Region (UMRB) and the Platform of Muslims in Belgium (PMB) would like to strongly condemn the terrorist acts that targeted Belgium and have caused deaths and injuries,” the release said.
Many Western and Muslim-majority countries have also condemned the attacks and offered Belgium assistance in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
A portion of Brussels’ Muslim population – representing approximately a quarter of the total metropolitan population – lives in largely segregated communities, which “contributes to the alienation of Muslims” from the mainstream, according to recent reports. The resulting feelings of ostracization have led some Muslim-majority neighborhoods in the Belgian capital to become hotbeds for terrorism.
Belgian authorities have said that support from Muslim communities in the country have allowed several ISIS fighters to return from Syria or Iraq and hideout in the country for months before being detected.
Salah Abdeslam, a key organizer of attacks on Paris in November, hid in Molenbeek for four months before authorities caught him on Friday as a result of a “suspiciously large pizza order” and a glass bearing his fingerprints.
According to the release, PBM and UMRB will come together to help authorities identify extremists and offer counter-terrorism strategies.
“The UMRB and the PMB intends to play a think tank role by standing at the disposal of the competent authorities to propose a series of preventive measures to dry the roots of extremist discourse in our society,” the organizations added.
The pair also emphasized that terrorism and its philosophies run counter to Islam’s original values.
“We are concerned with developing a moderate Islam that conforms to the message of peace and love advocated by our noble religion…for the past 14 centuries,” the statement said.