Local media report that co-founder of the Islam party and the party's communal advisor in Anderlecht Redouane Ahrouch has been dismissed by the Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB), where he had been working as a driver since 1993. Ahrouch proposed the separation of men and women in public transport as a part of the Islam Party's program, which aims to introduce sharia law in Belgium.
Following these claims, the management of the transport company indicated that it would have an interview with Ahrouch to clarify his position and to know if he has already practiced gender segregation in the vehicles he drives.
"If the Brussels public transport society has nothing to reproach Mr Ahrouch for his daily work, his public statements mean that he is now directly identified as a bus driver at the STIB," explained Françoise Ledune, spokesperson for STIB, adding that "these positions belong to him but they are contrary to the values of the company and harm the image of the company."
After the interview, they decided to dismiss the driver with the usual compensation.
The precise number of Muslims in Belgium is unknown since the country does not collect or publish statistics on religious affiliation. However, various sources estimate it to be from 4.0 to 7 percent and up to 25 percent in the capital. The Islam Party and its program have already raised concerns among Belgian politicians, including the current ruling coalition.