Belgium's government has ended Saudi Arabia's lease of the Grand Mosque of Brussels over fears the place of worship is being used to promote radical agendas.
"The concession will be terminated immediately… in order to put an end to foreign interference in the way Islam is taught in Belgium," the Belgian government said in a statement.
Belgian lawmakers posted comments to the statement on Twitter.
"The long-term lease agreement on the Grand Mosque in Brussels will be canceled shortly. This will be done in a relatively simple way. With this, we end the Salafist, violent extremist influences. Colleague @ Koen_Geens1 represents new interpretation in cooperation with Muslim executives," tweeted Belgium Interior Minister Jan Jambon.
Erfpachtovereenkomst rond Grote Moskee in Brussel wordt binnenkort opgezegd. Dat kan op relatief eenvoudige wijze. Daarmee maken we komaf met salafistische, gewelddadig extremistische invloeden. Collega @Koen_Geens1 behartigt nieuwe invulling in samenwerking met Moslimexecutieve.— Jan Jambon (@JanJambon) March 16, 2018
Belgium's Justice Minister Koen Geens has also posted his comment on the government's statement, saying, that the mosque will have to establish relations with the Belgian authorities, "respecting the laws and the traditions of our country, which convey a tolerant vision of Islam."
Résilier la convention emphytéotique avec le Centre Islamique et Culturel de Belgique (la Grande Mosquée de Bruxelles). La mosquée devra établir relation durable avec les autorités belges, tout en respectant nos lois et nos traditions https://t.co/XpuMd36GBO @JanJambon— Koen Geens (@Koen_Geens1) March 16, 2018
Belgium leased the Grand Mosque to Riyadh in 1969 with a 99-year rental term for free, providing Saudi-backed imams access to a Muslim immigrant community, mostly from Morocco and Turkey, in return for cheaper oil for its industries.
According to Business Insider, Belgium has the highest amount of extremists, living in the country.
Europe has been a significant source of foreign fighters for Daesh, with the Soufan Group think tank estimating that some 6,000 people left Europe to side with the terrorist organization.