Wahhabi preachers funded by Saudi Arabia have put Belgium at center of terrorism and extremism in Europe
VON PRESS Europe: Belgium has voiced concerns over the spread of Saudi-backed Wahhabism throughout the country and the rest of Europe.
According to a Wednesday report by De Standaard, the country's OCAM national crisis center stressed that Wahhabism is being preached in an increasing number of the country's mosques receiving financial support from Saudi Arabia.
"We believe that a growing number of mosques and Islamic centers in Belgium, like the rest of Europe, are under the influence of Wahhabism," said the OCAM.
Wahhabism is the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, freely preached by government-backed clerics there, and inspiring terrorists worldwide. Islamic State (ISIS) and other terrorist groups use the ideology to declare people of other faiths as "infidels" and then kill them.
"We also note that the imams of these mosques are regularly being 'salafized' or are already 'salafized'," added the center.
It noted that Saudi Arabia has also initiated a "generous" bursary system for foreign students, who are later encouraged to indoctrinate people in Belgium and other countries with Wahhabism.
"The Saudi authorities and the Wahhabis' establishment have clearly settled on this method to reinforce the influence of the doctrine and practice of Wahhabism in Muslim communities in Europe," it stressed.
According to officials, Belgium has the highest amount of extremists leaving the country and joining terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq in proportion to its population.
The country has been on high alert since the Brussels airport and underground system attacks last year that left 32 people dead. The attacks were claimed by the ISIS terrorist group, one of whose major regional supporters is widely reported to be Saudi Arabia.