BRUSSELS – A leading Belgian Muslim organization has revived calls for dialogue to fight extremist voices and promote peaceful coexistence days after a shooting at the Jewish Museum left three people killed.
Muslim Executive of Belgium (MEB) condemned "in the strongest terms the heinous crime committed in cold blood. No reason or no thought can justify such crimes," MEB President Noureddine Smaili said in a statement cited by Kuwait News Agency on Tuesday, June 3.
MEB was referring to the recent attack which occurred last May 24 and resulted in the killing of three Jews, including two tourists from Tel Aviv, by a lone gunman.
Video of the attack showed an athletic man with cap walking determinedly into the small Jewish Museum in the swank Sablon area, clearly bent on quickly carrying out a prep-lanned attack.
French police on Sunday announced the arrest of a suspect called Mehdi Nemmouche in the French city of Marseille where he had arrived in a bus from Brussels.
The Muslim organization, working as official interlocutor between public authorities and the Muslim community, has asserted that only dialogue would lead to solving these problems.
The statement added that the arrest of a Muslim suspect for the attack "who is subservient to the religious radicalism, once again throws reproach upon a community that aspires to live in harmony and peace in our society.”
"This is why, this tragedy reminds us of the importance of dialogue and living together, which alone can lead to a harmonious and peaceful society," it said.
MEB statement added that dialogue can defeat racism and anti-Semitism, from which both Muslims and Jews suffer.
"The fight against anti-Semitism and racism in all its forms calls the effort of all without exception,” it said.
“A struggle that is central to the concerns of the Muslim community in Belgium," it added.
Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 – out of a 10-millionp-opulation – about half of them are from Moroccan origin, while 120,000 are from Turkish origin.
More than 20 percent of the population of Brussels is of Muslim origin coming from Morocco, Turkey, Pakistan, Bangladesh and other African countries.
There are 77 mosques or prayer rooms in Brussels and over 300 across Belgium.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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