Belgian immigration authorities will deport a Turkish imam for saying on social media that being gay is an “illness” that causes “decay”.
The imam led worship at the Green Mosque in Houthalen-Helchteren, Linburg, according to BBC Türkçe. When asked by the outlet to name the imam, mosque representatives simply said: “I don’t know, I have forgotten.”
He is to be deported after claiming on Facebook that “homosexuality is a disease, causes decay and is banned by Islam”.
One Facebook user commented on the post: “Homosexuality is a virus of capitalism and democracy,” which the imam agreed with.
In the post, the imam referred to a sermon led last week by Turkey’s president of the Directorate of Religious Affairs, Ali Erbaş, who once publicly declared that: “Islam curses homosexuality”.
The directorate, otherwise known as the Diyanet, appointed the imam to work in Belgium.
Belgium officials to deport imam for ‘sowing the seeds of hatred’ with homophobic comments.
As a result, Belgium’s federal secretary of state for asylum and migration Sammy Madhi has announced that the imam’s three-year-long residence permit will not be extended.
“Those who come here to sow the seeds of hatred in our society do not have a place here,” the Christian Democratic and Flemish minister said.
“We cannot tolerate this stigmatization of the homosexual community and spreading of such messages.
“If you have the right to work as an imam in Belgium, you have an exemplary duty. Everyone who does not want to hold our values will have to bear the consequences.”
Belgian authorities will also investigate homophobic comments the imam made that they said could “disturb public order and national security”.
Flemish domestic affairs and integration minister Bart Somers added that he will take legal action against the mosque to rip up its licence.
Houthalen-Helchteren city council officials will consider taking appropriate action against the mosque.
“Discriminatory messages opposing the democratic, constitutional state are unacceptable,” the municipal mayor Alain Yzermans said.
“Our municipality attaches great importance to equality and tolerance.”
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