Belgian converts form organisation to spread true values of Islam

GMT 15:50 2014 Sunday ,20 July

Arab Today, arab today Belgian converts form organisation to spread true values of Islam

Brussels - KUNA

A Belgian Muslim family has established an organisation to help and guide the new converts in Belgium to understand the true message of Islam of peace and tolerance.
It is called "4 New Moslims" and based in Wommelgem, near Antwerp in the Flemish-speaking region in northern Belgium.
The organisation held an Iftar (breaking of the fast in the month of Ramdhan) at the Islamic and Cultural Centre in Brussels Saturday night to explain the goals and the aims of the organisation.
Asked why is it called "4 New Moslims", Mario Cools, the manager of the organsaition, explained to Kuwait News Agency (KUNA), in a an interview that it all began with the four members of the family, his wife, daughter, son and himself.
First his wife Pascale converted to Islam followed by his daughter Veronique, son Dennis and he himself.
The organisation is now engaged with about 1,300 members out of whom 1,000 are women Belgian converts to Islam.
"4newmoslims" formed one year ago is an organization that stands for peace, harmony, mutual respect, courtesy and moderation. It is a non-political group consisting of converts who were taught for several years in Islam and would like to share with new Muslims in Belgium their experiences, Mario said.
He explained his wife began doing research on Islam and after she converted some years ago he also started reading books on Islam and discussing Islam with other Muslims.
"I also converted to Islam all by myself. Nobody pushed or forced me to Islam," Mario stressed.
Two weeks ago his father-in law who is over 80 also converted to Islam.
"If you learn about Islam, it is not about killing and violence. But it is to care for people and help people. It is a message of peace," said Mario who converted to Islam seven years ago.
4newMoslim is currently based in their house but now they are looking for a bigger place to organise work shops and seminars and other social activities.
Ibrahim Letoush, director of Islamic development and research academy in the city of Ghent, was also invited to speak to the new Belgian converts.
He explained that there is another organisation of Belgian Muslims in the Flanders region called Al Minara. But it is only for women whereas this new organsiation is both for men and women.
Letoush told KUNA that he is working with the new converts giving them advice.
"We try to bring the European context because they are new Muslims and they want to connect with other Muslims. I tell them that they are citizens of this country and as European Muslims they should not make the mistake of isolation but to integrate in the society," he said.
"They have the advantage that they are Belgians but it is important they get the correct message of Islam," he stressed.
An estimated 650,000 Muslims live in Belgium mainly from Morocco and Turkey. The country has a population of about 11 million. There are over 300 mosques or Muslim places of worship in Belgium.
There are no figures for Belgian converts to Islam but they are estimated to be a few thousands.
Meanwhile, the Islamic and Cultural Centre in Brussels held a Quran recitation competition for the youth on Saturday.
The winners will be rewarded with of a trip to Mecca to perform the Haj pilgrimage.

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