"Our Islam is a moderate Islam. We are not Wahhabist or Salafist" Mohamed Galaye N'Diaye told the commission. He added that in his opinion the grand mosque and its Islamic cultural centre (ICC) are allies in the fight against radicalisation.
"Not a single Syria fighter is studying here. These guys don't knock on our door. If they were to, we would tell them to go packing."
The picture painted by the imam conflicted with evidence provided by the Belgian secret service and the OCAD, the government body that analyses the terrorist threat. Syria fighters did study Islamic studies at the mosque the commission chair noted. The commission also has questions about the mosque's funding from abroad that were not answered by the imam.
Commission chair Dewael now intends to send the ICC and the mosque a set of precise questions expecting transparent answers. If no adequate answers are forthcoming the commission may subpoena witnesses or seize evidence.