CAIRO – Witnessing a remarkable success in their fair’s first edition, Belgian Muslims are preparing for opening the second Brussels’ Muslims Fair, with a program of forums and symposiums tackling Muslims issues and challenges in the European country.
The event, hosted in its second edition, is scheduled this year from Friday 25 to Monday, October 28th at Tour & Taxis, Saphir News.
Divided between shops and forums, the event is modeled on Le Bourget; an annual Muslim conference in France which has been taking place in Paris for 30 years.
It is deemed as a golden opportunity for Belgian Muslims to counter anti-Islam prejudices.
The first edition of the Muslim Fair had received more than 20,000 visitors.
This year’s event is organized by Gedis Company which has been hired by Union of Islamic Organizations of France (UOIF) to organize Le Bourget for years.
Le Bourget has become a fixture in the French calendar, a chance for Muslims to meet, hear speeches from intellectuals and scholars, and buy the latest in Islamic literature and clothes.
Thousands of Muslims come in droves to the annual gala, going through a miscellany of books and items on display, attending lectures and vying in contests for the memorization of the Qur'an.
Every year, tens of thousands of Muslims from across Europe attend the conference's activities, with young women in their unmistakable hijabs and enthusiastic young men making up the bulk of attendees.
Belgian Muslims are estimated at 450,000 – out of a 10-million-population – 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.
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