"I have no link with the Salafist branch of Islam; on the contrary, I always criticize radical or Salafist ideas and I fight against extremism and radicalism," the imam of the Great Mosque of Brussels, Abdelhady Sewif, said in an interview with Knack magazine.

His statement followed the disclosure by the Minister of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, that he had decided to withdraw the imam's residence permit after receiving "very clear" signals that he was "very radicalized, very conservative and a danger to our society and national security".

"Do I look like a Salafist?" the imam asked.

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