Belgian Islamophobia: MPs vow to ‘impeach’ Muslim extremists

Alain Destexche, a liberal member of the FederationWallonia-Brussels, and Deputy Mayor of Koekelberg Philippe Pivinsubmitted the proposal in front of the Belgian Parliament onWednesday to exclude extremist parties from a range of localfunctions. The proposal is currently open for signatures by othermembers of Parliament.“The people of the Islamic party do not want to be mixed withothers in public transport and other communal places,” localmedia quoted Alain Destexhe as saying. “They advocate gettingmarried and wearing a veil at 12 years old, based on Islamiclaw.”The two liberal politicians said that the European Court ofHuman Rights had explicitly stated that Sharia law is notcompatible with the rights and freedoms written in the EuropeanConvention on Human Rights (ECHR), which is why the power of Muslimextremists must be minimized.The proposal argues that if elected, ultra-conservative Muslimbeliefs are inconsistent with the ECHR’s laws against racism andxenophobia, as well as those aimed at punishing the denial orminimization of the Holocaust. Those who hold such views should beimpeached, and prevented from presiding over local councils ormanaging communal bodies, the proposal said.Destexhe referred specifically to the newly established IslamParty in Belgium, which won two seats in municipal elections inOctober 2012 and vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law inBelgium.“The Islam-elected party has refused to shake hands withMolenbeek [municipality in Brussels-Capital Region] Mayor FrancoiseSchepmans [after being elected]. I feel that some people do notunderstand how similar this is to the behavior of the extremeright, and how they are creating their own isolated community,”Destexhe explained.The two Muslim candidates, Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and RedouaneAhrouch, are both from Brussels’ two heavily Muslim municipalities,Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlecht, respectively.“We are elected Islamists but above all we are Muslims,”Ahrouch told reporters after being elected in October. “Islam iscompatible with the laws of the Belgian people. As elected Muslims,we embrace the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. Webelieve Islam is a universal religion. Our presence on the towncouncil will give us the opportunity to express ourselves.”Ahrouch is known for refusing to shake hands or make eye contactwith women in public.The Islam Party announced a plan to put forward candidates forregional and parliamentary elections in Belgium, as well as theEuropean Parliament, prompting fear and speculation among manyBeglian politicians.“It is very worrying to see what is happening. We see peoplewith the Islamic background forming their own political party anddemanding the introduction of Sharia law and Islamic state inBelgium,” politician and member of the European Parliament forFlanders Philip Claeys told RT after the Islam Party was formed.“Until now Muslim people mainly supported socialist parties andother leftist parties. But now they feel confident enough to maketheir party.”Claeys believes it is a “big problem” when people whomove to Belgium do not respect the separation of Church and State,or favor of equality of men and women and the rule of law: “Weshould put a stop to this mass immigration of people coming fromoutside Europe, mainly Islamic countries, of people who cannot andwill not adapt to our way of living in Western Europe.”According to recent estimates, about 628,751 Belgians – 6percent of the population –– are Muslim. Belgium has witnessed arise in radical Islam in the country over the past decade, with theSharia4Belgium group prompting the most concern. Sharia4Belgium wasa fundamentalist group that condemned democracy, and called forBelgium to be reformed into an Islamist state.The group advocated the death penalty for criminals, and itsmembers were witnessed making radical statements, threateningnon-Muslims and behaving violently. Several Belgian politicianswere threatened multiple times for their political opposition tothe group.The group was dissolved in October 2012 after both of itsleaders were arrested, one for incitement of hatred and violencetowards non-Muslims and the other for possession of illegal drugsin Morocco.

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Belgian Islamophobia: MPs vow to ‘impeach’ Muslim extremists

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