Thou feedest them with the bread of tears and givest them tears to drink in great measure.
The front page of all Belgian newspapers today had the pictures of two little girls. “Murdered” the captions said. Nathalie Mahy (10) and Stacy Lemmens (7) disappeared on 9 June. Their bodies were discovered yesterday. Exactly ten years ago, before Stacy and Nathalie were born, the Belgian papers also brought pictures of murdered girls. Their names were Melissa Russo (8) and Julie Lejeune (8), victims of the notorious pedophile Marc Dutroux.
Stacy and Nathalie were abducted in Liège, the largest city of Wallonia, the Socialist-dominated French-speaking part of Belgium. Melissa and Julie were from the same city, often referred to as “Palermo on the Meuse.” According to Urban Audit Liège has the highest crime rate of all European cities (EU27), with 256.13 recorded crimes per 1,000 population in 2001.
Two weeks ago the police arrested 38-year old Abdallah Aït Oud, a Belgian of Moroccan origin. He was seen near the little girls prior to their disappearance. Aït Oud denies having murdered Stacy and Nathalie. Though the police has not been able to prove otherwise, he is a major suspect. He has already been arrested twice for pedophilia, once in 1994 and once in 2001, and he has no alibi for the night and the day after the disappearance of the girls, who are stepsisters.
In 1994 Abdallah Aït Oud was convicted to five years imprisonment for the rape of his 14-year old niece. He had regularly abused his sister’s daughter since she was six. Three years later, however, in 1997, when the Belgians were still recovering from Dutroux’ atrocities, the Belgian authorities, though they had promised the citizens that pedophiles would have to serve their sentences, released Aït Oud from prison prematurely. On 7 September 1997 he was arrested for theft and sent back to prison, where he remained until 2000. In March 2001, shortly after his release, he abducted and violently raped a 14-year old girl.
This time the negligent Belgian authorities decided not even to give the pedophile a prison sentence. Instead they sent him to a mental hospital. Last December Aït Oud’s doctors decided that he was cured and let him go. He went to live in Stacy’s and Nathalie’s street in Liège. The authorities did not notify the neighbours that a man with a dangerous pedophilia record had moved into their street. Disclosing such information is illegal in Belgium, where the state cares more about protecting the privacy of criminals than about protecting the innocent children of law-abiding citizens.
If Aït Oud proves to be the rapist and murderer of Stacy and Nathalie, this case eerily resembles that of Marc Dutroux. He, too, was a convicted pedophile when he abducted and murdered four children and girls in 1995. He, too, had been released prematurely from prison for good conduct. When Dutroux was arrested (by chance!) in 1996, the police found four corpses in his garden but also freed two abducted children whom he kept locked up in his cellar.
There is great indignation in Belgium. If Abdallah Aït Oud proves to be the murderer of Stacy and Nathalie there might be an explosion of popular anger. If he is not the culprit the trauma among the public may be even worse, as this would mean that another pedophile psychopath is on the loose again.
Clearly, the Belgian state is no longer able to guarantee the safety of its subjects. Citizens are even beginning to wonder whether the authorities are not just unable but actually unwilling to do so. As I pointed out here a year ago, in relation to another Belgian sex scandal, with Moroccan victims, “morality has gone berserk all over Europe, but nowhere to the same degree as in Belgium.” The country has been sliding into Gomorrah since the 1970s. This process is described in detail in my book A Throne in Brussels, which argues that it is the logical result of Belgium’s nature as an artificial construct, where the state deliberately undermines public morality.
In the final paragraph I warn that the “Belgian disease” might soon become the “European disease”, if
“Europe, like Belgium become[s] a federal state which fails in the basic duty of a state: to guarantee law and order, provide a fair judicial system, and protect its citizens and their children. In a few decades from now, will Europeans, like Belgians today, be obliged to say of their pan-European – supra-national, or rather post-national and post-democratic – state: Thou feedest us with the bread of tears (Psalm 80:5)?”
Belgium’s capital, Brussels, has a murder rate about five times higher than Paris and two times higher than London. The murder of the two children in Liège is the latest in a series that started last February in Brussels with the assassination of a 16-year old black boy, whose throat was cut by five “youths” who have not yet been found. This atrocity was followed by the murder last April of 17-year old Joe Van Holsbeeck, stabbed by two underaged Polish gypsies during rush hour in Brussels’ Central Station. Barely a month later, last May, there were the murders of a two-year old toddler and her black nanny and the shooting of a Turkish woman in broad daylight in downtown Antwerp by an 18-year old Flemish boy playing out a violent computer game in real life. In a crowded public transport bus in Antwerp last Saturday a passenger was kicked to death by six youths, described by some as “five Belgians and one Spaniard,” referring to their nationalities, and by others as “six Moroccans,” also referring to their (dual and original) nationalities.
Yesterday, the Belgian authorities reclassified the murder of the bus passenger, Guido Demoor, from “manslaughter” to “assault and deliberate battering resulting in unintentional death.” This means that the maximum sentence the “youths” can get is five years in prison. Life is cheap in Belgium, but perhaps the Belgians themselves are partly to blame.
The Belgians habitually hold a silent “White March” whenever they are shocked by atrocities in their midst. This is an indication of their political immaturity and allows the political class to carry on as if nothing had happened. As Louis Tobback, the then Belgian Minister of the Interior and leader of the Socialist Party, said about the first “White March” in October 1996, shortly after the discovery of the bodies of Dutroux’ victims: “[Carrying white] symbolizes innocence and virginity, but it also means that their [= the protesters’] message is blank. I am not afraid of that.”
As long as the Belgians remain politically naïve, they will have to “drink tears in great measure” and nothing will change, as the politicos proved by prematurely releasing Abdallah Aït Oud in 1997.