A quote from Freddy Thielemans, the Mayor of Brussels, in an op-ed piece in the Brussels newspaper De Standaard, 20 August 2007:
I decided to forbid the September 11 demonstration “against the islamicisation of Europe.” […] Since 2001 I have allowed over 3,500 demonstrations. This is only the sixth one which I forbid. […] The right to demonstrate exists only inasmuch as it does not cause a disturbance of the public peace and order. […] First and foremost the organizers have chosen the symbolic date of 9/11. The intention is obviously to confound the terrorist activities of Muslim extremists on the one hand and Islam as a religion and all Muslims on the other hand. […] Such incitement to discrimination and hatred, which we usually call racism and xenophobia, is forbidden by a considerable number of international treaties and is punished by our penal laws and by the European legislation. The European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly pronounced judgements condemning this type of acts. […]
Our society has long fought to achieve that certain codes of behaviour connected with the Catholic religion are no longer enforced as civil law upon everyone. To my knowledge not a single rule specific to the Islamic religion is being enforced in similar fashion. And I see no indication that a large majority of our Muslim population is demanding any such thing.
Let us not forget that Brussels has always shown tolerance and openness towards everyone who lives here or seeks refuge here. Diversity, compromise, tolerance and rejection of extremes remain the foundation of the Brussels identity. […] With regard to the planned demonstration of September 11 “against the Islamicisation of Europe” my mind is made up. And my decision is final: it will not take place.
Comment by Paul Belien:
Clearly this should be read as a threat. Anyone who intends to participate in the 9/11 demo is a criminal under Belgian and European law: he or she is a racist and a xenophobe (Islamophobe).
Contrary to what the mayor says, rules specific to the Islamic religion are being imposed upon society as a whole. For instance, Brussels has segregated swimming hours for women in public pools; Brussels public schools serve halal meat; Muslims slaughter sheep in the streets of Brussels; the religion-hating (religiophobia, anyone?) Brussels mayor, who toasts the death of the Pope, does not toast the death of Muslim leaders; ...
This Demo Is NOT Being Banned, 17 August 2007
Organizers of Brussels Anti-Sharia Demo Appeal against Ban, 16 August 2007
See You in Brussels, Freddy, 15 August 2007
Thank You, Mr. Mayor: Champagne for Everyone, 13 August 2007