Belgium’s highest administrative court, the Council of State, is not expected to rule soon in the case of the anti-Islamization demonstration planned for 11 September. Two weeks ago Freddy Thielemans, the Socialist mayor of Brussels, banned the demonstration because, as he said, “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 organizers decided to appeal against the ban before the Council of State. Today, the Council of State decided to postpone its verdict until it has decided whether or not the appeal, which was presented in Dutch, one of Belgium’s two official languages, should have been presented in French, Belgium’s other official language.
When Udo Ulfkotte, the German organizer of the demonstration, filed his initial request for the demo he was told by the mayor’s office that he had to do so in French, which he did. Ulfkotte told us that, being a foreigner, he was not aware that he could also opt for a Dutch-language procedure. Now the Brussels authorities demand that he should stick to French and that the case should be brought before French-speaking judges of the Council of State. Dutch-speaking (Flemish) judges are more favourably inclined towards defending political freedoms than French-speaking (Walloon) judges. The Council of State judges are political appointees. Flanders, the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium, is free-market oriented while Wallonia, the French-speaking south of the country, is Socialist-dominated.
Hugo Coveliers, Mr Ulfkotte’s lawyer, reacted with indignation to the court’s decision to rule first on the appropriate language for the case, instead of proceeding immediately with the Dutch procedure. Mr Ulfkotte could not believe it and said: “I seem to be in one of Kafka’s novels.” It will take a couple of days for the court to decide which linguistic community the judges should belong to. Only then the actual case can be brought before the court. Seeing as the court has postponed its decision it can already be assumed, however, that the case will be sent to French-speaking judges.
Obviously, it is the strategy of the Belgian authorities to drag the case out in order to make life harder for the organizers. It is not impossible that the Council of State will only rule on 10 September, leaving the organizers less than one day to make arrangements. It is even possible that, adding insult to injury, it will rule after 9/11 that the 9/11 demo is allowed to go ahead.
However, whether or not the demonstration will be permitted, Europeans who oppose the islamization of their continent will convene on Tuesday 11 September at 12 am (noon) at the Schuman Square (Rond-Point Schuman), in front of the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission, to hold one minute of silence for the victims of 9/11/2001.
The Mayor in the Dark, 28 August 2007
Pro-Hezbollah Group Will Demonstrate in Brussels on 9/11, 23 August 2007
Brussels Mayor Warns: 9/11 Demonstrators Are Criminals, 20 August 2007
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