In June 2002, the Arab-European League (AEL), an anti-Semitic Islamist organization of Belgian immigrants led by Lebanese-born Dyab Abu Jahjah, a notorious member of the Hezbollah, requested permission to hold a demonstration in Antwerp. Two months earlier, an AEL march had led to heavy riots in the city. Antwerp has Belgium’s largest concentration of Jews. The Antwerp mayor, fearing new violence, prohibited the demonstration.
The AEL appealed against the ban before the Council of State (CoS), Belgium’s highest administrative court. The CoS ruled that the mayor had violated the constitutional freedom to demonstrate and allowed the demonstration to go ahead. The demonstrators shouted pro-Hezbollah and pro-Hamas slogans, called George W. Bush a murderer, demanded a Belgian boycott of Israel and burned the effigy of a Hassidic Jew. The police kept a low profile and allowed the 600 demonstrators to do as they pleased. “Thanks to the independent Belgian judiciary we have been able to demonstrate,” a victorious AEL leader Dyab Abu Jahjah said, as the puppet representing the Jew burned behind him.
Many Antwerpians remember the event. It made it plain for all to see who is the boss in the city. The Jews remember it, too. They no longer feel safe in Antwerp. Many of them are leaving.
Last April a group of Danish and British citizens convened in Copenhagen for what they called a “counterjihad summit.” The attendants were concerned citizens, many of them bloggers, who had come to know each other through the internet. These people are decent, ordinary citizens who have nothing to do with the far right. For many of them the 9/11/2001 terror attacks in the U.S. and the Danish cartoon affair triggered an interest in the problem of Muslim immigration into Europe. It made them aware of the unwillingness of a substantial part of the latter to accept basic Western values.
Since a growing number of Europeans are concerned about this issue, the Copenhagen “summit” decided to organize an international demonstration in front of the European Parliament buildings, situated in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, on 9/11/2007. Initially the British organization Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) and the Danish group Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark (SIAD) acted as the demonstration’s organisers. Soon they were joined by the German group Pax Europa.
On 9 August, Freddy Thielemans, the mayor of Brussels banned the demonstration. He did so, he explained, primarily because the demonstrators were coming to Brussels on September 11: “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 judgments condemning this type of acts.”
According to the mayor the demonstrators are “racists,” “xenophobes,” hence criminals under Belgian and European law. “With regard to the planned demonstration of September 11 […] my mind is made up. And my decision is final: it will not take place,” he said. In The Wall Street Journal of 27 August Mr Thielemans added: “I won't have Brussels regarded as the capital of racism.”
The organizers appealed against the mayor’s ban before the CoS. They were confident that it would overrule the mayor’s decision. After all, the CoS had overruled the mayor of Antwerp’s ban of the AEL demonstration five years earlier.
Yesterday, however, the CoS upheld the mayor of Brussels’ ban. In its verdict the CoS stated that the organizers cannot prove that their interests are harmed by the mayor’s decision not to allow them to demonstrate on 9/11. The impropriety of the date of the planned demo was the crucial element in the argument made before the court by the mayor’s lawyer. Anyone who dares to suggest that the 9/11 terror attacks have anything to do with Islamism is a racist, a xenophobe, a criminal. That is what the mayor of Brussels says, and what the verdict of the CoS implicitly but undeniably reaffirms.
To make this point quite clear, the Brussels mayor is allowing an anti-American demonstration on 9 September by a group claiming that the 9/11/2001 terror attacks are the work of the American government, acting on behalf of the Jews. In Brussels, stating that the attacks on the WTC towers and on the Pentagon were committed by Muslims is a crime, although it is a fact. Stating that America and Israel were behind the attacks is not a crime, although it is a lie.
Perhaps the Belgian politicians and judiciary assume that if the people are no longer allowed to state the truth, the truth will cease to be the truth and become the lie. But it does not work that way. From now on people will simply keep their opinions to themselves, but they will become more strongly convinced of the things they know to be a fact and they will regard their politicians and their judges as the guardians of lies.
Since the court ruling in 2002 it is clear to everyone in Antwerp who really is the boss in the city. That is why the Jews are leaving and the indigenous citizens vote for the “Islamophobic” Vlaams Belang party. Since yesterday’s CoS ruling it is clear to everyone that the non-Islamic indigenous Europeans no longer are allowed to voice their opinion in the “capital of Europe.” Undoubtedly the Islamists have taken note of this as well. It will make them even more arrogant than they already are. They now know that they are allowed to say whatever they like, that they are allowed to demonstrate whenever they like, that they are allowed to burn effigies of Jews in the streets. But do not dare to say that Muslims committed the 9/11 atrocities, do not dare to demonstrate on 9/11, and never burn an effigy of a Muslim in the streets or the Brussels police will kick the hell out of you and the Belgian judiciary will condemn you as a criminal.
I have Muslim friends. They are decent, devout conservatives who live in Turkey and back the AKP. Last year, when I was being harassed by the Belgian government’s so-called “anti-racism” body for articles written on this website, these Turkish Muslim friends, upon hearing of my problems, told me that I would always be welcome in Turkey if Belgium’s secularist authorities should ever prosecute me as a “racist” or “Islamophobe.”
Last year I wrote here that “It is no coincidence, I think, that precisely the fanatic proponents of a complete secularisation of European society, such as Belgium’s leading politicians and intellectuals (including priests such as Father Leman) are harassing the so-called ‘islamophobes’ and ‘racists.’” That is why I agree with a devout Muslim such as Mustafa Akyol that the real threat to our freedoms are “secular fundamentalists,” not religious people.
Freddy Thielemans, the Brussels’ mayor, is a secular fundamentalist who hates religion. On the day of Pope John Paul’s death he ordered “Champagne for everyone.” Freddy backs the Islamists, not because they are religious people, but because he knows that they are intolerant totalitarians like himself. That is precisely the reason why his party, the Parti Socialiste, teams up with the Islamists, offering them good places on its candidates lists at election time and letting them become Belgian politicians.
If we are not allowed by secularist and Islamist extremists (and their allies in the Belgian judiciary) to state that Muslims committed the hideous carnage of 9/11/2001 we indicate that there are no such things as radical Islamists on the one hand and moderate Muslims on the other. Ordinary Europeans, who do not have Muslim friends but who know the truth about the 9/11 criminals, will come to see all Muslims as equally dangerous and evil. That is why I consider the CoS ruling as more than a mistake, a stupidity, a miscarriage of justice, it is a crime.
Meanwhile, the Belgian media say that European neo-Nazi groups, keen on wrecking havoc, are planning to come to Brussels on 9/11. As the demonstration has been declared illegal the organizers have been deprived of the means to control events and keep away the skinheads of the far right. Perhaps next 11 September will witness some nasty fighting in front of the European Union headquarters between organizations such as Blood & Honour and Abu Jahjah’s AEL, which has also rallied its members to demonstrate in Brussels. Perhaps Mayor Thielemans can invite both B&H and the AEL to the town hall of Brussels in an effort to reconcile them. They are, after all, all Socialists at heart as well as anti-Semites.