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torek, 25 januarja, 2022

Belgium: Anti-Islamisation activists sentenced to prison

By: V4 Agency

Four members of the Belgian Voorpost group received a six-month prison sentence for marching in a demonstration under a “Stop Islamisation” banner. The court says they were committing incitement against the Muslim population.

Four members of the right-wing Voorpost (Outpost) political group were handed prison sentences for marching with a banner reading “Stop Islamisation.”

The Belgian prosecutor’s office launched an unprecedented procedure against the protesters who were holding a peaceful demonstration. The Mechelen criminal court decided that the banner went too far by claiming that Islam rules in Flanders. “In touting such signs and banners the defendants’ sole aim was to incite fear and hatred in society by trying to convince passers-by that Islam will overtake Flanders in the future,” states the reasoning of the order.

Voorpost called the sentence an attack against the freedom of speech and the right to peaceably demonstrate. The advocates of the defendants say their clients were not protesting the Islam religion, but against the spread of Sharia law and the establishment of Sharia courts.

The lawyer said, “calling for the stop of Islamisation, is not the same as saying Islam should be stopped. The protestors were merely expressing that the spread of certain Islamic traditions in our society should be stopped.”

Voorpost warned about the dangers of Islamisastion with reason. In the city of Mechelen, due to migration and a high birth rate – every second child born is of immigrant background – the currently more than 20 per cent Muslim population is on the rise.

A third of the total population of Belgium is of immigrant descent, with the Moroccans the largest such minority. In the capital, Brussels, nearly 80 per cent of the residents are of immigrant background.

According to the national statistics office, the two most popular male names registered in more than 12 Brussels municipalities last year was Muhammad and Ahmed.

“The criminal sentence of the four activists goes far beyond justice. This is an attack against the freedom of speech, democracy and the opposition. Countering Islamisation is not incitement to hatred or violence. This is only our freedom of speech and to protect what is dear to us – our identity,” the chairman of the conservative Vlaams Beland Party commented on the verdict. The party organised a demonstration of several hundred people to protest the sentence.

Most leaders of the party took part in the demonstration, including chairman Tom Van Grieken, Vlaams Beland MP group leader Barbara Pas, MEP Gerolf Annemans together with some 25 MPs.

Italian MEP Silvia Sardone also commented on the case, “Brussels is turning into a Muslim capital. At such a pace, in twenty years Brussels will be a Muslim capital.”

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