The best example of the loss of personal and civic freedom is what is happening to the proprietor of Brussels Journal in particular and to Belgium itself in general.
In the case of Brussels Journal, not only is Paul Belien being blamed for the Belgium’s growing distrust and dislike of its Muslim population, he has even been threatened with censure for the beserk, homicidal behavior of a teenager kicked out of boarding school. As though this jerk ever read Belien’s website!
Belgian television and the Brussels papers say that the Antwerp shoot-out is the result of my writings. Regular readers of The Brussels Journal know my view well enough: I have repeatedly defended the view that Muslim immigrants are not to blame for Europe’s predicament. The latter is entirely of our own making. Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.
“The Antwerp shoot-out” he refers to seems to have been a lone incident in which an estranged and isolated adolescent went on a shooting spree. If it is true that Mr. Belien’s writings somehow influenced this disturbed individual, then I have a few crimes I’d like to lay at the door of the New York Slimes. We can start with 9/11 and work out from there.
But that’s not all. In addition to blaming Mr. Belien for the isolated violent incidents, the authorities have reacted by threatening to ban any kind of weapon, including pepper spray. Mr. Belien reflects on his country and the road to good intentions which has left its young without purpose, belief, or meaning:
Like the Columbine School Massacre a few years ago in the US, Hans Van Themsche’s killing spree is indicative of a society where young people have lost all respect for human life. Is it a coincidence that this should happen in a society that has lost respect for human life itself? Belgium has a very liberal abortion law and wants to extend its euthanasia legislation to minors and to the senile elderly (whose guardians will decide for them). Is it a coincidence that at the same time so many young people have also lost their faith in the future? They listen to Satanic and “goth” music, dress in black, shave their heads and write in farewell letters that “heaven does not exist.” Having lost faith in heaven, they then decide to turn the world into hell.
That’s not all, though. Mr. Belien’s conflict with the zeitgeist in his country goes way back. Seventeen years ago he wrote an op ed piece for The Wall Street Journal that didn’t go over well with the powers that be in Belgium. He was fired from his job as a journalist and has never held another newspaper position. Sounds like he was black-balled for speaking up, doesn’t it?
But they’re not finished with him yet. Now the police have begun interrogating him about the specifics of his homeschooling his children. The Beliens have five children and have homeschooled them all. Four are now at University; the youngest is about to finish her secondary training. All have done well. However…
And it’s a big “however,” because Mr. and Mrs. Belien have refused to sign the state paper that all Belgian homeschooling parents must if they wish to pursue education at home. In this contract, the parents agree to abide by The United Nations Convention on Child Rights.
Here’s what Belien’s wife has to say about it:
In today’s Belgian newspaper [June 20th, 2006] Gazet van Antwerpen Bob Van de Voorde, the spokesman of Frank Vandenbroucke, the minister of Education, says:
“One of the conditions [for homeschooling] is that the homeschoolers must sign a document in which they promise to rear their children along the lines of the UN Convention on Children’s Rights. These parents have not done this. This is why the ministry has started an inquiry.”
The parents Mr Van de Voorde is referring to in the paper are my husband (TBJ editor Paul Belien) and myself. The “inquiry” is a threat to prosecute us.
Homeschooling is a constitutional right in Belgium. We have homeschooled four of our five children through high school. Only the youngest is still being homeschooled because the others are already at university. And yet, as if they have nothing better to do, the Belgian police and judiciary are conducting an “inquiry” into our homeschooling to see whether we “rear our children along the lines of the United Nations Convention on Children’s Righs.”
But, as Mrs. Belien notes this means turning the authority of parents over to the state. Though she does not specifically state this, it is well-known in child studies that anything which interferes with the parent/child attachment is detrimental to the child:
Until two years ago, we never encountered any problems with the authorities concerning our family’s home education. In fact, compared to neighbouring countries, Belgium was very tolerant of homeschoolers. In 2003, however, the Flemish regional parliament decreed that all homeschoolers are obliged to sign a document in which they promise to rear their children along the lines of the UN Convention. The latter undermines the authority of parents and transfers it to the state.
The document the homeschoolers are made to sign also states that government inspectors decide whether families comply with the UN’s ideology. Furthermore, it contains a clause in which the homeschooling parents agree to send their child to an official government recognized school if the inspectors report negatively about them twice.
We refused to sign this document. Not only do we object to the imposed UN ideology, but we would never put our signature under a document that forces us to send our children to government controlled schools simply because two bureaucrats decide on the basis of arbitrary criteria that we are not in compliance with the imposed philosophy. Last week my husband was questioned by the police. He was informed that, because we refuse to sign, our children are not being schooled or brought up adequately, i.e. along the lines of the UN Convention. Hence, we are committing a criminal offence. The authorities are threatening to prosecute us.
…Since our case has…been reported in the Belgian newspapers many families have responded with tales of their own. It is becoming clear that the decree of 2003 is being enforced with uncharacteristic speed and rigidity. One family withdrew their youngest son from the technical school where the eldest child had become a drug addict. They used the form supplied by the Ministry of Education to inform the latter of their decision to homeschool and in doing so unwittingly accepted the clauses of the 2003 document, as these are incorporated into the form.
Some months later the inspectors arrived. They said that the boy was using manuals unsuited for his age, even though he was using the same manuals as his peers at school. They were rude to his mother, who is of Polish origin, and claimed that she could not educate her child because of her accent. They said they would return. The parents carried on their education and noticed (as so many homeschooling parents do) that their son was highly motivated and was learning faster and better than he had done at school. Four months after their first visit the inspectors returned. They conceded that they could see improvement, but not enough and that the boy had to return to school.
Two weeks later the police came to their door with an order to send the boy to school or risk a penalty. The boy does not want to go back and there is no way these parents are going to force their child to return to a school rampant with drugs where their other child was ruined. They are now considering emigrating to Poland.
What is increasingly clear is that Belgium is not a safe place for children. The state is not content to take over parental authority, they then transfer that authority to a supra-national organization — the United Nations — one whose record on the care of children is scandalous, to put it charitably.
And if that weren’t enough, Belgium is again being rocked by the news that pedophile killers are on the loose — deliberately let loose by authorities who had them in custody. Here is Mr. Belien’s report, almost in full:
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 [have] 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…
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.”
(click the original story to get to the links provided there)
A “White March” as a response to serious judicial and legal dereliction? When pedophiles are allowed free reign under the guise of “mental illness” of what use is an impotent and fundamentally silly march for heaven’s sake? Talk about spitting into the wind.
What Belgium needs is an infusion of something akin to Jacksonian Scots American political philosophy to teach the basics of law and order and the maintenance of real moral authority. Fat chance. The elitist government holds the reins of power; even the Catholic Church in Belgium is merely a mouthpiece for the politically correct and expedient course. As one commenter on BJ put it:
“It comes to my mind every now and then that socialist governments’ intention in releasing criminals is to keep the society in constant fear. The fear, in turn, is probably supposed to make people turn to their governments for help.”
If you can bear to watch the European continent flush itself down the toilet while declaring that they’re simply practicing good hygiene, then read The Brussels Journal on a regular basis…
…at least while it’s still permitted to operate.