Our Flemish correspondent VH has completed a report on the recent opinion issued by the Security Service in Flanders against the building of three mosques.
His work is a compilation of these three articles:
The building of three Mosques in Flanders has not been approved
On March 30 of this year, Vlaams Belang demonstrated in the City of Kortrijk against recognition of a planned mega-mosque and the Islamization of Flemish cities, along with some 400 sympathizers and citizens of the neighborhood. And with success.
The Municipal Council supported the recognition of the Attakwa Mosque, a prayer house in Kortrijk that seats 1,500 Muslims and is headed by an imam who speaks only Arabic and whose chairman speaks only Arabic and French, even though he has lived in Flanders for 35 years. To top all this, there was also a very tall minaret planned for the mosque, and it would become the largest mosque of Western and Eastern Flanders.
“From the front gardens we were met with applause and from behind the windows thumbs went up, and still, afterwards we are being swamped with congratulations and expressions of sympathy, by mail, letters, and telephone,” the fraction leader of the Vlaams Belang in the municipal council, Maarten Seynaeve, said afterwards.
However, the police refused to keep immigrant rioters and stone-throwers at a distance and arrest them. Even before the demonstration got underway, cans of paint were thrown by the counter-demonstrators. A can of paint aimed at Filip Dewinter was stopped by one of the demonstrators who jumped in front of him. Still, a dozen demonstrators got paint all over themselves. Also during our legally permitted demonstration, groups of immigrants tried to bombard the protesters with bricks and sticks. The thugs were supported by members of Parliament Phillippe De Coene (SP.A [Flemish Socialists]) and Bert Caron (Groen! [Green left party]).
During the meeting after the demonstration, Filip Dewinter rightly expressed his fear that the mosque would result in the Islamization of the entire neighborhood of the planned mosque in Kortrijk. Maarten Seynaeve: “I pointed out the incomprehensible benevolence of our city government in approving the mosque without any delay, and above all without consulting the citizens in the neighborhood of the planned mosque.”
“It is also clear that in Flanders it is five to twelve. Apart from Kortrijk, the cities of Waregem and Oostende will soon have — taxpayer-subsidized — mosques as well. All traditional parties, even Lijst Dedecker [that is trying to position itself as an alternative to Vlaams Belang] voted for the mosque in Oostende. Who will stop this madness?” Vlaams Belang stated in their report on the demonstration.
The Security Service has now issued a negative opinion on the recognition of the three mosques, including the one in Kortrijk. It is not fully clear what the exact motivation of the Security Service is, but it is at least clear that the mosques are not a done deal. “I am pleased that we are right now,” Maarten Seynaeve. said “This judgment in any case strengthens our assertion that this mosque has no place in this Flemish city.”
Mayor Lieven Lybeer (CD&V [Christian Democrats]) is saddened. “It will have a serious meaning [the Security service rejection], and I must accept it […] We have to do everything now not to make Muslims distance themselves from us again. I hope that all the integration projects will not be endangered now”.
Integration projects? The creation of a large mosque, with as leader an imam who only speaks Arabic, can hardly be called an improvement to integration. The Vlaams Belang will — as the only party — go out on the street against the Islamization of OUR country, and oppose the hugging-policy of the traditional parties, including the “Christian” CD&V.
In Belgium, federal acknowledgement and approval is necessary to receive subsidies (a percentage of the building costs and maintenance), wages of the clergyman (and an allowance for housing), and also for building permits. At the moment religious worship is acknowledged by law for the Catholic, Protestant, Anglican, Israelite, Orthodox, and Islamic faiths.
In 2004, Vlaams Belang proposed a law in Parliament to withdraw the acknowledgement of the Islamic faith, but did not receive support from the other parties. Because of the excellent (private opinion) and extensive motivation that was included in and part of the proposal for the law:
Legislative Document No. 3-658/1
3-658/1; Belgian Senate; Session 2003-2004; 29 APRIL 2004
Bill amending the Act of March 4, 1870 on the temporary of worship for the withdrawal of recognition of the Islamic religion and to amend the Act of August 2, 1974 on the salaries of the holders of certain public offices and the ministers of worship
STATEMENT OF REASONS
The relationship between the Catholic Church and the secular state are still governed by the Concordat of 26 Messidor year IX [June 15, 1803; the calendar of the French Revolution]. The practical effect of this relationship was governed by the law of 18 Germinal year X, the imperial decree of December 30, 1809 and the Act of March 4, 1870 on the temporary of worship services [religions]. With that the Catholic Church was recognized as a religion. Its ministers [bedienaars] are paid by the State.
It was logical that, in the spirit of ecumenism and the awareness of the common European tradition, the other Christian churches would also be recognized by the secular state: Anglican, Protestant, and Orthodox worship rightly enjoys the same privileges as the Catholic Church. Israelite worship [Judaism] was also recognized, given the centuries-long presence in our regions and the constructive contribution of its believers to the building and prosperity of the secular state.
Since 1974 the Islamic religion has also received recognition by law. The recognition of the Islamic religion was given without sufficient knowledge of that religion. Since the recognition of Islam in our country it has become clear that there are fundamental and irreconcilable contradictions between Islamic and Western values. For decades there have been numerous attempts to bring the West and the Islamic world closer together. These experiments have, with a few limited exceptions, all failed.
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In Anno 2004 it is clear that Islam is increasing its grip over our country’s policy. In swimming pools, separate hours are arranged for women because Islam demands it. In our cemeteries, the clock is turned back a hundred years and there are separate parcels of land, since the Islamists demand it. The rule that no religious symbols may be worn is thrown overboard in city schools, because of Islamic demands for the wearing of headscarves. For the same reason, the rule that no headgear was allowed in photos on identity cards was abandoned.
Occasionally it is argued that the recognition of Islam is the logical consequence of the tolerance that happens to characterize our Western society. Of course there is nothing wrong with tolerance. But tolerance should not be synonymous with boundless naiveté. The recognition of Islamic worship testifies to such a boundless naiveté because it was based on a total lack of knowledge about the true nature and background of Islam. In contrast to the organization of Western society, Islam makes no distinction among political, cultural, and religious spheres. This is why this religion affects public order and seriously blurs the relationship between the religious community and the secular state.
The recognition of Islam in 1974 was a big mistake. This view is apparently also shared by Philippe Moureaux. This PS-ringleader was the originator of the anti-racism law. He also supported the recognition of Islam. When he later became mayor of the village Sint-Jans-Molenbeek, where Islam has a strong basis, he stated on the recognition of Islam: “This is an example of a decision in which the policy-makers had good intentions, but acted in error. (Le Soir, February 14, 1990). Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt wrote in a previous life [before he became head of a government and a dhimmi] the following: “The question is whether Islam can be brought into line with liberal democracy and freedom, tolerance, diversity and the contradictory debate without which no open society can be. (…) Is the Rushdie case not the ultimate proof of the impossibility of fitting Islam into our society? Does that not show that the Islam is essentially an intolerant and totalitarian ideology, which clashes with the cultural, moral and legal standards that apply in an open and democratic society? (Guy Verhofstadt, The road to political change, the second civil manifest document IV-6-1, p. 64-65).
The bloody terrorist attacks on the WTC towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 provided proof par excellence of the deep-rooted hostility of Islam to Western society. Before September 11 the dogma was cherished by the political establishment and the politically correct media that Islam is peaceful and harmless and that if only we are tolerant enough, there would emerge some kind of multicultural Disneyland where everyone always laughs, the sun always shines, and everybody loves one another. Since September 11 this is difficult to sustain. However, a new dogma was invented: only a negligible proportion of Muslims, including those in our country, would support terrorist acts. Unfortunately, no objective evidence to substantiate this, such as an poll carried out on the opinion of the Belgian Muslims about the attacks, exists. One such survey was carried out in the Netherlands, however, by the research bureau Foquz Etnomarketing, commissioned by the weekly multicultural magazine Contrast. The results were astounding: 47.7% of Muslims in the Netherlands were understanding of the attacks. When youth in the Dutch town of Ede celebrated the attacks in front of the camera, made V signs, and called Osama Bin Laden “their leader”, only 48.8% of the interviewed Muslims disapproved of that. There are no reasons to believe that the Belgian Muslims have a significantly different view than the Dutch Muslims. Some indications support that assumption:
- Immediately after September 11 there were spontaneous outbursts of joy by Muslims: in companies where many Muslims work there was dancing and applause; at various locations graffiti was created with the words “Leve Bin Laden”;
- When an occasion of three minutes of silence was initiated by the government to commemorate the victims, the heads of some schools decided not to observe those three minutes because it was not accepted by the Muslim students;
- In Antwerp a music group wanted to give a benefit concert at the Groenplaats for the victims in New York but the concert was banned by the city council out of fear of riots, and was only allowed to be held weeks later under the changed title “peace concert”;
- The weekly magazine HUMO went to a Muslim neighborhood in Brussels and could hardly find a Muslim who was even the slightest bit critical of the attacks. The reactions ranged from understanding through sympathy to enthusiastic expressions of support;
- In P-magazine an Antwerp imam, one Nordine Taouil, described the Taliban in Afghanistan as follows: “Very friendly, generous people with disappointment saw that nowhere in the neighboring countries were human rights respected, but also that the Islam was not respected. I regret that the Taliban never had a chance to prove they can govern, and that the West did not support the country economically.”
All this shows that the dogma of the “negligible minority of fundamentalist Muslims” should be taken with a large grain of salt. The election of the Muslim council in this country was a worrying indication of the support that Muslim extremists enjoy. In December 1998 elections were organized, and each Muslim had the right to vote in Belgium. They elected fifty persons, and another eighteen were appointed.
According to the answers to a written question by Vlaams Blok Senator Jurgen Ceder, 29 of those 68 persons had ties with fundamentalists. This means that the body which the government finds representative of Belgian Muslims is more than 40% composed of people who have links with fundamentalists. Out of those 68 members of the Muslim Council a Board of Muslims had to be constructed, consisting of seventeen members. The terms were simple: being able to speak one of the three national languages (Dutch, French, or German) and not being a fundamentalist. From the 68 people not one could be found that succeeded in meeting those conditions. The Board was forced to start with sixteen members. Meanwhile, the situation has become even worse: the Minister of Justice appointed eight fundamentalists to the Board, despite the opposition of her predecessor.
Based on an extrapolation of the results of the screening of candidates for the Muslim Council as carried out by the State, we can say that in Belgium there are at least 100,000 Muslims who cherish sympathy for the fundamentalists, or that at least a limited number of the Muslims are prepared to cooperate. Of the 129 Mosques that submitted a file for the subsidizing of wages by the government, there were 54 not eligible for recognition, because they encouraged fundamentalist activities. At the end of January 2002, the spokesman for State Security, Mr. Desmedt, told the TV news that fundamentalist activities have indeed developed in various mosques.
In 1995, the weekly Télemoustique published a remarkable article entitled: “La Belgique deviendrat-elle musulmane?” [Is Belgium becoming Muslim?]. In this was mentioned, among other things, that in the Mosque in Saint-Jans-Molenbeek, near the Kleine Kasteeltje, a holy war against Belgium was repeatedly called for. The foundation of an Islamic republic in Belgium was put forward by the local imam as final goal. We quote verbatim here from one of the sermons: “We are in the territory of the infidels and it is our sacred duty to make the true belief conquer, as was revealed by our Prophet. (…) We are on the road to victory and the Muslims will soon be the majority in this country. Then we will impose Sharia and Belgium will be part of the Muslim community [Dar al Islam]. The victory is within reach. Today the Belgians despise us, they criticize us, they insult us, but they will be sorry for all eternity once Belgium belongs to us. Then they will serve us; those who do not submit to the reign of our Prophet will serve us. Prepare yourself, because the victory is near.”
This imam is not an isolated curiosity; Belgium, and Brussels in particular, is a hub for all sorts of fundamentalist groups. Following the war in Afghanistan, a lot of information on Islamic extremist networks in our country came to light. The anti-Western Pakistani religious movement Jamâhal-tablîgh encouraged Muslims towards radicalism and extremism with door-to-door campaigns. Also the international fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood, especially the Syrian branch, is active in our country. Like the Egyptian Brotherhood they founded prayer houses, around which Islamic organizations emerged. Youth Camps in the Ardennes were actually training camps. Refugee Algerian fundamentalists took shelter in the prayer houses. Some Muslim youth feel strongly attracted to fundamentalism. Some of them attended training camps in Afghanistan. In the past we were familiar with the gang Zaoui (GIA).
There is also the case of the gang of Nizar Trabelsi [member of the Belgian Al Qaeda cell; later connected with the shoe-bomber Reid et al], the Tunisian who was arrested in November 2001 because he was on the verge of blowing up the Air Force base Kleine Brogel [that also houses American military personnel]. Trabelsi was sentenced on September 30, 2003 to ten years imprisonment by the Brussels Court of First Instance. According to Judge Claire Degryse, Trabelsi was ready to commit the most severe of crimes since the creation of Belgium. The Belgian of Tunisian origin Tarek ben Habib Maaroufi was also sentenced on September 30, 2003 to an imprisonment of six years because of recruiting fighters for the “Holy War” in Afghanistan, and because of his share in the planning of the assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the commander of the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan, on September 9, 2001. The murderers of Massoud were in possession of stolen Belgian passports that had been provided them by Maaroufi. One of the murderers, Abdessatar Dahmane, spent nearly ten years in Belgium and was married in the Islamic Center of Saint-Jans-Molenbeek to a Moroccan-Belgian woman [The Mama of Al Qaeda].
During the GIA [Groupe Islamiste Armé; al-Jama’ah al-Islamiyah al-Musallaha] trial in 1995 in Brussels, Maaroufi had already been sentenced to three years in jail with probation. Maaroufi is often regarded as the prime organizer and the hub of the Islamic fundamentalism in Europe. Meanwhile Maaroufi was also under suspicion for his involvement in another Al Qaeda terrorist network. That network, which operated from Antwerp and of which Maaroufi is the central figure, would have delivered false passports, visas and stamps to members of Al Qaeda [Maaroufi was also suspected of involvement in the conspiracy to attack USA embassy in Paris in 2001, but the Belgian authority refused to let CIA interview him].
There are many indications that the Belgian State has engaged in a policy of tolerance towards Islamic fundamentalism. In two communiqués, sent from Cairo on 11 and 25 June, 1999, the GIA threatened Belgium with a massacre [“bloodbath”]. There was mention of a pact with the Belgian State that would expire if Belgium were to extradite fundamentalists to France.
Of course, not every Muslim is a fundamentalist or a potential terrorist. There are undoubtedly many Muslims who are very tolerant and do mean well. These people, however, are tolerant despite the fact that they are Muslim, and not because they are Muslim. In short, there are tolerant Muslims, but there does not exist a tolerant Islam. Islam is an intolerant religion and preaches hatred against infidels and calls for jihad. It is incompatible with European values like democracy, separation of church and state, freedom of expression, and equality between men and women. Fundamentalism is embedded in Islam and is anything but a variety of Islam that is practiced by a minority. Who seeds Islam will sow fundamentalism.
The author of this bill does not consider it appropriate that we allow Islam to become a true Muslim pillar on the taxpayers’ expense. This bill seeks to repeal the recognition of the Islamic religion by an amendment of Article 19a of the Act of March 4, 1870 on the temporary of worship. Contrary to what is often relied upon, the recognition of Islam does not stem from Article 19 of the Constitution, which only arranges for freedom of religion and the free public exercise thereof. The government is thus not obliged to recognize any religion and, after that, to subsidize it.
Articles 3 through 7 of this bill to bring to the law of August 2, 1974 on the salaries of the holders of certain public offices and the ministers of worship such amendments necessary as a result of the planned withdrawal of the recognition of Islam in Article 2 of this bill. Articles 8 and 9 cancel the royal decrees of May 3, 1978 for the establishment of committees entrusted with the management of temporaries of the approved Islamic communities, and of May 3, 1999 approving of the Board of Muslims of Belgium, since due to the withdrawal of the recognition of the Islamic religion it will be void.
Yves Buysse [Vlaams Belang].
Directly elected senator (N)
Wim Verreycken [honorary member Vlaams Belang]
This law regulates a matter referred to in Article 78 of the Constitution
Article 19bis of the Act of March 4, 1870 on the temporary of worship, introduced by the Act of July 19, 1974, as amended by the Laws of April 17, 1985 and July 18, 1991, replaced with the Law of March 10, 1999 and amended by the Royal Decree of July 20, 2000, the following changes:
a) in the first paragraph, the words “Islamic and Orthodox worship” are replaced with the words “Orthodox worship”; b) in the second paragraph remove the words “by the representative body of Islamic worship and”; c) in the last paragraph, the words “Islamic and Orthodox worship” are replaced with the words “Orthodox worship”.
The title of Chapter IV of the Act of August 2, 1974 on the salaries of the holders of certain public posts, the ministers of the recognized religions and the liberal members of the Central Council the words “the imams of the Islamic worship” will be cancelled.
Article 29bis of the same Act, inserted with the Act of January 23, 1981, replaced with the Law of February 17, 1997 and amended by the Royal Decree of July 13, 2001, are removed.
Article 30 of the same law, last replaced in the Act of June 21, 2002, the words “the imams” will be cancelled.
Article 31 of the Act is replaced with the Law of February 17, 1997 and amended by the Act of June 21, 2002, the words, “the imams” will be cancelled.
Article 31a of the same Act, introduced by the Act of January 23, 1981 and amended by the Act of June 21, 2002, the words, “the imams” will be cancelled.
The royal decree of May 3, 1978 for establishment of committees entrusted with the management of temporaries of approved Islamic communities, as amended by the Royal Decree of April 10, 1995, is removed.
The royal decree of May 3, 1999, approving the Board of Muslims of Belgium, is lifted.
This law shall enter into force on the first day of the second month following that in which it is published in the Belgian Official Gazette.
March 23, 2004