Anti-Immigration Party Banned In Belgium

[VDARE.Com Comment:
Think it can`t happen here? Look at
Agitators Suppressing Free Speech in Wisconsin—With Help
From Big Business
, by Bryanna Bevens

[Recently by Paul Belien:

Islamic Imigration And Murder Among The Tulips

Exactly one week after the political assassination of
Dutch journalist

Theo Van Gogh
in Holland last Tuesday, the Supreme
Court in neighbouring Belgium has banned the Vlaams
Blok, an anti-immigration party that happens to be the
largest party in the country.[Blow to Belgium`s far right, BBC News]

Is there a connection between the Van Gogh assassination
and the judicial execution of the Vlaams Blok?

There sure is.  

In his last column,

Van Gogh
had praised the Flemings, the
Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Flanders, the northern
half of Belgium, because they had managed to get rid of
the local Antwerp

Muslim leader

Dyab Abu Jahjah.

Van Gogh noted Jahjah`s announcement in a Flemish
newspaper that he is about to leave Belgium because too

vote Vlaams Blok.

"The sooner I can leave, the better," Jahjah
said. "Flemings are stupid idiots. One million of
them voted Vlaams Blok."

He announced that he would soon be returning to his
native Lebanon. And he added a

farewell message:




soldier that gets killed in Iraq, is a victory
to me. I hope many more will follow."

But the next victim did not fall in Iraq, but in the
streets of Amsterdam, where Van Gogh was slaughtered by

Muslim fanatic
on November 2.

Today, however, it is less certain that Jahjah will have
to leave Belgium. Its Supreme Court, the Cour de
, ruled that Jahjah`s enemies in the Vlaams
Blok (VB) belong to a "racist"

. The party, consequently, has to be

This is the first time in the history of Western Europe
that a court ruling has forced a democratic party to

The Belgian political establishment has been pushing for
this measure for years. The VB is not only an
anti-immigration party but also a secessionist party,
striving for the independence of

Flanders, the economic powerhouse of Belgium.

During the past decade, the Belgian constitution was
changed and five draconian laws were voted in order to

the VB. This is the latest, and most serious, attack.

Belgium is a West European kingdom that houses both the
seats of the


. It was

by an 1831 treaty that forced a
Dutch-speaking majority of sixty percent Flemings to

with a minority of forty percent
French-speakers living in the southern provinces of

From the start, Belgium was governed by a
French-speaking establishment. After the World War II,
when the Flemings claimed their political rights, both
Dutch- and French-speakers were given a fifty percent
say in running the country. Both groups held veto power.

This has led to a situation where the

free-market oriented Flemings
are being dominated by

Socialist Walloons,
who block all social and
political reforms.

Stagnation has become the major characteristic of
Belgian political life. And, in order to maintain the
ethnic balance, the establishment invited foreign
immigrants, mainly

from Morocco, to come to Belgium and
apply for citizenship.

Thus in February 2001,

Claude Eerdekens
, the parliamentary leader of the
Parti Socialiste
declared in Parliament that 99% of
the immigrants in Brussels—historically a Dutch-speaking
town—filed their naturalisation papers in French. "We
do more to turn Brussels into a Francophone city than
the Flemings can ever do to prevent it,"
he boasted.

And in September 2000

Leona Detiège,
the Socialist mayor of Antwerp,

that immigrants should be given the right
to vote because "the Vlaams Blok is currently
[in the city council] as the
immigrants are not allowed to vote."

Flemish dissatisfaction with Belgium has gained the VB
the support of one million voters in this country of
only ten million inhabitants—one million of whom are
foreigners. From three percent of the Flemish vote in
the 1987 general elections, the VB has risen
relentlessly to 24.1 percent in the regional elections
last June. That won the VB 32 of the 124 seats in the
Flemish regional parliament, making it the largest
single party. 

But, ostensibly because of its position on immigration,
the VB has constantly been smeared by the establishment
parties as a "racist" organisation, and it has
been excluded from participation in the coalitions that
typically control Belgian federal, regional and
municipal legislatures by the so-called

"cordon sanitaire"
agreement, in which
all the other parties piously vowed never to form a
coalition with "racists."

The VB`s anti-immigration rhetoric, however, is directed
exclusively at Muslim fundamentalists to whom its
message is to "assimilate

return home."
In Antwerp, where the party is
supported by 34.9 percent of the electorate, the VB has
a large backing of orthodox Jews who feel threatened by
Islamic extremists like Jahjah. Filip Dewinter, the
leader of the Antwerp chapter of the VB, said last March
23rd when he introduced

Avi Lipkin,
a former spokesman of the

army, to a VB audience, that Israel is
"the vanguard of the

in a

Middle East."

In fact,
there are other reasons why the VB is shunned by
Belgium`s establishment parties.

"Its conservative family policies, its deeply felt
ethical objections to


, its radical pursuing of the interests of
Flanders, its republicanism, these are the issues voiced
by no other party, these are in practice the
indiscussable phantasms of the Vlaams Blok,"

a leading left-wing columnist

in the anti-VB Flemish newspaper De
last January.

In October 2000, the Vlaams Blok was brought to court by
the Centre for Equal Opportunities and the Fight against
Racism (CEOFR), a taxpayer-funded government

reporting directly to the Prime Minister,
with representatives of all political parties—except the
VB—on its board.

The CEOFR has authority to prosecute "racists"
under the Belgian Anti-Racism Act. Article 1 of this
bill defines


"each form of distinction, exclusion,
restriction or preference, which has or may have
as its aim or consequence that the recognition,
the enjoyment or exercise on an equal footing of human
rights and fundamental freedoms in the political,
economic, social or cultural sphere or in other areas of
social life, is destroyed, affected or restricted."

[emphasis added]

This, of course, is a dangrously vague definition—note
the weasel words "may have," the fact that the
law covers all areas of social life, and that it`s an
offense if “rights” or “freedoms” are (or
may be) only "affected," even unintentionally
("as a consequence").

And last year, the Belgian Parliament voted an
enhanced Anti-Discrimination Act which reversed the
burden of proof. The complainant no longer needs to
prove that the accused does indeed "discriminate."
It is up to the accused to prove that he does not.

This April, after a prolonged judicial battle of
almost four years, the CEOFR complaint led to a
conviction of the VB as a "racist" organisation
by a Court of Appeal in Ghent.

The court cited a selection of texts provided by
the CEOFR. These texts were an anthology of 16 different
excerpts from publications by various local VB chapters
between 1996 and 2000.

Many of the texts simply quoted official statistics
on crime rates and social welfare expenditure. But they
were, according to the court, published with

"an intention to contribute to a campaign of hatred."

One of the texts, which dealt with the position of

in fundamentalist

Muslim societies,
was written by a female
Turkish-born VB member who had herself been raised in
such an environment and had been subjected to a

forced marriage.
But the court said that, although
the claims that were made in the story were not
necessarily untrue, the VB

published it
"not to inform the public about the
position of women in the Islamic world, but to depict
the image
[of non-indigenous people] as unethical
and barbarian."


Belgian Anti-Racism Act,
in its notorious Article 3,
not only punishes

but everyone who, in whatever way,

has any dealings
with them:

"Punishment with imprisonment for one month to one year
and a fine of fifty francs to one thousand francs or
with either of these is applied to whoever belongs to a
group or society which clearly and repeatedly practices
or teaches discrimination

[…], as well as to whoever cooperates with such a
group or society."

The Ghent ruling, which was upheld by the Belgian
Supreme Court today, means that the CEOFR can prosecute
every politician, every member and every "cooperator"
of the party.

The verdict states explicitly:

"By `belonging to` a group or society is meant that the

[…] is a part of the group or society
[…]. It is not necessary for him to have conducted
any activities within the group or society. Similarly,
`cooperating,` by which is meant any form of support for
the functioning of the group or society, does not imply
the execution of criminal acts. The punishability of
`belonging to` and `cooperating` follows from the mere
knowledge that the group or society, to which one
belongs or with which one cooperates,
commits discrimination."

The aim of the verdict is to kill the VB. And this, too,
is stated explicitly in the court`s ruling:

"Rendering punishable every person who belongs to or
cooperates with a group or society

[…] serves as an efficient means to suppress such
groups or societies, as the lawmaker intended.
inherently jeopardizes the continued existence or
functioning of the group or
society […]."

In order to avoid criminal prosecutions against its
members and collaborators, the VB will have to disband.

who `cooperated` with us in the past five years, can
lose their political rights,"

says VB Party Leader Frank Vanhecke—a member of the
European Parliament.

If the elections were not by secret ballot, the Belgian
authorities would even be able to prosecute each of the
one million VB voters.

To protect its people against prosecution, the VB
leadership has today decided to disband the party. It
wants to establish a new party next Sunday, but this
one, too, will probably be prosecuted.

The party leadership hopes, however, that it can
postpone a new verdict against a new party for a number
of years, allowing it to win future electoral victories,
force its way into goverment and abolish Belgium.

"Our voters deserve a democracy.
refuses to grant them one; we will,"

Mr. Vanhecke
said today. "We will establish a new party. This one
Belgium will not be able to bury; it will bury Belgium."

And, in the
process, the Vlaams Blok will bury mass immigration

Paul Belien
him] is a Flemish historian and journalist.
His wife,

Alexandra Colen
is a member
of the Belgian House of
Representatives for the Vlaams Blok