Archive for Belgium

Mosque in Belgium Targeted for Second Time

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on February 20, 2012 by loonwatch

Mosque in Belgium targeted for second time

(World Bulletin)

A mosque in Belgium affiliated with Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs has been the target of a racially-motivated attack for the second time in the past year.

Last July, an image of a pig attached to a wooden cross was left in the grounds of the Alaaddin Mosque in the Marchienne-au-Pont neighborhood of Charleroi and the Turkish flag outside the building was torn.

Now, less than a year later, a similar attack has taken place at the same mosque, where a number of racial and İslamophobic slurs, including “Go home foreigners,” have been sprayed on the walls of the building and grounds. Those involved in the attack have not been identified.

A spokesman for the mosque said the local Muslim community felt deeply aggrieved by the attack and the slurs directed towards them and their religion. Further, disappointment was expressed by the DİB that authorities made no effort to follow up on the last attack or bring the perpetrators to account for their actions.

The incident is part of a growing trend of Islamophobic attacks, which have become increasingly common in Belgium over the past decade.

Cihan

Belgium, Islam, and the Boomerang of Loon Idiocy

Posted in Feature, Loon Media, Loon Sites with tags , , , , , , on December 15, 2011 by loonwatch
Belgium VigilFrancois Lenoir/Reuters Women lit candles on Wednesday in memory of victims at the site of a gun and grenade attack in Liege, Belgium.

On Tuesday, after the grenade attack in Belgium, Loonwatch exposed Robert Spencer’s feeble attempt to pin it on Muslims here.  He immediately jumped to the conclusion that the perpetrator, Nordine Amrani, was a Muslim with sinister Islamic motives. Spencer wasn’t alone.

All the usual suspects also jumped the gun: Belgium, Islam and the Boomerang of “Multiculturalism” (Frontpage Magazine – thanks for the title idea), Belgium Grenade Attack by Muslim[s] 4 Dead, 75 wounded (Atlas Shrugs), Belgium: Honor Killing Trial Causes Jihad With Hand Grenades (Winds of Jihad).

Apparently the loons are unaware that Amrani is typically a Mizrahi Jewish surname. It is reckless to guess because names can be deceiving, but if Amrani’s Jewish origin is confirmed, will the loons suddenly agree with us that the religious and ethnic heritage of the perpetrator shouldn’t be relevant?

As the bigots are fond of pointing out, Nordine Amrani is of Moroccan extraction, though he was born and raised in Belgium. According to an article in the New York Times, Amrani considered himself Belgian, didn’t speak a word of Arabic, and was not a Muslim.

In the absence of facts, it seems anti-Muslim bigots just manufacture whatever sensational headlines suit their hateful agenda. Authorities say the attack is not religiously motivated:

‘No religious motive in Liege rampage’

The Belgium grenade attack which killed three people and injured 123 has sent shockwaves through the country. However, Glyn Ford, a former Member of the European Parliament, stresses that individual motives are the key to understanding such attacks.

After Nordine Amrani, who also died in the blast, went on a rampage in a central square in the city of Liege on Tuesday, there has been much speculation as to what led him to throw three hand grenades toward a bus shelter and opening fire on the crowd.

Speaking with RT, Glyn Ford said that despite earlier reports, this was not a repeat of the July 22 Norwegian massacre that left 77 dead.

Well, we don’t know, but it would appear that it was an individual incident. Earlier reports that there were three or four gunmen involved have since been discredited and it equally appears that he wasn’t targeting anybody in particular… so in a sense it’s not a replica of what happened in Norway.

Ford was also quick to counter any allegations that Amrani’s attack was religiously motivated.

Earlier reaction in many senses seems to be rather racist. He was not being identified as a Belgium when he was a Belgian citizen. Because of his Moroccan origins, people are talking about killing the Muslims;  it’s all the fault of the Muslims, and the new socialist government that’s been in office now for nearly a week is being blamed for being soft on immigrants and not reacting hard enough.

It was also reported that a rightwing extremist had gone on a shooting spree in Florence, Italy, killing two African traders and wounding three others before taking his own life. While Ford recognizes that these tragic events in Europe are a cause for concern, he argues that the European Union has done a much better job of curbing such violent crimes than the United States.

In a sense, the European track record is far better than that in the United States. The United States has these kinds of rampage attacks happening fairly regularly in schools and elsewhere. I think it’s the rather tougher gun laws that we actually have in the European Union that’s kept it down to the low level that it is, because essentially Europeans are no different than American. It’s the lack of weapons that’s kept this under control to a degree.

Ultimately, Ford says that when confronted with such events, it is better to investigate individual motives rather than jump to any immediate conclusions.

****************************

The latest Europol Data confirms that less than 1% of terrorist attacks in Europe are perpetrated by Muslims. Shooting sprees and violent rampages are usually said to be the work of a “lone wolf” with no religious motive, and they don’t count as terrorism, unless the perpetrator is Muslim. In that case, it’s terrorism done “in the name of Islam,” regardless of actual motive.

The Telegraph compiled a list of similar incidents over the last 10 years, and it appears Amrani would be the token Muslim if the loons were right about his background:

Liege shooting and grenade attack: previous European incidents in last 10 years

September 27, 2001 – SWITZERLAND

A man bursts into the local assembly in the central Swiss town of Zug and opens fire, killing 14 members of parliament and local government then turning the gun on himself.

‘Grudge’ behind Swiss gun massacre

Fredrich LeibarcherFredrich Leibarcher

March 27, 2002 – FRANCE

Eight local councillors are killed and 19 injured when a man opens fire on members of the municipal council of Nanterre, outside Paris. He kills himself the next day while in police custody.

The perpetrator in the shootings was Richard Durn, 33, who was originally from Slovenia.

Richard DurnRichard Durn

April 26, 2002 – GERMANY

Sixteen people, including 12 teachers and two students, are gunned down at a school in Erfurt in eastern Germany by a 19-year-old former student, apparently in revenge for having been expelled, who then killed himself.

Robert SteinhuserRobert Steinhuser

November 7, 2007 – FINLAND

An 18-year-old goes on a shooting rampage in a school in the southern Finnish town of Tuusula, killing eight people before shooting himself.

A Deadly School Shooting, This Time in Finland

Pekka-Eric AuvinenPekka-Eric Auvinen

September 23, 2008 – FINLAND

Eleven people, including the 22-year-old gunman, die in a massacre at a training school at Kauhajoki, Finland at the hands of Matti Juhani Saari

Matti Saari

Matti Saari

March 11, 2009 – GERMANY

Nine pupils, three teachers and three passers-by are killed in a school shooting at Winnenden in southern Germanyby Tim Kretschmer a former pupil who then kills himself.

Tim KretchmerTim Kretchmer

June 2, 2010 – ENGLAND

Twelve people are killed when Derrick Bird, a 52-year-old taxi driver, goes on a shooting spree in the English region of Cumbria, before killing himself. 

Derrick BirdDerrick Bird

April 9, 2011 – THE NETHERLANDS

A gunman opens fire in a packed mall in the Netherlands, killing six people before shooting himself dead.

Lone gunman shoots six dead in Dutch shopping mall

Van der Vlis left a farewell letter, found by his mother, in which he mostly talked about his suicidal feelings. But it did not give a clear motive for the killings, the town’s mayor Bas Eenhoorn told Dutch television.

Tristan van der VlisTristan van der Vlis

July 22, 2011- NORWAY

A bomb attack on government buildings in Oslo that kills eight is followed by a shooting which kills 69 at a summer holiday camp organised by the ruling Labour party on the island of Utoya, near to the capital. Anders Behring Breivik, a right-wing extremist is arrested for carrying out both attacks.

Anders BreivikAnders Breivik

December 13, 2011 – BELGIUM

Three people, plus the gunman, are killed when a man, armed with grenades, opens fire on a square packed with children and Christmas shoppers in the eastern Belgian city of Liege.

Nordine AmraniNordine Amrani

December 13, 2011 – ITALY

In ITALY a far-right militant kills two Senegalese street vendors and wounds three people in a shooting spree in Florence after which he apparently kills himself.

Gianluca CasseriGianluca Casseri

Among all the anti-Muslim hate sites, the most novel is the Roman Catholic Imperialist, which claims Anders Breivik is also a Muslim convert. Notice how frequently the word “Muslim” is repeated [emphasis mine]:

In the Belgian city of Liege known for its love of the Muslim – a Muslim kills 4 in a terrorist attack and wounded at least 75. It is not official that the terrorist is a Muslim, but all bets are that he is. The Modus operandi is the same as in all other Muslim terrorist attacks. This attack is similar to the attack in Norway by the Muslim convert Anders Behring Breivik.

First: the bomb.

Second: the gun.

The Muslim terrorist lobbed grenades into the crowd. After his hands were free the Muslim terrorist pulled out a hand gun and started firing. The Muslim aimed to kill.

The Belgian interior Ministry said the incident was not terrorism-related. Meaning of course that the man was most likely a Muslim.

No Muslims were killed ‘cept of course for the Muslim terrorist who later blew his brains out.

Breivik described himself in his Manifesto as a “culturally Christian” agnostic who wanted to restore the Knights Templar. Breivik despised Islam and viewed himself as a foot soldier in the war against the Muslim hordes. In fact, the site looks like something Brievik could appreciate.

So why does the Roman Catholic Imperialist say Breivik is a Muslim convert? An anonymous comment suggests, “All terrorists are Muslims, therefore all Muslims are terrorists.” Breivik is a terrorist, therefore Breivik is a Muslim.

Take another look at the photos above, folks. According to loon (il)logic, they’re all Moooslems!

Robert Spencer Attempts to Falsely Link Belgian Attacker to Islam, Based Solely on His Muslamic Sounding Name

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , on December 13, 2011 by loonwatch
Robert Spencer

There is no denying the uptick in right-wing terrorism in Europe, Anders Breivik being the most glaring example of this violence. The ties between fanatical right-wingers in Europe and in the United States is well known, Robert Spencer being a prominent figure in such circles. Of course, right-wing Islamophobes are in denial about the resurgent xenophobia and anti-Muslim hysteria they have helped foster and which is now having deadly consequences.

Now, Robert “Police Blotter” Spencer is at it again, resorting to his well worn modus operandi of trying to link any possible crime “allegedly” committed by a Muslim to Islam.

He does this of course to dehumanize Muslims, inflate and exaggerate the stealth-Muslamic-Islamization threat and also to deflect from any negative news regarding the so-called “counter jihad” movement.

This is clear when we learn that just today a man with links to extreme right-wing groups in Italy murdered two Senegalese traders. This is the sort of violence that is usually applauded amongst the “internet counter jihadis,” including on Spencer’s own site as well as that of his friends.

Spencer quickly jumped on a Telegraph report about an attack in Liege, Belgium, in which four people were killed and dozens injured. According to the Telegraph report, the attacker was identified as Nordine Amrani citing (without a link) something called the “Karachi Post,” saying the attack was linked to an “honor killing.”

To say the least, this whet Spencer’s enormous anti-Muslim Islamophobic appetite. Spencer went on to write,

…the Telegraph notes a link to an honor killing case that could indicate that this was yet another act of violence by Misunderstanders of the Religion of Peace.

Spencer’s own fans took issue with his jumping the gun, cautioning him not to make a fool out of himself:

GnaeusNaevius | December 13, 2011 7:01 AM | Reply

Be careful before attributing this to Islamic terror. We don’t know for sure yet.If it transpires that it has nothing to do with Islam, it makes Jihad watch look bad.

Spencer responded by blaming others, as well as saying that “GnaeusNaevius” criticism sounds “like something out of the looniest Islamic supremacist foes of this site.”

Gnaeus goes on to have another exchange with Spencer,

GnaeusNaevius | December 13, 2011 7:15 AM | Reply

Hi Robert,

Thanks for your reply. Your point is well taken, but I would rather you had held back until we had CONCRETE evidence of the motivations of this attack. Otherwise, it does make you a bit too keen to pin things like this on Muslims. It’s happened before.

My advice is for your benefit, not mine.

Best Regards,

Will.

Gnaeus

Actually, I am not keen to “pin things like this on Muslims,” and whatever you think has “happened before,” in reality I have always done what I have done here: report available evidence.

If the Telegraph reports on the honor killing link, and the Flanders News gives the attacker’s name (the Telegraph has it as well now) why is it all right for them to report these things but wrong for me to do so?

Your assumptions are completely baseless.

Cordially
Robert Spencer

Others also took issue with Spencer:

Vagn Henning | December 13, 2011 7:49 AM | Reply

I think Gnaeus’s advice is wise. Reproducing other peoples’ speculation harms JW’s credibility if they turn out to be baseless. No-one is questioning JW’s right to quote the Karachi Post, only the wisdom in doing so.

So what ended up happening? It blew up in Spencer’s face. He would have done well to listen to his brethren, but such is the condition of the fuzzy guru of Islamophobes; he cannot countenance any criticism or even advice.

It turns out the attack had nothing to with “honor killing,” as loonwatch commenter RDS put it:

“Update, 9:00 a.m. EST/3:00 p.m. CET:

Pakistani Twitter account Karachi Post claims the attack was linked to a sentence in an honor killing case. (Officials later said the case was in no way linked to the attack, and the Karachi Post admitted they used the attacks as efforts “highlighting the evil of honor killing.”)”

So the so-called Karachi Post is a twitter dude, and yet his statement supersedes statements by Belgian officials. Use of disingenuous links to bolster a non-credible claim? You don’t say…

bboyblue also updates us that Nordine Armani was actually a gun freak, drug peddler and a felon:

A convicted gun fanatic threw hand grenades and opened fire on a square bustling with Christmas shoppers in the centre of the Belgian city of Liège, killing at least six people, including himself, and wounding dozens, some critically.

Hours after failing to show up for police questions about his preoccupation with guns, the 33-year-old unleashed a lunchtime attack on Place Saint Lambert, which was hosting a Christmas market that attracts 1.5 million visitors a year.

Police said there were no indications that the dead assailant, a local man, had been involved with terrorism. Nor was there evidence of any ideological motivation for the murders.

The gunman was named as Nordine Amrani, a 33-year-old Liègeois who was known to be a “gun freak”, according to the police. He was given a jail term of almost five years after police officers raided his metal workshop three years ago and found a dozen firearms, including an AK-47 machine-gun, and 9,500 gun parts. He was also found guilty of drug dealing after cultivating 2,800 marijuana plants.

He has a North African sounding name so naturally he’s being framed as a jihadist by the Islamophobes. But this looks like the actions of a man who was desperate not to go back to jail, and would rather take his own life and as many others as possible than be incarcerated again. There don’t appear to be any political or religious motivation behind his actions. He’s obviously well known to the police, and they are satisfied that there are no links to a terrorist network. But, he’s from an Arabic background and possibly a Muslim one, and that’s all the right wingers need to know.

Put this down as example number 1,000,342,784,678 in the annals of #EpicRobertSpencerFail.

Discrimination against Muslims at all-time high in Belgium

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by loonwatch

But all they care about is banning the Niqab?

Discrimination against Muslims at all-time high in Belgium

(Today’s Zaman)

A total of 166 out of 1,466 cases launched in connection with discrimination and racism-related offenses involve faith, according to the 2010 report prepared by Belgium’s Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR).

Eighty-four percent of these cases are connected to Islam while only 2 percent concern Christianity and Judaism. The high number of cases of discrimination against Muslims is likely to bring more debates on Islamophobia back to the agenda. Eighty percent of the complaints filed with the CEOOR involve racism. 

About two-thirds of the cases involving Islam stem from Islamophobia, the report says. These incidents of Islamophobia are mostly characterized by propaganda being disseminated through email and pressure in the workplace. The workplace-related cases of discrimination include exclusion and verbal provocation of Muslims. The report notes these instances are a result of workplace administrations believing that “religion has no place in the workplace.” The tension arising from Islamophobic attitudes in the workplace is mostly eliminated “by transferring the Muslim employee involved to another department or laying her/him off.”

Furthermore, 50 percent of cases of discrimination involving faith are linked to media organizations that publish or air unfair accusations or generalizations about members of a specific religion. Twenty-five percent of these cases concern recruitment or promotion while 8 percent involve services provided. The cases of discrimination in the latter category are mostly visible in real estate purchases or rentals. Some real estate agents and home owners are not inclined to rent out their properties to people who they believe are of a different faith.

Additionally, the number of cases of discrimination reported to the CEOOR in 2010 increased by 25 percent compared to the previous year. A list of companies allegedly reluctant to employ foreign employees was recently posted on the Internet.

Belgian School Fires Teacher for Wearing Veil

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on June 9, 2010 by loonwatch

Belgium beat France to the face veil ban, looks like the fall out is already being felt.

Belgian School Sacks Teacher for Wearing Veil (via Islamophobia-Watch)

A Belgian high school on Tuesday sacked a Muslim maths teacher after she insisted she would continue to wear the burqa while taking classes.

At the start of the academic year authorities at the school in Charleroi, south of Brussels, told the Turkish-born teacher to remove her full-face Islamic veil, which she had been wearing during class for two and a half years. The teacher refused and took her case to court.

In the first instance the Charleroi tribunal backed the school board, citing the religious “neutrality” of the schools serving Belgium’s francophone community. However, in March the appeals court ruled that the school in question came under the jurisdiction of Charleroi, which had not issued rules on the banning of religious insignia. The Muslim teacher therefore returned to school, but the municipality soon afterwards introduced its own ban on the wearing of “all religious or philosophical symbols”.

On Tuesday officials at the school, after auditioning the teacher in presence of the mayor, decided to sack her for her continued refusal to leave her burqa at home, according to a statement issued by the town hall.

AFP, 8 June 2010

 

Reuters: European push to ban burqas appalls Afghan women

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2010 by loonwatch

niqab

(hat tip: MuslimMatters.org)

(Reuters) – A firm believer in women’s rights, the only thing Afghan lawmaker Shinkai Karokhail finds as appalling as being forced to wear a burqa is a law banning it.

Karokhail is one of many Afghan women who see a double standard in efforts by some European nations to outlaw face veils and burqas — a move they say restricts a Muslim woman’s choice in countries that otherwise make a fuss about personal rights.

“Democratic countries should not become dictatorships and Muslim women should not be deprived from all kinds of opportunities. It should be their choice,” said Karokhail.

“Otherwise, what is the difference between forcing women to wear a burqa and forcing them not to? It is discrimination.”

France, which has the largest Muslim population in Europe, as well as Italy and Belgium are considering proposals to ban all-enveloping burqas and face veils called niqabs. Many in the West see them as a symbol of the subjugation of women.

In France, government and opposition lawmakers call burqas an affront to the country’s secular traditions, though an advisory board has said a banning them may be unlawful.

In deeply conservative Afghanistan, the Taliban made wearing a burqa mandatory for all women during their five-year rule that ended with the U.S-led invasion in 2001. It is still widely worn in the Muslim country, especially in rural areas and the south.

Shukriya Ahmadi, a 35-year-old Afghan government employee, has ditched the burqa since the days of being forced to wear it during Taliban rule. Still, she has only scorn for Western governments seeking to outlaw them.

“This shows they use democracy, freedom of religion and human rights issues only when it suits their purposes,” Ahmadi said.

PUNISH THE MEN

She suspects burqa legislation will only help a resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan gain support from outraged Muslims and win recruits for their insurgency campaign against the Afghan government and U.S.-led NATO forces.

University student Farida, 20, is another Afghan woman who says the move smacks of a double standard.

“I have never worn a burqa and do not like it,” she said. “But why would the West, which calls itself a supporter of democracy take such a decision? I am perplexed and sad.”

Even one of Afghanistan’s most outspoken and controversial women, former lawmaker Malalai Joya, is a staunch opponent of efforts to ban burqas or tight headscarves called hijabs.

She dislikes burqas, but wears it anyways as a cloak of protection from warlords she has been critical of in the past.

“As much as I am against imposing the hijab on women, I am also against its total ban. It should be regarded a personal matter of every human being and it should be up to women if they prefer to wear it or not,” she told Reuters by email.

“It is against the very basic element of democracy to restrict a human being from wearing the clothes of his/her choice. These governments better punish those men who force women to wear hijab, but if any woman wears it out of her own wish, there should be no ban on it.”

source

 

Belgium’s Lower House Bans Burka

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2010 by loonwatch

woman-in-face-veil-file-pic

Around 30 women wear the Burqa in all of Belgium.

Belgian lawmakers pass burka ban

The law would ban any clothing that obscures the identity of the wearer in places like parks and on the street. No-one voted against it.

The law now goes to the Senate, which is also expected to approve it. It would then become law by June or July.

The ban would be the first move of its kind in Europe.

Only around 30 women wear this kind of veil in Belgium, out of a Muslim population of around half a million.

The BBC’s Dominic Hughes in Brussels says MPs backed the legislation on the grounds of security, to allow police to identify people.

Other MPs said that the full face veil was a symbol of the oppression of women, our correspondent says.

The ban would be imposed in all buildings or grounds that are “meant for public use or to provide services”, including streets, parks and sports grounds.

Exceptions could be made for certain festivals.

Those who break the law could face a fine of 15-25 euros (£13-£27) or a seven-day jail sentence.

The Muslim Executive of Britain has criticised the move, saying it would lead to women who do wear the full veil to be trapped in their homes.