Friday, May 30, 2008

“Miss Jihad” Collects Unemployment Benefits

A quote from The International Herald Tribune, 27 May 2008 and The New York Times, 28 May 2008

On the street [in Brussels], Malika El Aroud is anonymous in an Islamic black veil covering all but her eyes. In her living room, El Aroud, a 48-year-old Belgian, wears the ordinary look of middle age: a plain black T-shirt and pants and curly brown hair. The only adornment is a pair of powder-blue slippers monogrammed in gold with the letters SEXY. But it is on the Internet that El Aroud has distinguished herself. Writing in French under the name Oum Obeyda, she has transformed herself into one of the most prominent Internet jihadists in Europe.

She calls herself a female holy warrior for Al Qaeda. She insists that she does not disseminate instructions on bomb-making and has no intention of taking up arms herself. Rather, she browbeats Muslim men to go and fight, and rallies women to join the cause. […] She was detained last December with 13 others in a suspected plot to free a convicted terrorist from prison and to mount an attack in Brussels. But Belgian law required that they be released within 24 hours because no charges were brought and searches failed to turn up weapons, explosives or incriminating documents.

Now, even as El Aroud remains under constant surveillance, she is back home rallying militants on her Web site -- and collecting more than $1,100 a month in government unemployment benefits. "Her jihad is not to lead an operation but to inspire other people to wage jihad," said Glenn Audenaert, the director of Belgium's federal police force. "She enjoys the protection that Belgium offers. At the same time, she is a potential threat."

Born in Morocco, raised from a young age in Belgium, El Aroud [...] operates from her three-room apartment above a clothing shop in a working-class Brussels neighborhood where she spends her time communicating with supporters on her main forum, Minbar-SOS. Although she insists she is not breaking the law, she knows the police are watching. And if the authorities find way to put her in prison, she said: "That would be great. They would make me a living martyr."

Thursday, May 29, 2008

An Old Ghost Is Rising In Belgium: Anti-Semitism And Hatred Of The Jews - Politicians Stage Psycho-drama

On Saturday the 24th of June political 'progressive' activists dressed up in Israeli military uniforms goes through the streets screaming against the people surrounding them and passers by in the city center of Nivelles, a Belgian city situated approximately 30km south from Brussels.

The occasion for this staged psychodrama was Israel's 60 years anniversary to which the organisers wanted to illustrate what their leaflets called the "expulsion of Palestinians in 1948 when Israel was created." and what they called the "disposition of the Palestinian people".

The activists who were dressed up like Israeli soldiers are screaming "You are on our land now, allez, allez, allez, hurry up, on to the trucks", "This is our place" while they are swinging their truncheons and harrassing other activists dressed up as Palestinians and passers by, the children present who are witnessing the whole psychodrama are terrified, some of the activist who are penned around dressed as Palestinians are playing along "We are scared, I got my baby in my apartment" while the 'soldier' is screaming "Move on, move on, hurry up"and to others "Down on your knees" and they are penned towards a stand with the United Nation's UNWRA written on it and ' The Bethlehem refugee camp'.

Terese Snoy, MP from the Ecolo (Greens) told the crowd.

I was dumbfunded to witness the pressure of what happened in the municipal of Nivelles. First someone had tried to block the tractor going through the street [pedestrian] and we had to do the second tour on foot. I suppose this illustrates the capacity of the political class which unfortunately will have to submit under the pressure from certain Jewish groups. I imagine this is going on at all level. And maybe this the reason for Belgium's weak positions"

Former Belgian defense minister André Flahaut, a Socialist MP city councillor in Nivelles, compared Israel to a Nazi state.

He starts declaring he is ashamed of the town and he is ashamed of his life and continues:

"Like any normal person, I am revolted when I see children suffering, when I see maltreated women, who are raped, when I see maltreated men and freedoms ridiculed. During the twelve years and half I was minister, I left no stone unturned so that the atrocities against the Jews during WWII be remembered and not forgotten. I also ask that one have the same commitment, the same determination to make that the voice of those who suffer today is heard and to avoid banalization. I am determined to fight against all exclusions, all nazisms, all fascisms wherever they are."

The video have shocked the Jewish community in Belgium and with good reason, it paints a complete false picture of Israel and simplifies the whole Israeli - Palestinian issue, comparing Israel to Nazis is by definition Anti-Semitism - Staging such a psychodrama using the occasion of Israel's 60th anniversary leaves more than just a bad taste in the mouth and revokes the spectre of 1938 in 2008 - Telling bystanders that they [the organisers of the psychodrama] had been under pressure and harrassed from 'certain Jewish groups' is yet again awakening an other old ghost from Europe's Nazi past that of the' Zionist Occupied Governments' and Hitler's 'Jugentum'.

The Israeli Embassy has got this to say to the European Jewish Press

"This demonstration, which trivializes and simplifies the Mideast situation, and during which the organizers didn’t not hesitate to manipulate the public, presented a negative and untrue image of Israel," the Israeli embassy deplored Wednesday in a statement.

"Under cover of criticism and free expression, certain associations and certain political representatives make every effort since several years to spread shameful and intolerable confusion," the embassy said.

"By acting this way, these associations are taking an active part in importing a regional conflict in the streets of Belgium and are feeding anti-Semitism."

The embassy called on the Belgian authorities "for more vigilance in the face of such outbursts which are inciting to hatred."

Andre Flahaut who you can watch on the YouTube making his speech later denied he had made any Anti-Jewish comments.

"Psychodrame Nakba" à Nivelles

Transcript of Andre Flahaut's speech:

Andre Flahaut:
"Bonjour à tous et tout d'abord effectivement je suis conseiller communal de cette ville et je
suis honteux pour cette ville et je suis honteux de ma ville."

"Parce que lorsque l'on interdit une manifestation ou une expression, je considère ça comme une dérive dangereuse."

"Je suis, comme toute personne normalement constituée, révolté lorsque je vois des enfants souffrir, lorsque je vois des femmes maltraitées, violées, lorsque je vois des hommes maltraités, des libertés bafouées."

"Pendant les douze ans et demi où j'ai été ministre, j'ai mis tout en œuvre aussi pour que l'on n'oublie pas et qu'on se souvienne des atrocités dont le peuple juif a été victime pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale."

"On a eu cet engagement et donc je demande aussi que l'on aie le même engagement, la même détermination, la même volonté pour faire entendre la voix de celles et de ceux qui aujourd'hui souffrent, pour faire en sorte que l'on évite la banalisation."

"Je suis déterminé à lutter contre toutes les exclusions, tous les nazismes, tous les fascismes où qu'ils se trouvent et au moment où ils se présentent."

"Voilà, c'est pour ça que je suis ici"

More: European Jewish press

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Ethnic War in Brussels: Moroccans Attack "Whites"

On Friday evening (today), riots broke out in the streets of Brussels between Moroccan youths and supporters of football club RSC Anderlecht. On Thursday evening, a blog had called for attacks on the "white" supporters of the club, and "to burn pubs, houses and cars."

The official story is that the problems began last Sunday, after the Belgian Cup Final between RSC Anderlecht and AA Gent. RSC Anderlecht won the Cup, but after the match its supporters and Moroccan youths had clashed near the metro station of Sint-Guido nearby the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium where the match was played. Since then, the atmosphere had been tense in and around the Brussels borough of Anderlecht, but on Thursday a blog was created on Blogspot calling for attacks on the "white" supporters of the football club and to burn pubs, houses and cars.

There may be more to this story than the media are telling us. In a reaction to a blog posting by an Anderlecht supporter, who uses the nickname da reflect, provides a clue to the reason why riots between Moroccans and supporters of Anderlecht broke out on Sunday evening: Someone, using the name RSCA SpideY, asks whether today's riots have something to do with "that Moroccan guy who tried to rob an Anderlecht supporter on Sunday evening and was beaten up by other RSC Anderlecht supporters afterwards." There is no confirmation of this story in the mainstream media, but they are not citing any other reason why riots broke out on Sunday.

Another interesting aspect of the story is that there is no information about the author of the inciting blog. It seems remarkable that the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR, a government body) has not yet commented on the case yet since the posting clearly must have been in violation with the Belgian anti-discrimination laws. According to the press, the word "white" was specifically mentioned in the posting. One would expect that the CEOOR would leave no stone unturned to find out who the author is and bring him to court. Others have received warrants, in a "knock on the door" fashion for articles that were far less offensive or explicit, as the readers of this website know. I could not find the address or a copy of the blog posting, so I assume it has already been removed from Blogspot's servers.

Source: Brusselsjournal

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Belgium-based Moroccan behind dismantled "terror network"

RABAT, May 21 (Xinhua) -- A Moroccan national living in Brussels was the mastermind behind a "terrorist network" involving11 people that was dismantled by Moroccan security forces earlier this week, a Moroccan newspaper has reported.

The Moroccan police had moved in to arrest the members of the network Monday "after receiving credible information regarding the activities of Abdellatif Bekkali, a Brussels-based Moroccan," the independent Arabic daily Assabah reported Tuesday.

"Abdellatif Bekkali had been instrumental in sending Moroccans, Algerians and Belgians to fight in Iraq. The group included Issam Goris, a Moroccan native of Meknes (center), who was killed in a suicide attack in the suburbs of Baghdad," said the daily quoting "anonymous security sources."

Issam Goris was the husband of Muriel Degauque, a Belgian national who in 2005 became the first Westerner to commit a suicide attack in Iraq, according to reliable sources.

But the Moroccan police are not denying or confirming the newspaper reports, only reiterating that "investigations into the activities of the suspected terror network are still going on" and that "more arrests could be made."

The alleged network was planning to launch attacks against targets in both Morocco and Belgium, police sources were quoted assaying Monday by the official Moroccan News Agency (MAP).

Chief among the high-profile targets included a building belonging to the European Union and a hotel in Brussels, the Belgian VRT radio reported Monday evening citing anonymous security sources.

"The Moroccan police had been informed that Bekkali had established a network in Nador, northern Morocco, and had managed to send a group of several young Moroccans to train in Al-Qaeda-run camps in Algeria," according to the Moroccan newspaper.

According to investigations conducted jointly by the Belgian and Moroccan police, said Assabah, Bekkali sent money via an agency to finance the travel of a group of Moroccans to Algeria and Mauritania for training in Al-Qaeda camps, before eventually sending them to Iraq.

Bekkali, according to Moroccan intelligence circles, "is regarded as a relative of Mohamed Reha, a Belgian of Moroccan origin" who was arrested in an anti-terrorism operation in Moroccoin 2005.

Reha and his uncle Ahmed Zemmouri, both Belgians of Moroccan origin, were among a group of 21 Islamists sentenced to prison terms ranging from one to ten years for "constitution of a criminal gang with the purpose of committing terrorist acts" in Morocco.

Source: XinhuaNet

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Belgium: Fundamentalists infiltrated integration business

A former social worker from Boom (Antwerp) is sounding the alarm. "The integration sector is infiltrated by Muslim fundamentalists." he says. Minister Marino Keulen is shocked and announces regulations.

The story of Peter Calluy started off in 2004. He then convinced his party, SP.A, to appoint him as social worker on the streets. He would build bridges between the ethnic Belgians and the immigrants, Muslims and people of other faiths. At the same time SP.A municipal counsellor Saïd Touhafi started a youth project El Islaah at De Dijk youth center. It went wrong quickly. Calluy: I got statement like 'all homos against the wall'. The administration of El Islaah in the youth center said: "You Belgians protect the homos so that our youth run the risk of becoming homo." In the end all other youth associations left the youth center, including the homo association Eksit.

Touhafi and the chairman of El Islaah, Fouad Belkacem, incited the youth. "They thought the attack in Madrid succeeded well and after the death of (Hamas leader) Sheikh Yassin they demonstrated with the Arab-European League (AEL) of Dyab Abou Jahjah." Touhafi, then still SP. A counsellor said himself: Oh, it's a question of time, Sharia will be implemented here.

After a confrontation in the SP.A party office Saïd Touhafi resigned. He moved to the Democratic Muslim Party of Abou Jahjah, the successor of the AEL. Calluy: In the end the youth center was closed after the counselors were cursed as "dirty whore" during a visit.
A request by the Mechelen youth center Rzoezie to open a new youth center for immigrants in Boom was refused. Minister of Welfare Inge Vervotte nevertheless already put aside 70,000 euro.

In the municipal elections of 2006, Vlaams Belang became the largest party in Boom, with 29.7%. The mosaic municipal counsel now has a hard, repressive policy of zero tolerance. The chasm between the different communities is even greater.

Flemish minister of integration Marino Keulen (VLD) was shocked at Calluy's report. He announced that personnel of non profits who are active in the integration sector will get a "norms and values" course.

Source: Oracle

Belgium teeters on a linguistic edge slowly breaking up

If Belgium vanishes one day, it will be because of little towns like this one, where Flemish politicians are riding a new wave of nationalism and pushing for an independent state.

Liedekerke has only 12,000 inhabitants, but its elected council has caused a stir by insisting on the “Flemish nature” of the town. Not only must all town business and schooling take place in Flemish, true throughout Flanders, but children who cannot speak the language can be prohibited from holiday outings, like hikes and swimming classes.

“België Barst!” says the graffiti on a bridge near the train station, or “Belgium Bursts!” the cry of the nationalists who want an independent Flanders. But here they also want to keep the rich French speakers from Brussels — only 13 miles away and 15 minutes by train — from buying up this pretty landscape and changing the nature of the town.

Marc Mertens, 53, is the full-time secretary of the town, a professional manager who works under the elected, but part-time, town council. Sitting in a cafe near the old church — Liedekerke is thought to mean “church on the little hill” — he describes how his grandfather fought in World War I under officers who gave commands only in French. “And then they would say in French: ‘For the Flemish, the same!’ ” The phrase still rankles, and Mr. Mertens’s grandfather, a bilingual teacher, refused an officer’s commission on principle.

Mr. Mertens, a handsome, genial man, is worried about his town.

“Brussels is coming this way,” he said, explaining that the people here, having gained some autonomy, do not want to be overwhelmed again by another French-speaking ascendancy. More schoolchildren, taught in Flemish, have French-speaking parents. “When I was young I never heard a foreign language here,” he said. “Now every day I meet people speaking French.”

Marleen Geerts, 48, a computer-science teacher of 13-year-olds, said teaching French-speakers took time. “You can’t go on with the material if they don’t understand it,” she said. “It’s a struggle.” Her school provides language tutoring.


“We don’t want Liedekerke to become like a suburb of Paris,” Mr. Daelman said, describing the riots, car burnings and attacks on the police by mostly African immigrants to France. “Big city problems are coming here, and we want to stop it.”


Flemish nationalists have another complaint. Flemish are 60 percent of Belgium’s population, and inhabit the richest part, with much lower unemployment than the French-speaking Wallonia part. “The French speakers used to rule us, ” Mr. Daelman said. Now, in the national government, he added, “It’s not the principle of one man, one vote, and every problem in Belgium now becomes a problem of the communities. It’s a surrealistic spectacle, and the best answer is to divide the country.”

Full story: IHT