Two Muslim politicians, who just won municipal elections in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, on October 14, have vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium.
The two candidates, Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch, both from the fledgling Islam Party, won seats in two heavily Islamized municipalities of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlecht, respectively.
During a post-election press conference in Brussels on October 25, the two future councilors, who will be officially sworn in on December 3, said they regard their election as key to the assertion of the Muslim community in Belgium.
“We are elected Islamists but above all we are Muslims,” Ahrouch said. “Islam is compatible with the laws of the Belgian people. As elected Muslims, we embrace the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed. We believe Islam is a universal religion. Our presence on the town council will give us the opportunity to express ourselves,” said Ahrouch, who refuses to shake hands or make eye contact with females in public.
A one-hour video of the press conference in French has been posted on YouTube. At one point in the video (0:07:40) Ahrouch, 42, says he will strive to make sure that the town council’s “motions and solutions are durable and definitive and will emanate from Islam.”
Ahrouch, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2003 for the assault and battery of his disabled wife, also spends considerable time talking about ethics in politics and “respect for the other.”
Elsewhere in the video (0:25:40), Aït Jeddig, 50, commends Islam as having paved the way for “the emergence of European civilization.” (He makes no mention of Europe’s Judeo-Christian or Greek-Roman roots.) He also insists that Islam is compatible with freedom and democracy.
The video ends with an interview of a third Islam Party candidate, Abdelhay Bakkali Tahar, 51, who did not garner enough votes to secure a seat in the district of Bruxelles Ville.
The Islam Party, which plans to field candidates in European-level elections in 2014, campaigned on three core issues: ensuring that halal meals are served in public school cafeterias, securing the official recognition of Muslim religious holidays, and pushing for a law that would legalize the wearing of Islamic headscarves in public spaces.
Ahrouch has run for political office before. In 1999, he founded a political party called “Noor: Le Parti Islamique,” which promotes a 40-point program based on Islamic Sharia law. These points include, among other items: 7) abolishing interest payments [riba] in the Belgian banking sector; 10) redesigning the Belgian judiciary to comply with Islamic law; 11) restoring capital punishment; 12) prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes; 15) promoting teenage marriage; 16) segregating males and females in public spaces; 20) outlaw gambling and the lottery; and 39) creating an official Islamic alms fund [Zakat].
Ahrouch says that his ultimate goal, creating an Islamic state in Belgium based on Islamic Sharia law, has not changed.
Speaking to a reporter from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), the public broadcasting service of the French-speaking part of Belgium, Ahrouch said: “The agenda is still the same, but our approach is different now. I think we have to sensitize people, make them understand the advantages to having Islamic people and Islamic laws. And then it will be completely natural to have Islamic laws and we will become an Islamic state.”
The reporter interjected: “An Islamic State in Belgium?” Ahrouch replied: “In Belgium, of course! I am for the Sharia. Islamic law, I am for it. It is a long-term struggle that will take decades or a century, but the movement has been launched.”
The growth of the Muslim population has been accompanied by an increase in violent crime, which has made Brussels one of the most dangerous cities in Europe, according to an exposé produced by the ZDF German television in April 2012.
Much of the crime is being attributed to shiftless Muslim youth, especially in the Anderlecht and Molenbeek districts, where “the police have lost control.”
In Molenbeek, where an estimated 25% of the population is Muslim, the growing insecurity has forced multinational companies to leave the municipality. In June 2011, for example, the American advertising agency BBDO abandoned Molenbeek after citing over 150 assaults on its staff by local youth.
In an open letter addressed to the then-mayor Philippe Moureaux, BBDO reported that each one of its employees had been the victim of crimes in Molenbeek. The letter states: “Youngsters who forcibly rob our bags. Youngsters who smash car windows. Youngsters who verbally corner us so that we become paralyzed with fear. Young people who are not afraid to even point a gun at one of our male colleagues.” BBDO criticized Moureaux, a Socialist, of inaction due to his multicultural notions of political correctness.
On November 5, the Belgian Interior Ministry reported that gang rapes in the country have reached epidemic levels. It reported an average of five new cases of rapes each week involving two or more offenders, in addition to an average of 57 rapes per week involving single violators.
Read it all and this IPT piece, “What’s in a name?”, added from the author in the comments section:
In a recent press conference, Ahrouch admitted that he, too, supports Shariah for Belgium, though “not just yet.” First, he says, Belgians must become accustomed to the idea, led gently to the end goal. It “will take time – decades, a century,” he says. “But the movement has now certainly begun.”
That’s a pretty scary statement from someone who just took the majority vote in his district. But it was apparently his purpose all along: not as some may have hoped, to encourage Muslims in the West to adopt Westernized philosophies, values, and legal systems; but rather, to encourage Europeans adopt the principles and values of Shariah. (Then again, that’s hardly a surprise from a man who, while claiming to place “ethics” and “family” at the center of his policy design, was convicted in 2003 for domestic assault and battery and sentenced to six months in prison.)
But what else could anyone really have expected?
Read all of that piece too.
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