"The program is confusingly simple: replace all the civil and penal codes with sharia law. Period. And the European capital [Brussels] will be Muslim in twenty years".
The French acronym of Belgium's ISLAM Party stands for "Integrity, Solidarity, Liberty, Authenticity, Morality". The leaders of the ISLAM Party apparently want to turn Belgium into an Islamic State. They call it "Islamist democracy" and have set a target date: 2030.
According to the French magazine Causeur, "the program is confusingly simple: replace all the civil and penal codes with sharia law. Period". Created on the eve of the 2012 municipal ballot, the ISLAM Party immediately received impressive results. Its numbers are alarming.
The effect of this new party, according to Michaël Privot, an expert on Islam, and Sebastien Boussois, a political scientist, could be the "implosion of the social body". Some Belgian politicians, such as Richard Miller, are now advocating banning the ISLAM Party.
The French weekly magazine Le Point details the plans of the ISLAM Party: It would like to "prevent vice by banning gaming establishments (casinos, gaming halls and betting agencies) and the lottery". Along with authorizing the wearing the Muslim headscarf at school and an agreement about the Islamic religious holidays, the party wants all schools in Belgium to offer halal meat on their school menus.
Redouane Ahrouch, one of the party's three founders, also proposed segregating men and women on public transport. Ahrouch belonged in the 1990s to the Belgian Islamic Center, a nest of Islamic fundamentalism where candidates for jihad in Afghanistan and Iraq were recruited.
The ISLAM Party knows that demography is on its side. Ahrouch has said, "in 12 years, Brussels will principally be composed of Muslims". In the upcoming Belgian elections, the ISLAM Party is now set to run candidates in 28 municipalities.
That is most likely why the Socialist Party now fears the rise of the ISLAM Party. In 2012, the party succeeded, when running in just three Brussels districts, in obtaining an elected representative in two of them (Molenbeek and Anderlecht), and failing only narrowly in Brussels-City.
Two years later, during the 2014 parliamentary elections, the ISLAM Party tried to expand its base in two constituencies, Brussels-City and Liège. Once again, the results were impressive for a party that favors the introduction of sharia, Islamic law, into Belgium. In Brussels, they won 9,421 votes (almost 2%).
This political movement apparently started in Molenbeek, "the Belgian radicals' den", a "hotbed of recruiters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant". Jihadists there were apparently plotting terror attacks all over Europe and even in Afghanistan.
The French author Éric Zemmour, facetiously suggested that instead of bombing Raqqa, Syria, France should "bomb Molenbeek". At the moment in Molenbeek, 21 municipal officials out of 46 are Muslim. "The European capital," wrote Le Figaro, "will be Muslim in twenty years".
"Nearly a third of the population of Brussels already is Muslim, indicated Olivier Servais, a sociologist at the Catholic University of Louvain. "The practitioners of Islam, due to their high birth rate, should be the majority 'in fifteen or twenty years'. Since 2001 Mohamed is the most common name given to boys born in Brussels".
The ISLAM Party is working in a favorable environment. According to the mayor of Brussels, Yvan Mayeur, all the mosques in the European capital are now "in the hands of the Salafists".
A few weeks ago, the Belgian government terminated the long-term lease of the country's largest and oldest mosque, the Grand Mosque of Brussels, to the Saudi royal family, "as part of what officials say is an effort to combat radicalization". Officials said that the mosque, was a "hotbed for extremism".
A confidential report last year revealed that the police had uncovered 51 organizations in Molenbeek with suspected ties to jihadism. Perhaps it is time for sleepy Belgium to begin to wake up?
|Belgium's very first Sharia Court in Antwerp.|
An Islamic Sharia law court has been established in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium. The Sharia court is the initiative of a radical Muslim group called Sharia4Belgium.
Leaders of the group say the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium in order to challenge the state’s authority as enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.
The Sharia court, which is located in Antwerp’s Borgerhout district, is “mediating” family law disputes for Muslim immigrants in Belgium. The self-appointed Muslim judges running the court are applying Islamic law rather than the secular Belgian Family Law system to resolve disputes involving questions of marriage and divorce, child custody and child support, as well as all inheritance-related matters.
Unlike Belgian civil law, Islamic Sharia law does not guarantee equal rights for men and women, and critics of the Sharia court say it will undermine the rights of Muslim women in marriage and education.
Legal experts say the Islamic court will also undercut the state’s ability to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of so-called honor crimes. In 2007, for example, Belgium outlawed the practice of forced marriage. Those convicted of forcing someone into marriage by violence or coercion face a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to €2,500 ($3,500).
This law is likely to be undermined as Muslim marriage disputes come under the jurisdiction of the Sharia court. Sharia4Belgium says the court in Antwerp eventually will expand its remit and handle criminal cases as well.
There Sharia4Belgium issues an invitation-cum-threat calling for all Belgians to convert to Islam and to submit to Sharia law or face the consequences. The text says:
“It is now 86 years since the fall of the Islamic Caliphate. The tyranny and corruption in this country [Belgium] has prevailed; we go from one scandal to another: Economic crises, paedophilia, crime, growing Islamophobia, etc.
“As in the past we [Muslims] have saved Europe from the dark ages, we now plan to do the same. Now we have the right solution for all crises and this is the observance of the divine law, namely Sharia. We call to implement Sharia in Belgium.
“Sharia is the perfect system for humanity. In 1300 years of the Islamic state we knew only order, welfare and the protection of all human rights. We know that Spain, France and Switzerland knew their best times under Sharia. In these 1300 years, 120 women were raped, which is equal to 120 women a day in Europe. There were barely 60 robberies recorded in 1300 years.
“As a result, we invite the royal family, parliament, all the aristocracy and every Belgian resident to submit to the light of Islam. Save yourself and your children of the painful punishment of the hereafter and grant yourself eternal life in paradise.”
A cache of the background image for the Sharia4Belgium website has the black flag of jihad flying above the Belgian Parliament. Up until recently the Sharia4Belgium Youtube page (it has also been shut down) was used to incite Muslims to Jihad. The group had posted videos with titles like “Jihad Is Obligatory,” “Encouraging Jihad,” “Duelling & Guerrilla Warfare,” and “The Virtues of Martyrdom.”
Sharia4Belgium is linked to Anjem Choudary, a Sharia court judge based in London. Choudary, who was the leader of a group called Islam4UK before it was banned by British anti-terrorism authorities, believes in the primacy of Islam over all other faiths and has long campaigned for Islamic law to be implemented in all of Britain.
Choudary is also a leader of the British Islamic Emirates Project, a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what he calls “Londonistan” – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.
The guardians of European multiculturalism say Choudary is harmless and, in any event, does not represent the majority of Muslims living in Europe. But he has a considerable following in Britain and elsewhere and his views on the role of Sharia in Britain are far more popular than many will admit.
For example, at least 85 Islamic Sharia courts are now operating in Britain, almost 20 times as many as previously believed, according to a study by Civitas, a London-based think tank. The report shows that scores of unofficial tribunals and councils regularly apply Islamic law to resolve domestic, marital and business disputes, and that many Sharia courts are operating in mosques. It warns of a “creeping” acceptance of Sharia principles in British law.
When asked if he wanted to convince Belgians to convert to Islam and to implement Sharia law, Choudary replied: “The implementation of Sharia will happen in one of the following four ways: either the majority of the population converts to Islam; or a foreign Islamic power conquers the country; or there will be a rebellion against the oppression of the Muslim people; or the Muslims will overthrow the ruling regime. Society will be united by Islam.”
In November 2010, Belgian police arrested three members of Sharia4Belgium in a counter-terrorism sting operation. The suspects were using the Ansar al-Mujahideen Jihadist website to plan an attack on Belgian soil.
Muslims make up around 10% of Antwerp’s population, and the city has long been a hotbed of radical Islam. According to some estimates, more than half of the mosques in Antwerp are controlled by Muslim extremists groups, including the fundamentalist Deobandi sect, which promotes Jihad and hatred for Western society.
Vlaams Belang, a conservative political party that rejects multiculturalism and wants strict limits on Muslim immigration, has demanded that Belgian authorities shut down the Sharia court in Antwerp. In an interview with Het laatste Nieuws, Belgium’s most popular newspaper, Vlaams Belong leader Filip Dewinter says the Sharia court “is yet another step toward the Islamization of Antwerp.”
Dewinter says the constitution gives the secular courts a monopoly on settling disputes. “You certainly cannot have a parallel system of Sharia courts developing judgements based on principles that are at odds with the values of our constitutional democracy,” he says.