Monday, November 15, 2004


UK "Right to Fight Back" campaign: "72 per cent of people believe that the current law, allowing householders to use only "reasonable force" against intruders, is "inadequate and ill-defined". A similar proportion, 71 per cent, say that householders should have an unqualified right to use force, if necessary deadly force, against people breaking into their homes. More than half (51 per cent) do not believe that the police can protect householders against intruders; 70 per cent believe the government could do more to reduce the risk of burglaries; and an overwhelming 81 per cent say burglars should not have any rights to to sue householders if they, the intruders, suffer any injuries during the break-in." And "All talk" Blunkett says he supports the campaign...

There is a report today on Education Watch about another case of PC oppression in an American university.


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

Today, however, it is less certain that Jahjah will have to leave Belgium. Its Supreme Court, the Cour de Cassation, ruled that Jahjah's enemies in the Vlaams Blok (VB) belong to a "racist" organization. The party, consequently, has to be disbanded. This is the first time in the history of Western Europe that a court ruling has forced a democratic party to disband.

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

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 or 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 Israeli author Avi Lipkin, a former spokesman of the Israeli army, to a VB audience, that Israel is "the vanguard of the West in a feudal 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 abortion and euthanasia, 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 wrote in the anti-VB Flemish newspaper De Standaard last January..... 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 women 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."....

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 culprit [...] 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.".....

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. Belgium 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."

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