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Sunday, April 11, 2004

Arab European League Threatens Antwerp Jews

"We want to warn Antwerp's Jewish community in its entirety to be on its guard. The community's support for Israel is no secret." --Ahmed Azzuz, head of the AEL in Belgium told the Belgian newspaper La Libre Belgique.
"The AEL calls on the Jewish community in Antwerp to cease its support of, and distance itself from, the state of Israel. If not, attacks in Antwerp are almost unpreventable," Azzuz had earlier told the Belgian Flemish magazine Knack, adding, "Every year, 200 Belgian-Israeli reservists leave for Israel to kill innocent civilians."

According to an Israel Channel 1 television report, the Jewish community is taking the threats seriously, and has already contacted elected Jewish officials, the local police and the nation's justice minister. A member of the Belgian diamond merchant's community interviewed on the program confirmed reports that members of the Jewish community are afraid and at present, refrain from being outdoors during the nighttime hours.

Peter Meeus reminded La Libre Belgique, "The quarter was already targeted in 1981, when terrorists attacked a Portuguese synagogue."

The AEL's Azzuz insisted in the media that his statements were not threats.

A spokeswoman for Antwerp police said rigorous security measures had already been introduced.


See also this very strange Reuters story: "Belgium investigates email threats against Jews"
"We have opened a file and we are checking it out," Lieve Pellens, spokeswoman for the federal prosecutor's office, said. "We don't really give it that much importance," she said, adding the office received such reports regularly.
* * *

Israel killed the wheelchair-bound Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in a helicopter strike on March 22, accusing him of being behind suicide bombings in the Jewish state.

* * *

Since the start of the latest Palestinian uprising in 2000, Belgian Jews have complained of a rise in anti-Semitic violence and virulent anti-Israeli propaganda.
Those Jews! Always complaining!


MISC. BACKGROUND
Last fall, Dirk Jacobs [research fellow of the National Fund for Scientific Research at the Institute for Social and Political Opinion Research, Catholic University of Leuven, and assistant professor at the Catholic University of Brussels] asked the question, "How will the Arab European League (AEL) reshape understanding of diversity and multiculturalism in 21st century Europe?" at a website called OpenDemocracy.net :
In the terminology of Canadian philosopher Will Kymlicka, the AEL insists on the 'Arab community' being entitled to 'multinational rights (special rights for 'historic' communities) and not merely 'polyethnic rights' (special rights for immigrant communities). The AEL argues interestingly that due recognition and indeed strengthening of the culture of origin, is a precondition for the successful integration within and even loyalty to the host societies of Europe.
The site also has a discussion of the 3/11 Madrid bombings: "What does Europe need to do, both to meet the danger and to include its Muslim communities?

Guess I won't be going to Antwerp. Belgium. or Europe. At least not until the Vlaams Blok takes power:
Frank Vanhecke is leader of the Vlaams Blok, or Flemish Block, in Belgium. The party is strong in Belgium's Dutch-speaking North, and is poised to take over the Antwerp city government. Vanhecke is worried about the growth of what he says is a radical Islamic sub-culture that refuses to assimilate, and which has begun demanding that Arabic become an official language of Belgium.

Vanhecke said, "This is the kind of people we are dealing with - people who do not come to our country to adapt, to make a new life, to start again, to make a living, to be thankful for the country that accepts them. We are talking about people who, in fact, come to us as rulers, who want to become masters in our country. And I personally think, I fear, that this is a part of the Islamic religion."

His party's platform calls for all immigrants who refuse to adapt to the values and language of Belgium to be returned to their home countries.

Continue reading "Putting Tolerance to the Test: The Rise of Islam in Europe" at the Christian Broadcasting Network.