Thursday 15 October 2009

Brussels: Mayor says Jews deny Muslims right to diversity

"It saddens me, today, that they [Jews/Jewish leaders] deny the right of diversity to Muslims."

Source: Islam in Europe

Philippe Moureaux, a Socialist Party (PS) senator, former Justice Minister and the mayor of the Molenbeek borough of Brussels, was interviewed by Le Vif/L'Express last week [in the aftermath of rioting in Molenbeek during Ramadan], where he said the following:

Q: You haven't always defended granting the right to vote to foreigners ...

A: Basically, yes. There were times when, because of lack of support within the Socialist Party, I accepted stopping this movement. On sensitive issues, we must advance when a door opens. That I could push through the law against racism, in 1981, is because of the commotion caused by an attack against Jewish children in Antwerp [Palestinian terrorists perpetrated this attack and not Belgian antisemites or racists as could be interpreted from what Moureaux says [1]]. At the age of 20, when I was a Marxist, I was not a big supporter of the right to diversity. I evolved. And what made me turn around is precisely the conversations I had with representatives of the Jewish community. It saddens me, today, that they deny the right of diversity to Muslims.
According to Joël Rubinfeld, chairman of the CCOJB (Umbrella Organization of Jewish Institutions of Belgium), the phrasing is vague, "but it's clear that he stigmatizes a community unnecessarily". He points out the the number of anti-Jewish acts has increased since 2000.
Rubinfeld says he doesn't understand what right to diversity the Jews have enjoyed. What privileges have they received that they would deny their fellow Muslims, he asks. And who among the representatives of the Jewish community denies this alleged right to diversity to the Muslim community in the country?

The president of the CCOJB says that this statement is dangerous, since "it instills in the minds of our fellow Muslims the treacherous idea that the Jews are their opponents on the way to successful integration, setting one community against another". Rubinfeld says that Phillippe Moureaux has a lot of prestige among the Muslims, and they can now infer from his words that all their problems are the fault of the Jews. He says that it would be better to advise the Muslims on how they could integrate while maintaining their identity.

[1] On July 27, 1980, a Sunday early afternoon, a terrorist commando threw two grenades at a group of 60 children who were boarding a bus at Lamorinière street in Antwerp. The children were members of the Jewish cultural organisation, Agoudath-Israël, and were going on holiday to the Ardennes. David Kuhan, a French youth aged 15, was killed. About 15 other children were injured. There was strong public outrage in Belgium. Prime Minister Wilfried Martens visited the victims. King Baldwin addressed a message to the Jewish community: "I am deeply shocked by the odious attack perpetrated on Belgian territory", he said. Two terrorists who were acting on behalf of Fatah were caught. One of them, Said Nasser was freed in 1990 in exchange for the release of the Houtekins family members, who were kidnapped while cruising on their boat Silco in November 1987 by terrorists [Abu Nidal organization]." (Source: unauthorised translation of an article by Benoît Franchimont, Une longue liste d'attentats. 1980, des enfants attaqués à la grenade, DH, 2003)

- Brussels: Interview with Moroccan youth
FOX News report on Brussels and Molenbeek

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