Sunday, 18 October 2009

Radouane Bouhlal, Belgian Human Rights leader, criticises Jewish representative

"Bouhlal says that we "should avoid crying wolf all the time and focus on the real abuses"."

Source: Islam in Europe

Background to this post:
Brussels: Mayor says Jews deny Muslims right to diversity

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:

"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.

Inteviewed by the Belgian State TV channel, RTBF, Radouane Bouhlal, president of the Movement against Racism, Antisemitism, and Xenophobia (MRAX) [1] says that it's a little exaggerated, but that Phillipe Moureaux should have been more careful with this sensitive subject. Bouhlal says that unfortunate statement should not substantiate the idea that an all-powerful "Jewish lobby" is capable of setting policies, for example on the right to wear a headscarf. Because, he says, "this fantasy exists in the Muslim community".

The president of MRAX doesn't agree with the CCOJB, though. He says it's "excessive", and that by speaking this way they feed another fantasy, that of the Jew who can't suffer any criticism. Bouhlal says that we "should avoid crying wolf all the time and focus on the real abuses".
[1] For several years, and despite repeated complaints, the MRAX website featured links to two conspirationist/ negationist blogs. The links were removed only when this situation was exposed in public by a columnist of the Flemish magazine Joods Actueel during a conference hosted by a Jewish centre in Brussels at which Radouan Bouhlal was a speaker. At the same conference, the MRAX held a stand where a book in which Jean Bricmont, a professor at the Catholic University of Louvain, criticised Israel and praised Hamas' victories, was offered for sale. Radouan Bouhlal and Nadine Rosa-Rosso also co-authored the book. That such a book was put up for sale by a Human Rights organisation at a Jewish community center goes a long way to explain Mr Bouhlal's reaction. The conference had been scheduled to be held at the Free University of Brussels but, for security reasons, the venue had to be changed and it was decided at short notice to move it to the Ben Gourion Center ... (Source: Philosémitisme, Le MRAX belge retire 2 liens vers des sites à relents négationnistes de son blog)

- Jean Bricmont and The De-Zionization of the American Mind - The anti-US ravings of an arrogant man
Israel on trial in Brussels: Iranian and Syrian Ambassadors give standing ovation to judges
Comrade Nadine Rosa-Rosso (Harry's Place)

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