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Belgium: highest court finds popular Flemish party racist

 
 
Reply Wed 10 Nov, 2004 02:26 am
Quote:
Court rules Vlaams Blok is racist
Belgium's highest court has ruled that the Flemish far-right Vlaams Blok party is racist.

The ruling means the Blok will lose access to state funding and access to television which will, in effect, shut down the party.

The Blok was appealing against a court ruling which stated that it was guilty of violating anti-racism legislation.

Recent opinion polls suggest the Vlaams Blok is the most popular party in the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders.

It garnered almost a quarter of votes in regional and European elections in June.

The party campaigns on an anti-immigration platform.

It also wants independence for Flanders, home to five million Flemish speakers
Party chairman Frank Vanhecke said he was shocked at the ruling.

"Exactly 15 years after the Berlin Wall came down and the people of East Germany and eastern Europe regained their freedom, it was confirmed today that in the Belgian state, democracy and freedom of speech are under threat," he said.


'Xenophobic'

Vlaams Blok's leaders were prepared for the ruling, and are making plans to launch a new party with a new name, Vlaams Belang, or Flemish Interest, Belgian media say.

The High Court's ruling is final and cannot be appealed.

"In order to preserve our party members from prosecution, we are now forced to disband," said Mr Vanhecke immediately after the judgment.

"Today, our party has been killed, not by the electorate but by the judges."

The party had been toning down some of its statements, but there is every chance the new party will pick up where the old one left off, says the BBC's Chris Morris in Brussels.

At the weekend, its members voted to modernise the party's statutes and tone down its views on immigration, saying non-European immigrants wishing to remain in Belgium should adopt Belgian rules and values.

The Blok had once advocated that all non-European immigrants should be returned to their home country.

'Bury Belgium'

The Vlaams Blok makes the political establishment in Brussels very uncomfortable as they regard it as extremist and xenophobic, our correspondent adds.

For years, other parties have combined to shut it out of national and regional governments, but this tactic has not really worked, he says.

"We are the democratic voice of an ever growing number of Flemings who, in an entirely non-violent way, want to put an end to Belgium," Mr Vanhecke said on Tuesday.

"Our electoral strength is causing panic amongst the Belgian establishment. We will establish a new party. This one Belgium will not be able to bury; it will bury Belgium."
Source

Court's ruling (in French)

Vlaamse Blok homepage
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 6,978 • Replies: 96
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HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 01:27 am
This is a very interesting court decision, Walter, especially this part:

"La cour d'appel avait décidé que la loi du 30 juillet 1981 tendant à réprimer certains actes inspirés par le racisme ou la xénophobie ne limite pas de manière illégale la liberté de manifester ses opinions et le droit de s'assembler et de s'associer au bénéfice du droit à un traitement égal impliquant l'interdiction de discrimination."

So Belgians have the right to express their opinions, and the right to assemble, UNLESS their opinions and their assemblies might subsequently be construed as "racist or xenophobic"? This is prior restraint, illegal in the U.S.

As to the absurd laws prohibiting denial of past existence of concentration camps and the like: there are no laws preventing anybody from claiming the earth is flat, or that 2+2 equals 5, so any rational person examining the "holocaust-law" must necessarily wonder why, if it happened, a law should be needed to affirm that it did.

When Brigitte Bardot (a dedicated animal activist) said that Arabs treat animals terribly she was stating a sadly demonstrable fact. Why should she be found guilty of "speech inciting racial hatred" and have to pay a fine?

Here's what the editor of the Financial Times had to say about proposals to introduce similar laws in Britain:

"...Even while I write this the British Home Secretary, Jack Straw, has been investigating whether "Holocaust denial" should be an offence under British law. If it ever were to become an offence, there would soon be plausible demands by all kinds of other groups to make denial of their sufferings an equal offence. Before long the virtues of free speech and unimpaired historical enquiry would be cast aside in favour of the bogus virtue of the self righteous, thus giving the philosophers of totalitarianism a posthumous victory."
http://www.samuelbrittan.co.uk/text60_p.html

How many more murders like that of Theo van Gogh do you think are needed before those idiotic laws are stricken from the books in Germany and the rest of Europe?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 01:30 am
Well, I personally think, we are doing quite fine with such laws.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 01:37 am
So those objecting to the laws, unable to legally express their views, will have no choice but to continue to firebomb mosques, Islamic centers and the like. Wouldn't it be better to let them speak?!
0 Replies
 
hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 01:55 am
I'd disagree that the firebombing is a result of not being able to speak. I do agree that there is very fine line here and will be interesting see various viewpoints.

Regardless of the US freedom of speech provisions I bet it was very uncomfortable to be pro Islam straight after 9/11 (in fact it appeared to the outside world that if you didn't have a US flag on your car and in your window you'd be accused of treason).

We should also note that having the right to speak on a subject does not mean what you say will go much further than your mouth as far as large media outlets go. There can be little doubt that censorship (by omission) is rife (and necessary - due to the sheer volume of opinions being espoused and news being made).
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 02:10 am
Well, HofT, the various different rights - which are guaranteed by the various constitutions [and 'observed/monitored' by the European Court of Human Rights don't stand equally site by site: the (constitutional) rights and interests of third parties and the general community have to be considered as well.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:11 am
<picture of darling animal removed by original poster as unrelated to topic>
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:15 am
HofT wrote:
So those objecting to the laws, unable to legally express their views, will have no choice but to continue to firebomb mosques, Islamic centers and the like.

<frowns>

Dont quite get the logic in that. If I dont get to say whatever I want, I have the right to hit you?

If anything, the consequence of not being able to legally express one's views is to resort to illegally expressing one's views (secretly printing underground pamphlets or something, using the net to anonymously to spout your opinion, whatever).

Not saying that that would necessarily be better or worse than providing a legal opportunity to do so, just saying that i dont see a logical jump from there to "oh well than we'll just be forced to commit terrorist acts."
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:19 am
NIMH - if Theo van Gogh had been murdered by the (white) husband of one of his (white) girlfriends, do you think that mosques, churches, synagogues and other such establishments would have been spray-painted or torched?

Think before replying.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:38 am
<thinks>

Nope. I've thought your post over, but I still don't see how it logically responds to mine. I see some sort of associative link, for sure, but not how it rationally refers to the point I was making.

How does not being allowed to legally speak out "force" one to throw bombs?

Let me ask you a question back - if a radical Muslim or a radical leftist would use the same logic you just applied in your earlier post, what would you think of it?

Muslim extremist: "well, when our imam says gays are evil, he gets fined, and when we preach the holy war, the security services come over - not to mention that we never get a legal chance to call our people on to jihad in the media - so you understand, we just had to go and plant bombs and kill people, we had no other choice."

RAF member: "well, we weren't allowed to legally publish our calls for revolution in the way we had wanted to, so you know, we were just forced to become terrorists instead."

Nope, whomever I imagine saying it, it still doesn't make sense to me.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:50 am
NIMH - you miss the point completely.

I live in the States and I'm free to say I don't care if the jewish percentage of dead in WWII was 5% or 10% of the total. In Germany that statement would send me to prison.

I'm also free to say that uncontrolled immigration by elements unrelated to the peoples currently inhabiting a country will eventually lead to civil unrest. In France and Holland - and of course also Germany - that would make me liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.

Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, and restricting it as some European countries are doing DOES lead to violence sooner or later. If you and Walter don't see this, wait until more violence hits Europe - vox populi will be heard, if not legally then by violent means.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:56 am
You may be correct, HofT.

But before that can happen here in Germany, we'll have to change our constitution.

And actually, we won't only have to "change" it but to alter it completely, since it starts with
Quote:
Article 1

(1)Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 11:59 am
HofT wrote:
I'm also free to say that uncontrolled immigration by elements unrelated to the peoples currently inhabiting a country will eventually lead to civil unrest. In France and Holland - and of course also Germany - that would make me liable to a fine and/or prison.

Nah, we've gotten to hear that line practically every night on TV for the past three years. It was the one thing the List Pim Fortuyn folks went on about, and now MP Geert Wilders. And remember, this is the country where Van Gogh was let to go around on TV calling Muslims "goatfuckers" and the prophet Mohammed a "pedophile". Would never have gotten away with that in America. I personally think one shouldn't.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 12:01 pm
The constitution applies to all persons legally present in German territory.

It's not extraterritorial, and illegals get deported daily.

Btw, whites (legal residents) are being indiscriminately attacked on the Ivory Coast and I don't see any of you "civil rights" experts saying not to evacuate them, the Ivorian constitution protects them - why is that?
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sat 13 Nov, 2004 12:09 pm
Well, the Ivory Coast constitution of 1960 is nearly identic to the 1958 constitution of the Fifth Republic of France.
As far as I know (can't find the [French text of] the constitution online anymore), protection is only given to Ivoirian citizens and not to people living there.
0 Replies
 
HofT
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 08:13 am
Walter - you know the story about the man who walks into a library and asks a librarian for a copy of the French Constitution, to which the librarian responds: "I'm sorry sir, we don't stock periodicals".

The riots in Ivory Coast are technically against the French, but all white foreigners are being evacuated - and I don't hear any Belgian courts objecting to their own citizens being flown out on grounds of racism.

Anyway, see you all next week.
0 Replies
 
FCDB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 02:54 pm
Quote:
the prophet Mohammed a "pedophile .


Someone who have sex with a 9-year-old girl is a pedophile! I don't know how you call such mindsick people, but to me they're pedophiles!
0 Replies
 
Diego Armando Maradona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 03:00 pm
Quote:
I'm also free to say that uncontrolled immigration by elements unrelated to the peoples currently inhabiting a country will eventually lead to civil unrest. In France and Holland - and of course also Germany - that would make me liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.


In Holland not and I think that isn´t the reality in most(all) European countries.
0 Replies
 
Diego Armando Maradona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 03:04 pm
Quote:
I personally think one shouldn't.


The reality is that Theo van Gogh has been killed for his opinion and that we are in danger of losing our country, way of life to muslims.

And that problem has to be confronted
0 Replies
 
FCDB
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Nov, 2004 03:05 pm
Diego Armando Maradona wrote:
Quote:
I'm also free to say that uncontrolled immigration by elements unrelated to the peoples currently inhabiting a country will eventually lead to civil unrest. In France and Holland - and of course also Germany - that would make me liable to a fine and/or imprisonment.


In Holland not and I think that isn´t the reality in most(all) European countries.


In Belgium the Flemish Block is condemned for talking about crimestatistics! So, we can conclude that revealing statistics about crime is not legal in Belgium!

Stupid me, thinking that the times of the NSDAP en the USSR were gone in Europe.... but they're back in Belgium, where politicians try to eliminate politcal parties in a non-election-way and where it's prohibited to reveal crime statistics.
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