Right-wing party member Vlaams Belange and his followers gathered in the Antwerp district of Deurne to protest the construction of a new mosque. Police estimated there to be about 150 people with signs and banners at the planned site; slogans such as adapt or go back where you came from, Keep Muslims out and keep Europe European were among the slogans shouted. The protest ended without incident.
BRUSSELS – Extreme right wing Vlaams Belang is going to launch a campaign to “stop Islamisation,” first in Antwerp and later in other cities. The party is calling for a stop to the registration of newcomers in the city, a restriction on the number of mosques, and the expulsion of radical imams. VB faction leader in the Flemish Parliament Filip Dewinter says that Islam is pursuing a deliberate strategy to conquer Flemish cities. That is being done through increasing concentration, the formation of ghettos, and the refusal to integrate, he says. More and more native Belgians are leaving the cities and the government is making the situation worse, Dewinter says.
BRUSSELS – Opposition party right-wing Vlaams Belang will be given access to the applications submitted by mosques for recognition by the Flemish government. The Internal Administration Agency had refused to release the documents, but this refusal is unjustified, says the appeal agency for freedom of information. Islam has been one of the six recognised religions in Belgium since 1974, but in contrast to other local religious communities, like churches and synagogues, mosques were not given subsidies until now. Flemish minister for integration Marino Keulen (Open Vld) wants to officially recognise the first mosques before the end of this year. Vlaams Belang requested access to the application files from eight mosques, but the Internal Administration Agency would not release the files, arguing that they were not yet complete and that the Flemish government had not yet taken a decision on the applications.