Saint-Josse forbids Vlaams Belang walk with great replacement conspiracy theorist

Saint-Josse forbids Vlaams Belang walk with great replacement conspiracy theorist
Vlaams Belang MP Filip Dewinter. Credit: Belga/Jonas Roosens

A provocative walk through Saint-Josse-ten-Noode with French author and convicted conspiracy theorist Renaud Camus, organised by the Flemish far-right party Vlaams Belang, has been forbidden by the mayor Emir Kir.

Camus (76) was invited to to give a speech to the Flemish Parliament on Saturday by the nationalist party Vlaams Belang, with the party having planned a trip through a Brussels municipality known for its rich and diverse community.

The author achieved notoriety in far-right circles through his conspiracies on the so-called great replacement theory – a well-known far-right trope based on the idea that there is a deliberate attempt to replace the native (usually white) population with non-natives – typically of a different ethnicity.

He published the book 'Le Grand Remplacement' (The Great Replacement) on that subject in 2010. His thesis is that a European, Christian "civilisation" is being wiped out by "mass immigration" from the Maghreb and the African continent.

In France, Camus has already been convicted several times for inciting hatred or violence.

The theory, however, has been in use since the early 20th century, including by far-right extremists such as Madison Grant who asserted that the "genetically superior northern races" would perish due to immigration. Additionally, Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler reportedly called Grant’s book his "bible."

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On Saturday morning, he will speak at the Flemish Parliament at the invitation of Vlaams Belang MP Filip Dewinter. Before that, Camus was supposed to take a walk through Saint-Josse – a municipality often targeted by the far-right for its multicultural population – with Vlaams Belang, according to reports by De Morgen.

While the party initially said that it received permission for this from the Saint-Josse mayor Emir Kir, that information now appears incorrect: Kir decided to ban the walk "with racist undertones" in his municipality on 6 May.

"Saint-Josse is a symbol of the great enrichment, not the great replacement," he said on social media. "We are proud of the mosaic of different nationalities in our municipality. We will not let those who sow hatred and division parade through our streets."

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