Initiatives to prevent ISLAM running for elections on increase
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    Initiatives to prevent ISLAM running for elections on increase

    © Belga
    Bouchez is moving a motion in favour of the prohibition of all Islamic party rallies.
    © Belga

    Stances and initiatives have increased for several days to prohibit the inclusion of the ISLAM party, and prevent it from campaigning, in view of the forthcoming elections. The most recent is that of the Mons municipal councillor Georges-Louis Bouchez (MR). In the SudPresse publications, Bouchez who tops the “Mons is Best” list states that he is moving a motion requesting the prohibition of all Islamic party rallies. He would like the motion to serve as a model for other municipal councils in Belgium.

    During this holiday period, statements by the leader of the ISLAM group on gender equality have shaken Belgium’s political world, as much in the south as the north of the country. Until now, the party has however only had a slim representation within the Brussels region: two communal councillors were elected in 2012, one in Anderlecht and the other in Molenbeek, the two communes where lists were introduced. In 2018, more lists may be brought in, including in Wallonia. Candidates have been announced in Liège, Verviers, Herstal, Ans, Saint-Nicolas and Dison, but also Namur, Charleroi and Mons.

    In Flanders, the N-VA and the Open Vld wish to draft a law enabling the prohibition of such parties. Within the French-speaking ranks, the deputy, Richard Miller (MR), supported by the federal minister, Denis Ducarme, has also said that he favours a prohibition, along with the President of DéFI, Olivier Maingain, by means of the inclusion of state secularism within the federal Constitution.

    On Sunday, came the turn of the President of the Brussels federation PS, Laurette Onkelinx, to follow suit in broadening the debate to all parties seeking to remove fundamental freedoms. From her interpretation, the issue is not of itself new but when it previously related to Vlaams Blok, some (particularly in Flanders, editor’s note) showed their reluctance to adopt tough legislation in this regard. The former Vice Prime Minister is calling upon all parties to swiftly find a political consensus to settle the point.

    She stated on Twitter, “For a long time now, I have argued for the prohibition of parties wishing to eradicate our freedoms. Originally, my intention at the time was to prohibit Vlaams Blok and take away its subsidy. I did not have support for this move. I favour taking a firm line against parties who are not respecting our fundamental values. A case in point is the far-right where small parties are reforming the concept of Nazism, as with the ISLAM party.

    Onkelinx went on, “The party is actually brushing aside our constitutional principles, in particular equality between men and women. There are no half-measures which can be taken on this issue. We have to be hard-hitting.  We must be quick to find a consensus for a draft law to counter parties wishing to eradicate our freedoms.”

    Christopher Vincent
    The Brussels Times