Molenbeek forbids arrival of Danish ‘Koran burning’ politician
Thursday, 12 November 2020
Rasmus Paludan. Credit: Belga
The Brussels municipality of Molenbeek forbids the arrival of the Danish anti-Islam politician Rasmus Paludan, who had announced he would come to the commune for a Koran-burning protest.
In August, a public burning of the Koran in an immigration neighbourhood in Malmö, Sweden, sparked violent protests in the city. The European Commission condemned the incident. A request by the Danish politician to demonstrate outside a mosque in the city was denied and a two-year travel ban to enter Sweden was issued against him.
Paludan (38) is the founder of the far-right party Stram Kurs (‘Hard Line’) in Denmark. In 2019, the party narrowly missed the electoral threshold, and the court convicted Paludan of racism.
After Samuel Paty, the teacher who showed Mohammed cartoons in class, was murdered in a suburb of Paris, and the terrorist attack that took place in Nice, Paludan announced on Facebook that he would be going to Paris on 11 November for a Koran burning. “Out of compassion for the French,” he said.
However, Mayor of Molenbeek Catherine Moureaux banned his presence on the territory, and the Immigration Department has also issued an entry ban against the man.
“However, if Paludan shows up, we will escort him out of Molenbeek right away,” police spokesperson Caroline Vervaet told Bruzz. “We are ready and prepared to guarantee the safety of everyone on our territory.”
However, the French authorities arrested Paludan on Wednesday when he left his hotel before he could reach the Champs-Elysées, where his protest was set to take place, reports De Standaard.
Paludan was banned from French territory and was to be expelled that same evening. However, he told Danish media that he was determined to continue his action in Molenbeek.
On Thursday, Belgium’s Coordination Body for Threat Analysis (OCAM) confirmed that the Brussels police had arrested five of Paludan’s supporters, reports De Morgen.
Federal Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi announced on Twitter that he had given the five supporters the order to leave Belgium’s territory. “Hate preachers are not welcome here. From every possible ideology.”
Bevel gegeven om grondgebied te verlaten. Haatpredikers zijn hier niet welkom. Van elke mogelijke ideologie. https://t.co/OqMc7zIGki