On Sunday afternoon on Place Poelart in Brussels, some 250 people attended a demonstration to protest against Islamophobia, which they believe is on the rise. The demonstration was organised by the “Muslim Rights” group. “All we’re asking for is the right to live in peace and dignity, to be part of society and involved in public life,” said Foaud Benyekhlef, the event initiator. The demonstration is in reaction to certain incidents that have taken place recently, such as the death of Tariki Youssef, a 42-year-old man who died in a police station in Charleroi in mid-December in as yet unexplained circumstances. He was arrested following a marital dispute. His wife and eight children want to understand what happened.
“This is a typical example of how Muslims are being treated,” said Fouad Benyekhlef. “It’s the same with women who are looked on with disapproval, insulted or even attacked because they are wearing veils, sending out a clear message: Muslims should hide themselves away and avoid being seen. We recently celebrated immigration’s 50th anniversary but there is little reason for us to celebrate. Racism towards foreigners and immigrant workers has slid into Islamophobia. Hatred and discrimination remain the same. Only when Muslims can feel proud of who and what they are, when Muslim women are free to wear the veil without their work or study being disrupted, will we be able to say that society has evolved.”
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)