The Co-President of Ecolo, Zakia Khattabi, spoke on RTBF yesterday (Sunday). She used the broadcast to denounce current accusations of communitarism in her party. Khattabi laments that her Maghreb origin has undoubtedly contributed to this.
The issue of wearing the veil has concerned the Greens within Brussels City Council. At odds with her colleagues, Marie Nagy lost her role as leader of the city council after an open forum, critical of Ecolo, appeared in the press.
Ms Khattabi maintains that no party position has ever been dictated by any desire to please a given ethnic community. Ms Khattabi says “This issue crops up regularly without any basis in objective reality.”
The Co-President, born of parents of Maghreb origin, says that Ecolo has been accused of communitarism in its ranks since she has taken office.
She explained, “Journalists called me asking what my beliefs were. They queried whether it wasn’t due to my role as Co-President that Ecolo was taking communitarist stances. I take this to be a very serious accusation.”
Moreover, political positions adopted by other representatives may be systematically skewed by their ethnic origin.
Khattabi added, “I say this full of anger. This is because currently, whether you are called Zoubida Jellab (who sits on Brussels City Council) or Zakia Khattabi, you cannot take a given human rights position without an accusation of communitarism.”
She went on, “This is very serious…I feel that I have become a suspect around certain issues. I also believe that this goes with the territory of the current political climate.”