Wednesday, 31 December 2014
The Human Rights League (HRL) said they were hesitant about a ban on the French journalist Eric Zemmour speaking when he returns to Belgium at the beginning of January. It told the Belga agency of its feelings on Tuesday. They want him to retain his right to free speech, but without crossing the “red line” of inciting hate and discrimination. A few associations and politicians, who are calling for a travel ban on the polemicist, used the example of a recent travel ban on Tareq Al-Suwaidan at the beginning of November. He is a Kuwaiti Muslim preacher linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, who had been invited to speak at the third Brussels Muslim fair.
“At the time, we were also hesitant about the travel ban on Tareq Al-Suwaidan. Freedom of speech is a fundamental right, even if we understand that there was a real danger he would incite hate. This new case is less clear. It would be different letting Zemmour speak because his theory is easily contradicted: he falsifies figures and his comments are almost grotesque. Let’s grant him his freedom of speech: he contradicts himself and show himself up anyway”, says Alexis Desaef, president of the HRL.
Eric Zemmour is invited to a literary lunch at the Cercle Lorraine in Brussels on the 6th of January, at 12.30pm. He will present his book “The French Suicide” to the Filgranes bookstore. A signing will take place between 4pm and 5.30pm. At 6.30pm, he is expected at the B19 Country Club in Uccle for a debate. The Cercle de Wallonie has also invited Eric Zemmour to Liège on the 13th of January.
“We have to be careful with bans, it’s not a good thing. Like with Dieudonné whose performance was stopped, a ban creates a lot of publicity for these people and makes them martyrs. They don’t deserve all the attention they get. Zemmour is not worth listening to, and his invitation says a lot about the organizers. They want to listen to him make false affirmations and to his idiotic conclusions”, added Mr Desaef.
If he steps over the “red line”, he would be charged with violating antidiscrimination and antiracism laws, said Alexis Desaef.