Protest organisers take mayor to court
14 August 2007, BRUSSELS – The organisers of the demonstration against the "Islamisation of Europe" object to Mayor Thielemans' ban on the event.
14 August 2007
BRUSSELS – The organisers of the demonstration against the "Islamisation of Europe" object to Mayor Thielemans' ban on the event.
The organisation Stop Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) wants to take Brussels mayor, Freddy Thielemans (Socialist PS), to court. German Udo Ulfkotte, one fo the leaders of the group and a founding member of Pax Europe, announced this on Monday. Last week Thielemans decided to ban the organisation from holding a protest against the rise of Islam in Europe in Brussels on 11 September.
SIOE says it has not given up. It has hired a Belgian lawyer and will go to the Council of State to fight the mayor's decision.
SIOE is also attacking Thielemans personally now, on two points. First it accuses the mayor of violating anti-discrimination law. In his motivation for banning the protest he refers to the threat of violence from far right demonstrators. Udo Ulfkotte will not tolerate the identification of his group with the far right. "Our organisation is democratic and peaceful, and has emphatically rejected any link with the extreme right or political parties," Ulfkotte says.
Secondly, Ulfkotte, a Catholic, feels his religious convictions have been insulted by the fact that Thielemans offered champagne to dinner guests when he heard that Pope John Paul II had died. The mayor has since apologised for this "joke."
Ulfkotte has also set his sights on Emir Kir, state secretary in the Brussels regional government and of Turkish descent. "Thielemans' Socialist Party PS supports this man who has cast doubt on the genocide of Armenians by Turks. Denying genocide is a criminal offence in both Germany and Belgium," Ulfkotte added.
Kir reportedly signed a petition in 2003 to get rid of a memorial stone for the victims of the genocide. Kir himself says he doesn't remember signing the petition. There were also reports that he attended a demonstration denying the mass murder. Kir filed a complaint against these reports, which was rejected in first instance.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Belgian news