Friday, May 30, 2008


In early March 2008, Belgian newspapers broke the news that Abdelkader Belliraj (photo), a dangerous terrorist with dual Belgian/Moroccan citizenship, had been arrested in Morocco on February 18 on charges of involvement in an islamist terror circle. The group had links to other islamist and/or terrorist groups such as Moroccan Chabiba Islamiya (Islamic Youth), Moroccan Revolutionary Islamic Movement, the Mujahidine Movement in Morocco, Al Haraka Min Ajli Al Umma (Movement for the Ummah) etc etc. What has this all to do with Belgium? Simple. It appears that Belliraj had been on the payroll of the Belgian State Security for twenty years. In Morocco, Belliraj confessed to six murders he carried out in Belgium between 1986 and 1989. The first was a certain Raoul Schouppe, a grocer who held shop in the neighborhood of Brussels South Station. Belliraj, who frequented this shop, killed Schouppe "because he looked Jewish". Another victim was a 53-year old gay man, Marc Bille, who had apparently tried to proposition Belliraj. The victim's body, with a shot under the ear, was found in Braine-le-Chateau in Walloon Brabant. Then it was the turn of Abdullah al-Ahdal, the rector of the Grand Mosque in the Cinquantenaire Park in Brussels, and his secretary, Tunisian-born Salim el-Beher. They were considered too liberal for Belliraj since they had criticized the fatwa issued by Khomeini over Salman Rushdie, author of 'The Satanic Verses'. They were shot in the head on March 30, 1989. Later that year, on October 3, Belliraj murdered 48-year old Joseph Wybran, the president of the co-ordination committee of Jewish organisations in Belgium (CCOJB) and head of the immunology department at Erasme Hospital in Anderlecht, Brussels. Around the same time, Belliraj killed number 4, said to be the Egyptian chauffeur to the Saudi ambassador in Brussels. Belliraj's motif for the murder: the lukewarm reaction of Saudi Arabia to Khomeinis's Rushdie fatwa. Apparently Belliraj was already an informant of the Belgian State Security while he carried out some of these murders. Following Belliraj's arrest in Morocco, Belgian police interrogated his landlord, Brahim L. Brahim L. rented Belliraj a comfortable house (photo) in Evergem, in the province of East Flanders. The landlord, who is a koranic teacher in Ghent, denies any knowldge about Mr. Bellirajs activities. By contrast, Chakib Benmoussa, Moroccan Interior Minister, said that it was obvious that Belgian authorities "knew about" Abdelkader Belliraj and his activities. He claimed that Belliraj had resided in Afghanistan in 2001, where he would reportedly have met met Ayman al-Zawahiri, the deputy leader of Al Qaeda.

Willy Roobaert - photo Het NieuwsbladAnderlecht, Brussels, January 2, 2006. Willy Roobaert (52), having missed the last tram from the Hallepoort to the Beurs (Brussels Stock Exchange), asks and gets a lift from four youths in a black Opel Kadett. The "youths" are Khalid Hamui (23), Bilal Bouquersa (21), Ridouan Hmidou Lamarti (20) and Mohamed El Hakkouni (23), four Moroccans with Belgian passports. Great is Mr. Roobaert's surprise when the Opel doesn't stop at the Beurs, but instead continues towards an open field near the Navezstraat. There they take his money and his cell phone and ask for his credit card's pin code. When Mr. Roobaert refuses, blows start to fall. Mercilessly the four "youths" beat the man up. Already blind to one eye because of an accident with an air gun in his youth, a fatal blow to the other eye blinds the man completely - and for the rest of his life. After some time, he is left alone for dead, bathing in blood. After one hour in the winter cold, a police patrol luckily finds him. Somehow the four young criminals - not unknown to the police - are rounded up. In what is actually an enigma given the fact that most young Morroccan criminals are left free because of a shortage of cells, the four have to stand for trial. Then finally, two weeks ago the Brussels Assisenhof condems the four to 15 years imprisonment. This is actually far less severe than it appears. The Lejeune Law, named after the socialist MP who introduced it, provides for the early release of detainees after having served one third of their sentence, on condition of good behavior in prison. A famous personage who benefited from the Lejeune Law was Marc Dutroux, the serial rapist and killer who placed Belgium on the map in 1996. In the late eighties he had been convicted to a sentence of 13 years for the rape of six girls. After his early release he picked up his career again, which ended a.o. in the rape, and subsequent death in a horror room in the cave of his house, of the teenagers Julie Lejeune (!), Melissa Russo, An Marchal and Eefje Lambrecks. Two other victims who had been abused in the dungeon were rescued, barely alive. But back to our Moroccan youths. When the judge read the verdict, the relatives of the perpetrators, massively present in the courtroom, started a brawl for so much injustice. The men blasted the Belgian judicial system, the women started to cry. A sister of Ridouan Lamarti fainted (or pretended to faint?) and was evacuated by ambulance. Insults were hurled at Mr. Roobaerts' lawyer, Meester Amaury De Craecker, of which really the nicest one was "Are you pleased with the result now? Are your proud of yourself???" Finally, security personnel had to intervene and evacuate the courtroom.

From the daily "Het Nieuwsblad", April 22, 2008. Two police vehicles on patrol in Anderlecht were shot at thursday evening with an air gun. This happened shortly before 7pm on the Bergensesteenweg. The patrolling cars just passed a group of around ten youths [The Nieuwsblad is so kind to not let us know the ethnicity of the youths, but - hint - quite a few of them were named after a certain 7th century guru from a region nowadays famous for exporting oil and pilots who can't land - note by MFBB], when the lead projectiles hit the cars. When the officers got out, they were surrounded and attacked and the group of youths quickly got bigger. Two 19-year olds were arrested because they behaved very aggressively and exhorted the rest. One of them had a pepperspray can. The two are known to the police. They were transferred to the precinct. Later that evening five youths arrived in the precinct to claim the release of their friends. A 21-year old attacked an officer and was arrested too.

On May 3, 2008, a heavy Volvo SUV rams the income doors of the CORA hypermarket in Châtelineau, near Charleroi, and penetrates one hundred meters inside the complex where it busts the central counter. Eyewitnesses see Kalashnikov-toting gunmen leave the vehicle, take whatever money they can carry, board an Audi A8 limousine which had followed the Volvo in its wake and leave with screeching tyres - after having set fire to the SUV, which explodes after a while. It's a small miracle no one gets hurt, although several witnesses have to be treated for shock, so violent was the assault.

On December 4, 2007, three criminals entered a house in Lot, a small community just southwest of Brussels, with the aim of obtaining the keys of a light lorry which they thought belonged to the proprietor of the house. The pepetrators gravely wounded the latter with two bullets in the stomach and one in the leg, but in the meantime an alert neighbour had alarmed the police. Just as a police vehicle stopped in front of the house, the gangsters burst in the street and emptied an AK47 Kalashnikov on the car - 20 rounds were later counted. One officer, 22-year old Kitty Van Nieuwenhuyzen, fresh from Police Academy, was hit in the head and killed instantly. Her 27-year old colleague was gravely wounded and barely survived. The perpetrators were able to flee before backup arrived (Officer Van Nieuwenhuzen was killed in the act of calling in reinforcements). Still, enough clues were found to identify them. They were two Moroccans, Nouredin Cheikni and Hassan Lasir, and a Turk, Galip Kurum, with homebase in Charleroi, a notorious crime-ridden city in Belgium's south. They were rounded up one and a half month later, upon returning in Belgium. They had simply fled to their respective home countries to lay low but had apparently judged the coast to be clear a bit too early. Anonymous sources at the Ministry of Justice confirmed that both Lasir and Kurum had been sentenced to ten years for other grave facts in 2002 but been let free in 2006, barely four years later, because of... the Lejeune Law. The perpetrators now risk a life sentence, but it should be noted that in Belgium, life sentences are automatically transformed in 30-year sentences, which means that, if the criminals show "good conduct" in prison, they can be released as early as after... 10 years, thanks to, you guess it, the Lejeune Law. Policewoman Kitty Van Neuwenhuyzen was just a few days shy of her 23rd birthday and an only daughter. In Belgium, it is well possible that her grieving parents may encounter her killers in just ten years as free men on the street.

Amsterdam, April 28, 2008. City Councilor for the PvdA (Partij van de Arbeid, one of the two socialist Dutch parties) Yman Mahrach, of Moroccan descent, publicly states that her party should not press too much for a "moderate" islam. "The Islam and the Koran are inalterable. You are muslim or not. Homosexual sex is forbidden, that is a rule in islam, just as you cannot lie." So what's the background to the story? Two indigenous socialist councillors had written an op-ed on the "artwork" (emphasis mine) of Sooreh Hera, an Iranian-born artist. In one of her recent works Muhammad and Ali were depicted as homosexuals. While I personally do not consider this as art, I don't think it should be forbidden. I loathe Serrano's Piss Christ, but if it turns him on to put a crucifix in a jar filled with his urine, let him. But back to Miss Mahrach, whose reaction to the op-ed of her party members was rather acid: "I agree with their claim that art must be judged using art's standards, BUT this photo is insulting and does not help the dialogue. You cannot depict the prophet, especially not as a homosexual or paedophile. Moreover, the PvdA has a large following among muslims. According to Mahrach, there are better ways to debate about homosexuality. "Because there is a lot of discussion already. For instance that you cannot use violence against gays. But that homosexuality is haram, is in the Koran. It's in the Bible too. It is not up to politics to disagree with that."

Got that? FYI, in lovely multicultural Amsterdam, Madam Mahrach is the vanguard of a whole new generation of young muslim socialist politicians. These guys and gals were elected with a mandate of their voters, were sworn in on the condition that they defend the Dutch constitution.... and then "Homosexuality is forbidden because it is in the Koran." In other words, the Koran is ABOVE Dutch Constitution. Several high-ranking indigenous Dutch socialists in Amsterdam were reportedly taken aback, but I'm not holding my breadth. These guys will be run over. Btw, did you check out Miss Mahrachs three photos? Back to the Middle Ages in five years! The first one shows her as a GroenLinks militant when she was 18 years. GroenLinks (GreenLeft) is the Dutch green party, a collection of econazi's and watermelon crackpots without equal. For unclear reasons, Miss Mahrachs stint at GroenLinks didn't last long. The second photo shows her when she came up for the PvdA in the Amsterdam municipal elections, two years ago. The third photo shows her as she is now, safely possessing her PvdA seat in the Amsterdam City Council. Draw your own conclusions.

From Expatica, May 28, 2008:

AMSTERDAM - Police officers in Amsterdam are to get a special deal if they buy Dutch writer Kader Abdolah's new translation of the Qur'an. The capital's police authority reckons that the new version, designed to be more accessible to the Dutch public, will give officers more insight into Islam. It is subsidising police purchases of the book by 50 percent. A police spokesman explained that while many officers have some knowledge of the Bible, the Qur'an is often unknown territory.

Right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) MPs are outraged by the plan, with Sietse Fritsma calling it "Islamic propaganda" and saying that public money should not be spent on it.

On Tuesday, the PVV will demand the government intervene to scrap the plan.

Hat tip Atlas Shrugs.

The borough of Anderlecht in Brussels was the scene of a small-scale ethnic war last week. Last Friday evening (May 23) extremely violent riots broke out in the streets of Brussels between Moroccan youths and supporters of football (soccer) club RSC Anderlecht. The day before, Thursday May 22, an immigrant (Moroccan) blog had called for attacks on the "white" supporters of the club, and "to burn pubs, houses and cars." Enjoy the movie.

Moroccan youths and hooligans, but especially the former category, destroyed bus stalls, damaged cars and busted shop windows. There was a hail of stones, beer bottles and even fences. The police deployed watercannons, horse charges and even pepper spray. Filip Van Laenen from The Brussels Journal notes the following: "Another interesting aspect of the story is that there is no information about the author of the inciting blog. It seems remarkable that the Centre for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism (CEOOR, a government body) has not yet commented on the case yet since the posting clearly must have been in violation with the Belgian anti-discrimination laws. According to the press, the word "white" was specifically mentioned in the posting. One would expect that the CEOOR would leave no stone unturned to find out who the author is and bring him to court." Meanwhile, the CEOOR, led by extreme leftist Jozef De Witte, has expressed delight at the verdict of Bart Debie, formerly a very successful young Police Chief in Antwerp, who lost his civic rights last week for a five-year period and was sentenced to one year prison effectively. One of the charges was that although he had not used racist slurs himself, he was responsible for creating an atmosphere in which his men were apt to make such slurs. What slurs? Oh, like "Here we have five lambs, the Feast of Sacrifice can begin". This upon the arrest of five members of a Turkish criminal family. You will agree with me this case deserved in fact the ICC in The Hague. In the meantime, the CEOOR somehow thinks Moroccans who exhort other Moroccans to attack 'whites' and 'burn pubs, houses and cars' are okay-dokay.

From the Vlaams Belang online magazine, March 29, 2003: Colruyt goes halal.WTF is Colruyt? Colruyt is the prime Belgian distribution chain, kind of our own Wal-Mart. Very powerful, very rich. It seems they have discovered the special needs of a certain brand of customers. VB magazine:
"Following the release of the very debatable "islamophobia" report, yet another item surfaces confirming the stealth islamization and adaptation of the West. What have we had thus far? Apart swimming hours for muslim women. Removing the Christmas trees from the Palais de Justice in Brussels. Halal food for all Antwerp schools. Halal investment funds at Fortis Bank. And now grocery chain Colruyt is going 'halal' too. An ad for meat sausages loudly proclaims the fact. "Chatar, sausage with halal meat". "Boiled sausage on the basis of poultry, prepared with 100% halal meat". And, to remove all lingering doubt: "prepared according to muslim tradition." Lng live the holy diversity! Swell is different, but as long as they do not remove pork meat, we can lve with it. However, one never knows. Some want to go very far in their efforts not to insult their islamic co-citizens."

Sorry if you just ate.

Except when it was halal.

This was Outlaw Mike, reporting from the world's biggest open-air funny farm. Although it has also some streak of Orwell's Animal Farm. More and more so, it seems.


Sunday, May 25, 2008


Monument at Flanders Field American Cemetery, photo Luc Van BraekelMay 25, 2008. Memorial Day ceremony at Flanders Field American Cemetery, Waregem, Belgium. This was my first visit to the cemetery, the final resting place of 368 servicemen who died in World War I, and the smallest US cemetery in Belgium (the other ones are the Ardennes America Cemetery in Neuville-en-Condroz and the Cemetery Henri-Chapelle in Hombourg). Flanders Field AMC is basically a rectangular field covering 6.2 acres, with the white stone chapel you see on the photo in the centre. A curtain of trees and shrubbery effectively shields the place from the traffic on the adjacent roads and the activities on the industrial estate lying no more than a few hundred yards away, and lends it a solemn, tranquil and graceful atmosphere. The graves are neatly arranged on four sides, with paths leading between them towards circular retreats with stone benches and urns at three of the corners of the cemetery. The following video presents a short tour of Flanders Field American Cemetery's landscaped grounds and the architecture and interior of the chapel: Flanders Field.wmv - windows media video ( 12 MB ). Courtesy of the video the American Battle Monuments Commission.

My friend Flemish American was there, together with his wife and kids. Of the VIP's present, the most notable were Belgian Prime Minister Yves Leterme and US Ambassador to Belgium Sam Fox. This is what the program looked like:

INVOCATION Reverend Father Frans Verhelst Dean of Waregem
TRIBUTE Mr. Kürt Vanryckeghem Mayor of Waregem
TRIBUTE General Hobbins, Commander USAFEUR
TRIBUTE The Honorable Sam Fox, Ambassador of the United States of America
Mr. Joseph T. Kolano President AMVETS National Service Foundation
Brigadier General John W. "Jack" Nicholson Secretary, A.B.M.C.
“THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER” Waregem School Children
LAYING OF FLORAL TRIBUTES U.S. Army Garrison BeNeLux Waregem Fire Brigade
FIRING OF VOLLEYS CC Sp. Mat & Prod., Ieper, West-Vlaanderen
TAPS AND RAISING OF THE COLORS Royal Band of the Belgian Navy
“IN FLANDERS FIELDS” Miss Brianna Fitch, Brussels American School
JEWISH PRAYER Rabbi Albert Dahan
BENEDICTION Chaplain (Major) Jeff Walden
USAG BeNeLux Family Life Chaplain
“The Star Spangled Banner”, Royal Band of the Belgian Navy
PATRIOTIC HYMNS Secretary, A.B.M.C. Royal Band of the Belgian Navy

Very unfortunately, while at first the weather seemed promising, halfway through the ceremony rain started to fall. A minor nuisance at first, it gradually developed into a embarrassment for all those present, rendering the last tribute and the dedication address inaudible. Still, a group of Waregem school children started to sing the American National Anthem, the "Star Spangled Banner", a tradition since 1923. I took pictures of that, and it was really moving how these small kids, all soaked to the bone by then (why didn't the organizers think of providing more umbrellas for them) managed to sing it in full. By the time they finished, the rainfall had become a tremendous torrent (I will try to provide photos of that tomorrow). It became so bad that the children had to be whisked away in order to not let them catch a cold. Luckily, after some ten minutes had elapsed, it became a minor dribble again, and by the time it was rabbi Dahan's turn, the sun was peeking through the clouds.

After the ceremony I took a stroll along the graves. A very sobering experience. It noticed quite some soldiers from 145th Regiment, 37th Division. They came from all over the States, but many seemd to come from the state of New York. Also a few pilots from the Air Corps.

By the time I'm typing this, it's twelve past midnight, and my final thoughts on the matter are that it's quite rich to use a catchphrase like "Freedom isn't free", as some important personage did, if you don't really let sink in the truthfulness of that saying. FREEDOM-ISN'T-FREE. It's not something you should say to score at some meeting or during a debate. It's something to say standing in front of hundreds of graves with countless names of Noonans, Grzyczaks, Johnsons, Bairds, Hoffmeisters and Leishs on them. Preferably, under a darkened sky heavy with rainclouds, and being cold and soaked wet to the bone. We live in freedom, because they died. At age 18, 19 or 22. Young lives tragically cut short.

May we never, never forget. To all members of the US military, past and present, and of those other armies which liberated us: thank you for your service.


UPDATE: photos from the ceremony yesteday, uploaded using Flickr.

Group of Waregem school children singing the Star Spangled Banner despite the rain

Despite the rain, a group of Waregem school children sing "The Star Spangled Banner", a tradition which began in 1923.

Typical Belgian weather

When the song was completed, the rain developed into a veritable torrent. Everybody was soaked wet to the bone. It's all Bush's fault.

Grave of John Masterson, 27 Division, fell in 1918 in Flanders

The final resting place of John Masterson, 27th Division. He fell in August 1918.

PS: this was the first time I used Flickr for uploading and posting photos. Until now, I have been using a personal site (little more than a virtual junkyard, actually) with a maximum of 50MB for photos and other material. That limit has now been reached (actually though it's amazing how I have somehow managed to cram so many photos in it - even though I have also been stealing quite some bandwidth elsewhere). Creating a Flickr account via Yahoo! is simple as pie and all seemed cream and butter until I saw my pics above... of very poor quality now. I took them with a Nikon Coolpix 4800, 4 megapixels effectively, and my photos usually comprise between 700 and 800 kilobytes, giving a very fair resolution. If I had had that resolution over here, you'd be able to see the raindrops falling between the kids, e.g.. Or you'd be able to appreciate their teacher, who was a pretty hot woman. Now however.... the three pics above are barely 27-30kB each. Which is kind of weird, since during the uploading I could see that for the three photos a total of 2.73 MB was transferred. Which, as we see, somehow got lost. So if there's someone out there who can offer some advice to keep the quality, please spill. Thanks in advance.