Below are several brief news reports on the latest from Belgium, as translated by VH. First, from Het Nieuwsblad:
Police arrest rioting youth in Antwerp
The police arrested five persons today in Antwerp, who wanted to participate in a non-authorized demonstration in the Kerkstraat in Antwerpen-Borgerhout. They refused to leave when they were asked to. One of them behaved in a very unruly fashion.
Contrary to what the police earlier reported, the event had nothing to do with the headscarf ban, but merely with the statements of Filip Dewinter, who had called imam Nordine Taouil “Allah’s Pimp”. There was also a banner confiscated with a slogan that was directed against Filip Dewinter.
Not connected with the event at the Turnhoutsebaan, another six people were arrested. One of them had thrown a stone at a bus. That brings the total number of arrests today to eleven.
And a response from headscarf opponents, as reported by Het Laatste Nieuws:
300 people demonstrate in Brussels for headscarf ban
Around 300 people in Brussels took to the street, in front of the building of the PM of the French Community, for a ban on headscarves in French-language schools. Such a ban should be imposed through a decree, according to the organizers.
The debate over the wearing of headscarves in schools is current, both in Flanders and in the southern part of the country, where some schools have already introduced a ban. The organizations that were demonstrating today in Brussels think the politicians should introduce a general ban on religious symbols in all schools.
Nadia Geerts, of the organizing RAPPEL [“Reminder”], called on politicians to make a choice “to urgently protect girls who are forced to wear a headscarf”. Among the demonstrators were also some parliamentarians, especially members of the MR [Mouvement Réformateur, Wallonian center-right].
But BOEH! is not letting up:
- - - - - - - - -
BOEH! announces legal proceedings against headscarf ban.
The feminist action platform Boss Your Own Head (BOEH!) will start legal proceedings in the course of next week against the headscarf ban for students in public schools. The lawyers of BOEH! view the headscarf ban as an infringement of the constitutional equality and the Equal Opportunities Law of 2008. […] BOEH! is convinced that a lasting solution can not be achieved through unilateral, radical decisions but by mutual agreement and based on mutual respect in the interest of all parties.
And — possibly unrelated — an Al Qaeda cell in Morocco sponsored from Belgium:
Wealthy Moroccan Al Qaeda cell sponsored from Belgium
The Moroccan security services have rounded up a network of Al Qaeda terrorists: 24 people were arrested. The quite wealthy terrorist network was sponsored by donations from Western sympathizers, including some in Belgium.
Whether our countrymen have provided more than financial assistance is being investigated at the moment. According to a source close to the investigation, further arrests will follow.
This is the first time that a network was found operating under the direct command of Al Qaeda, and not through the Maghrebi Islamic branch (AQMI). The group had three goals in mind: an attack in Morocco, to train fighters for the wars in Afghanistan and in Somalia, and to prepare suicide bombers for Iraq.
The federal public prosecutor confirmed that he was aware of the Belgian link, but keeps his lips together. “The information exchange with the judicial authorities of Morocco is in full swing,” is all that the spokeswoman of the Belgian prosecutor Leen Nuyts wanted to say.