Sharia4Belgium

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Sharia4Belgium was a Belgian radical Salafist organisation which called for Belgium to convert itself into an Islamist state. In February 2015 the group was designated a terrorist organization by a Belgian judge, and its spokesman, Fouad Belkacem, was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Spokesman Belkacem, alias "Abu Imran", repeatedly made controversial comments. He preached in favor of the death penalty for LGBT people and had stated that he had been praying for Osama bin Laden. In 2010 they disrupted a lecture of Benno Barnard of the University of Antwerp.[1]

In early April 2010, Belgian interior minister Annemie Turtelboom ordered the monitoring of the organisation's website.[2] In response, the provider of the website took it offline. In 2011 the organisation called the death of Vlaams Belang politician Marie-Rose Morel a "punishment of Allah".[3] Defence minister Pieter De Crem was threatened with his life on the internet because of the Belgian participation in Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya.[4]

When Belkacem was invited to the 2012 Global Shariah Conference, organized by the radical Islamic movement Sharia4Holland, the Party for Freedom asked ministers Ivo Opstelten and Gerd Leers to treat Belkacem as persona non grata.[5]

Although Sharia4Belgium was called to the correctional court for incitement to hate,[6] neither the organisation nor its members were sentenced. Frontman Belkacem has a criminal record for burglary and resist to arrest and was sentenced in 2002, 2004 and 2007.[7] In 2012, he was again sentenced in Antwerp to two years imprisonment for incitement of hatred towards non-Muslims.[5] Morocco was seeking his extradition in connection to drug trade.[8]

Belkacem was arrested[where?] on the morning of 7 June 2012.[9][10] He was sentenced in Morocco for possession of illegal drugs.[11][12]

On 7 October 2012, Sharia4Belgium claimed on its website that the organisation was being dissolved. On 11 February 2015, Belkacem was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment in Belgium.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The city of Antwerp filed a complaint against sharia4belgium" (in Dutch). Nieuwsblad.be. 2 April 2010. 
  2. ^ "Turtelboom laat website Sharia4Belgium permanent volgen" (in Dutch). Nieuwsblad.be. 10 April 2010. 
  3. ^ "CGKR diep verontwaardigd over reactie Sharia4Belgium" (in Dutch). Nieuwsblad.be. 9 February 2011. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 13, 2012. Retrieved August 9, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "Kamervragen over komst leider Sharia4Belgium" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. 22 May 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sharia4Belgium voor de rechter" (in Dutch). Nieuwsblad.be. 14 May 2011. 
  7. ^ "Sharia4Belgium: het duistere verleden van Fouad Belkacem" (in Dutch). Humo.be. 7 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Politie onderzoekt Sharia4Holland" (in Dutch). Nu.nl. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  9. ^ "Woordvoerder Sharia4Belgium vanochtend opgepakt" (in Dutch). Demorgen.be. Retrieved 7 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Sharia4Belgium". Archived from the original on 9 June 2012. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  11. ^ Auteur: bbd (30 April 2009). "Turtelboom wil nationaliteit van Belkacem afnemen". Standaard.be. Retrieved 7 December 2012. 
  12. ^ "Sharia4Belgium: het duistere verleden van Fouad Belkacem" (in Dutch). Retrieved 29 September 2014. 
  13. ^ "12 jaar cel voor Sharia4Belgium-leider Belkacem". De Tijd. Retrieved 25 March 2016.