The Brussels Journal

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The Brussels Journal is a conservative blog, founded by the Flemish journalist Paul Beliën. It is consistently named as one of the Counter-jihad movement's main channels.[1][2][3][4] It was founded in 2005, and has both an English language section with various international contributions, and a Dutch section.

The Brussels Journal bills itself as a member of the OpinionJournal Federation but does not appear among the list of members on OpinionJournal's own site.[5] It is published by the Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE), a Swiss non-profit organisation.[clarification needed][citation needed]

Political Affiliations[edit]

Paul Beliën, editor and founder of The Brussels Journal

Paul Beliën's wife, Alexandra Colen, was a parliamentary member of Vlaams Belang.[6] However, Beliën himself has been at odds with the party at times, criticizing the party for its populism.[7] However, Beliën has since been employed as an advisor by Geert Wilders,[8] leader of the Dutch, right-wing Party for Freedom. According to the Brussels Journal, it is a nonpartisan publication, and most of its writers, both Belgian and non-Belgian, have no affiliation to any political party or organization.

Notable debates[edit]

Allegations of racism[edit]

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Bret Stephens, after a 17-year-old Belgian boy, Joe Van Holsbeeck, was murdered by romani from Poland, Paul Beliën wrote an article calling for the decriminalization of the possession of "self-defense weapons."[6] The article was titled "Geef ons Wapens!" (Give us Weapons!).[9] The government anti-discrimination agency Center for Equal Opportunities and Opposition to Racism claimed the article constituted incitement to violence and warned that unless it was removed, the blog would face state prosecution, although the words Muslim or Islam were not used in the article and the following sentence, by some claimed to be a "quote" was not in the article:

Muslims are predators that have learned from childhood (…) during the yearly feast of the sacrifice (…) how to slaughter warm herd animals.[8]

Beliën removed the article.[6] The article has been noted as an important event in the development of a harsher climate towards immigrants in Belgium.[8] The incident caused the site to shift to English-centric in order to be able to present future such cases to the international media.[clarification needed]

In June, Belgian police summoned Beliën for questioning regarding several articles, he wrote for the Brussels Journal.[10] According to Beliën the police continued to invite him in for questioning but he refused to show up.[11]

On 27 July 2011 Belgian media reported that the Belgian security agencies will ask the federal prosecutor to open a case file investigating relations between The Brussels Journal and Anders Behring Breivik, the confessed perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks. The security agencies would want clarity about a number of articles that have been published on the web site, and that are part of 2083: A European Declaration of Independence, Breivik's manifesto.[12]

Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy[edit]

The Brussels Journal was the first news and opinion site to cover the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy in English, bringing it to the attention to US bloggers, including Michelle Malkin,[13] and the mainstream media.

The Brussels Journal republished the cartoons. This action was called a "deliberate provocation by the neocons," by an editorial in the Dutch language Knack magazine. According to Knack, Brussels Journal's aim was to "make Americans and Europeans believe that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, after which the clash in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off."[6][14]

Notable contributors[edit]

The Brussels Journal has featured contributions by Diana West, Daniel Hannan, John Laughland, Fjordman, Tiberge, Koenraad Elst, Takuan Seiyo, Jos Verhulst, and Matthias Storme among others.[citation needed]


  1. ^ Nikolaj Nielsen (April 16, 2012). "EU authorities accused of blindness on 'counter-jihad'". EU Observer. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  2. ^ 7"Europe's radical right focuses on fighting Islam". Dawn. December 7, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  3. ^ Karl Ritter (December 8, 2011). "Anti-Muslim groups on the rise in Europe". Lancashire Telegraph. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Bjørn Stærk (March 1, 2012). "En nettreise gjennom islamkritikkens tiår" [A web travel through the decade of Islam criticism] (in Norwegian). Samtiden. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  5. ^ "Opinionjournal Federation". 1 January 2000. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  6. ^ a b c d Bret Stephens (27 August 2006). "The Many Faces of Belgian Fascism". Wall Street Journal.
  7. ^ Nicolas Raemdonk (2005-11-30). "Liberalisme is geen Fascisme". De Tijd.
  8. ^ a b c Zemni, S. (2011). "The shaping of Islam and Islamophobia in Belgium". Race & Class. 53: 28. doi:10.1177/0306396811406781.
  9. ^ (in Dutch) Het Centrum heeft een einde gesteld aan haatartikel van Beliën
  10. ^ (in Dutch) Politie tevergeefs bij Beliën Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine, De Standaard, 20 July 2006
  11. ^ Belgian Regime Keeps Harassing The Brussels Journal (2), Brussels Journal, 9 August 2006
  12. ^ (in Dutch) Veiligheidsdiensten vragen onderzoek naar verband Breivik en Belgische site, Gazet Van Antwerpen, 27 July 2011.
  13. ^ Malkin, Michelle (22 October 2005). "The Cartoons Islamists Don't Want You To See". Michelle Malkin. Retrieved 18 October 2011.
  14. ^ (in Dutch) Paul Beliën en zijn vriendjes, Knack, 15 February 2006

External links[edit]