After effort and the consultation of several parties – as has been said – a “file” titled “The Control of Muslim Radicalization” (Beheersenvan Moslimradicalisering) appeared, directed at school principals, teachers, police, gyms, youth societies, and others. The preparation of this file was supervised by the mayors of Antwerp, Mechelen, Vilvoorde, and Mazaak, and the file contains a study about radicalism and the methods of attracting Muslims to it, and it also includes practical methods for recognizing the radical tendencies of Muslims and of how to monitor and track them to eliminate them.
The truth is that this file is a disgrace in the meaning of the word, and a stigma of shame for the so-called modern democratic thought that the owners of this initiative claim to be protecting from radicalism. It confirms what the French philosopher Tzvetan Todorov said, who emphasized that “the main enemy of Democracy is Democracy itself”, and that the crisis of Democracy is an internal crisis and not an external one; because “the true enemies of Democracy” – as Todorov calls them – are those who flaunt Democracy in word and disguise their alleged values in action. The values of Democracy to those who sit on the thrones of pseudodemocratic regimes are not ideas that they believe in, rather they are tools which they use; to them they are worthless values, or values which are lost with their fanaticism and their failure at every value. Therefore, it is not surprising that in pseuodemocratic regimes people are worshipped in the name of freedom, and that their ideas and feelings and appearances are attacked under the excuse of radicalism that threatens the free society that is founded on freedom of expression and belief and equality. So in the name of freedom of expression Muslims must be forbidden from expression, and in the name of freedom of belief the Muslims must abandon their religion, and in the name of equality Muslims must be subject to a master who decides what they think and how and when!
This file, that was prepared under the supervision of the mayors of Antwerp, Mechelen, Vilvoorde, and Mazaak, is an exceptional model for a police surveillance regime in a “model democratic” society! It calculates the Muslims’ movements and homes, and monitors their thoughts and feelings at home, in school, on the street, in the Masjid and at the coffeehouse… etc, under the excuse of fighting radicalism that represents a danger to democratic society. But what is radicalism and how was it defined by the author of this file?
The file does not mention a specific definition of radicalism, and the author sufficed with general shapeless phrases that have no meaning and that can apply to any thought or any group in Belgium, such as the Christians, Jews and right wing nationalist parties. This is well known to the author; therefore he said (page 8): “Radicalism in itself is not necessarily a problem.” And the question is: If radicalism in itself is not a problem, then what is the problem?
The author answers, saying (page 8): “Radicalism becomes a problem when transforms from radical concepts to constrains or prohibition of the freedom of persons or groups in society, or when radical concepts affect appearances or behaviors that are punishable by law.” And because the author is “very exact” in his definition, he gives us practical examples that are “very persuasive” that represent a “recurrent social phenomenon, a tangible scene hidden from no one” so he says (page 8): “An example of this – an example of radicalism transforming into a threat to society – ridiculing a butcher because he does not sell Halal meat, or harassing women who do not wear the veil, or breaking the window of a coffeehouse that sells alcohol.
The writer goes on with his explanation, showing us the behaviors that indicate the transformation of radicalism into a danger to society such that it needs surveillance. He gives examples (p. 8), including persons calling to Islam in public places, or people who refuse to participate in the elections and call for their boycott, or persons who commit their children to their teachings (and intended are of course Islamic teachings).
Although the writer in the context of this preface speaks generally and abstractly about the question of the transformation of radicalism into a danger to society, he does not mention but negative examples related to Islam and Muslims. He does not mention for example what veiled Muslim women face on a daily basis from contempt, ridicule, spitting in their faces and the raising of the middle finger and other insults. Neither did the author mention the missionaries who preach the call of Christianity among Muslims, nor did he mention the Jews practicing their Judaism in their eating and their appearance and their education freely. That is because “non-Islamic radicalism” issued by non-Muslims is not prohibited but legal radicalism!
After this “very objective” preface to his research, the writer directly comes to the heart of the matter, defining for us the risk of Islamic radicalism by saying (p. 9): What is meant by the transformation of Muslims to radicalism – which represents a danger to society – is the growing willingness to seek a profound change to the community or to assist in this, whether through democratic or non-democratic ways. This is the heart of the matter upon which the project of the Mayor of Antwerp, Michelin Vilvoord and Mazaik is built. It is solely concerned with Muslims, and stems out of a conspiracy devised by Muslims to radically change the community.
The truth is that this alleged danger does not exist but in the imagination of the pursuers of this project who tampered their whims in their minds. It is not really intended to oppose radicalism and “Islamic” terrorism, rather other purposes are aimed at. We will clarify the matter through the following points:
1. The file confirms (p. 19) that the vast majority of Muslims in Belgium have always been against radicalism, this is why we ask: If the vast majority of Muslims is against radicalism, then where is the danger? Does a small minority of Muslims whose call is rejected by the overwhelming majority – in the words of the author – pose a real danger to the community? It might be said: This file is a proactive strategy to prevent the spread of the risk of a few. Here is a counter question: If radicalism is not exclusive to Islam and Muslims – as you have decided (p. 8) – it means that there is a radical Christian or Jewish or a right-wing nationalist racist minority seeking to change society according to their vision, from which radical work has emerged, as is no secret to you. Will you take care of their future danger? Will you issue a dossier for example, talking about their risk and ways to fight them?
2. The file talks about “a profound change in society”, but which community is the writer speaking about? Is it the Belgian (Flemish) society? If the Belgian society is addressed, then there is no Islamic group seeking to change society in Belgium. Hizb ut Tahrir (whose logo was misleadingly put in the category of Jihadists) does not seek to establish an Islamic state in Western countries as the Hizb has laid down in its culture. As for the so-called “Shari’a for Belgium”, regardless of the reality of their call, they are not a political group by definition. Rather they are individuals that have been prosecuted and whose “group” has been banned, thereby becoming non-existent. This is no hidden to anyone. The newspaper De Standaard in an article from 03/11/2013 reported its information from the Belgian intelligence service which summarize to the following: The “Shari’a for Belgium” officially became non-existent, but some former members and sympathizers are now fighting in Syria against the Assad regime. Accordingly, there is no group seeking to profoundly change Belgian society.
3. The file talks about “a profound change in society”, but what is the meaning of this profound change in Belgian society? Have Muslims sought to possess power in the country? Have they stricken the relation between the Belgian rulers and their citizens? Have they worked to overthrow the rulers in Belgium and exchange them? Have they done so through material action, for example through a military coup? Or through political actions, such as civil revolt or demonstrations for the overthrow of the Belgian government? Did any of this happen from the side of the Muslims? Have the Muslims thought about doing so? No, none of this has happened and none of the Muslims think to do so. Why then do the Mayor of Antwerp, Michelin Vilvoord and Mazaik speak about a profound change in society sought by Muslims and planned by Islamic radicalism, if the Muslims themselves do not think about it nor do they execute any actions indicating it? How can the Muslims seek a profound change in Belgian society when they did not even succeed in changing a school’s decision that prevented their daughters from wearing the Khimar or prosecuting a school whose teachers’ harassment against their children has been proven?
“The profound change” the file talks about is not what Muslims want to achieve in Belgian society – they do not think about it nor do they have the tools – rather it is a “profound change” the Mayor of Antwerp, Michelin Vilvoord and Mazaik want to achieve among Muslims and within them. The file develops a strategy and operation plan to minimize the presence of Islam as a whole in Belgium. In other words, what is aimed at is the imposition of Western secular democratic values and Western lifestyle on Muslims. It is not required that Muslims submit to public order and the law governing the community, but it is required that Muslims embrace these values, even by force. Therefore it is required that Muslims adopt secularism as a conviction and that they express their conviction in their behavior and appearance. To achieve their aim, this “democratic” power will consider anything that contravenes the aforementioned to be radicalism that needs to be fought. According to their opinion calling oneself “Abu so and so”, wearing a Khimar, changing one’s dress, calling to Islam, criticism of Western thought, attending a lecture in which Western thought is criticized intellectually, participating in a legally licensed demonstration against colonization of Iraq, all this is from the manifestations of radicalism. Just like statements stemming from the heart of Islamic culture, such as “Allahu Akbar” or “al-Wala’ wa al-Bara'” or “Bid’ah” or “Da’wah” or “Jahiliyyah” or “Kuffur” or “Khilafah” or “Shahada” or “Tawhid” or “Sunnah” are counted as manifestations of radicalism, because it is radical vocabulary. Also who convinces a non-Muslim of the belief in Islam is blamed for radicalism, but the one who persuades a Muslim to leave Islam has made use of their democratic right. Whoever criticizes modernity intellectually is blamed for radicalism, whereas the one who insults Islam and mocks the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم has exercised their democratic right. Who requests halal meat is blamed for radicalism, whereas the one who requests “kosher” meat has exercised their democratic right. The woman that wears the Khimar is accused of radicalism, whereas the nun exercises her democratic right!
As a result, Muslims under the “power of democracy” are not entitled the rights of thought and expression to maintain their cultural identity and uniqueness, as well as their difference in behavior and appearance as regarded obligatory for them in their religion. What is stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion …”, and contained in the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance: “… that one is free to adhere to his convictions and that he accepts that other clings to their beliefs. Tolerance means recognizing that human beings are different in nature, in their appearance, their languages, their behavior and values. They have the right to live in peace and to match their appearance with their convictions, which also means that the views of the individual should not be imposed on others”. These texts are claimed by the Democrats to form their values and that they are committed to them. It seems that these texts do not include Muslims. The Mayor of Antwerp, Michelin Vilvoord and Mazaik cursed this “freedom” that allows for a Muslim to keep his Deen, practice it and call to it.
We call the Mayor of Antwerp, Michelin Vilvoord and Mazaik to learn from the policies of the Khilafah state towards its flock, as represented in the words of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم:
«إن الأمير إذا ابتغى الريبة في الناس أفسدهم»
“If the Ameer spreads suspicion among people, he corrupts them.”
A final word we address to the intellectuals in this country, who know for sure that Muslims in this country ask for their right to respect their cultural identity and uniqueness, and who know for sure that Muslims do not seek to change the society and the regime in it, we say to them: The one who remains silent on the truth is a silent devil. You can see the gravity of the injustice done to Muslims, and you can see the oppression, repression and suppression of their voices until the vocabulary of condemnation reached the core of their faith and religion. However not a single one of you uttered a word in defense, not even to excuse your ideology. So do not be surprised of the reluctance of people to your values, if you are the first to betray them.
As for us, we do not fear for our Deen, nor do we fear for the Muslims. Because Islam is a Deen, if left without fighting it, it invades the hearts and spreads, and if fought, it roots in the hearts and is intensified.
The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir
Sunday, 23rd Dhul Qi’ddah 1434 AH
Issue No : 1434 AH / 95