Saturday, September 15, 2007

Free Speech Dying in Europe...Again

Brussels, the EU capital, had a demonstration on Sept. 11, 2007. The demonstration was organized by a group named Stop the Islamization of Europe. Diane West wrote an editorial about the event in the Wash. Times. While everyone has been spending a large amount of bandwidth talking about the NYT ad Ms West believes this under-reported story could be very much more the story of the week.

The assembly, sponsored by Stop the Islamization of Europe, was wholly peaceful — at least until Belgian police showed up. With a chopper above, water cannon nearby, they didn't break heads, exactly — nothing so kind as that. In a photo that should be titled The New Face of Fascism (, we see black-clad Belgian policemen brutalizing a man in a light-colored suit and tie. His hands are cuffed behind his back, his right elbow is clasped in what is known as an arm-bar hold, and he is also being subjected to a genital hold — a vicious grip that, a retired cop friend of mine tells me, would get any American policeman thrown off the force.

The man under arrest was Frank Vanhecke, president of the Flemish secessionist party Vlaams Belang and a member of European Parliament. Also arrested and beaten was Filip Dewinter, who, as the leading politician of Vlaams Belang, Belgium's largest opposition party, has personally garnered 25 percent of the electorate ( These men are invariably described as "far-right" politicians, as though "far-right"-ness alone (whatever that means when totalitarian police tactics are considered tolerant left) is rationale enough for harsh treatment. I've met both men and know them as free-market, small-government conservatives who deeply believe Western civilization is worth defending against the Islamization that occurs with the entrenchment of Shariah. Indeed, they are bravely trying to prevent Europe's Islamization, practically by themselves. I say "bravely" because in Europe these days, as we know from the Islamically motivated murders of Pim Fortyun and Theo van Gogh, such beliefs can get you killed.

This blogger posted pictures of the is 9/11 commemoration in Brussels.

In my title I added 'again' as a reminder of the occupation of Europe by Nazi Germany. Then was also a time that the exercise of free speech could get you killed. There was a resistance movement then, and I only hope it is possible for a resistance movement today to combat the entrenchment of Shariah in Europe.

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