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Shariah4Belgium And Sharia4UK - Small But Dangerous Islamist Fringe Groups

June 12, 2012


June 12, 2012 - San Francisco, CA - - The incident occurred in the run-down immigrant Molenbeek district of Brussels, the capital of Belgium. A young Muslim woman named Stéphanie Djato (an African name) refused to identify herself to the police after she had been asked to do so. She was dressed in a so-called niqab, a long and gloomy black cloth which almost entirely covers the face. She was then taken to the police station where her niqab was removed. Miss Djato violently resisted these attempts and even head-butted a female police officer who subsequently broke her nose and two teeth. The niqab woman later filed a protest over so-called "police brutality."

Violent riots broke out in Molenbeek, early June. Showing solidarity with Stéphanie Djabo, their fellow Muslim, Muslim youths and other protesters attacked the police. Molenbeek is comparable to the notorious French banlieues (suburbs). Crime is rampant and local gangs control the streets, at least in parts of Molenbeek. It is easy to obtain a Kalashnikov [AK-47 military battle rifle] and there are numerous shooting incidents. On Friday June 8, an angry Muslim extremist from Paris took the Thalys train to Brussels. In the Brussels-Molenbeek metro station "Beekkant" he suddenly attacked a male and a female police officer with a long knife, wounding both of them seriously. The Muslim terrorist from France wanted to take revenge for the way the Brussels police had forced a woman wearing a niqab to identify herself. He possessed clippings about the "niqab incident" and also about Shariah4Belgium, a notorious militant group which openly sympathizes with Al-Qaeda.

Shariah4Belgium spokesman Fouad Belkacem ("Abu Imran") personally justified attacks on the police in a YouTube video released early June. He said, inter alia, "We do not condemn the attack on this female police officer. We celebrate this deed. God gave her the strength to head-butt one of those police officers." It was God's will that his police officer broke her nose, Belkacem claimed.

He also issued a call to kill others, saying, "With God's will curse, destroy and break every non-Muslim who dares to touch our Muslim sister."

Belkacem was subsequently arrested for hate speech and for calls justifying the use of violence against non-Muslims. Belkacem, a Belgian Moroccan living in Antwerp, is a notorious frequent offender with 18 (!) previous convictions. In 2008, a Moroccan court condemned him to eight years of imprisonment for drug trafficking and Morocco wants the Belgians to extradite him to Morocco. So far, the Belgians did not comply with this request as Mr. Belkacem also enjoys Belgian nationality. Belgium refuses to extradite its own nationals. Belgian Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom and Antwerp prosecutor Yves Liégois now belatedly seek to deprive Shariah4Belgium spokesman Belkacem of his Belgian nationality. "

Why did the authorities not act on an earlier occasion?" an editorial in the Gazet van Antwerpen (GvA), a leading Antwerp newspaper, asked. The GvA editor argues that the Socialist Party (PS) often turned a blind eye to the excesses of Muslim extremism in Belgium. Belkacem should have deported to Morocco long ago.

Indeed, Belkacem is not the only Moroccan criminal in Belgium who is causing headaches for the authorities. There are about 3000 heavy criminals in Belgian prisons with an immigrant background, and Belgium is now belatedly trying to deport some of them to their home countries. At least 600 of these criminals are Moroccan immigrants. They have been handed prison terms of more than 30 years for having committed very serious crimes. Moroccan criminals are causing similar problems in Spain, France and Holland. Many of these Moroccans are on welfare. Putting them on trial and convicting them poses a tremendous financial burden on the state – apart from the substantial damage caused by the many crimes they committed. They and their expensive lawyers invariably try to exploit the justice system as much as possible.

In Holland, for example, two young men of Moroccan origin planned to rob the Belvoir Hotel in the city of Nijmegen, but the police arrived just in time and prevented them from carrying out their plan. They fled on a scooter, crashing into 50-year old pedestrian Mario van de Geijn who would later die in hospital. The two perpetrators themselves also ended up in hospital. Assisted or encouraged by aggressive Moroccan family members, one of these perpetrators, lashed out against the police and hospital staff members. They were convicted by a lower court, but the court of appeal recently lamely ruled that it could not be proven who had been the actual driver of the scooter and was, consequently, responsible for Mr. van de Geijn's death. During the trial both Moroccan youngsters pointed to each other, and the court of appeal subsequently acquitted them. It was by no means the first time when a Dutch court acquitted Moroccan perpetrators, ignoring the fate of their victims.

The Dutch police are currently investigating the vast profits being made by Moroccan drug criminals in Rotterdam. Huge sums of money have been transferred to Morocco and whitewashed there. Moroccan drug dealers in Amsterdam West frequently harass older Dutch people whose complaints to the police are largely ignored.


Belkacem's mentor is the British militant Muslim Anjem Choudary. I met Choudary in 2002 in North London. He was then the asssistant of the radical Muslim cleric "sheikh" Omar Bakry Mohammed, the founder of a movement called Al-Muhajiroun ("the immigrants"). Omar Bakry Mohammed and Al-Muhajiroun publicly defended Osama bin Laden and justified the 9/11 attacks on America. Al-Qaeda's 9/11 hijackers were referred to as the "Magnificent 19." Omar Bakry Mohammed is currently living in Lebanon. Al-Muhajiroun was banned in the United Kingdom in January 2010.

Anjem Choudary founded a movement called Islam4UK in November 2008, and now plays a leading role in the Islamist fringe group Shariah4UK. Both groups were equally banned by the British government. The Dutch newspaper Het Parool claims that six out of nine British Muslims who planned a "Mumbai-style attack" on the London Stock Exchange, the Big Ben and other targets were in fact Choudary's personal pupils. They were convicted earlier this year. The Daily Mail published an extensive article on the "London Stock Exchange Bomb Plot," saying, inter alia, "Police believe that the gang drew inspiration from hook-handed cleric Abu Hamza and followed Muslim fanatic and hate preacher Anjem Choudary, whose most recent group, Muslim Against Crusades (MAC) was banned last year." "At least two of the defendants were members of MAC's predecessor, Islam4UK, a group led by Choudary which became a banned terrorist organization in January 2010." These "Al-Qaeda inspired radicals were arrested four days before they planned to plant bombs in London Stock Exchange toilets."

Choudary paid a visit to Holland in May (2012) with a view to boosting Shariah4Holland, an offshoot of Shariah4Belgium. He was one of the speakers at a very small demonstration in front Amsterdam's National Liberation Monument. Another speaker was Shariah4Holland spokesman Abu Qaasim. He said that Dutch anti-Islam parliamentarian Geert Wilders should learn lessons from what happened to Theo van Gogh. (Van Gogh, also an outspoken Islam critic, was killed by a Dutch Moroccan Muslim radical in November 2004.)

The Dutch Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) believes that there is a chance that followers or sympathizers of Shariah4Holland are susceptible to the use of violence.

It was in 2010 that Shariah4Belgium leader Fouad Belkacem wrote a letter to the Jordanian-Palestinian jihadist cleric Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi. Maqdisi is believed to be a prominent Al-Qaeda ideologue. He was the mentor of Abu-Musab Al-Zarqawi, until his death in June 2006 the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. MEMRI partially translated Belkacem's interesting letter to Al-Maqdisi as well as his response ("Radical Belgian Muslims Turn to Jihadist Cleric Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi for Guidance"), whereas the Arab text can be found on the website ("Sharia4Belgium krijgt steun uit onverwachte hoek"). "We are a group of your brothers living in Belgium…" writes Abu Imran (Foud Belkacem). "We ask you, honorable sheikh, to offer us some brief advice and some directions that will be of benefit to us in calling people to Allah…"

Magdisi replied, "And I advise you to be a support for your brothers the mujahideen in the battlefields of jihad by aiding their jihad to the best of your ability…" "A while ago I read that the Belgian newspaper Le Soir reported that more than 40,000 Belgian citizens have converted to Islam in the last few years, making Brussels (i.e. Belgium) the country on the European continent with the highest rate of conversions of its citizens to Islam. The newspaper explained that Belgium has a population of 10 million, among whom are 450,000 Muslims, meaning that the conversion rate of Belgian citizens relative to the total population is the highest in Europe." "This news is without doubt good tidings and a confirmation of Allah's promise and the saying of the Prophet, Allah's prayer and peace be upon him."

Magdisi then advises Muslims in Europe "to study the sharia (Islamic law) and learn the true meaning of ‘There is no God but Allah.'" A "global war against Islam and the Muslims is being waged in our times," this "requires that all Muslims stand shoulder to shoulder." However, Muslims who "are still in a state of weakness and are incapable of concluding the conflict" should "not get entangled in beginning the conflict with the regimes too early." In other words, while Muslims must support the violent jihad elsewhere, they should not yet resort to armed conflict in Europe itself.

That is probably the reason why movements such as Shariah4Belgium officially espouse, as far as Europe is concerned, nonviolence. In reality, however, Shariah4Belgium leader Belkacem did justify the use of violence against the police. Moreover, his mentor Anjem Choudary is believed to have inspired radical Muslims who resorted to violent jihad and terrorism, also in the United Kingdom itself.

Emerson Vermaat is an investigative reporter in the Netherlands. Website: Emerson Vermaat


Het Laatste Nieuws (Belgium), June 8, 2012, p. 1 ("Hij moet nu snel het land uit"); p. 2 ("Nikabmeisje moet agenten identificeren"), on Stéphanie Djato; p. 2, 3 ("Na 18 veroordelingen dan toch in de cel"), YouTube video and Fouad Belkacem's 18 previous convictions.

Het Belang van Limburg (Belgium), June 6, 2012 ("Moslimextremist neemt wraak op agenten Molenbeek").

Gazet van Antwerpen (Belgium), June 8, 2012, p. 2 ("Waarom is er niet eerder opgetreden?"); a noteworthy editorial, saying, inter alia, "Waarom niet eerder? De man heeft hier talloze veroordelingen opgelopen voor allerlei misdrijven. Waren er niet genoeg argumenten om hem het land uit te zetten? Maakte Molenbeek nu echt het verschil? De plotselinge ijver van politici en justitie is aandoenlijk. Steekvlampolitiek noemen we dat."

Belgian TV, Journaal Eén (News), May 28, 2012. (600 heavy criminals with a Moroccan background in Belgian prisions).

Algemeen Dagblad (Netherlands), May 30, 2012, p. 1. 5 ("Liegende daders gaan toch vrijuit"); De Volkskrant (Netherlands), May 30, 2012, p. 12 ("Twee scooterrijders: vrijspraak dood man"); De Telegraaf (Netherlands), May 31, 2012, p. 3 ("Vrijspraken"). Harrassment of hospital staff and ambulance personnel by Moroccan immigrants is not uncommon in Holland.

De Telegraaf, June 1, 2012 ("Onderzoek in Marokko naar drugswisten").

Het Parool (Netherlands), May 29, 2012, p. 1 ("Britse radicaal Choudary achter Sharia4Holland")

Mailonline, February 2, 2012 ("Big Ben bomb gang out in six years: Outrage as terror plotters plead guilty in turn for light sentences").

De Volkskrant (Netherlands), May 29, 2012 ("Arrestatie voor bedreigen Wilders")

Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD), Jaarverslag 2011 (The Hague, Netherlands, AIVD, 2012), p. 15.

MEMRI, Inquiry & Analysis, May 3, 2010 ("Radical Belgian Muslims Turn to Jihadist Cleric Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi for Guidance"). The quotes are from this text. For the Arab text, see:–sharia4belgium–krijgt–steun–uit–onverwachte–hoek.html

© 2012 Emerson Vermaat. All rights reserved.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at