Four men were just sentenced to six months in prison for holding a banner that says “Stop Islamization.” Prosecutors said the banner “incited hatred and violence” against Muslims. The banner was displayed in public in February and May of 2020. A Belgian judge in Mechelen declared that the banner promoted an “imaginary danger.” In his ruling, he wrote, “the defendants aim to sow fear and create hatred in society by convincing the spectators of the idea that in the future Islam may dominate Flanders.”
A lawyer for the men said that “This was just free speech, a political statement, no different from that.” Leaders of the political party Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest) went to Mechelen to protest the sentences.
Vlaams Belang was once known as Vlaams Bloc, until their entire political party was banned to subvert the Belgian system of Democracy. In Belgian, donations to political parties and politicians are heavily restricted. Most of the funding comes from the government and is based on how many votes you got in the last election.
However, after Vlaams Bloc became the single largest party in Belgium in 2004, with a quarter of the Flemish vote, the government simply banned the party to deny them their share of government funding. Democracy was completely subverted. The Belgian government simply gave itself the right to claim a party was “hate speech” and refuse to follow its own rules. Now Belgium has moved from a soft tyranny to a hard tyranny where individuals are thrown in prison for expressing mainstream center-right political views in public.
Below: Filipe DeWinter is a long-time leader of Vlaams Belang and a member of the Flemish parliamnet.
‘Laten we nooit vergeten wat #WinstonChurchill zei: “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak!” Wij zijn geen extremisten en roepen niet op tot geweld. Als èchte democraten zeggen wij wat de zwijgende meerderheid denkt: #EigenVolkEerst, #EerstOnzeMensen #StopIslamisering.’ pic.twitter.com/9yHvfloBkT
— Filip Dewinter (@FDW_VB) May 26, 2021