An Islamist group in Belgium is intensifying a propaganda and intimidation campaign aimed at turning the country into an Islamic state.
Over the past several months, Sharia4Belgium, a Muslim organization that wants to implement Islamic Sharia law throughout Belgium, has become increasing belligerent in its appeals to fellow Muslims to overthrow the democratic order in the country.
The latest installment of Islamist agitprop comes in the form of a video in which the Belgian Islamist Sheik Abu Imran declares that the black flag of Islamic Jihad will "soon be flying on top of all the palaces in Europe."
The December 11 video, which has been translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), shows Imran dressed in military camouflage calling for the destruction of the Atomium, a monument in Brussels that is the national symbol of Belgium.
Imran says: "This is a short message to the King of Belgium and specifically to the Muslims in Belgium. This is the flag [black flag of jihad] that, Allah willing, will soon be flying on top of that building over there [the Belgian royal palace]. There you see the flag [Belgian flag] of the Taghut, the infidels, and soon the flag of 'there is no god but Allah' will be flying there, on top of that palace, and on top of all the other palaces in Europe, until Allah willing, we reach the White House…We will not rest, we will not stop, until this flag flies on top of that building [the royal palace]."
The video then continues from another location in Brussels, namely directly in front of the Atomium. Imran says: "We can see nowadays how people are taking photos, and how people from all over Brussels and from all over Europe, come here for what is called 'tourism' and take photos of this monument. They hold on to this monument. On top, you can see the Belgian flag. This monument is a symbol of Belgium…Soon, Belgium will fall apart. May Allah disperse them and their country. Amen. Then this symbol will be useless to them."
Imran continues: "Look how people view this monument as their Taghut, their idol…We should destroy these monuments. How can we demonstrate that we are Muslims? … We must free ourselves from this idolatry…we call upon everyone to stay away from idols and idolatry. One of these idols is this Taghut [the Atomium] here behind us, with the flag of the Taghut government [Belgium] on top of it, a symbol of the Taghut regime, the Taghut system ruling this country.
"But Allah willing, Belgium will soon be freed from polytheism and idolatry…We promise to clean Belgium from the system of idolatry as well as of the idols themselves. Then we will demolish this symbol, this monument. Why? … We need to ensure the safety of Belgian Muslims and non-Muslims in the Islamic state that will replace this Taghut. Allah willing, the more Muslims who participate, the faster we will reach our goal of freeing Belgium from tyranny, and from idolatry, and of implementing the purest form of Tawheed [Islamic doctrine] in our lives. Let us live in an Islamic state, in which there is no idolatry, and there is only 'There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.'"
This video came just days after a mob of extremists belonging to Sharia4Belgium stormed a debate in Amsterdam that was featuring two Muslim liberals: the Canadian writer and Muslim feminist Irshad Manji and the Dutch-Moroccan Green Left MP Tofik Dibi.
Waving an Islamist jihadist flag, the Islamists yelled "Allahu Akbar!" (Allah is Greater) and threatened to break Manji's neck. They then demanded that both Manji and Dibi be executed for apostasy.
The December 8 debate on how liberal Muslims can prevent Islam from being hijacked by Muslim extremists was held at the De Baile venue in downtown Amsterdam, and was sponsored by the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. The event resumed after police arrested several of the Islamists.
Previously, 40 members of Sharia4Belgium engaged in "Campus Jihad" by disrupting a speech about Islam by the Dutch author Benno Barnard. The lecture, entitled "The Islam Debate: Long Live God, Down with Allah!," was part of a series of talks at Antwerp University about the Enlightenment.
In September, Sharia4Belgium established Belgium's first Islamic Sharia law court in Antwerp, the second-largest city in the country. Leaders of the group say the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium in order to challenge the state's authority as the enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.
The self-appointed Muslim judges running the Islamic Sharia court apply Islamic law, rather than the secular Belgian Family Law system, to resolve disputes involving questions of marriage and divorce, child custody and child support, as well as all inheritance-related matters.
Unlike Belgian civil law, Islamic Sharia law does not guarantee equal rights for men and women; critics of the Sharia court say it will undermine the rights of Muslim women in marriage and education.
Sharia4Belgium says the court in Antwerp will eventually expand its remit and handle criminal cases as well.
But Sharia4Belgium also expects non-Muslims to submit to Sharia law.
A partial archive of an earlier version of Sharia4Belgium's website includes a threat in the form of an invitation calling for all Belgians to convert to Islam and to submit to Sharia law or face the consequences. The text says:
"It is now 86 years since the fall of the Islamic Caliphate. The tyranny and corruption in this country [Belgium] has prevailed; we go from one scandal to another: Economic crises, paedophilia, crime, growing Islamophobia, etc."
"As in the past we [Muslims] have saved Europe from the dark ages, we now plan to do the same. Now we have the right solution for all crises and this is the observance of the divine law, namely Sharia. We call to implement Sharia in Belgium.
"Sharia is the perfect system for humanity...As a result, we invite the royal family, parliament, all the aristocracy and every Belgian resident to submit to the light of Islam. Save yourself and your children of the painful punishment of the hereafter and grant yourself eternal life in paradise."
A cache of the background image for the Sharia4Belgium website has the black flag of jihad flying above the Belgian Parliament. Until recently, the Sharia4Belgium Youtube page (which has been shut down) was used to incite Muslims to Jihad, or Holy War. The group had posted videos with titles such as, "Jihad Is Obligatory," "Encouraging Jihad," "Duelling & Guerrilla Warfare," and "The Virtues of Martyrdom."
In a recent debate with Filip Dewinter, a Belgian politician who has raised public awareness of the dangers posed by radical Islam, Imran said: "There are a lot of Muslims in Belgian politics, which is something I cannot understand. You are either a Muslim or a democrat, you cannot be both. I have no business with infidels. My mission is to please Allah, not infidels."
Imran continued: "Let's turn Belgium into an Islamic state. We have enough judges, scholars and leaders who can become caliphs…Filip Dewinter is right. This is the beginning of the Islamization of Antwerp. And to all infidels: Adjust or get out!"
Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.