In June 2013 Fouad Belkacem (32), the former spokesman Sharia4Belgium, was already sentenced to eighteen months in prison and fined 550 euros for inciting hatred and violence against non-Muslims in several YouTube videos by the Court of Appeal in Antwerp. Yesterday prosecutor Ann Fransen cited parents of some of the young Belgian jihadists as saying their children would never have thought of fighting overseas if they had not been brainwashed by Sharia4Belgium. as she said that leading a terror organization carries a maximum sentence of 15 to 20 years and 30 000€ fine.
Federal prosecutor Ann Fransen does find that our democracy and rule of law must be protected against such groups like Sharia4Belgium. Such groups must be fought against. Our society must also take measures to prevent them to gain more followers and to spread further their ideology of violence and hatred.
We must also be aware of the damage the riot language and havoc Fouad Belkacem caused for our society. There is not only the mauling in families and the grief of the parents and relatives of the young people who are so “brainwashed” that they were willing to give up their live for ‘faith’. Many of the young people who went to Syria, according to Fransen degenerated to “inhuman people” that presented horrible deeds to people of other faiths because of a “reprehensible interpretation of Islam.”
While he did not fight in Syria, unlike most other defendants, the leader of the now disbanded Salafist organisation that wanted sharia law adopted in Belgium, is considered the main driver behind the organisation and the one who is responsible for many Belgians going to fight in Syria.
“Belkacem’s words can only be interpreted as a call to violence and jihad,”
said public prosecutor Ann Fransen, listing a long line of speeches and videos in which he equalled military jihad to praying and fasting.
The prosecutor cited parents of some of the young Belgian jihadists as saying their children would never have thought of fighting overseas if they had not been brainwashed by Sharia4Belgium.
Fransen said the Belgians were deeply entwined with the al Qaeda-inspired Sunni Muslim groups fighting in Syria, including the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq (ISIS) and the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, both of which are now being targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes.
Authorities fear those travelling to Syria to fight will return home battle-hardened and trained to carry out attacks.
- Belgium launches its biggest Islamist extremist trial (dailymail.co.uk)