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« LOG 11.11.07 [EN] Belgium and Occidentalism plus Integration | Main | LOG 7.11.07 [EN] Dutch Courage and Uruzgan »

LOG 9.11.07 [EN] Gadgets, Belgian Tolerance, Justice and Surrealism.

I enjoy my new gadgets: The TomTom GPRS localisator for tavelling by car. It guided me for 6.000 Kilometres from Brussels to Istanbul and back via former Yugoslavia, Austria, Poland and Germany. This Log is typed on a new Acer Notebook, that replaces the one that was stolen from me on June 11. While I was composing my first Pepperdine evaluation, and denouncing systematic xenophobia as it was developed by Steyn, Hirsi Ali and Pipes, a randomly stealing band of three Moroccan youths from the Brussels Molenbeek community broke into the lower stocks of my house and got away with the computer, before I could halt them.  Thanks to my registering the number plate of their car, they were apprehended by the Brussels police and their judgment is upcoming, but delayed by the workload of Brussels justice.

As you may have seen, I was not converted to xenophobia by that event. I contributed as much as I could to their future condemnation, as I would have done with any burglar, who breaks into my house. But their origins (or that of their parents) are no issue to me. I have no big trust in police and justice, but in a case like this, I think, you have to work with them and help to get an equitable result.

I feel, that I share this attitude with a majority of my new Belgian compatriots. Last month, the guy who shot randomly foreigners in the centre of the city of Antwerp, killing an African woman and the (white) child she was tending and gravely wounding a woman of Turkish origin, who was reading a book on a park bench, was condemned to life. The boy acted under influence of the racist rambles of the likes of the Vlaams Belang xenophobic party. His avowed racist motives were an aggravating element to the Jury. It was, overall, a worthy and dignified event. No revenge. Only questioning, why, o why, somebody does things like that. As long as we do not condemn Flemish nationalist youth as a group, because of their leanings to violent xenophobia, we should not condemn Moroccans as a group, only because they are foreigners and act out of frustration. But individuals who indulge into crime, have to be judged, and racism is in fact an aggravating motive.

Philip Dewinter, the VB leader, days after the Antwerp shootings in congress with his party (October 2006), lamented that his movement was associated with those facts and stressed, that he had been seeing the parents of the shot child "without inviting the press, anonymously, with his spouse". I was disappointed by the press comments here in Belgium, who neglected to note, that Dewinter had NOT been seeing the family of the African woman, nor the kinship of the Turkish one. As usual, Dewinter was saying the "right" words, but omitting  the visits to the immigrant victims, he was showing to his followers, that he only regretted the excessivity of the boy's acts, but not their xenophobic motives.

It has been a Belgian day, today. In Toto Le Psycho and in L'Europe Chez Soi I commented (in French) the Belgian crisis (Belgique Surréaliste: Diviser pour vivre ensemble...) The "crisis" is very overstated. In this surrealist country, the State is instrumentalised for political games. Subtle games, that result in very Belgian compromissions. All this, thanks to the fact, that Belgium is since long only a symbolic state, a state without nation, plaything for the politicians, and as much as possible avoided by the Belgian citizens. A Dutch translation will be published in De Lage landen and In Europa Thuis.

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