vendredi 27 novembre 2015

"Il faut sortir la grande mosquée de Bruxelles de l'influence saoudienne "

Le Vif

"Le gouvernement fédéral doit mettre fin au contrôle saoudien de la grande mosquée de Bruxelles, qui représente un terreau fertile pour l'islam extrémiste aujourd'hui à Bruxelles, en Belgique et en Europe", a indiqué la parlementaire flamande, Yamila Idrissi (sp.a).



Grande Mosquée de Bruxelles, située dans le parc du Cinquantenaire © Wikicommons

"Si le gouvernement fédéral prend au sérieux la lutte contre la radicalisation et la terreur, il doit mettre un point final au bail emphytéotique conclu entre notre pays et l'Arabie saoudite et travailler à ce que la grande mosquée devienne un centre européen moderne pour le nouvel islam."

Le roi Baudouin a confié le contrôle de la grande mosquée à l'Arabie Saoudite dans les années soixante par la signature d'un bail de 99 ans. Les Saoudiens "jouent un rôle clé dans la propagation d'une forme radicale de l'islam - le wahhabisme (mouvement politico-religieux saoudien, ndlr) - qui est également défendue par les membres de l'Etat islamique", selon Mme Idrissi.

"Depuis 1967, des imams et des diplomates saoudiens de la mosquée diffusent la doctrine wahhabite à Bruxelles, en Belgique et en Europe. Cette forme ultra-orthodoxe de l'islam est un terrain fertile pour la radicalisation. Elle ne peut pas avoir de place dans notre société."

La parlementaire socialiste flamande appelle ainsi le Premier ministre à agir. "Si le Premier ministre Michel veut s'attaquer à la racine du radicalisme et du terrorisme, il faudra mettre fin au bail de l'Arabie Saoudite à la grande mosquée et bannir le wahhabisme", selon Mme Idrissi.

Le parti socialiste du nord du pays propose de tendre la main aux intellectuels musulmans modernes et modérés afin de leur confier le développement d'un centre européen de l'islam dans la grande mosquée de Bruxelles.



COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERCITY

LE FIL À COUPER LE BEURRE


Les politiques quelquefois nous donnent l’impression de vouloir réinventer l’eau chaude ou le fil à couper le beurre.  Un premier clic nous apprend que   Le bâtiment d'origine a été construit en 1879 par l'architecte Ernest Van Humbeek dans un style arabisant, pour constituer le pavillon oriental de l'Exposition nationale de Bruxelles de 1880. Au xxe siècle le bâtiment se dégrade peu à peu faute d'entretien.

En 1967, le roi Baudouin fait don de l'édifice au roi Fayçal ben Abdelaziz Al Saoud d’Arabie saoudite, en visite officielle en Belgique, afin de le transformer en lieu de culte, à l'usage de la communauté musulmane de Belgique qui devient importante à cette époque. La mosquée, à l'issue d'une longue restauration effectuée aux frais de l'Arabie saoudite par l’architecte tunisien MongiBoubaker, est inaugurée en 1978 en présence de Khaled ben Abdelaziz Al Saoud et du roi Baudouin. 


Un second clic nous révèle que La mosquée du Cinquantenaire se présente aux yeux de nombreux observateurs comme un cheval de Troie salafiste au cœur de Bruxelles.

En 1967 les autorités belges sont déjà soucieuses de reconnaître le culte musulman et, en pleine crise du pétrole, décideront de reconnaître le Centre, financé par les autorités saoudiennes, comme principal interlocuteur.

Mosquée historique aux financements importants (notamment via la saoudienne Ligue islamique mondiale), elle se présente aux yeux de nombreux observateurs comme un cheval de Troie salafiste au cœur de Bruxelles. "Cette doctrine", précisait sur son blog en décembre dernier l’islamologue de l’UCL Felice Dassetto, "n’est pas dangereuse en soi, […] mais elle me semble proposer un enseignement de l’islam difficilement compatible avec l’habitation de musulmans dans le contexte européen. Et elle me semble même poser les prémices et constituer le terreau d’une radicalisation en aboutissant dans son fond au fait que l’islam est difficilement compatible avec des sociétés plurielles."(DH)

Profitant adroitement de sa situation, le Centre propose également une formation pour les imams, un appui pour les convertis, des cours d’arabe réputés, mais aussi, et surtout, un service de consultation religieuse. Tout qui le souhaite peut ainsi y soumettre des questions relatives à sa vie quotidienne afin de la confronter aux prescrits religieux du Centre.

Le 14 avril 2012, un Saoudien quittait discrètement la Belgique dans un avion d’Egyptair. Khalid Alabri, le directeur du Centre islamique et culturel de Belgique (CICB), venait d’être expulsé à la demande des autorités belges. La cause ? Ses prêches virulents, salafistes et antijuifs, à la grande mosquée du Cinquantenaire. Riyad accepta de rapatrier son concitoyen.

Cette histoire , l’opinion publique belge n’en aurait jamais rien su si Wikileaks n’avait publié en juin près de 61 000 câbles diplomatiques saoudiens. 

Le CICB a été financé par l’Arabie saoudite et est considéré comme un vecteur de la diffusion du salafisme dans le pays. A noter que l’imam et le bibliothécaire de la mosquée ont été assassinés en 1989.

Il est révoltant de devoir constater que tant de choses qui sont sues depuis si longtemps sur les centres de radicalisation possible ne puissent être mises en avant qu’à la lumière d’un drame comme celui que nous vivons aujourd’hui. Il vaut mieux tard que jamais mais que d’années perdues et surtout, que de jeunes dévoyés par une forme d’islam hostile au pays d’accueil. Il est vrai que désormais la presse internationale déverse une lumière crue sur grand nombre de dysfonctionnements belgo-belges, un peu, il faut bien le dire, comme à l’époque de la pitoyable affaire et du délétère procès Dutroux. L’éditorial d’avant-hier du New York Times est assassin. Nous le publions in extenso.

MG



TERRORISM RESPONSE PUTS BELGIUM IN A HARSH LIGHT

By ANDREW HIGGINS New York Times



Belgian soldiers and police officers on patrol Tuesday in central Brussels. CreditBenoit Tessier/Reuters

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BRUSSELS — A month before the Paris terrorist attacks, Mayor Françoise Schepmans of Molenbeek, a Brussels district long notorious as a haven for jihadists, received a list with the names and addresses of more than 80 people suspected as Islamic militants living in her area.

The list, based on information from Belgium’s security apparatus, included two brothers who would take part in the bloodshed in France on Nov. 13, as well as the man suspected of being the architect of the terrorist plot, AbdelhamidAbaaoud, a Molenbeek resident who had left for Syria to fight for the Islamic State in early 2014.

“What was I supposed to do about them? It is not my job to track possible terrorists,” Ms. Schepmans said in an interview. That, she added, “is the responsibility of the federal police.”

 

 

The federal police service, for its part, reports to the interior minister, Jan Jambon, a Flemish nationalist who has doubts about whether Belgium — divided among French, Dutch and German speakers — should even exist as a single state.


Mayor Françoise Schepmans of Molenbeek, Belgium, in January.CreditAndrewTesta for The New York Times


As Brussels remained locked down for a fourth day, facing what the authorities say is its own imminent terrorist threat, the failure to stop two brothers clearly flagged as extremists before the Paris carnage highlighted the tribal squabbles of a country that holds the unenviable distinction of going without a functioning government for 541 days.

Flemish nationalists, ever eager to show that Belgium in its current form does not work, have jumped on the mess, with Karl Vanlouwe, a member of the Belgian Senate, writing in the newspaper Le Soir on Tuesday that “20 years of laxity” by the French-speaking Socialist Party had turned Brussels into a “rear base of Islamic barbarity.”

The perennial dysfunctions of a small country with just 11.2 million people would not normally transcend its borders, but they are now blamed for having helped turn Belgium into a hub of terrorist activity that is threatening lives as well as the Continent’s troubled enterprise of integration and intelligence sharing.

Belgium has a government, unlike the long stretch of limbo after inconclusive elections in 2010. But with its capital paralyzed and its political elite pointing fingers over who is to blame for letting jihadists go unchecked, the country is again being ridiculed as the world’s most prosperous failed state.

An Italian newspaper called it “Belgistan,” and a German one declared Belgium “kaput.” A French writer, Éric Zemmour, suggested in a recent radio interview that instead of bombing Raqqa, Syria, the self-proclaimed capital of the Islamic State, “France should bomb Molenbeek.”

Belgians, accustomed to being derided, particularly by the French, have, in the main, not risen to the bait, although the editor in chief of the newspaper La Libre, Francis Van de Woestyne, complained on Tuesday that “French condescension has no limits.” But Belgians, too, are wondering what went wrong in Molenbeek and in the system as a whole.

With three uneasily joined populations, Belgium has a dizzying plethora of institutions and political parties divided along linguistic, ideological or simply opportunistic lines, which are being blamed for the country’s seeming inability to get a handle on its terrorist threat.

It was hardly difficult to find the two Molenbeek brothers before they helped kill 130 people in the Paris assaults: They lived just 100 yards from the borough’s City Hall, across a cobblestone market square in a subsidized borough-owned apartment clearly visible from the mayor’s second-floor corner office. A third brother worked for Ms. Schepmans’s borough administration.

Much more difficult, however, was negotiating the labyrinthine pathways that connect — and also divide — a multitude of bodies responsible for security in Brussels, a capital city with six local police forces and a federal police service.

Brussels has three Parliaments, 19 borough assemblies and the headquarters of two intelligence services — one military, one civilian — as well as a terrorism threat assessment unit whose chief, exhausted and demoralized by internecine turf battles, resigned in July but is still at his desk.

Lost in the muddle were the two brothers, Ibrahim Abdeslam, who detonated a suicide vest in Paris, and Salah, who is the target of an extensive manhunt that has left the police flailing as they raid homes across the country, so far without results.

To the system’s rising chorus of critics, the scale of the lockdown itself — the security alert has closed schools, many shops and the subway system in Brussels — is a reflection less of focused authority and actionable intelligence than of diffuse incoordination.

Of 16 people detained in a huge sweep on Sunday evening, 15 were promptly released. No explosives or guns were found, a blow to efforts to avoid what the federal government asserts is a “serious and imminent” threat of Paris-style terrorism.

Lars Bové, the author of a book on the Belgian security system, said that cooperation between different layers of government and different security services was improving but that information sharing remained a problem, particularly between federal agencies and local authorities.

Responsibilities, he said, “tend to overlap,” with only fuzzy rules for who is supposed to do what.

Muriel Targnion, the mayor of the eastern town of Verviers, where the federal police stormed a terrorist safe house in January, said she had been told by security services in Brussels that her town had 34 residents suspected as jihadists. But that was all she was allowed to know.

“All I was given was a number,” she said. “No names, no addresses. Nothing.”

HISTORY OF RIVALRIES

Information sharing does not come easy in a country with fierce rivalries between groups that, in some cases, cannot talk to each other, at least not in a common language.

On top of language, said Sus van Elzen, a Flemish writer and former political magazine editor, “it is in our genes to reject all centralizing power” and, on all sides of the linguistic divide, to mistrust outsiders.

Belgium’s history, he added, is a “very unhappy story” of constant retreat from intruding forces, notably the Spanish, the French and the Germans, that have sought to impose a centralized order.

Belgium was formed from part of what were known as the Low Countries, which for centuries were fought over by the dukes of Burgundy, Hapsburg emperors and the rulers of France. The chief languages, Dutch and French, became instruments of those in power, and both fell in and out of favor. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, the Congress of Vienna made the largely Roman Catholic Belgium part of Holland, which was ruled by a Protestant king. The union led to unrest, and eventually rebellion, and in 1831 another gathering of Europe’s great powers established the kingdom of Belgium.

Today centralized order hardly seems the problem, except when it comes to tracking terroristsEven if intelligence professionals all speak Belgium’s two main languages, they are still divided into feuding fiefs.

Luc Verheyden, a veteran intelligence officer who in 2006 helped set up OCAD, a coordinating agency for threat analysis, resigned four years later, citing his frustration over the refusal of the police and other security services to cooperate.

The creation of OCAD was not appreciated by certain services because it forced them to share information,” he told the Belgian news media when he quit. “They were waiting around the corner for revenge,” he added.

OCAD’s chief and Mr. Verheyden’s former boss, André Vandoren, resigned in July after political sniping and complaints from a secretive parliamentary committee that he had trespassed onto intelligence gathering turf that belonged to Sûreté de l’Etat, Belgium’s more established intelligence service.

“Everything in Belgium is politicized; you cannot have an administrative function, particularly a senior one, if you don’t have a political affiliation,” said Claude Moniquet, a former French intelligence officer who runs a risk analysis company in Brussels.

 

Language divisions might not prevent intelligence experts from communicating, but they shape the political environment in which the experts operate and decide who fills the ministerial positions that set their priorities.

Mr. Jambon, the Flemish nationalist interior minister, has infuriated many French-speaking Belgians with what they see as insinuation that they alone are to blame for the growth of Islamic militancy in Belgium.

“The link that has again been established between terrorism and our country forces us to look into the mirror,” Mr. Jambon said two days after the Paris attacks. The reflection he saw, however, was heavily filtered by the lens of Belgium’s tribal politics.

“The question I ask myself is: Why did we succeed to eradicate radicalism in Antwerp and other Flemish cities, and why doesn’t it work in Brussels?” he said, contrasting his Dutch-speaking region of Flanders with Belgium’s mostly French-speaking capital.

Antwerp, the largest city in Flanders, has cracked down on Islamic extremists. This year the city was the site of Belgium’s biggest terrorism trial, with more than 40 defendants accused of traveling to fight in Syria or of encouraging others to do so.

But the trial was held in Dutch-speaking Antwerp only because that was where its principal defendant, Fouad Belkacem, and the now-banned organization he led, Sharia4Belgium, a well-known recruiter for jihad, had operated for years.

From there, Mr. Belkacem reached out to French-speaking areas, notably Molenbeek, where in 2012 he organized a rally outside a police station to protest the arrest of a woman wearing an Islamic head covering.

Before the trial, when he was sentenced to 12 years for supporting terrorism, Mr. Belkacem was “very active here,” Ms. Schepmans said, and he set alarm bells ringing about the dangers of extremism.

The federal authorities were so worried that they offered to help Molenbeekwith money to set up a unit to combat radicalization. But the money offered was paltry — initially 40,000 euros, or about $42,500, and later €60,000. The borough found funding from its own budget and the radicalization unit now has four employees. Only one speaks Arabic.

Molenbeek’s police force, housed in a big concrete block adjoining City Hall, knows the neighborhood and its residents, but the mayor said that it “has neither the means nor the powers” to keep tabs on Islamic militant suspects.

Arthur van Amerongen, a Dutch writer on the Middle East who lived in Molenbeek a decade ago while doing research for a book on Islamic extremism, said it had been obvious for years, particularly under a Socialist mayor who governed until 2012, that militants were making inroads there, but “nobody wanted to know because this did not fit their political agenda.”

Neither local authorities nor the central government showed interest, Mr. van Amerongen said, noting that his book, “Brussel: Eurabia,” was greeted with accusations of racism and bias against French-speaking Molenbeek.

Intelligence services, too, have struggled with the same political calculations and constraints.

While long derided for its often chaotic and fractious ways, Belgium is if anything “overorganized,” with so many overlapping bodies and agencies that nobody is ever really in charge, said Hubert van Humbeeck, a Belgian political commentator. “It works more or less normally, but when something so unpredictable like terrorism happens, all the institutions collide.”

“This is the Belgium disease,” he added. “Everyone always says it is not their fault, and they are often right.”



COMMENTAIRE DE DIVERCITY

TRIBULATIONS TRIBALES

 

The Paris carnage highlighted the tribal squabbles of a country that holds the unenviable distinction of going without a functioning government for 541 days.

Flemish nationalists, ever eager to show that Belgium in its current form does not work, have jumped on the mess, with Karl Vanlouwe, a member of the Belgian Senate, writing in the newspaper Le Soir on Tuesday that “20 years of laxity” by the French-speaking Socialist Party had turned Brussels into a “rear base of Islamic barbarity.”

Cela va sans dire, mais cela a l’air tellement plus crédible quand c’est écrit noir sur blanc en première page du New York Times. 

With its capital paralyzed and its political elite pointing fingers over who is to blame for letting jihadists go unchecked, the country is again being ridiculed as the world’s most prosperous failed state.

Dans notre grande naïveté, nous avons imaginé, et écrit ici même que cela risquait de faire chuter le gouvernement Michel. Que nenni !

Mais ceci n’est qu’un épisode des tribulations à venir de la Suédoise.

Belgium has a dizzying plethora of institutions and political parties dividedalong linguistic, ideological or simply opportunistic lines, which are being blamed for the country’s seeming inability to get a handle on its terrorist threat.

La complication-nous aimons dire la complexité, c’est plus élégant- des institutions qui nous a épargné jusqu’ici une guerre civile et/une partition de l’Etat belge se révèle, de fait, contre productive en pareille circonstance. 

It was hardly difficult to find the two Molenbeek brothers before they helped kill 130 people in the Paris assaults: Much more difficult, however, was negotiating the labyrinthine pathways that connect — and also divide — a multitude of bodies responsible for security in Brussels, a capital city with six local police forces and a federal police service.

Et voici que le NYT relaye une fois de plus les critiques flamandes  du modèle gional bruxellois avec ses 19 communes et ses six zones de police. A tort ou à raison ?

To the system’s rising chorus of critics, the scale of the lockdown itself — the security alert has closed schools, many shops and the subway system in Brussels — is a reflection less of focused authority and actionable intelligence than of diffuse incoordination.

Cerise sur la teau, voici donc la critique d’excès de précaution

Addressée à Charles Michel. Relevons quand même à sa décharge que Bruxelles, la cible la plus intéressante d’occident (capitale de la Belgique, de l’Europe et siège de l’Otan) a  été, jusqu’ici épargnée par des attentats de style parisien et ça c’est à mettre au crédit de son gouvernement.

Sus van Elzen, “it is in our genes to reject all centralizing power” and, on all sides of the linguistic divide, to mistrust outsiders.

Today centralized order hardly seems the problem, except when it comes to tracking terroristsEven if intelligence professionals all speak Belgium’s two main languages, they are still divided into feuding fiefs.

Notons sans aucun cynisme que le centralisme Jacobin à la Française n’a pas vraiment réussi à déjouer les attentats.

Luc Verheyden, a veteran intelligence officer who in 2006 helped set up OCAD, a coordinating agency for threat analysis, resigned four years later, citing his frustration over the refusal of the police and other security services to cooperate.

C’est ici que le bât blesse mais le dysfonctionnement est de caractère européen on le sait mais on refuse d’y faire quelque chose.

OCAD’s chief and Mr. Verheyden’s former boss, André Vandoren, resigned in July after political sniping and complaints from a secretive parliamentary committee that he had trespassed onto intelligence gathering turf that belonged to Sûreté de l’Etat, Belgium’s more established intelligence service.

On touche ici à la susceptibilité des services responsables du renseignement dont la devise est: le pouvoir par le blocage des infos. Il s’agit d’un dysfonctionnement déjà observé et dénoncé dans l’affaire Dutroux lequel déboucha sur la suppression de la gendarmerie et l’unification des polices avec les résultats que l’on sait. 

“Everything in Belgium is politicized; you cannot have an administrative function, particularly a senior one, if you don’t have a political affiliation,” said Claude Moniquet, a former French intelligence officer who runs a risk analysis company in Brussels.

En effet tout chez nous est politisé à l’extrême : c’est absolument sidérant.

Mr. Jambon, the Flemish nationalist interior minister, has infuriated many French-speaking Belgians with what they see as insinuation that they alone are to blame for the growth of Islamic militancy in Belgium. Nous avons relevé cela très vite. L’exploitation éhontée par la N-VA de cette dimension du problème fait effectivement désordre. Et nous avons pensé que cette critique de Jambon contenait le germe d’une crise de régime. Peut-être l’avenir nous donnera-t-il raison ?

Mr. Jambon said two days after the Paris attacks.

“The question I ask myself is: Why did we succeed to eradicate radicalism in Antwerp and other Flemish cities, and why doesn’t it work in Brussels?” he said, contrasting his Dutch-speaking region of Flanders with Belgium’s mostly French-speaking capital.

Belgium is if anything “overorganized,” with so many overlapping bodies and agencies that nobody is ever really in charge, said Hubert van Humbeeck, a Belgian political commentator. “It works more or less normally, but when something so unpredictable like terrorism happens, all the institutions collide.”

On le voit, la vieille plomberie de Jean Luc Dehaene et consort fuit.

La double stratégie de la N-VA : d’une part participer au gouvernement fédéral et de l’autre tirer à boulets rouges sur le PS et son belgicanisme de circonstance va très bientôt buter sur ses limites. Une crise de régime paraît inévitable et ce à assez court terme. Encore une fois, le calme et la modération de la riposte socialiste laisse franchement rêveur.

Concluons que cet édito tonitruant du NYT qui éclabousse notre pays manque singulièrement de subtilité quand on l’analyse de près.

Je finirai par croire qu’il faut impérativement être belge pour comprendre nos petits jeux politiques qui nous font perdre beaucoup de temps et énormément d’argent mais qui, comme le fit remarquer un jour Herman Decroo père, ont le grand avantage de faire couler plus de salive et d’encre que de  sang.

MG 

 


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