There is tension in Brussels over the banning of a demonstration planned for Tuesday to mark the anniversary of September 11. Organisers behind a rally called “Stop the Islamisation of Europe” are vowing to ignore a ban imposed by the mayor of the city.
Socialist Freddy Thielemans says he fears unrest if the rally takes place. But Anders Gravers from the protest group claims their civil rights are being violated. “I think they want to make Sharia laws in our countries and in the European Union. We don’t like that. We want to stop that,” he said.
Jacob Mahi from the European Muslim Network says the protest comes in the wake of attacks in the UK and the crisis over Danish cartoons: “There are people surfing on the wave of fear, using these incidents to justify their racist and Islamophobic position against European Muslims, as if Muslims in Europe are not European, only Muslim.”
Local clerics are urging Muslims not to stage counter protests if the banned rally takes place. Authorities say they will boost security to try to prevent any trouble.