Pakistani Imam Preaches Jew-Hate in Belgian Parliament

Three months to the day after Hamas’s bloodthirsty massacre of Jews, an Islamist preacher from Pakistan comes to the rostrum of the Brussels Regional Parliament, in the capital of the European Union, to chant verses from a sura celebrating the defeat, surrender and massacre of Jews and the enslavement of Jewish women and children.

For his presentation, Butt was awarded a medal at the end of the same ceremony by Nawal Ben Hamou (PS), Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, who congratulated the Islamist preacher on the “quality of his integration” into Belgian society.

It is worth noting that this Islamist preacher of Jew-hate does not speak a word of French or Dutch, Belgium’s two national languages. What a heart-warming story of “integration”.

In a surreal scene revealed by Flemish anti-jihad researcher Peter Velle, on January 13, a Pakistani Islamist preacher came to the Brussels Regional Parliament in Belgium to chant verses from one of the most radical and anti-Semitic suras, Koran 33. The presentation provoked several reactions of indignation, particularly from the centre-right Mouvement Réformateur party (MR).

This sura, which contains 73 verses, was chanted by Pakistani imam Muhammad Ansar Butt. The sura refers to three significant events: the Battle of the Trench (or Al-Ahzab: Against the Clans/Coalition), which supposedly took place during the month of Shawwâl, in the year 5 A.H. (after hegira, the journey of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Medina in year 622 A.D.); the attack on and subsequent massacre of the Jewish tribe of Banû Quraydhah, carried out in Dhul-Qi’dah, in the year 5 A.H.; and the Muhammad’s marriage to Zaynab, celebrated in the same month of the same year.

The Koranic reference to “coalition” is meant the confederation of pagan Arabs, “hypocrites” — people falsely claiming to be Muslims, without conviction — and Jews. Generally speaking, this “coalition” ostensibly acts and fights against Islam under the leadership of the Jews, though historically it is usually the other way around.

The tribe that dominates the narratives of this sura is that of the Jewish Banû Quraydhah. Even though not its exclusive focus, Sura 33 celebrates the massacre of the men of that tribe, and the enslavement of its women and children after their surrender to the Muslims.

The verses chanted by this Pakistani preacher from the perch of the Brussels Regional Parliament were taken from a sura whose main purpose is to celebrate the victory of the Muslims over the “coalition” and the massacre of the Jews. This is something of which the Islamist preacher, who presumably knows the Koran from memory, was presumably aware.

In other words, three months to the day after Hamas’s bloodthirsty massacre of Jews, an Islamist preacher from Pakistan comes to the rostrum of the Brussels Regional Parliament, in the capital of the European Union, to chant verses from a sura celebrating the defeat, surrender and massacre of Jews and the enslavement of Jewish women and children.

The blowback began when a video circulated on social media showing the imam chanting in the parliament. The event provoked several reactions of indignation.

In the video, Muhammad Ansar Butt, dressed in Taliban style, talks about Islamic victory over the “coalition” for three minutes without the slightest interruption. Given that Belgium is a country that practices the separation of religion and state, the scene, immediately made the rounds of the Belgian press.

To put it plainly, freedom of expression and opinion is the definition of democracy, and members of the Brussels Regional Parliament enjoy it to the full. The problem is that, in this case, a Pakistani preacher who has nothing to do with parliamentarians was given access to the parliamentary rostrum and jumped at the chance to chant a sura whose main purpose is to celebrate the massacre of Jews.

The president of the Brussels Regional Parliament, Rachid Madrane of the Parti Socialiste (PS), immediately reaffirmed the neutrality of public institutions, and stated that “Parliament is no temple to anything other than democracy”. He said that he intended to remind Hasan Koyuncu (also PS), an MP of Turkish origin who was behind the Butt’s invitation to chant in the parliament, along with other group leaders, in a letter. Madrane continued that he also plans to put the issue on the agenda for the next meeting of the Parliamentary Bureau and to propose that respect for neutrality be explicitly included in the Rules of Procedure.

The MR party said it was shocked by what it saw as the intrusion of religion into the very heart of parliament and called for assembling a parliamentary committee.

“We have been fighting for years for the neutrality of the State”, said David Leisterh, chairman of the Brussels MR party. He called for a commission to be set up immediately to withdraw any decorations awarded to Butt for his integration into Belgian society; to clarify who had invited him and why; to determine whether the imam receives public subsidies; to review the list of those awarded decorations and to ensure that there is no contradiction with “our fundamental values”.

The incident sparked outrage from the political class, with calls for swift accountability. Georges-Louis Bouchez, president of the MR party, condemned the left’s use of sectarianism as an electoral weapon, while federal MP Darya Safai (Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie party), who is of Iranian origin, expressed her concern about a “very dangerous development” in Belgian democracy.

Unfortunately, these reactions remain superficial, to say the least. For his presentation, Butt was awarded a medal at the end of the same ceremony by Nawal Ben Hamou (PS), Secretary of State of the Brussels-Capital Region, who congratulated the Islamist preacher on the “quality of his integration” into Belgian society.

It is worth noting that this Islamist preacher of Jew-hate does not speak a word of French or Dutch, Belgium’s two national languages. What a heart-warming story of “integration”.

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