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#1 22 September 2011 - A sharia court has been established in Antwerp, Belgium, by a radical Muslim group called Sharia4Belgium.
Leaders of the group say that the purpose of the court is to create a parallel Islamic legal system in Belgium in order to challenge the state's authority as enforcer of the civil law protections guaranteed by the Belgian constitution.
The sharia court, which is located in Antwerp's Borgerhout district, is "mediating" family law disputes for Muslim immigrants in Belgium.
Legal experts say that the Islamic court will also undercut the state's ability to investigate and prosecute perpetrators of so-called honour crimes. In 2007, for example, Belgium outlawed the practice of forced marriage.
Those convicted of forcing someone into marriage by violence or coercion face a prison sentence of up to two years and a fine of up to €2,500 ($3,500). This law is likely to be undermined as Muslim marriage disputes come under the jurisdiction of the sharia court.
Sharia4Belgium says that the court in Antwerp will eventually expand its remit and handle criminal cases as well.
Sharia4Belgium consists of Islamists who are committed to bring everyone living in Belgium (including all non-Muslims) under the authority of sharia. Its website issues an invitation calling for all Belgians to convert to Islam and submit to sharia or face the consequences.
The group is linked to Anjem Choudary, leader of Muslims Against Crusades, an Islamist group in England that recently announced a project to establish self-governing sharia-controlled enclaves across the United Kingdom.
In November 2010, Belgian police arrested three members of Sharia4Belgium in a counter-terrorism operation. The suspects were using the Ansar al-Mujahideen jihadist website to plan an attack on Belgian soil.
Muslims make up around 10% of Antwerp's population, and the city has long been a hotbed of radical Islam. Some estimates claim that more than half of the mosques in Antwerp are controlled by radical Muslim groups, including the Deobandi sect.
Posted by Anonymoose 2012-03-12 20:49||
#2 Red on Red?
Posted by SteveS 2012-03-12 21:17||
#3 As I recall, Anderlecht was one of those gritty, blue collar neighborhoods that are so picturesque in the movies.
Posted by trailing wife 2012-03-12 23:31||