Flemish anti-Islam movement plans march in Antwerp


A group recently formed that is modelled on Germany’s anti-Islam Pegida movement has requested permission from the city of Antwerp to march on 26 January

Photo by Arno Burgi/dpa/Corbis

Flanders’ Pegida

Vlativa, a new Flemish anti-Islam movement, has announced plans for its first march in Antwerp. The organisation, modelled on Germany’s Pegida, wants to hold a march on Monday, 26 January in protest at what it sees as the growing influence of Islam in Belgium.

The march has been announced on the organisation’s Facebook page, which has already gained 5,000 likes. The aim of the march is to show “solidarity with Pegida in Germany, solidarity with the victims of Muslim terrorism in Paris and in protest at the growing presence of Islam in our society,” said a spokesperson.  

But Vlativa, also known as Pegida Vlaanderen, still has to obtain permission from the mayor of Antwerp, which normally requires a six-week period of notice.

Meanwhile, Muslims joined Jews in a memorial service held in a synagogue in the Brussels’ district of Ukkel for the victims of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and Jewish supermarket last week in Paris. The service was attended by about 300 people as a mark of “friendship between different religions”.  

“We have come here with our Jewish friends to show that there is no difference between a Jew, a Muslim, a Christian and an atheist,” said Noureddine Smaili, chair of the Muslim executive. “A human being is a human being, and you don’t kill a human being.”

Photo: A Pegida march in Dresden earlier this week