Belgium: Jews want to act against Muslim broadcaster incitement

Arab satellite broadcasters that can be received in Belgium openly incite to Jew hatred and terror attacks. The Jewish community is shocked and asks the Flemish minister of Media Geert Bourgeois to immediately block them.

"We have known for a while that this can be seen on some TV broadcaster," says Michael Freilich, chief editor of Joods Actueel. "But to our great surprise we must now conclude that it's absolutely not a problem to receive those broadcasters here. On some broadcasters it's even openly incited to Jew hatred. They spout pure hatred."

France has in the past banned an Arab broadcaster for calling to hate and violence. A broadcasting ban was imposed on the Lebanese broadcaster Al-Manar [Hizbullah station] in 2004, with a penalty of 5,000 euro a day.

Minister Bourgeois is taking the complaint seriously, though he expects to meet with the Jewish community eventually, before starting an investigation. "But in own own media law is clearly says that broadcasters may not broadcast programs that incite to hate," says Bourgeois' spokesperson, and that if necessary those broadcasters will indeed be taken off the air. The problem is these are not regular broadcasters but rather satellite broadcasters, and on purely technical grounds it's more difficult.

Mohamed Chakkar of the Federation of Moroccan Associations says that if broadcasters are really preaching antisemitism, then action must be taken. "But to be honest, I haven't yet seen anything like it."

Source: HLN (Dutch)

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