On Friday Brussels Journal reported they had been threatened by a Turk about a picture they had put up two years ago of a 17th century statue. On Saturday, it hit the news.
A Turkish newspaper published an article on the statue, basing itself completely on the Brussels Journal article, and even copying off the pictures from the site.
A statue in the Church of Our Lady in Dendermonde which shows three angles trampling a man with an Oriental cap holding a book in his hands is causing commotion in Turkey. Turkish newspaper Yeniçag thinks it is a status of Mohammed.
Piet Buyse, mayor of Dendermonde, emphasizes that the man represents the unbeliever. A statue from the 17th century points to the battle against the unbelievers and it has nothing to do with insulting Islam.
On Friday the newspaper published a big article on their front page about the marble statue which holds the church pulpit, with the headline "Stop this piggish behavior".
According to Yeniçag the statue is that of Mohammed holding the Koran, and represents the dominance of Christianity over Islam. The Turks feel extremely offended by the image. The Yeniçag journalists say this is yet another time that Mohammed is dragged through the dirt, after the cartoon riots in Denmark and the Fitna film of Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
The Turkish journalists who wrote the article took their inspiration from The Brussels Journal, which brought about the witch-hunt by writing an article about the statue [Ed: 2 years ago].
Piet Buyse says this is not the first time the statue causes a commotion. The picture has been circulating on various sites listing so-called insults of the prophet Mohammed. Buyse says that it is very exaggerated. The idea is that unbelief is trampled. The angels carry the belief, symbolized by the pulpit with an open book, and the destruction of unbelief is symbolized by a man with a closed book.
He says it's from the time of the Battle of Vienna, and that Vienna was the last fortified town between the Ottomans and the rest of Europe. If Vienna would have fallen, Islam would have advanced on West-Europe.
Buyse doesn't think it matters whether the statue portrays Mohammed or not. He says that in older writings the man is associated with Calvin or Luther, who were seen in the time of the counter-reformation as unbelievers. The most important is that an old statue in no way means to insult Islam.
Buyse doesn't plan to remove the statue and says that's going too far.
Source: De Morgen (Dutch)
See also: Belgium: Apologizing for anti-homophobia book saying Ataturk was homosexual, Champions League: Milan's jersey offends Turks
According to Turkish journalist Fikret Aydemir, Yeniçag is a small racist and nationalist newspaper, with a distribution of 50,000 copies, which is not taken seriously by other media.
One of the images accompanying the article was the EU flag with a swastika in the middle.
Source: FOK (Dutch)