Brussels: Racism complaint against tvbrussel

The anti-racism movement MRAX (Movement against racism, antisemitism and xenophobia) will lodge a complaint against tvbrussel by the Journalism Council and is considering taking legal steps. The association blames the Brussels regional broadcaster for a broadcast of an interview with Dutch journalist Arthur Van Amerongen. According to MRAX he used racist language while there was too little counterbalance.

Former war-correspondent and journalist Arthur Van Amerongen submerged himself last year in the Brussels Muslims world. In his book BXL Eurabia he draw a picture of Brussels as a city where the Moroccans hate the Belgians and are very dangerous. He foresees a terror attack in the capital.

In a studio interview on August 13 on Ttvbrussel Van Amerongen expalined the thesis of his book without being balanced. For MRAX it was racist and xenophobic comments against the Moroccan and Muslim community. According to the association the journalist generalizes and tvbrussel did not offer any counterweight.

MRAX has sent now an open letter to head editor Jan De Troyer and lodged a complaint by the Journalism Council. MRAX say they're only reacting now because the complaints came in after many people re-watched the broadcast on the internet.

MRAX blames tvbrussel that Van Amerongen voiced his opinion without much counterweight, in an interview that couldn't be edited later. MRAX also thinks that the reaction of Malika Abbad, who works for the Anciaux cabinet, did not get a proportional amount of time.

MRAX wants tvbrussel head editor Jan De Troyer to pulicly distance himself from the contents of the interview and the manner in which it took place. They say that his attitude will determine if there are legal consequences to this case.

A video of the broadcast, together with an English translation can be seen on Covenant Zone

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Brussels: "An attack is just a matter of time"

1 comment:

Charles Henry said...

Sadly, the video has been taken down at Dailymotion.

I am shocked to hear this news. And a little baffled..!
What is this business about needing "balance"? I thought the journalist doing the interview was providing the balance, since he was clearly challenging Van Amerongen on every point, like a good journalist should in an interview. (anyway, the news program ran a whole video on the assimilation of the moroccan immigrants, right in the middle of the interview, so how can they then say there was "no counterweight"?)

I thought this an interesting phrase:
...Van Amerongen voiced his opinion... in an interview that couldn't be edited later.

Is this an admittance of how routine it is to censor the news? Or at least how regularly they try to control the message they broadcast?

Was Mr. Van Amerongen able to publish his book? Or has that been thrown into jeapardy as well?