Brussels: SMS spreads fear among immigrant girls

Immigrant girls in Brussels are being warned by SMS of "the violence of the skinheads". It's unclear who's behind the SMS campaign. The football hooligans deny they're responsible.

"Notice to veiled and not-veiled women. After the severe riots between skinheads and Moroccans we ask you to take all necessary security precautions, so as not to become victims of the aggression of skinheads (...) women wit ha veil are the most important target. Don't take this message lightly, it's very serious. Please forward this message to all girls."

Many immigrant women in Brussels got this message yesterday. Malika Lamarti, who lives in Sint-Agatha-Berchem and is a member of the women's association Het Meervoud (the majority), got the message from a friend, who also got it from a friend.

She says they want to know who's behind it as it strikes people with terror. Is it true or not? Kids go to school afraid, and somebody must tell them whether they should really be afraid or not, since it creates a fear psychosis.

Ismael (20) was in Anderlecht during the riots last Friday. He also forwarded the notice to every girl he knows. "I don't know who's it from, but it says a lot about how the skinheads feel about Moroccan girls. More than that, the police is on their side, and they're against us."

A second SMS claims that an 11 year old Moroccan boy was killed by skinheads "who don't want to let any Moroccan live."

Fanny Wellens of the Brussel-Zuid police department says they haven't received any complaint about the message. She does stress that last Friday it was football hooligans and not skinheads who faced the immigrant youth. "It was clearly supporters of the Anderlecht football club. Where today's messages come from, I don't know," she says, "but all means are good in order to create unrest. We are ready for new incidents in the neighborhood."

An anonymous sources from the Brussels Casuals Service (BCS), the hooligan association who faced the immigrant youth last Friday, says that the hooligans are not responsible for the messages. He says that people of all races are members of their club. There might be several people who suppose an extreme-right ideology on the periphery of BCS, but the club is not racist, and they're not asking for new confrontations.

Touria Aziz, youth counselor in the Brussels youth center Chicago, says that the youth don't see a difference between hooligans and skinheads. "The feeling is that almost everybody is a skinhead is widely spread. Immigrant youth feel injured. They think that they don't get opportunities in our society. Girls struggle with the headscarf ban in school."

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

See also: Brussels: Police expect continuation of race riots, Brussels: Blog incites riots, Brussels: Riots


Anonymous said...
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AMDG said...

This looks like a non news...

Muslim victimism that we should disregard.

Esther said...

Hello AMDG,

That doesn't leave me much to blog about then.. ;-)

In any case, I wrote about it for several reasons:
1. This was an issue for the local Muslim community.
2. It looked like laying the groundwork for additional riots in Anderlecht. Riots which were prevented by police presence, apparently.
3. It reminded me of a story I wrote about in the past. A couple of years down the road, it will be easier to trace the story.