Belgium: Filip Dewinter on immigration and integration

Belgium: Filip Dewinter on immigration and integration

Filip Dewinter, a Flemish parliament member for Vlaams Belang and a counsellor in the Antwerp city council, was interviewed by Belgian magazine Knack. Here are is snippet from the interview.


Your infamous 70 point plan from 1992 focused on the collective return of immigrants. What changed in your thinking since then?

DEWINTER: Nothing changed in my thinking, society changed. Meanwhile we are two decades later. And that means that a large group of people of the second and third generation grew up here. For a large part of them it's an illusion to think that they will ever go back. The situation evolved, unfortunately not in the positive meaning of the word, but well. But our starting points stayed the same.

- Does it apply then to the 2nd and 3rd generation who were born here

DEWINTER: Well, I always thought that it's a story of adapting or going back, of..

- Wait a minute. Somebody who's born here, where should he go back? To the maternity clinic?

DEWINTER: (laughs) no, no, don't make a caricature of it.

- How is it then?

DEWINTER: I think that we should say much more clearly what we demand from people, and what we don't demand from them. And this clarity doesn't exist now, on the contrary. The starting point is simple: an immigration stop, close the doors. We can't mop with the tap open. If family reunification continues and the number of illegals continues to increase and the asylum procedures are not adjusted and the number of naturalization continues to increase, and double nationality doesn't disappear - then all efforts are pointless. Then there's no point in integrating the people who are here. Thus this mass immigration must be stopped. And the the real work can begin.

- Ok, how should that go than specifically?

DEWINTER: Simple. To begin with we abolish double nationality. We let these people know that there can exist only one loyalty, the one to our community, our values and norms. Point two: that must be said in black and white, in a loyalty declaration, such as exists in the USA.

- Pardon? Whoever is born here, doesn't need to sign anything though? As Belgians they have as many rights as you and I.

DEWINTER: But also duties. And they prefer not to talk about that.

- Who prefers not to talk about it?

DEWINTER: A large part of the Muslim staying here say that. Louder and louder.

But the crushing majority of the Muslims present here live simply and neatly according to the law of the land?

DEWINTER: A large part, yes. But this majority is completely irrelevant, because they're not the boss. it's the extremists who pull the strings of Islam. Moreover, many immigrants are not urged to integrate, because they live in neighborhoods with just Moroccan shops with a mosque and Koran school on top, in a sort of imported souk. Into what should they integrate?

- You know what I think? If you would be born a Moroccan Belgian, then you would be concerned about the emancipation policy, then you would demand equal rights.

DEWINTER: But I wasn't born a Moroccan, I was born a Fleming in Bruges. Let me give you another hypothesis. If I would move to Morocco, than I would understand that I must adapt. And I don't want that. Therefore I don't move to Morocco.

- But it's not about that. It's about that the emancipation process of the immigrant community is as necessary today as that of the Flemish, the workers and the women was in the 20th century. They also had to force equal rights.

DEWINTER: There's a big difference. We play at home. On our own field.

- Whoever is born as a Moroccan Belgian also plays at home.

DEWINTER: That foreigner doesn't play at home. That foreigner is a guest here, should act like a guest. There are many guests who stay longer, but they are still guests. They must understand..

- Whoever is born here is not a guest. That is their land just as well as it's yours

DEWINTER: I always think that a cat born in a fish shop is not a fish just because of that - to express it plastically. It takes maybe a few generation before people are completely assimilated. But that is the intention in the end: Be a Fleming among Flemish. But than we should also make an effort on our side to make it clear to them . And we don't do that.

- Shouldn't we make efforts in particular to eliminate discrimination? Imagine that you were born in Antwerp to Moroccan-Belgian parents..

DEWINTER: (sighs) there you go again

- Then when you're born, you're already behind

DEWINTER: I think that I have an advantage in this society, if I were born as a Moroccan in Antwerp. A coupe of social workers would be there ready to guide me personally. I can count on positive discrimination, there's a mayor who pampers me. (Laconically) I'm set for the rest of my life.

- That's nonsense, and you know that.

DEWINTER: Those people are not the victim of our so-called racist society. End of discussion.

Source: Knack (English)

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