Brussels: On regional elections

Brussels: On regional elections

Samira at Hungarian-language blog a fátyol alatt reports (in French) that election posters in the Brussels Region for the regional Belgian elections, particularly in Molenbeek and Ixelles (Elsene), feature many North African and Turkish names.

The posters in these areas belong mostly to the Francophone Reformist Movement (RM), Humanist Democratic Party (cdH), and Socialist party (PS).

In 2007 Muslims were estimated to be 7.5% of the French Community and 11.8% in Brussels, and on the increase. This electorate is potentially more imporatnt, since youth make up 32%, compared with 23% elsewhere.

Muslims are voting Left - in recent elections the Socialists got 43% and the CdH 18.7%, which between 2004 and 2007 got an infusion fo votes from MR. Today the Socialists get most of the Muslim votes, despite having an atheist ideology, while traditional ethical values play a fundmanetal role in voting for CdH, whch was founded on religious identity.

Just a third of the Muslim electorate of 2007 attended a mosque regularly. Two thirds said they were not practicing.

Samira says that Musilms vote for the Left for socio-demographic causes. Muslims belong to the disadvantaged group: workers, employed and unemployed, and women, who make up just 6.6% of the Muslim electorate, tend to vote Left.

Dutch language blog In Flanders Field looked at the Socialist Party and published a list of the apparently Muslim candidates. 26 of the 72 PS candidates (36%) are Muslim.

Meanwhile, the Francophone Humanist Democratic Party tried to hide (1, 2 NL) the Muslim headscarf of one of their canddiates - Mahinur Ozdemir, number 21 on the list.

In the election poster: Ozdemir, bottom left
Below: Ozdemir with headscarf

The party denies that it asked to hide the headscarf and says that the poster was prepared by outside sources. Ozdemir first said that she's deeply shocked and insulted, but later spoke to the publishers and agreed that it is not the party's fault.

However, Belgian broadcaster RTBF says that this is not the first time and that the CdH also tried to hide Ozdemir's headscarf in the municipal elections of 2006.

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