Brussels: Journalist accuses politicians of playing the ethnic card

Brussels: Journalist accuses politicians of playing the ethnic card

A president of a mosque who implicitly asks his believers to vote for Brussels Secretary of State Emir Kir (PS); a CdH candidate of Turkish origin upset of being preceded on his party list by 'three Moroccans and a Black'; communitarian election leaflets and SMS messages: independent journalist Mehmet Koksal ( was never afraid to dig into topics which get people upset, and now he delivers a critical study of the campaign of immigrant candidates in to the past Brussels elections.

Koksal says that the PS (Socialist Party) and CdH (Humanist Democratic Centre) are the parties who played the ethnic card the most.  A very profitable strategy: without this patronage the PS doesn't get much in the capital.  The CdH, however, can rely not only on the Muslim vote, but also on the Black evangelicals, while the MR (Reformist Movement ) notably targets the Zionist-Jewish vote.

Shopkeepers, religious leaders and presidents of associations and sports clubs were recruited, more because they could get votes in their communities than due to shared values with the party.  Those politicians who can exercise leverage for the community got excellent electoral results, while those who mostly favored the general interest in the past parliament, were not reelected.

The backlash to the accusations was swift.  The journalist was told Friday morning that a PS candidate for the June 7 regional elections, Mohammed Errazi, is suing him for defamation.  It isn't the first time that a socialist drags the journalist to court.

In his book 'Bruxelles 2009, l'autre campagne' (Brussles 2009, the other campaign), Mehmet Koksal recounts a conversation between Mohammed Errazi and Ahmed El Khannouss (cdH) on March 25 in the presence of Joseph Amisi Yemba (PS, ex-MR), in which Errazi  complained about what the 'bastards' of his party did and that they would now continue to work for the Whites on the list.  Koksal points out that this was published on his site already on March 27, 2009, and that it was not refuted so far.  Koksal says that Mohammed Errazi wasn't voted in and that he might be suing due to this disappointment.  The case will be heard November 10.

In 2005 Emir Kir, Secretary of State for Public Cleanliness, sued Mehmet Koksal for calling him a lyer and (Armenian) genocide denier in a 2003 article.  The case was dismissed by the court.

Sources: Le Vif , RTL Info (French), h/t le blog laiciste

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