Under the title ( Together against Hate ), Brussels is witnessing a march
on Tuesday, involving religious figures representing the three sects: Islam, Judaism and Christianity; leaders of religious organizations such as the European Jewish Community Center (EJCC), the Executive of Belgium Muslims (EBM), and the Organization of Churches of Europe. The march will move in a number of streets to reach the headquarters of the institutions of the European Union.
The call to this march came after recent terrorist attacks against Christians, Jews, and Muslims in various parts of the world in latest months. So, religious leaders, civil society representatives, and thought leaders from Brussels decided to organize this march to show unity and stand up against hatred.
The march comes a few weeks after the attacks on churches in Sri Lanka and two mosques in New Zealand, as well as the Jewish synagogues that suffered terrorist attacks, most notably the Jewish Museum in Brussels in May 2014.
The organizers issued a statement saying: “We representatives of different faiths and beliefs are very concerned about the rise of hatred in our society. Recent opinion polls and elections in some regions of the world, which took place before the European legislative elections, all point to the rise of populism and extremism on both sides of the political spectrum. This reflects the rejection of an open, tolerant, and inclusive society… But we, the participants in this march, reject this, and it is our duty to raise awareness of the danger of extremism. We have to say loud and clear that Jews, Christians, and Muslims stand together, and to confirm our adherence to diversity, that’s why we will join together in a march against hatred.”
The event will also be attended by political figures and officials of the European Union, and will be an opportunity for all to express solidarity, strong ties, determination, and commitment to mutual respect and democratic values, according to the statement.
Last month, the Belgian government
recognized the growing number of militant organizations in the country,
Justice Minister Jens Quinn said during a response to an inquiry by MP Leonel Biggart, but the minister stressed that extremism is not limited to Islamic organizations; it is adopted by followers of other religions and faiths.
Security and political events in Belgium and other European countries have warned of growing extremism among right-wing and left-wing extremists, and that some of them resort to violence to express their situations and opinions.
This comes at a time of announcing the activity of about one hundred extremist Islamic organizations, and has an impact on thousands of Muslims, according to the Belgian State Security Service, and it is here, according to local media in Brussels, related to mosques and Islamic centers and schools.
In October, it was decided to expand the list of terrorism, issued by the Center for Terrorist Risk Analysis and Crisis Management in Belgium, and it would not be limited to the Islamic militants or those involved in going to conflict areas in Syria and Iraq to fight in the ranks of “ISIS” as 16 supporters of the country’s far left, as well as seven supporters of the far right, have been added.
Local media in Brussels said that it was recently noted that anarchists were resorting to violence from L’aquale in the French-speaking region of the country, some of whom are being prosecuted by the federal prosecutor’s office after they blocked the construction of a prison in Harin municipality.
In the Flamani region, there is a group of far right supporters in the east of the country, including Thomas Ponts, who has already been sentenced to four years in a terrorism-related file. The possibility of adding well-known figures, like the founder of Child & Friends organization.
According to some Belgian newspapers, some 20 far-right and far-left militants have been listed on the list of surveillance of Terror Threat Coordination and Analysis Unit. The list was expanded by royal decree, with the database no longer exclusively focused on radical Muslims, meaning that 23 new names were added to the list, including 16 sympathizers of the far-left and seven sympathizers of the far-right.