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10 Sep, 2019 07:56

Right-wing Belgian MP lambasts ‘Islamic occupation’ from top of Antwerp city hall (VIDEO)

Right-wing Belgian MP lambasts ‘Islamic occupation’ from top of Antwerp city hall (VIDEO)

A high-ranking member of Belgium’s Flemish nationalist party has appeared on the roof of a city hall in Antwerp to deliver a message about what he called a latent “occupation” by Muslims.

Filip Dewinter, leader of the right-wing, anti-immigration Vlaams Belang party in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, uploaded a video of himself standing on the rooftop and giving a quick history lesson before making his case.

The city hall in Antwerp “has been around since 1565,” Dewinter said, emphatically adding that over five centuries it was occupied “by the Romans, the Spaniards, the French, the Germans and today by Islam.”

According to the MP, every fourth Antwerp resident is Muslim, and “more than half” of schoolchildren come from Islamic families. “That must come to an end,” Dewinter said, calling for a stop to the perceived “occupation of our city by Islam.”

Aside from its traditional secessionist agenda, Vlaams Belang (‘Flemish interest’ in English) has long stood against the EU’s immigration policy and multiculturalism.

Its popularity surged on the back of the migration crisis that hit Europe in 2015, allowing the party to garner over 13 percent of the Flemish vote during the 2018 Belgian local elections.

In 2019, Vlaams Belang scored huge gains in the nationwide, regional and European elections held on the same day, increasing its number of MPs in the Belgian parliament to 18 – its best result in several years.

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However, the nationalist party has been accused of spreading xenophobia and harboring racism, claims which it vehemently denies. Earlier in August, Vlaams Belang had to sack one of its own members, after they reportedly exchanged racist messages in a Tinder chat.

Dewinter also found himself in the middle of a police investigation back in 2014, when his website published a controversial PC game in which a user could swat pro-European politicians Elio Di Rupo and Guy Verhofstadt – as well as Muslims and mosques – portrayed as flies.

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