‘WE WANT TO GET RID OF BELGIUM’: Recent Bombings Bring Up New Sectarian Debate

How would dividing the country by one sect of people from the other solve a terror problem?

Some Belgians say the terrorist attacks have brought the country together, and that’s what the country needs. Others says the bombings show the country needs to split, with one part made of French-speaking Walloons, the other Dutch-speaking Flemish.

“We want to get rid of Belgium,” says Sam van Rooy, a spokesman for the Vlaams Belang Party, or Flemish Interest Party, on Belgium’s far right.

“It’s actually a non-state. It has two different peoples, two different cultures, and we see it doesn’t work. And it’s one of the causes that we had these terror attacks now,” he adds.

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Asked if he considers himself more Flemish than Belgian, he responds, “Yes, of course, no question. I only feel Flemish.”

Vlaams Belang represents a view heard throughout Europe: that immigration has spelled disaster.

When van Rooy looks at Brussels’ diverse population, he doesn’t like what he sees.

“I see actually a city that is more and more looking like an Arab country, or an Islamic country,” he says. “I think it’s really bad for freedom, for our democracy, for our identity. I call it Belgistan.”

And his prescription?

“I call for these Muslims to see the truth about Islam and to either leave Islam or reform it fundamentally,” he adds. “The migrants who are here either adapt to our way of living, to our culture, to our values, and if they don’t, they should leave. It’s very simple.”

The Flemish Interest Party wants Belgium to close its borders to immigrants, especially those from Muslim countries.

And van Rooy blames the European Union, which is headquartered in Brussels, for what he says is a dangerous “open borders” policy.


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