Editor of Brussels Journal under attack

Dr. Paul Belien, the Editor—in—Chief of the excellent Brussels Journal blog,  is under legal and media attack in Belgium for supposedly inspiring a skinhead murder spree. Dr. Belien is a journalist and founder of the Center for the New Europe, a free—market think tank. He is hated by the Euroleft... well, you know why: He's articulate, smart, courageous, and able to think straight.

Belien and his wife are also involved with the Flemish Block, a party that seeks secession from Imperial Europe. He is also a member of the distinguished Mont Pelerin Society, founded by Friedrich Hayek in 1947.

Sounds pretty intellectual, right?

Well, here's what happened:

Yesterday (May 12) Hans Van Themsche, an 18 year old high—school student who had just been expelled from boarding school for smoking in the dormitories, went berserk and set out on a bloody rampage in Antwerp. In the morning he shaved his head down to the neck. He put on combat boots and a black leather outfit and went to a store of sporting and hunting gear to buy a rifle. Dressed as a 'Goth' he walked through town and shot at three people who crossed his path: a veiled Turkish woman, a two year old Flemish toddler on a tricycle and her black nanny, killing the latter two and seriously wounding the first.

As if that isn't bad enough, the Belgian version of the Screaming Left has decided that Dr. Belien must be responsible. (Note: Dr. Belien does not know the teenage berserker.) What's the reasoning? Well, it's obvious!  Dr. Belien has been pushing racism, and Hans Van Themsche killed because of racist hatred, ergo Dr. Belien made him do it.

Belien writes

Belgian television and the Brussels papers say that the Antwerp shoot—out is the result of my writings. Regular readers of The Brussels Journal know my view well enough: I have repeatedly defended the view that Muslim immigrants are not to blame for Europe's predicament. The latter is entirely of our own making. Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.

The lights are turning out for Europe. ...

Belien is not a racist, has never advocated racism, and is a "classical liberal" who believes in tolerance and free speech. In modern parlance, he is a conservative.

It's the other side that wants to erase free speech from the blogosphere: 

During the past few weeks I have been under attack from the Belgian Left and the media. In February the editor in chief of the mass circulation weekly Knack (a supposedly centrist publication) wrote a piece entitled 'Paul Belien and His Pals,' claiming that I was part of a neo—con conspiracy, led by Daniel Pipes (whom until then I had never met or spoken) and the Danish journalist Flemming Rose (of the Muhammad cartoons), who wanted 'to anger radical but also moderate Muslims into violent action. Their [the conspirators'] goal is to persuade public opinion in Europe and America once and for all that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, so that the 'clash' [the world war against Muslims] in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off.'

All this is sad.

But on the practical side, Dr. Belien could use vigorous support from the Blogosphere. China censors the web, with the help of Google and Yahoo. Other countries are trying to. Europe's rulers are trying to move in that direction, under the heading of prohibiting "racist speech." But there's not against shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater. This is libertarian, conservative, and other unpopular ideas. The Left is acutely uncomfortable in the face of intellectual challenge.

If bloggers don't want to get cut wiped out by salami tactics, we have to support gutsy bloggers who are under assault.

James Lewis     5 17 06

Dr. Paul Belien, the Editor—in—Chief of the excellent Brussels Journal blog,  is under legal and media attack in Belgium for supposedly inspiring a skinhead murder spree. Dr. Belien is a journalist and founder of the Center for the New Europe, a free—market think tank. He is hated by the Euroleft... well, you know why: He's articulate, smart, courageous, and able to think straight.

Belien and his wife are also involved with the Flemish Block, a party that seeks secession from Imperial Europe. He is also a member of the distinguished Mont Pelerin Society, founded by Friedrich Hayek in 1947.

Sounds pretty intellectual, right?

Well, here's what happened:

Yesterday (May 12) Hans Van Themsche, an 18 year old high—school student who had just been expelled from boarding school for smoking in the dormitories, went berserk and set out on a bloody rampage in Antwerp. In the morning he shaved his head down to the neck. He put on combat boots and a black leather outfit and went to a store of sporting and hunting gear to buy a rifle. Dressed as a 'Goth' he walked through town and shot at three people who crossed his path: a veiled Turkish woman, a two year old Flemish toddler on a tricycle and her black nanny, killing the latter two and seriously wounding the first.

As if that isn't bad enough, the Belgian version of the Screaming Left has decided that Dr. Belien must be responsible. (Note: Dr. Belien does not know the teenage berserker.) What's the reasoning? Well, it's obvious!  Dr. Belien has been pushing racism, and Hans Van Themsche killed because of racist hatred, ergo Dr. Belien made him do it.

Belien writes

Belgian television and the Brussels papers say that the Antwerp shoot—out is the result of my writings. Regular readers of The Brussels Journal know my view well enough: I have repeatedly defended the view that Muslim immigrants are not to blame for Europe's predicament. The latter is entirely of our own making. Europeans have foolishly replaced God by the State as the one on whom they rely to take care of all their needs from cradle to grave. The religious vacuum has led to a demographic vacuum, because those who lose faith in God lose faith in the future as well. A civilization that has created a religious and a demographic vacuum is bound to perish.

The lights are turning out for Europe. ...

Belien is not a racist, has never advocated racism, and is a "classical liberal" who believes in tolerance and free speech. In modern parlance, he is a conservative.

It's the other side that wants to erase free speech from the blogosphere: 

During the past few weeks I have been under attack from the Belgian Left and the media. In February the editor in chief of the mass circulation weekly Knack (a supposedly centrist publication) wrote a piece entitled 'Paul Belien and His Pals,' claiming that I was part of a neo—con conspiracy, led by Daniel Pipes (whom until then I had never met or spoken) and the Danish journalist Flemming Rose (of the Muhammad cartoons), who wanted 'to anger radical but also moderate Muslims into violent action. Their [the conspirators'] goal is to persuade public opinion in Europe and America once and for all that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, so that the 'clash' [the world war against Muslims] in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off.'

All this is sad.

But on the practical side, Dr. Belien could use vigorous support from the Blogosphere. China censors the web, with the help of Google and Yahoo. Other countries are trying to. Europe's rulers are trying to move in that direction, under the heading of prohibiting "racist speech." But there's not against shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater. This is libertarian, conservative, and other unpopular ideas. The Left is acutely uncomfortable in the face of intellectual challenge.

If bloggers don't want to get cut wiped out by salami tactics, we have to support gutsy bloggers who are under assault.

James Lewis     5 17 06