Friday, 18 January 2013

Belgian Army Cannot Expel Jihadists from its Ranks

People belonging to extremist movements can easily serve in the Belgian army. The defence minister Pieter De Crem has no legal basis for expelling soldiers because of their Salafist convictions, said the De Morgen newspaper on Thursday.

A few weeks ago, however, the minister had promised that extremists would be shown the door. "Any Salafism at the heart of the defence department will not be tolerated and will lead irrevocably to dismissal," he had indicated to the defence commission after it was announced that were around a dozen soldiers with radical islamist convictions at the heart of the military intelligence service.

But according to an internal report, the legal means to do this are lacking. As long as it involves groups or organisations that are not prohibited by law, soldiers are permitted to join them.

"In reality the army cannot oppose them", explains Dirk Deboodt of CGSP Défense [trade union]. "A soldier who smokes a joint is at greater risk of being excluded from the army than a soldier who is a member of Blood&Honour or a soldier whose goal is to wage jihad in Somalia."

Note how they create a false moral equivalence between jihad warfare, which is offensive, and European nationalism, which is purely defensive.

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