Co-Founder of Belgian Islamist Party Convicted on Discrimination Charges

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY AMAL BELALLOUFI A Mourshidate, a female religious guide appointed

One of the co-founders of the Belgian Islamist party named simply “Islam” has been given a suspended sentence after being convicted of discriminating against a woman on a television programme last year.

Islam party co-founder Redouane Ahrouch appeared on the political television panel programme C’est Pas Tous les Jours Dimanche (It’s Not Every Sunday) in April last year and, during his time on the programme, refused to greet or even look at journalist and columnist Emmanuelle Praet, according to a report from Le Soir.

This refusal was prosecuted as discrimination by the Criminal Court of Brussels, where he was convicted.

Mr Ahrouch, who serves as a local councillor in Anderlecht, co-founded the Islam party in the early months of 2018, causing uproar due to policies attributed to the party, such as turning Belgium into a sharia-compliant Islamic state.

“Our goal is a one hundred per cent Islamic state,” Ahrouch said last year following the launch of the party. He also said that men and women should have gender-segregated use of public transportation, comments that soon afterwards saw him fired from his position as a bus driver.

Few, if any, parties welcomed the launch of the Islam party, and several, including the Independent Federal Democrat Party (DEFI), the right-wing Reform Movement (MR), the Humanist Democratic Centre (CDH), and the Socialist Party (PS), proposed banning the Islam Party and any other party whose “whose aim is to threaten public liberties.”

Theo Francken, former Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration and member of the New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), also spoke out against the party, saying, “Sharia is in violation of human rights. The Sharia parties are therefore undemocratic. Real wolves disguised as lambs!”

Similar Islamist parties have been founded in other countries including the neighbouring Netherlands, where the party Nida was kicked out of a local Rotterdam coalition following antisemitic remarks made on social media.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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