A former municipal elections candidate in Belgium who stood for the pro-sharia Islam party has been sentenced after a court found him guilty of making death threats.
Philippe Latteur had dropped out of the 2018 race in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert because he could not acquire enough signatures to get on the ballot. Several other candidates had reported Latteur had threatened them, and police charged him with writing threats, cyber-harassment, and carrying a prohibited weapon.
On Monday, the Brussels Criminal Court handed down a judgement of 240 hours of community service, a 4,000 euro fine, and a ten-year ban on political activity, broadcaster RTBF reports. Should the 54-year-old fail to complete his community service, he could be imprisoned for one year.
Four Belgian Political Parties Call for Banning of Pro-Sharia Islamist Party https://t.co/UtbDtSYejq
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 14, 2018
Amélie Pans, one of those threatened, reacted to the court ruling, saying: “Tackling cyber-harassment and online threats is important because people think that filing a complaint is useless. After my complaint, this gentleman continued to make threats against me, blaming me for not being able to run in the local elections.”
“We really had to take this seriously. He still managed to run for the regionals and to collect 357 votes. So it’s important that he can’t run for office for ten years,” Ms Pans added.
The conviction is not the first for the pro-sharia Belgian Islamist party in recent years. In 2019, party cofounder Redouane Ahrouch was convicted for discrimination following a television appearance in 2018.
Ahrouch had also been fired from his job as a bus driver in 2018 after making a statement endorsing Belgium becoming an Islamic state.
The Brussels Intercommunal Transport Company (STIB) released a statement after his dismissal saying he had made “remarks in contradiction with the values of the company”.
In September 2018, a group of four parties pushed for laws to ban the Islam party entirely, arguing that it was a threat to Belgian civil liberties.
Co-Founder of Belgian Islamist Party Convicted on Discrimination Charges https://t.co/bTAj8Az4TW
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 11, 2019