Former Sharia4Belgium spokesman gets prison sentence

Fouad Belkacem, the former spokesman for the Muslim extremist organisation Sharia4Belgium, has been given a six month prison sentence by an Antwerp court for "incitement to hatred and violence".

The radical Islamist group Sharia4Belgium is believed to be behind a couple of demonstrations in Antwerp  that ended up in riots, including the protests against the anti-Islam movie "Innocence of Muslims" in Borgerhout, in September. 230 people got arrested during and after the protests.

However, this particular case was about a provoking video that Belkacem had posted on YouTube on 1 June. He put the video online after an incident between a police officer and a woman wearing a face-covering niqab in the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek.

Police had stopped the woman to check her identity, but she refused to remove her veil and head-butted the inspector. The woman was next arrested. The incident triggered a number of riots in Molenbeek. In the video, the woman was praised for her behaviour and the riots were given thumbs up. Belkacem called on other Muslims to "stand up" and "defend the honour of the Muslims".

Fouad Belkacem to concentrate on his family now?

Fouad Belkacem used to be the spokesman of the Islamist group, that was dismantled in October. He had ended up in prison by then. He has now been convicted of charges relating to incitement to hatred and violence and the discrimination of non-Muslims, receiving a 6-month prison sentence.

The public prosecutor had demanded a prison sentence of one year, a fine of 300 euros and the loss of civil rights for a period of 10 years. Fouad Belkacem lawyer on the other hand, had demanded his client be acquitted.

The court took into account the fact that Sharia4Belgium no longer exists and that Fouad Belkacem has promised to concentrate on his family now.