The Brussels Journal

The Brussels Journal

The Brussels Journal is a conservative blog, founded by the Flemish journalist Paul Beliën. It was founded in 2005, and has both an English language section with various international contributions, and a Dutch section. It is published by the Society for the Advancement of Freedom in Europe (SAFE), a Swiss non-profit organisation. Paul Belien was the editor until 2007. The current editor is Thomas Landen.

The Blog

The Brussels Journal has articles on the politics of Belgium and the European Union. It is a source of news that is independent of Belgian government support.

Belien summed up the "raison d'être" of the European journalists and writers behind The Brussels Journal as restoring the values of freedom, the quest for Knowledge and Truth to the “consensus-culture” of contemporary Europe. He stated that the journalists 'defended freedom' and noted that the Journal was a 'coalition of individuals' who 'write with an earnest desire for the truth.' He noted that 'what binds us is our defence of liberty and the conviction that the state exists to serve man and never the other way round.'

The Brussels Journal has featured contributions by Fjordman, Tiberge, John Laughland, Koenraad Elst, Takuan Seiyo, Jos Verhulst, Matthias Storme, and Daniel Hannan, among others. It is a member of the OpinionJournal Federation.

Vlaams Belang Connection

According to Brussels Journal it is a nonpartisan publication. However, Belgian media oftenFact|date=August 2007 link it to Vlaams Belang since Belien's wife, Alexandra Colen, is a parliament member for the partycite news | title = The Many Faces of Belgian Fascism | author = BRET STEPHENS | publisher = Wall Street Journal | date = August 27, 2006 | url =] and Belien receives a salary from them.Fact|date=August 2007 But Belien himself has been at odds with Vlaams Belang at times, criticizing the party for its populism. [cite news | author = Nicolas Raemdonk | title = Liberalisme is geen Fascisme | publisher = De Tijd | date = 2005-11-30] There are other writers on Brussels Journal, both Belgian and non-Belgian, who have no affiliation to the party and who express other opinions.

Racism Charges


In April 2006 the Belgian government accused the blog of "racism" and forced the removal of a Dutch language article on the site, "Geef ons Wapens!" (Give us Weapons!). [nl icon [ Het Centrum heeft een einde gesteld aan haatartikel van Beliën] ] The incident caused the site to shift to English-centric in order to be able to present future such cases to the international media.

After Hans van Themsche's murder spree in Antwerpen, in May 2006, the blog article was accused by the Workers Party of Belgium, a communist fringe party, of "racist propaganda" which allegedly had prepared the ground for the murders. [nl icon [ Persmededeling PVDA • Bij de racistische moorden en aanslag in Antwerpen] , Workers Party of Belgium] In June Belgian police summoned Belien for questioning regarding several articles he wrote for the Brussels Journal. [nl icon [ Politie tevergeefs bij Belien] , De Standaard, July 20, 2006] According to Belien the police continued to invite him in for questioning but he refused to show up. [ [ Belgian Regime Keeps Harassing The Brussels Journal (2)] , Brussels Journal, August 9, 2006]


The Washington Times carried an editorial deploring the stance of the Belgian authorities on August 17, 2006 concluding 'From what we've seen of the English version of the Brussels Journal, the accusations of racism are utterly baseless. Mr. Belien is guilty only of vigorously expressing his opinion, and in many cases it would benefit Belgium -- and Europe as a whole -- to heed the advice from the Brussels Journal rather than to criminalize it.' [ [ Belgian Beef] , Washington Times]

Writing for the National Review, Stanley Kurtz wrote "A number of us here in the United States have witnessed, with growing concern, reports of the government of Belgium's harassment of the weblog, "The Brussels Journal." We consider The Brussels Journal to be an invaluable source of information and opinion on matters European. By no means are all of us necessarily in agreement with everything that appears on The Brussels Journal. Nor are all of us by any means traditional Christians. Nonetheless, Americans recognize The Brussels Journal as one of the few web-based sources of European news and opinion from a conservative and Christian point of view, and we consider it essential that all sides of political and cultural questions be permitted a place in public debate." [ [ Message for the Belgian Government] National Review, Stanley Kurtz, August 14, 2006]

Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy

According to the Brussels Journal some of the most visited blog-postings are those covering the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

An editorial on the Dutch language Knack magazine accused the blog, along with Jyllands-Posten and Daniel Pipes, of belonging to a neo-conservative conspiracy. According to Knack, Brussels Journal published the cartoons and followed up on them for months in order to cause even the more moderate Muslims to "wake up", preferably violently. The final aim was, according to the magazine Knack, to "make Americans and Europeans believe "that all Muslims are violent and dangerous, after which the clash in Palestine, Iran and Syria can really kick off." [nl icon [ Paul Beliën en zijn vriendjes] , Knack, February 15, 2006]


External links

* [ The Brussels Journal]
* [ OpinionJournal Federation]

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