‘Us & Them’ – Wendy Marijnissen

The Rise of Populism


In many ways Belgium is a divided country, with various communities at odds with one another. Flemish versus Walloon, right versus left, native inhabitants versus foreigners, us versus them. Here, the veil has become a very loaded and contested symbol. A religious as well as a political emblem. A sign of both empowerment as well as victimization.

Since 2009, community schools all over the country banned all religious symbols on their premises, including the Islamic headscarf. Since 2011, Belgium even has a burqa ban.

It’s estimated that only 50 women in Belgium wear this type of garment, out of a Muslim population of over half a million. So why do we need such drastic measures?Why do we end up stigmatizing Islamic veiling? What gives this piece of cloth such negative meaning?

Former socialist Antwerp Mayor Patrick Janssens went a step further and made a law banning any religious symbols…

View original post 262 more words


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: