Judges said the nationwide prohibition, which came into effect in 2011, did not violate the rights to private and family life and freedom of religion, or discrimination laws.
The European Court of Human Rights has upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the full-face niqab veil in public.
The court ruled that the restriction sought to guarantee social cohesion, the “protection of the rights and freedoms of others” and that it was “necessary in a democratic society”, a statement said.
Belgian banned the wearing of the full-face veil under a June 2011 law. It prohibits appearing in public “with a face masked or hidden, in whole or in part, in such a way as to be unidentifiable”.
Belgian prosecutors said Thursday they were looking for further suspects in an emerging terror investigation and feared a possible fresh attack as the country remained on high security alert.
An attacker who detonated a nail bomb he was carrying in a suitcase at Brussels Central Station has been identified as a 36-year-old Moroccan national from the jihadi ghetto of Molenbeek.
Known only as Oussama Z, officials have said he was not on their radar for links to terrorism, though some local media said he was well-known for being as serial sex offender and others said he was embroiled in drug crime.
He is the latest in the long line of extremist to have come from the Brussels municipality of Molenbeek, branded as the ‘jihadist capital of Europe’ which harboured Salah Adbeslam, who is in prison for the Paris attacks in 2015.
Attempted suicide bomber Oussama Z entered the station at 8.39pm and twice approached a group of 10 passengers and on the second time stood in the middle of them, screamed, and tried to blow himself up.
Remy Bonnaffe was listening to music on his headphones and checking his phone as he waited for his train home to Ghent after a day at the office in Brussels. “A normal day.”
Then, over the music, something more sinister: “All of a sudden I heard a bang, looked over and saw this thing burning.
“And at first I thought, maybe it’s just a regular explosion, an electronic device or whatever,” he said. “But when I heard the second explosion I started to get in instinct mode.”
A suspected suicide bomber who allegedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and triggered an explosive vest at Brussels Central Station has been gunned down and killed by soldiers.
Shots rang out soon after 9pm as police and soldiers moved in ‘to neutralise a suspect who was threatening civilians,’ said an investigating source.
NMBS, the National Railway Company of Belgium, said on Twitter the station was “indeed evacuated,” adding there was “no exact information about what is happening at the moment.”
Suspect shot after Brussels station explosion, no other injuries reported
Belgium’s most notorious terror recruiter has been allowed to marry the mother of his three children from behind bars.
Fouad Belkacem, 35, wed the woman in Hasselt prison several weeks ago in a move that activists and politicians fear could stop him being deported back to Morocco.
Under the alias of Abu Imran, Belkacem ran the Islamist website Sharia4Belgium which aimed to turn the European nation into an Islamic state.
Belgian prosecutors say a suspect in the attacks in Paris in 2015 has been charged with being a leader of the extremist cell that killed 130 people.
The 30-year-old Belgian national, Yassine Atar, has been charged with “terrorist assassinations” and of being “a leader in the activities of a terrorist group.”
A police officer with a Templar cross on his bulletproof vest has found himself in hot water in Belgium. Authorities say the symbol may be linked to extreme right-wing groups, while many on social media support ‘Kevin the Crusader.’
The dispute in Couvin, Belgium, a town of 13,000 people, started on Thursday when local media made several reports about a police officer wearing a Templar cross on his bulletproof vest. The media immediately linked the cross to extremist groups who sometimes use it as a symbol of their fight against Muslims.
A textbook aimed at teaching French to newly-arrived immigrants has stirred controversy in Belgium after it was found to contain references to bomb-throwing and imprisonment, local media reports.
“Papa throws a bomb and goes to jail”, “He threw a bomb and goes to prison” and “He shows me his bomb in prison” were among the sentences used to help teach word pronunciation in an Erasmus textbook used in the Anderlecht municipality of Belgium. The texts were spotted by Catherine Lemaire, a local woman currently hosting an Iraqi refugee.
(I disown her)
Belgium’s Wallooon Region has voted to ban ritual slaughter (Jewish ‘shechitah’ and Muslim ‘halal’), forbidding any slaughter in which the animals are not stunned first. Critics call the move an attack against the “freedom of religion for Jews and Muslims.”
Jewish communities say the ban in Belgium’s southern French-speaking region violates the fundamental right to practice their faith, insisting that biblical slaughter practices (without stunning animals first to reduce their pain) means that animals have to be conscious when being killed.
He’s been called “a pimp for the Prophet” and the “Arab Malcolm X.” He has celebrated the 9/11 attacks, been banned from entering the United Kingdom, and rejects Israel’s legitimacy. He is pro-Hamas and outspokenly anti-Semitic. Yet his many followers see him as something of a savior, a voice of emancipation for Muslims in the West.
Now, the Lebanese-Belgian activist Dyab Abou Jahjah is starting his own political party in Brussels, aiming to represent minority groups and his vision for a “society of radical equality.”
A man has been charged with terror offences including attempted murder after he was arrested driving at high speed into a crowded shopping area in the Belgian port city of Antwerp.
However, a source close to the investigation told AFP that investigators could not confirm if it was a terrorist attack and said the driver made little sense during interrogation.
Other sources said the charges could be interpreted as a “precautionary measure” to keep the suspect in detention.
The suspect, a 39-year-old Tunisian identified as Mohamed R, was charged with “an attempt to murder in a terrorist manner, an attempt to hit and wound in a terrorist manner and arms infractions”, the federal prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
The man is from Antwerp but is of North African descent, De Standaard reported. The man is believed to be a radicalized Muslim, according to the media.
The Belgian capital has a problem with extremist Islam, Brussels Mayor Yvan Mayeur said in an interview with newspaper De Morgen published Wednesday, one year after the terror attacks at Zaventem Airport and Maalbeek metro station.
“Everyone knows that all mosques in Brussels are in the hands of Salafists,” Mayeur said, referring to the radical form of Islam. “We need to change this, we need new mosques that follow our democratic rules and that are being controlled by the government.”
However, Mayeur denied claims his city is the capital of jihad, an image that emerged after authorities revealed many of the terror suspects responsible for the Paris and Brussels terror attacks lived or operated from the city.
“Jihadism in Belgium started in Antwerp, then spread to Vilvoorde, Molenbeek and Brussels-north,” Mayeur said.