Radical Belgian Muslims disrupted a debate on Wednesday evening about Islam which featured writer and Muslim activist Irshad Manji and Green Left Party MP Tofik Dibi.

The Islamists threatened and spat on Ms Manji. Tofik Dibi, who accompanied Ms Manji to the police station where she filed a report, said that “the disruption of the debate shows that even in the Netherlands it is necessary to continue the debate on a free and moderate Islam.”

Eventually, the police were called in to remove the protestors. A police spokesperson later said that two of the 22 men involved were arrested, one for making threats and one for insulting police.

Irshad Manji, a known critic of Islam, is the author of The Islam Dilemma. On the current affairs programmePauw en Witteman she said she had experienced her share of fierce opposition but that she had never before seen anything like this.

The Islamists, who also threw raw eggs, demanded that the debate participants leave the stage; the debaters refused. Mr Dibi later tweeted that the debate “about a promising new generation of Muslims” was later continued at the request of Ms Manji.

Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders tweeted: “Dibi does not deserve eggs from radical Muslims or disruption of the meeting. He must be able to say what he wants.”

(www.rnw.nl / 08.12.2011)

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