Cllr. Collins Nweke
Thank you Mr Chairman, for allowing a minute of silence for the victims of the terrorist attack in Paris. I must also congratulate the party chairmen, led by Jean Surmont (open VLD) for the symbolic initiative they took in decorating the windows of the town hall with large pencils. By their action, the party leaders have sent a strong signal that there can be no place in our society for intimidation and terror.
As Democrats, we must be ever ready to firmly denounce similar terror anywhere it occurs even outside Europe. More than the timing of the attacks, there is more that connects terror victims in Paris with the radical Muslim terror Boko Haram in Nigeria. People, our humanity are at the core of the attacks: 12 dead in Paris, 2000 in Baga (Nigeria) thousands in Kivu (DRC), hundreds in Peshawar (Pakistan) not to mention the many other forgotten wars.
This municipal council includes an Ostender of Nigerian descent, two Ostenders of Pakistani origin, a councilor whose mother was born and bred in the DR Congo, not to mention the thousands of residents of this City-On-Sea from over 130 different nationalities. It would be a mark of great courage to symbolically disapprove ALL forms of religious violence. Mr Chairman, valued colleagues, I hope you share my outrage. Through our actions, we must be able to demonstrate that a Western dead is as bad as a non-Western. May I propose Mr Chairman, ladies and gentlemen that this short and serene moment of remembrance also be held for the victims of Muslim terror in Nigeria, ethnic violence in Kivu (Congo) Taliban school attack in Peshawar (Pakistan) and all other victims of senseless wars.