A Belgian Eye – Episode 120

Our resident Belgian Philippe Persoons takes a look at life through A Belgian Eye.

We’re famed for surrealism, so is it any suprise that the first man to step out in public with a bomb belt made out of biscuits came from Belgium?



“Ceci n’est pas une pipe”, this is not a pipe, René Magritte is a Belgian and all those of you with some culture in the head must surely know these words and must probably have seen the world famous painting of the pipe, which was not a pipe, for you can’t smoke it. Yes, it looks like a pipe, but it is no pipe, it’s a painting!! This is called surrealism, something that has to do with illogical scenes made with everyday objects and we Belgians we happen to be world famous for being surrealistic in a surrealistic country.

Does it surprise you then that the first man to step in public with a bomb belt made out of biscuits came from Belgium? Yes, it happened here.

For those of you who missed the story. Tuesday early morning the Brussels police received an alarming call from a man telling that he had been abducted and dropped off at the City 2 in the Nieuwstraat – Rue neuve, with a bomb belt around his body. With terror level 3 in the capital you don’t need much more to make police and the DOVO bomb disposal rush out. They immediately closed the area.

Luckily for all, the DOVO experts found out that the belt contained nothing else than salt and biscuits. So much fuss about nothing, everything back to normal.

At this moment we can make jokes about it, but basically it’s a very bad thing. This is a very bad evolution. This guy happened to be a lunatic. Some say he could be suspected of having a link with ISIL, but even if not, it is an evolution that can be as dangerous as the attacks themselves for it’s not the terror itself, or the attacks that damages society, it’s the fear that does. There are still much more people dying in traffic or from the flu than from terrorist attacks. The strongest terror kills more with fear than with death.

So don’t blame the police or don’t blame government when they take such a message to seriously but blame all those who use the tool of terror and also those who make fun of it. False bomb threats have always been around, the kid not willing to go to school, scared for a teacher, a test or an exam. The guy thinking he’s way to funny… Perhaps we’ve learned to live with that. But it levels up to a new dimension when some start to play ISIL.

I don’t like terror and I don’t like terrorists. I would like to make fun of it and to laugh all my fears away. But I’m sorry, it’s way too serious. We ‘ll help our services with paying them all required respect. And for all not with making jokes about it.

Let life be pleasant, but let’s not do it in a wrong way.
Let surrealism be art and please keep it away from terror.