This headline caught my eye when I saw it on Power Line News: “Some 80,000 demonstrate in Belgium over killing of a youth during MP3 robbery.” This was a story I hadn’t heard about, so I followed the link to this Associated Press story:
Some 80,000 demonstrators walked silently through the Belgian capital Sunday to protest the killing of a teenager who refused to give his digital music player to two young robbers.
Police have yet to announce a breakthrough in the case despite nationwide distribution of video images of the suspects who ambushed Joe Van Holsbeeck and a friend on April 12.
The 17-year-old was stabbed to death at the busy Brussels Central train station, a killing that shocked the country.
“The demonstration is an important signal which I fully back,” said Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt said. “We will put more effort into combating youth crime.”
Van Holsbeeck’s parents had asked for a nonpolitical, silent march, and requested that political parties remain in the background. The march went by the central train station, where protesters laid hundreds of flowers.
Somehow, I had the feeling that the story had a subtext that the AP wasn’t mentioning. That discreet reference to the “video images” of the killers and the bereaved father’s plea for a “nonpolitical” demonstration suggested an unexplored dimension to the story.
It took a ten-second Google search to find it in a Belgian news source: “Imams: turn Joe’s killers over to police”:
Imams in Brussels will urge Muslims during Friday prayers to turn in the killers of Joe Van Holsbeeck to police.
The murder has placed the Belgian Islamic community in a difficult position, given that the two suspects are of North African ancestry.
Since the 12 April murder at Brussels Central, the Muslim community has born the brunt of widespread criticism.
Imams will therefore use Friday’s prayers to give a clear anti-violence message, the newspapers from the VUM group reported. The spiritual leaders will also urge Muslims to turn the suspects over to police.
“Those who know them must not stay silent but make public their identity,” the chairman of the Union of Brussels Mosque Associations, Said Dakkar, said.
The imams will also urge the Islamic community to pray for the family of the murdered 17-year-old.
So that’s the rest of the story, which the AP apparently thought you were better off not knowing. We Americans, you know, are liable to get riled up and have our ignorant prejudices reinforced if we know all the facts of a murder case. That’s called “editorial judgment.”
UPDATE: Little Green Footballs has a link to the surveillance video.