Muslims in Belgium: The Belgian Powder Keg

Belgian Muslims
Muslims in Belgium
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The Islamic State in the Middle East collapses. Diminishing resources of ISIS translate into increased risk of terrorism in Europe, especially given the sympathies of Muslims in Belgium.

Average inhabitants of the West are convinced that security services cope with the threat. Reality is, however more complex.

From isolation to hostility

Islamic State is popular among Muslims in Belgium – about 20%; similarly 20% of Muslims do not intend to share with police information regarding threat of terrorism. Large group of Muslims living in Belgium admits hostility towards the state which has in the past opened its borders to them.

Marek Orzechowski (Polish journalist living in Belgium) in his book „My Neighbour The Islamist” writes that Muslims in Belgium represent the most tight-knit minority. Local community does not know what are their views, stances or what they are occupied with. One can venture to say that alongside EU institutions, bureaucratic and governmental districts, a parallel society grew there.

„The war against Islamic terrorism continues. It will however be longer and more difficult than it might seem. ”

Without a doubt today Brussels is the largest, excluding Moscow, concentration of Muslims in our part of the world. In 12 years majority of inhabitants of capital of Belgium will profess Islam. For many years there has been observed a process of social disintegration. Muslims in Belgium have been creating enclaves to which they admitted either sympathetic journalists, who write about the love of peace and good neighbourliness or politicians vying for the votes of Muslims in elections.

Those who paid attention to the dangers of creating a parallel society were being blocked out of the public debate, their views defined as racism and xenophobia. By now the Muslims have managed to built a „state within the state”. In addition to the legal institutions – schools, mosques, libraries and cultural centres – in Belgium operate self-proclaimed, sharia courts. They undermine the authority of the Kingdom and herald bleak political future for the country.

Disgrace of secret service

The Islamic State in Belgium in addition to a relatively large support can count on the omissions on the part of officials. In the police station in Islamic district of Molenbeek a mobile phone of terrorist who took part in the attack in Paris was lost. Now we learned in turn that the city officials were falsifying passports of terrorists returning from Syria. The truth transpired when one of the men refused to honour with the minute of silence the victims of the terrorist attack on the Brussels’ tube and airport. Closer examination of his documents showed that they are counterfeited. In this light, in addition to financial incentives for officials cooperating with the Islamic State, one cannot rule out ideological sympathy.

Muslims in Belgium backed by Mayor of the district, Françoise Schepmans: „Molenbeek is not a hotbed of terrorism”.
Mayor of district, Françoise Schepmans: „Molenbeek is not a hotbed of terrorism”.

Muslims of course also work in offices, serve in the police or army. That May the Belgian intelligence reported that 60 soldiers were suspected of extremism – they were to sympathise with Islamic State. Even before the attacks in Brussels leftist officials of the Molenbeek district hampered the work of anti-terrorist services, not willing to to give information about the suspects. The mayor of the district probably wanted to hide the scale of radicalism from the public and the fact that Muslims in the local elections represent significant group. Their votes therefore count.

Belgian Muslim holding an ISIS flag
Abdelhamid Abaaoud, terrorist from Paris, hailed from Molenbeek

The cold war continues

Several times in 2016 the press wrote that the secret services warned of ISIS activity in Belgium. On the surface everything appears normal: state institutions operate, the economy is booming, politicians with concerned faces air soothing remarks and ensure that a victory against terrorism is only a matter of time. Meanwhile, no one can tell what awaits us. The threat of terrorism has increased. Terrorists from ISIS have good support of their social group, devout converts and colleagues in the security services.

The war against Islamic terrorism continues. It will however be longer and more difficult than it might seem.

Piotr Ślusarczyk

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