Yesterday, we spoke about our time spent in Europe’s “Jihad Central”.
If you’re just joining us, we spent about four hours last weekend roaming around a district in Brussels called Molenbeek.
Molenbeek is unwillingly basking in the global limelight. The terrorists involved in the recent Paris attacks hailed from the district. As have, we add, nearly all terrorists who’ve attacked — or attempted to attack — Europe in the past decade.
Where did we leave off yesterday?
Oh, right. Giorgio.
We spoke with several Belgians about the what’s, when’s and why’s of Molenbeek. And though the opinions varied, all of them ended up with essentially the same conclusion.
Our bar mate, Giorgio, summed it up with two chief reasons why Molenbeek has brewed so many radicals.
“When you are unhappy,” Giorgio told us, “because you don’t feel accepted by the society here as a Muslim.
“You always feel… uhh… excluded… and it’s easy to be radicalized.”
Many Muslim immigrants, understandably, identify with their home countries more than they do with their current countries. And many cannot fathom “integrating” their beliefs with Western values and ideals.
And that’s fine. They don’t have to. And the countries that brought them in shouldn’t expect them to adopt Western ideals. But, call us stupid, they should be expected to respect the Western values that are already in place.
The real problem arises, though, as you’ll see in a moment, when opportunists (in today’s case, Salafists) step in and encourage young Muslim men to be violent and ruthless to anyone who doesn’t happen to share their beliefs.
That’s one reason why Molenbeek has become, as many are calling it, a “terrorist factory.”
And as for the second reason why Molenbeek has become a hotbed for terrorist plots…
According to Giorgio, much of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Philippe Moureaux of Belgium’s Socialist Party.
Moureaux served as Mayor of Molenbeek between 1992 and 2012. Discussing Moureaux’s time as mayor, Paul Nuttall, Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party, summed it up in Breitbart…
During Moureaux’s reign of madness the population of Molenbeek exploded. In the first five years of the century the population rose by 12 per cent and in the first fifteen years by a massive 30 per cent. Molenbeek’s population grew to around 100,000 with around 30 per cent of foreign nationality and another 40 per cent of foreign origins (people who now have Belgian passports).
This huge wave of immigration made it impossible for people to integrate properly, but any criticism was silenced. Of course, as a result, the new immigrants voted en masse for the Belgian Socialist Party, so Moureaux stayed in power. It’s not too dissimilar to the game played by the Labour Party in many cities and towns in the North of England.
And although Belgium’s prime minister, Charles Michel, admitted to The Guardian that almost every time there’s a terrorist attack in Europe “there’s a link with Molenbeek,” Belgian authorities remained fairly lackadaisical about it all up until the recent wake-up call in Paris.
Take mass immigration and radicalization, throw them into a pot full of Western bombs falling on their family’s heads back home… and you have the perfect recipe for terrorist soup.
Though figures vary, it’s estimated that as many as 300-500 Belgians have left to fight for ISIS in Syria or Iraq. Out of those who haven’t died, many have returned without even a finger lifted by Belgian officials in protest.
Why? Because the Belgian intelligence community is in way over their heads.
“The problem here,” says Nuttall, “is that Belgium’s security operations are tiny in comparison to their counterparts in the UK and France, so it is difficult to keep track on the returning Islamists. Belgian state security is estimated to employ a mere 600 people and its military counterpart roughly the same number. That means that Brussels, which houses the European Union’s institutions and NATO alongside Molenbeek, is woefully undermanned when it comes to security.
“Moreover,” he goes on, “there is also a severe lack of Belgian imams, which means that they are imported into the mosques from abroad.”
(An imam, if you don’t know, is simply a Muslim leader. A voice for the people. Mostly, it’s used in this context by Sunnis.)
And here’s where things get real interesting…
“You know the Great Mosque? Did you see it?” Giorgio asked us. “It’s very close.”
We didn’t know of it. And we hadn’t seen it yet.
“Well, it’s completely controlled,” he said, “by Saudi Arabia.”
“Yes. And… it’s very strange… but it seems no one really knows what goes on in there.”
Giorgio went on to say that Saudi Arabia was implanting radical imams to brainwash the frustrated Muslim population.
Crackpot central? Eh… maybe not.
We did a little research upon arriving back to our Airbnb. And, it turns out, he’s not far off.
According to the Deutsche Welle (DW)…
The Great Mosque of Brussels is financed by the Muslim World League, which receives most of its money from the Saudi Arabian government. The story of the mosque began in 1967, when Belgium’s state coffers were empty and the nation was looking for access to cheap oil.
This motivated Belgium’s King Baudoin to cut a deal with Saudi Arabia’s King Faisal Ibn Abd al-Aziz al-Saud: In exchange for cheap oil, Baudoin gave the Saudis a 99-year lease on the former Oriental Pavilion from the 1880 National Exhibition in Brussels, situated in Cinquantenaire Park.
At the same time, the Belgians allowed their Saudi friends to train Muslim Imams to preach to the growing numbers of African and Maghrebi immigrants coming into the country. It gave the House of Saud carte blanche to spread the message of Salafism.
Moreover, it was only last summer when our favorite whistleblower website WikiLeaks shed some light on what happens behind the scenes at the Great Mosque.
While many of the mosque leaders insist that the center is one which spreads the message of peace and unity of all peoples, one leak tells a different story.
“In April 2012,” the DW News goes on, “the Saudi Arabian ambassador was informed that the Belgian government had a problem with mosque director Khalid Alabri.”
Khalid Alabri is one of many Islamists preaching the extremist philosophy of Wahhabi-Salafi-Takfiri-Jihadi. This is the same ideology, of course, that drives ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
This particular ideology is known to be behind the beheading of innocent Christians and the massacre of both Shia and Sunni muslims alike.
This belief system is driven by nothing more profound than a pure hatred for, it would seem, human progress and life itself. It supports the slaying of Muslims who stand in their way through “takfir”. It supports the beheading of Christians who happen to be in their sight. And it calls for the eradication of the Western world at large.
Kill them all, they say. Kill. Them. All.
Known to be a center for radical Salafist teachings, the Great Mosque is treated as the voice of Muslims in Belgium. All 600,000+ of them in a country of only 11 million citizens in total.
Even the deputy mayor of the borough, Ahmed El Khannouss, admitted that he knew Salafist ideals had been heavily percolating in Molenbeek. But much of the Salafist talk, it appears, has been driven underground. Not everyone is “with it,” it seems.
The Guardian reports…
There are at least 22 mosques in Molenbeek, but Khannouss admits that the hardline Salafist circles and recruiting sergeants for holy war have clandestine prayer sites and meeting points, usually in the front rooms of houses and apartments.
“It’s all about the networks,” he said.
Many within the networks, according to the current Molenbeek mayor, Francoise Schepmans, appear to be non-Belgians using Molenbeek as a jihadist safe haven.
Even so, this domination of Salafist ideas would certainly explain why Belgium has the highest number of residents in Europe per capita leaving to fight for ISIS in Syria.
And it would also explain why the recent attacks in Paris were planned by a 27-year-old Molenbeek resident, Abdelhamid Abaaoud.
Salafist teachings, you’ll recall, are the apparent impetus behind 9/11. Not only that, Molenbeekan Salafism is behind the train bombings in Madrid. And it didn’t take much detective work to discover that the terrorists who killed four Jews at the Brussels Jewish Museum last year were also Salafists from Molenbeek. And, last but not least, Molenbeek has been the source of more than 30 attempted terrorist plots in Europe in the past decade-and-a-half.
And one major factor driving this newfound Salafist popularity is… you guessed it… Western intervention.
We point out only two examples…
Libya’s dismantling by Western powers allowed for a power vacuum in the region and, according to Seth Jones of the Rand Corporation, increased the Salafi-Jihadist numbers by 50%.
And, in Syria, the number of Salafi jihadist fighters has more than doubled since the start of the civil war, serving as the most influential factor in attracting new recruits.
Look in many European countries and you’ll see that what’s happening in Belgium, although an extreme case, isn’t isolated. The same thing is happening in many immigrant enclaves in other major European cities. And young Muslims are being “mysteriously” radicalized and are leaving to fight in Syria or are staying and terrorizing residents.
Meanwhile, in response to the destabilization of the Middle East, more and more Middle Eastern countries are turning to Salafism, often as a way to channel their anger against Western intervention. And our supposed “best buds,” Saudi Arabia, seem to be leading the charge behind the scenes in the radicalization of European-Muslim communities. At least as far as Belgium is concerned.
To get an idea of the rhetoric being spewed in Europe, take, for example, one of the biggest ignoramus Salafists: the U.K. cleric, Anjem Choudary.
Choudary openly calls his benefits from the United Kingdom “Jihadi Allowance.” He is a 45-year-old parasite with four kids and brings in just under the equivalent of $39,000 in benefits.
The idea, according to Choudary, is that Muslims deserve a tax from non-Muslims in order to protect them from the wrath of the Muslim. Like the Mafia, only far more irrational.
That money, in turn, can be used to drive the Jihadist agenda toward its goal: eradicating… well… everything that isn’t radical hardline Islam.
Both the Sun and the Telegraph have him on record saying the following…
- “We are on Jihad Seekers Allowance, we take the Jizya (protection money paid to Muslims by non-Muslims) which is ours anyway.”
- “The normal situation is to take money from the [non-Muslims] isn’t it? So this is the normal situation.”
- “They give us the money. You work, give us the money. Allah Akbar, we take the money. Hopefully there is no one from the DSS (Department of Social Security) listening.”
- “Ah, but you see people will say you are not working. But the normal situation is for you to take money from the Kuffar (non-Muslim) So we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.”
Yep. That’s the mindset that’s driving young Muslim males to the Land of Virgins.
Many Salafist leaders all over Europe openly preach contempt for democracy. They rail against the acceptance of gay relationships. They express disdain for the equal rights of women. And they scorn the separation of church and state.
Often their speeches are filled with so much derision one would be forgiven for wondering what the Hell they are doing in the Western world in the first place.
Oh, right. Welfare.
And if Europeans point this out, or, for that matter, point out any violence perpetrated by Muslims in their communities, they are deemed “racist” and “intolerant,” “Islamophobic,” and devoid of compassion for the oppressed.
There’s a word for this…
Oh yeah, it’s “bullsh*t”.
All of that said, we want to make one thing clear so some readers don’t leave today with the wrong idea…
We have no trouble believing that Molenbeek is a hotbed of religious fanaticism.
But having been in Molenbeek…
We’re more than certain that not all Muslims are falling for this crap. And what’s “cool” to many young misguided young Muslim males doesn’t represent the Muslim community as a whole — despite what you might hear on your nightly news.
We cannot generalize against all 1.6 billion Muslims because a minority are having their emotions hijacked by a small group of somebody’s useful idiots.
“To be sure,” Bruce Bawer writes in his book While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West From Within, “if some gang members have learned anti-Western attitudes at their parents’ knees, others have parents who dearly wish they’d go straight and get a job. An inconsiderable number of Muslim youths raised by hardworking, honest immigrant parents have learned (generally from some imam or other pious mentor) to view those parents as cowards and traitors to Islam for having worked hard, respected the kaffir, and obeyed European laws.”
[Kaffir: a term used to describe anyone who doesn’t follow the message of the Qur’an.]
“Most people in Molenbeek,” Teun Voeten, a former resident of the Belgian district writes in Politico, “are decent people who want the best for their families. But we should not close our eyes to the fact that it is also home to a very deep, and very dangerous, undercurrent of radical Islamism.”
And we should not turn a blind eye to many of the other countries in which the very same thing is happening. Too much tolerance has mutated into denial gone wild.
Wait too long to confront the issue at hand, and we can’t seriously act surprised when yet another attack hits Europe… the U.S… or any other part of the world, for that matter.
But, of course, there’s no way anyone could’ve seen the next one coming.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today
P.S. Have something to say? Say it! Chris@lfb.org.