Brussels, Molenbeek, and the Way Out for Europe
It is this community motivated by a hateful Islamo-fascist ideology that has become the main supplier of radical jihadists to the terrorists in the Middle East and not vice versa. And it is this ideology that not only rejects the basic norms of Western civilization and democracy, but is openly bent on destroying them. And contrary to the facile nonsense that radical Islam does not exist emanating from assorted politically-correct eminencies in Washington and European capitals, this murderous belief system has become the dominant idiom in the Muslim establishment in the West and represents a clear and present danger to our most cherished values.
Time is not on our side. At present, Muslims make up 26% of Brussels’ population. With an average age of 32 versus 42 for Belgian Christians, the cohort under 18 years of age would be majority Muslim in less than ten years. If they continue to be as radical as they are today, it is difficult to see how Belgian or European democracy could survive.
Here it may be useful to introduce another factor that has played a major role in the Islamization of Molenbeek in the past two decades, though it is virtually never discussed in the politically-correct Belgian media. And that is the de facto alliance between radical Islam and the European Left. In Molenbeek, a hard-left socialist and an anti-Semitic zealot by the name of Philippe Moureaux was re-elected mayor time and again for 20 years by the Muslim vote and allowed the place to become what it has. Nor is this an exception, with the socialist-Islamist collusion an unfortunate fact of life throughout Europe today and likely to become worse.
To understand what could be done to get out of this perilous predicament, we first have to understand how we got there. And this is fairly straightforward. Beginning in the 1960s and 1970s with the post-World War II economy booming, Western Europe began importing millions of ‘gastarbeiter,’ from Turkey and the Maghreb. Governments everywhere assumed that these ‘guests’ would go home after a few years and no efforts whatever were made to integrate and assimilate them. In the meantime, flush with money after the 1973 oil embargo, which increased its petrodollar take a hundredfold, Saudi Arabia began a massive program of exporting its radical Wahhabi version of Islam to the West in conjunction with the Muslim Brotherhood. By the early 1980s, Riyadh was spending the colossal sum of $4 billion per annum in that effort. The Muslim Brotherhood Islamist ideologue, Sayyid Qutb and, to a lesser extent, the Pakistani Abul ala Mawdudi, had added a new dimension to radical Islam in the mid-20th century by transforming it into a totalitarian doctrine by postulating the absolute obeisance to the postquranic sharia law as the sine qua non of Islam, declaring Muslim rulers who do not impose sharia apostates to be killed and elevating the Jews and the West to the status of an existential threat to Islam. All three of these radical theories were key innovations not present in Islam before that.
Sharia had always been paid lip service to and occasionally used as family law, but never as the only law until the founding of Saudi Arabia in 1932. The law in the Ottoman Empire, for instance, was an essentially secular law called kanun. Nor have Muslim rulers ever been threatened as apostates if they did not implement sharia in all of Islamic history. As for the Jews, there is plenty of Judeophobia in the foundational Islamic texts, but they generally fared better among the Muslims than among Christians until the Enlightment. Indeed, the virulent Jew-hatred enshrined in Qutb’s doctrine was an import from European anti-Semitism as the German scholar of Islam, Bassam Tibi, has argued persuasively.
This then is the Islamist doctrine dominating Muslim societies in Europe today and there is neither much hope that Western society can coexist with it, nor that it is capable of reforming itself. What needs to be done is to eliminate it. The first thing to do is realize that the common denominator of all radical Islamist movements is the violent, discriminatory, and mysoginist sharia law. As early as 2001, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) passed a ruling that sharia law is completely incompatible with democracy and human rights.
A good example of what sharia can lead to is the mass sexual molestation of a thousand German women last New Year’s Eve in Cologne. To most Westerners, this outrageous behavior was difficult to comprehend. Not so if you were raised in sharia culture. There a woman needs four male witnesses to prove that she was raped, if she does not want to be stoned to death for fornication. A Muslim woman has half the rights a man has, and an infidel woman considerably less than that. Is it any wonder that for the young Muslim men in the Cologne square, the infidel women around them were free to molest? Sharia law, put simply, is not a matter of religion, but of sedition and violence. It has no place anywhere in a democratic society and must be outlawed.
This is directly related also to the current discussion of migrants and refugees. In 2013, the Pew Foundation did research that showed astounding levels of public support for sharia as the only law in many Muslim majority countries, ranging from 83% in Morocco, 84% in Pakistan, 86% in Malaysia, 91% in Iraq and 99% in Afghanistan. To allow hundreds of thousands of the economic migrants from these states in the West would appear shortsighted in the extreme.
Finally, most radical Islamist organizations in Belgium and the rest of Western Europe continue to be funded and radicalized by Saudi Arabian, Middle Eastern and, lately, Turkish government money. These include the sharia-preaching Sharia4Belgium organization, the supposedly moderate Muslim Executive of Belgium (EMB) and the Turkish-dominated anti-secular Islamic Federation of Belgium (FIB) and the Diyanet-controlled Turkish Islamic Federation of Belgium (TIFB). The same is true of the growing number of pan-European Islamist organizations, such as the Federation of European Islamic Organizations (FOIE), the Federation of Muslim Youth Societies (FEMYSO), the European Islamic Trust (EIT) and last but far from least, the ideological overseer of radical Islam in Europe, the European Council for Fatwa and Research (ECFR), headed by none other than suicide bombing advocate and Muslim Brotherhood guru, Yusuf al Qaradawi. No progress could be expected in the struggle against terror until these organizations are defunded and exposed for what they are -- dyed-in-the-wool enemies of European civilization and the democratic order.
Alex Alexiev is chairman of the Center for Balkan and Black Sea Studies (cbbss.org). He twits on national security at twitter.com/alexieff and could be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.