Teachers in the predominantly Muslim districts of Molenbeek and Schaerbeek in Belgium told Yves Goldstein, chief of staff for the minister-president of the Brussels Capital Region, that “90 percent of their students, 17, 18 years old” called the Islamist terrorists who attacked Paris and Brussels “heroes.” This was first reported in a New York Times article last week.
“How is it that people who were born here in Brussels, in Paris, can call heroes the people who commit violence and terror?” Goldstein asked.
Goldstein insists the problem is not Islam. Rather, he said government officials, including himself, are to blame for allowing the prevalence of ethnic ghettos that breed crime and radicalism among youth- a target for Islamic recruiters.
“We have neighborhoods where people only see the same people, go to school with the same people. What connection do they have with the whole society, what connection do they have with real diversity? It’s the establishment of the ghetto,” Goldstein said, “and it’s the thing in our urban development that we have to tackle.”
Molenbeek and Schaerbeek are areas in which Islamists have hid out, manufactured weapons and plotted the Paris and Belgium attacks. Goldstein said the government failed to integrate the populations and to provide exposure to diversity, culture and art.
“These young people will never go to museums until 18 or 20 — they never saw Chagall, they never saw Dalí, they never saw Warhol, they don’t know what it is to dream.”
“Brussels itself is about 25 percent Muslim — 70 percent are of Moroccan heritage and 20 percent Turkish, and the ethnic groups tend to stick to themselves, making them difficult for outsiders, like the police, to penetrate,” the New York Times reported.
For insight on how the Brussels terror attack has affected the United States’ presidential race, click here.