BELGIUM’S RADICALIZED YOUTH: Ninety Percent Call Jihadi Murderers Heroes

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 9.19.04 AMThe scary reality of what we, as a global community, are facing. Do you think there is any way to change this statistic? Give us your thoughts below.

The problem is not Islam, he insists, but the negligence of government officials like himself in allowing self-contained ethnic ghettos to grow unchallenged, breeding anger, crime and radicalism among youth — a soup of grievances that suits Islamist recruiters.

“Our cities are facing a huge problem, maybe the largest since World War II,” Mr. Goldstein said. “How is it that people who were born here in Brussels, in Paris, can call heroes the people who commit violence and terror? That is the real question we’re facing.”

Friends who teach the equivalent of high school seniors in the predominantly Muslim districts of Molenbeek and Schaerbeek told him that “90 percent of their students, 17, 18 years old, called them heroes,” he said.

Mr. Goldstein, 38, grew up in Schaerbeek, the child of Jewish refugees from Nazism. Now a councilman from Schaerbeek, he is also chief of staff for the minister-president of the Brussels Capital Region.

Schaerbeek is almost as infamous these days as Molenbeek, two districts where Mr. Abdeslam and his group of Islamic State adherents had the space and time to live, hide and manufacture their weapons.

Adjacent to Molenbeek, Schaerbeek is richer, tidier and more mixed. Jacques Brel lived here for a time, so did René Magritte. It has a young, affluent section, which some compare to Notting Hill in London, and a large Turkish population.

The townhouse where preparations were made for the Paris attacks and where Mr. Abdeslam sought refuge for weeks is in the Turkish area, which is more well-to-do, and a better place to hide.

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