Living With Terrorists and Their Sympathizers
Muslims in Europe are not assimilating, and the cost is high.
The latest Islamist terror attack in Brussels reveals an uncomfortable reality European leaders don’t want to face: There are parallel societies living side by side in many EU nations. One embraces Western culture and traditions. The other thoroughly rejects them.
“It was only fitting … that when police arrested the suspected terrorist Salah Abdeslam in the gritty Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels late last week, across town, European Union leaders were meeting at the plush EU Commission headquarters to discuss the immigration crisis that bedevils Europe,” writes Heritage Foundation senior fellow Mike Gonzalez. “Fitting because the Molenbeek neighborhood represents the division and separation that exist in European society, and why there is a fear that migrants arriving in Europe in their hundreds of thousands could find in such places networks ready to radicalize those migrants.”
Could find? They already have. Salah Abdeslam, the alleged mastermind of last year’s carnage in Paris was traced back to Molenbeek, and angry local residents tossed bottles and rocks at police when they arrested the neighborhood’s “hero.” That outburst underscored another disturbing reality, as in local press reports stating the “whole neighborhood” knew where Abdeslam was hiding — and did absolutely nothing to help authorities find him.
Yet if truth be told, Belgian authorities shoulder a portion of the blame here. Last year, following the second attack in Paris, Jan Jambon, Belgium’s home affairs minister, warned that the government does not “have control of the situation in Molenbeek.” The Guardian referred to the neighborhood as “Europe’s jihadi central” because it is “the source of the highest concentration in Europe of jihadi foreign fighters going to fight in Syria and Iraq and returning battle-hardened and determined to take their fight to the capitals of Europe.”
Even more infuriating, it has been for some time. There have been at least five terrorist attacks linked to Molenbeek, including the assassination of anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud in 2001, the Madrid train bombings in 2004, the 2014 attack on the Jewish Museum in Brussels, the 2015 attack on the Kosher grocery in Paris following the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, and the 2015 Paris train attack thwarted by three Americans.
Yet Molenbeek is hardly an anomaly. Neighborhoods such as Ca n'Anglada in Barcelona, Spain, Marxloh and Neukölln in Germany, Seine-Saint-Denis and Clichy-sous-Bois in France and several enclaves in Britain are also afflicted by unassimilated Muslim ghettos. Communities best described — despite the predictable uproar from progressive denialists — as “no-go” zones. No-go zones where these unassimilated minority communities operate their own “justice” systems. Places where honor killings, domestic violence, sexual abuse of children and female genital mutilations occur without being reported to police.
Neighborhoods and enclaves that breed radical Islamic terror.
Brussels itself currently has a Muslim population of 300,000, and sociologist Felice Dassetto predicts they will comprise the majority of the city’s population by 2030. In 2012, two Muslim politicians won municipal elections based on campaign vows to implement Sharia law in Belgium. More than 500 jihadists from that nation, mostly Belgian nationals, are fighting for the Islamic State, 16% of Belgian Muslims believe terror is justified, and a whopping 65% support the imposition of Sharia law.
And again, Belgium itself is not a statistical anomaly. Support for Sharia law in Austria, France, Germany, Holland and Sweden averages the same 65%, and 30-40% of British Muslims feel the same way.
The result? “ISIS organizers are simply plugging into standing extremist communities,” explains Heritage Foundation Vice President James Jay Carafano. “These networks are popping up all over the world … [but] by far the most concerning networks right now are in Western Europe.”
Frontpage Magazine’s Daniel Greenfield observes, Molenbeek is “just 12 minutes away from the European Parliament, 15 minutes away from the European Commission, 23 minutes away from NATO HQ and 22 minutes away from Brussels Airport,” meaning that “ISIS doesn’t have to invade Brussels. It just has to take a short drive.”
Such daunting reality prompts an essential question asked by American Enterprise Institute’s Gary J. Schmitt:
“Is this the new normal?”
That depends on whether one is referring to the EU’s feckless elites, who remain committed to open borders and mass immigration, or the EU people themselves, some of whom are voting in elections to reject such insanity.
Unsurprisingly, the EU’s ruling elites and their media enablers are “shocked” and “alarmed” by this turn of events. Those would be the same ruling elites who, much like their American counterparts, are wholly removed and/or protected from the possibly deadly results of their interminable infatuation with open borders and uncontrolled immigration.
Unfortunately, such societally suicidal nostrums are embraced by the Islamic State, which has trained 400 fighters to attack the EU in “waves.” That announcement occurred the same day it was revealed Belgian intelligence and security forces “had advance and precise intelligence warnings” regarding the airport and subway attacks. One day later, we learned that Belgian police spent only one hour over four days interrogating Abdeslam, because the terror mastermind had been shot in the leg during his capture and was “too tired” to talk following an operation on it.
“There is no way to sugarcoat it: the European continent, long considered one of the most prosperous, safe and multicultural regions of the world, is effectively a battlefield in the war against international terrorism,” writes the National Interest’s Daniel R. DePetris. Islamic international terrorism, Mr. DePetris. Terrorism that will be aided and abetted by allies in the EU’s parallel societies.
On a final note, Secretary of State John Kerry hypothesizes that the Islamic State “is resorting to actions outside the Middle East [because] its fantasy of a caliphate is collapsing before their [sic] eyes. Its territory is shrinking, its leaders are decimated, its revenue sources are dwindling, and its fighters are fleeing.” Dead wrong. The Islamic State isn’t attacking worldwide because the policies of Barack Obama and European leaders have been so successful, but because the West has been so utterly unable to deal with — or even identify — the real threat.