It is a concerning time to be in Europe currently, with the idea of terrorist attacks in major cities a constant possibility. However, what and how are European countries encouraging and forcing young Muslims towards radicalisation?
Belgium, cushioned between France and Holland, to many does not seem like the obvious hotbed for breeding Islamic State fighters, yet this small countries has more people traveling to Syria than any other countries in Europe relative to its population. So why?
Belgium´s negative view of eachother and difficultly of getting along is ingrained in its culture between the Dutch and French speaks. This mistrust is then re-mirrored onto other minorities and has now been whitewashed across all Muslims. Belgium has a high Muslim population with a quarter of Brussels population being Muslim, while in Antwerp one in six are Muslim yet the is not matched in Government or in the Police Force. Out of Antwerp´s 2,600 police officers, 22 are non-white. For communities to feel at ease, to respectful and to be heard they must be represented in the way we are controled!
The Muslim population around the world faces isolation and demonisation, this is not the way to solve the horrible mess we find ourself in. Acceptance, integration and most importantly communication must be used to bridge the gap in culture and understanding we have created for ourselves. Yet discussion of house-to-house searches in the Molenbeek area only help to repress and force the divide further apart.