And Yves Goldstein, a councilman from Schaerbeek and chief of staff for the minister-president of the Brussels Capital Region, blames Belgian non-Muslims for not integrating these young people. The possibility that the Muslim youth think of themselves as the “best of people” (Qur’an 3:110) and have no desire to assimilate into the society of the “most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6) doesn’t enter his mind.
Blaming Policy, Not Islam, for Belgium’s Radicalized Youth,” by Steven Erlanger, New York Times, April 7, 2016:
BRUSSELS — Yves Goldstein makes no excuses for Belgium’s failure to find Salah Abdeslam and the other Islamic State recruits who attacked Paris and then bombed Brussels Airport and a subway station.
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….
But “we failed,” he said. “We failed in Molenbeek” and Schaerbeek, too, to ensure the mixing of populations.
“We have neighborhoods where people only see the same people, go to school with the same people,” he said. “What connection do they have with the whole society, what connection do they have with real diversity? It’s the establishment of the ghetto,” he said, “and it’s the thing in our urban development that we have to tackle.”
Jews have left Schaerbeek, and the last two synagogues are being sold. Instead, there is a kind of suffocating, insular, ethnic uniformity. “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,” Mr. Goldstein said.
Of course there is poverty and unemployment, he said. “But we don’t give these young people the keys to think differently, to think outside the little box, the little neighborhood where they live — this ideological box, this closed-eyes box.”
As for the terrorists, “religion for them is a pretext,” he said. “They believe in nothing. But Islam is the way they find to express, to crystallize their radicalization.”
Young people whose parents or grandparents were immigrants face serious questions of identity, Mr. Goldstein acknowledged, speaking during and after a conference here of the German Marshall Fund. “But identity is a two-sided relation” — between young Muslims and ourselves.
“We have to fight racism and discrimination with the same force” as radicalization, he said, because “our society gives to these young people a bad idea of who and what they are.”