Attempts by native Belgians to keep their new “Muslim youth” house guests out of trouble have been met with failure, as media coverage surrounding a “subcultural” museum in no-go zone Molenbeek reveals the well-meaning but ultimately doomed schemes cooked up for the radicalised neighbourhood.
Integrating migrant youth into Western society through exposure to European hobbies including boxing, theatre, and appreciating modern “art” are among the projects being visited upon Islamised Brussels neighbourhood Molenbeek.
Now infamous as the breeding ground and hide-out of radical Muslim terrorists just 20 minutes’ walk from the European Parliament buildings, Molenbeek is also home to the Brussels Boxing Academy. The club boasts of their unique success in training fighters — they claim to have produced five national champions this year alone.
But club trainer Tom Flachet admitted that wasn’t the only kind of fighter graduating from the academy. He told the New York Times that the club had recently received news of a number of their former members fighting with Islamic State.
One such was 26-year-old Ahmad Dahmani, arrested in Turkey and jailed for his reconnaissance role in the Paris Bataclan attacks. Others arrested on their way back from Syria included brothers, Mr. Flachet said, and The Star reports five men have gone from the gym to jihad.
Mr. Flachet explained that the motivations for these men to join terror groups was not about their faith — Islam. Rather, it was all about not feeling “accepted by broader Belgian society”.
The idea is, therefore, that the secret to integrating would-be Islamists is involvement in cultural projects instead, according to those involved in the club.
Their partnership with the newly opened, government-funded “Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art” is one such initiative. The project celebrates and displays such well-regarded genres of work from the Western canon including tattooing, graffiti, surfing and skateboarding.
One exhibit is a room with coloured windows and brightly coloured walls. After a visit to the exhibit, boxing club trainer Mohammed Idrissi started an initiative to make films about the lives of the boxers in Molenbeek.
While getting Muslim migrants involved in sport and making films about them is a popular route to integration among Europe’s left, it has not always been successful — case in point, the Belgian boxers who travelled to Syria to commit Jihad.
Breitbart London reported in April on a 2005 documentary about football being used to integrate Muslims into ordinary life in Sweden. Star of the show was 11-year-old Osama Krayem kicking about with Malmo Football club.
Today, Islamic State Syria veteran Krayem is on trial in France for his part in the March Brussels terror attacks and November Paris attacks, plots hatched and operated out of the lawless Molenbeek district.