This is not Donald Trump spinning yarns about Jersey City after 9/11. This is Belgian Interior Minister Jan Jambon telling the Flemish-language newspaper De Standaard that shortly after the grisly terrorist attacks in Belgium, “a significant section of the Muslim community danced,” threw stones at police, and generally celebrated.
Jambon, who is a member of the right-wing political party N-VA, placed the blame on policies that failed to properly integrate Muslim immigrants and also noted the problem is abysmal enough that when police were arresting Salah Abdeslam, the terrorist involved in the Paris attacks, the Muslim community in Brussels threw rocks and bottles at police.
“This is the real problem,” Jambon said. “Terrorists we can pick up, remove from society. But they are just a boil. Underneath is a cancer that is much more difficult to treat. We can do it, but it won’t be overnight.”
Political opposition immediately attacked Jambon for his statements. Meyrem Almaci, leader of the Green Party, demanded Jambon apologize to the Muslim community, as his “job is to unite” the community, rather than divide it.
But for Jambon, the issue runs far deeper than simply making a few arrests and calling it a day.
In an op-ed for The New York Times published April 11, Roger Cohen argued Belgium has totally lost control and influence over Molenbeek, a district of Brussels occupied by radical Muslims and their sympathizers. Wrote Cohen:
After the carnage in Paris and Brussels, the laissez-faire approach that had allowed those clerics to proselytize, private Muslim schools to multiply in France, prisons to serve as incubators of jihadism, youths to drift to ISIS land in Syria and back, and districts like Molenbeek or Schaerbeek to drift into a void of negligence, has to cease. Improved intelligence is not enough. There is an ideological battle going on; it has to be waged on that level, where it has been lost up to now. The moderate Muslim communities of Europe need to do much more.
This report, by Jonah Bennett, was cross-posted by arrangement with the Daily Caller News Foundation.