Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Belgian multicultural frustrations:

After this story, comes this policeman's report:

Twenty years ago I was convinced that the young new-Belgians would quickly be assimilated. But now a generation of rebels without a cause grew up in Brussels who always feel offended and wronged. Never responsible for anything, it's always the fault of somebody else: of the government, of the racist Belgians. And also within their own families the young Maghrebian men remain unassailable. When the police in Molenbeek arrested a boy, the father immediately organized a protest because his son 'wouldn't even steal an apple'.

The efforts of the government in the problem-neighborhoods ensured that the youth don't feel the need to leave them, an ULB study showed last year. Thus you create the confines of a village in the big city.


Indeed, you never see young women alone in the neighborhood. And certainly not in the cafes: there they're not even tolerated. When a worker of the municipality asked for a coffee there, it was quickly made clear to her that she shouldn't count on being served. When I bike into the Merode-neighborhood, I know that far past the Zuidstation, I won't see one woman on a cafe terrace


Maybe we should ask ourselves once how it happens that we accepted that principles such as the freedom of the artist and equal rights for men and women don't hold for everybody in this country. Why don't we dare stand up for what is really essential: respect for the laws and values of the land where we live? A headscarf ban is no solution. But maybe we should consider how can assertively make clear that we dare defend what we think important?

It was to the credit of the Left to ask for more attention for discrimination and the social gap. The problem is sadly deeper: we were afraid to force our values on immigrants. Those values are really too dear for me to forfeit them.


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