What were the causes of the focus on Islam among the Muslim migrants?

Johan Leman, 13 June 2024

You can’t miss it: if you listen to the workers of Moroccan and Turkish origin who arrived in Brussels between 1964 and 1974, they all, without exception, say that concern for Islam was really not their primary worry. Okay, they respected halal dietary habits, Ramadan, and the two major celebrations as much as possible… and they prayed at home in the evening, but that was it… What they themselves call the focus on Islam emerged – if I piece together the stories – in four stages.

The first stage was at the end of the 1970s with the rise of Khomeini, the second stage was the massacre in Hama, Syria in 1982 (with the arrival of some Syrian Muslim Brothers in Brussels), a very significant third stage seems to have been the 1986 bombing of Tripoli with the subsequent protest marches in Brussels, and a fourth stage was the first Gulf War.

This concretely means that the US might want to look in their own heart before always complaining about what happens elsewhere…