Brussels: Possible Muslim majority in 15-20 years

Olivier Servaix, sociologist at Université catholique de Louvain, said in an interview to La Libre Belgique last week that Brussels, would have a Muslim majority in 15-20 years, due to the community's high birth-rate. According to Servaix, a third of the population of Brussels is Muslim. Since 2001, Mohammed is the most popular name for new-born boys.

Mahfoud Romdhani, a local parliamentarian, says that this projection should be taken carefully, since not all immigrants from Muslim countries are Muslim, or practicing Muslims.

Though this might be true, the youth are showing a return to Islam, and about 75% of Muslims consider themselves practicing today.

Molenbeek is one of the most Muslim suburbs of Brussels. Philippe Moureaux, the mayor of Molenbeek has done much to reach to his Muslim constituency, such as creating a council of mosques subsidized by the municipality, or opening the municipality slaughterhouse during the Eid al-Adha.

Servias says that currently it is peaceful, but there might come a day of social explosion, and somebody might also try to capitalize on the high unemployment in Brussels, over 20%, which affects mainly the Muslim population.

Jean-Francois Bastin (65), a Belgian convert to Islam who now calls himself Abu Abdullah Abdulaziz Bastin, founded the Party of Young Muslims (PJM, Parti Jeunes Musulmans) in 2004. Bastin believes that immigrants should stop feeling colonized and that it's now time for Belgium to adapt. He wants more visible mosques, calls to prayer, schools and retirement homes. The party received less than 5,000 votes in the previous local elections in its two districts, Molenbeek and Anderlecht.

Source: Le Figaro (French)

See also: Belgium: 12% Muslims in French-speaking community

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was a time not so very long ago when Beruit was nicknamed 'Paris on the Med'. Belgium may soon be 'Lebanon on the North Sea'.

The kids are gonna love it.