Europe’s security services are blinded by their quest to prevent terrorism from striking again. The investigation to root out the perpetrators, launched by French security services following the November 13 attacks in Paris, is well-intentioned, but cracking down on Belgium and the district of Molenbeek-Saint-Jean in Brussels are playing straight into the hands of Isis, the Islamic militant group, and its quest for destabilisation.
Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, one of Brussels’s poorest and most Muslim-populated districts, fell under international condemnation for its role as a support base for the Paris attacks. Many accused Belgium of failures, using it to portray the inadequacies of Muslim integration in western Europe. However, to properly consider the issue and investigate durable solutions, shortcut explanations should be avoided. Instead, consider why Belgium and Molenbeek fit so conveniently in Isis’ broader destabilisation plans. Read more