Tuesday, March 22, 2016

"we were hoping the poor would be forced out"

Updated: more comedy

WaPo: Crying Tintin becomes symbol of grief after Brussels attacks
more at Mashable

"Brussels attacks: How Saudi Arabia's influence and a deal to get oil contracts sowed seeds of radicalism in Belgium"
There are many reasons why Belgium has become a hotbed of radical Islamism. Some of the answers may lie in the implanting of Saudi Salafist preachers in the country from the 1960s. 
Keen to secure oil contracts, Belgium’s King Baudouin made an offer to Saudi King Faisal, who had visited Brussels in 1967: Belgium would set up a mosque in the capital, and hire Gulf-trained clerics.

At the time, Belgium was encouraging Moroccan and Turkish workers to come into the country as cheap labour. The deal between the two Kings would make the mosque their main place of worship.

Nov/2015 Molenbeek broke my heart
I was part of a new wave of young urban professionals, mostly white and college-educated — what the Belgians called bobo, (“bourgeois bohémiens”) — who settled in the area out of pragmatism. We had good intentions. Our contractor’s name was Hassan. He was Moroccan, and we thought that was very cool. We imagined that our kids would one day play happily with his on the street. We hoped for less garbage on the streets, less petty crime. We were confident our block would slowly improve, and that our lofts would increase in value. (We even dared to hope for a hip art gallery or a trendy bar.) We felt like pioneers of the Far West, like we were living in the trenches of the fight for a multicultural society.
Code as commentary. The word gentrification doesn't appear in the article itself.
"We had good intentions." And the idiot's an anthropologist.

Wapo: Why is Brussels under attack?
The area, just across the Canal not far from some of Brussels's more fashionable areas, first began to fill up with Turkish and Moroccan immigrants around 50 years ago. But while the area has undergone some levels of gentrification in recent years, it remains a sharp contrast with more affluent areas of the city nearby: Unemployment has been estimated at as much as 40 percent, and there are many seedy and rundown shops in the area.

Often those from immigrant backgrounds find themselves at a competitive disadvantage on the job market, as they speak only French and Arabic when many jobs in the city require a knowledge of French, Flemish or Dutch, and sometimes English. A growing right-wing political movement in Belgium has led to feelings of division in the country: Some Muslims say that a 2012 ban on Islamic veils such as burqas and niqabs in public spaces is a sign of their community's alienation from the Catholic mainstream.
If westerners want to stop extremism they should stop supporting extremists, and stop lying about it, to themselves.

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