The Molenbeek Experiment
Belgium's most notorious commune receives scrutiny from an unlikely source
Ahmed Laaouej @AhmedLaaouejLes propos de Conner Rousseau sont intolérables. Stigmatisants et xénophobes. Bruxelles est une région cosmopolite avec des quartiers connaissant une grande diversité de population. Ils méritent mieux qu'un mépris digne d'une discussion de bistrot. Lamentable et insupportable. https://t.co/UYa3mpQ6FS
Understandably you may not have taken notice, since Ukraine and Elon Musk dominate the headlines. But controversy has erupted in Belgium because the chairman of the Flemish socialist Vooruit (“Forward”) party, Conner Rousseau, dared to break a taboo when he stated that the Brussels commune of Molenbeek didn’t feel like Belgium anymore.
Predictably, establishment politicians condemned Rousseau’s remarks as “racist” and “xenophobic”. But these slurs surely can’t work anymore, because surely nobody can be so stupid as to be blinded to the fact that Molenbeek is one of the most disastrous social and political experiments of the modern age. It is the microcosm of the disastrous course the West has taken in terms of multiculturalism and relativism, providing fertile ground for jihadist recruitment (Molenbeek isn’t unique in this, and neither is Belgium).
This touches on two things: how the denialism surrounding disastrous Politically Correct policies has created a security nightmare far beyond the borders of Belgium, and secondly the county’s dysfunctional politics which benefits nobody but one of the most corrupt and self-serving parties in Europe, the Francophone Socialist Party (PS). No wonder their Flemish counterparts opted to change their name last year, given how toxic the brand name is in Flanders.
The longtime mayor of Molenbeek was late Philippe Moureaux of the PS, who in the name of multiculturalism and “anti-racism” struck an unholy alliance with Islamists to govern his commune. Molenbeek would personify all the social, cultural and political ills of Belgium. A situation that continues under his daughter Catherine Moureaux, who was indignant about Rousseau’s statement. When Moureaux was elected mayor in 2018, it was appropriately parodied in the right-leaning satirical PAN.
The fact that the leader of the mainstream centre-left party in Flanders would make such a statement would seem to be the most extraordinary thing about this, and the reaction of his colleagues seem less extraordinary. Predictably, his statement received support from Flemish nationalist parties N-VA and VB, which now dominates the political landscape in Flanders. Similar to France, the traditional party allegiances in Flanders have eroded with the rise of Flemish nationalist parties (support for which doesn’t necessarily translate to support for Flemish independence).
Moreover, it exposes the extent of denialism of the dysfunctional sociopolitical model in Francophone Belgium (Brussels and Wallonia) in which the Socialist Party has a vested interest in continuing, and contributes to support for Flemish nationalist parties. Breaking the stranglehold of the PS may well be the key to saving the Kingdom of Belgium as a political entity.
Finally, the Molenbeek experiment is in danger of being repeated throughout the Western world. When you teach a whole segment of the population that they are victims and they become resentful of the countries they live in, when national pride and patriotism is being actively discouraged, the outcomes for Western democracies will only be catastrophic.