Even Flemish Muslims Want to Separate from the Walloons
From the desk of Filip van Laenen on Thu, 2007-09-06 21:54
While the Belgian establisment media, such as public television, publish polls indicating that the Belgians do not want their country to fall apart, Belgian Muslims seem so well integrated into Belgian society that the Flemish Muslims want to break up the Muslim Executive of Belgium following of a corruption scandal involving its French-speaking vice-president Kissi Benjelloul.
On Tuesday, Flemish public television VRT published a poll saying that 70% of the Belgians do not want Belgium to fall apart. The results are, however, very different in the North and the South: 90% of the Walloons, quite understandably, want to keep Belgium together, but 40% of the Flemings prefer Flemish independence. It's true that this means that on the average, 70% of the Belgians do not favor a break-up, but that figure is misleading. in Flanders the secession movement is growing and the Belgian politicians are unable to form a government.
Ironically, while Belgium is going through its worst existential crisis, the Muslim population is proving it is much better integrated into Belgian society than thought. The Muslim immigrants, many of them holding Belgian citizenship thanks to mass naturalization laws, have always been considered to be the last hope for Belgium. Since there never were Belgians but only Flemings and Walloons, as Jules Destrée pointed out 95 years ago, the Belgian regime tried to turn the immigrants into Belgians. The strategy seemed to be that they would join and support the French-speaking population in Brussels, which once was a Flemish Dutch-speaking city. Now it turns out that even the immigrants aren't Belgians, but consider themselves Flemish Muslims and Walloon Muslims to such a degree that one could start to wonder whether maybe the Muslim Executive is infiltrated by a Flemish separatist group that is trying to prove a point.
Take on the one side the French-speaking vice-president of the Muslim Executive, Kissi Benjelloul. He is currently under the investigation for fraud. Benjelloul tried to cover up debts using fake invoices issued by Le Caire, a Brussels restaurant. It is not the first time Kissi Benjelloul attracted the attention of the police: last December he had to spend a night in jail because of abusing the government subsidies to the Muslim Executive. It seems like Benjelloul would fit in perfectly with Charleroi's municipal council. Half of the (socialist) council members in Charleroi are involved jail in various corruption scandals.
The Flemish Muslims are represented by imam and council member Taouil Nordine. He accused the Muslim Executive of not taking its responsibility, thus ruining the Muslims' image. "The Flemish Muslim community is furious because of this [corruption scandal]. We do not want to have anything to do with these corrupt Walloons any more," Nordine said. He is lucky that he is a Muslim, because otherwise he would already have been qualified as a racist for making such remarks.