Molenbeek, Belgium: Europe’s capital of jihad?

Jeroen Dewulf

Jeroen Dewulf

“Belgium has a sad record,” says Jeroen Dewulf, director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of European Studies and a specialist in colonial history and literature. “With some 450 jihadists, it is Europe’s largest contributor per capita of ISIS fighters in Syria. The country has also been mentioned in connection to a series of recent ISIS attacks.”

Authorities now believe that those involved in planning the Nov. 13 attacks in Paris have a connection to Molenbeek, “a forgotten neighborhood in the suburbs of Brussels.”

What went wrong in Molenbeek? In a post on the Berkeley Blog, Dewulf discusses how a once-sleepy town near Brussels became a magnet for guest workers from southern Europe and the Middle East — and eventually a place of extreme social isolation and a breeding ground for extremism.

Read Jeroen Dewulf’s post on Molenbeek here.