Study on Moroccans in Belgium Reveals Diversity

The King Baudouin Foundation has recently released findings from a quantitative and qualitative study on Moroccan communities living in Belgium. The 2009 study is based on a survey of 400 Belgian Moroccans alongside focus groups and in-depth interviews and focused on topics such as: identity and integration, the family, and their feelings of confidence toward government institutions and the media.

One of the key findings of the study conducted by the University of Rabat is the diversity of the Belgo-Moroccan community. Reasons for migration – initially related to work and family-reunification – are also shifting. Data demonstrates strong links to the country of origin. Socio-demographic information reveals that 86.4% of informants had spouses of Moroccan-origin, compared to 8.5% who had married Belgian nationals. 30% of those interviewed owned their own homes in Belgium, while 60% had invested in purchasing property in Morocco.

Economic data demonstrates the socio-economic marginality of the community, although there are important regional differences. Women and young people remain the most marginal, especially in southern region of Wallonia.

The report also sheds light on differing religious identities in the community, ranging in degree of religiosity and the intensity of religious practices. The study reveals the emergence of a more secularized and individualized Islam, while also signally a strengthening of religious beliefs for others, as well as intra-community pressure to obey religious precepts.

Belgium hold 7 terror suspects on Moroccan request

Belgian authorities raided several houses across the country and arrested seven men wanted by Morocco for terrorist offenses. The actions were in response to an international warrant issued for 14 people related to the case of Abdelkader Belliraj.

Belliraj is a Belgian of Moroccan origin who is accused of carrying out a series of assassinations in Belgium in the 1980’s. The arrestees – four Belgian Moroccans, two Moroccans, and one Algerian face possible extradition to Morocco.

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