Brussels Finds a Way to Welcome Muslims

The Molenbeek, the heavily Muslim and immigrant neighborhood of Brussels, is facing a changing image.  While many have previously considered Molenbeek a place to be avoided because of an image of crime and foreigners, many are praising the neighborhood as a success story.  Local mayor Philippe Moureaux said that the area is a positive model for inter-communal relations.  Moureaux said that his approach for one of openness towards religious practice is having positive effects throughout the neighborhood.  Support of religious needs – such as accommodation during the month of Ramadan, is improving Molenbeek’s vibe.  Treating people in Molenbeek as non-threatening goes a long way, as does not fearing one’s neighbors, and allowing for mutual respect between Muslims and non-Muslims.

IPS News