- “There are plenty of private Muslim schools and madrasas in this city. They pretend that they all preach tolerance, love and peace, but that isn’t true. Behind their walls, they force-feed us with repetitive verses of the Qur’an, about hate and intolerance.” — Ali, an 18-year-old of French origin, whose father was radicalized.
- “In England, they are free to speak. They speak only of prohibitions, they impose on one their rigid vision of Islam but, on the other hand, they listen to no-one, most of all those who disagree with them.” — Yasmina, speaking of extremist Muslims in the UK.
- “Birmingham is worse than Molenbeek” — the Brussels borough that The Guardian described as “becoming known as Europe’s jihadi central.” — French commentator, republishing an article by Rachida Samouri.
The city of Birmingham in the West Midlands, the heart of England, the place where the Industrial Revolution began, the second city of the UK and the eighth-largest in Europe, today is Britain’s most dangerous city. With a large and growing Muslim population, five of its electoral wards have the highest levels of radicalization and terrorism in the country.
Neighbourhood on the edge of Belgian city where seven people have been arrested in connection with the Paris attacks has a reputation for its battle-hardened militants
Across the canal from Brussels’ shabby chic centre for designer fashion, cafes, and bohemian bars sits the borough of Molenbeek, just over two square miles housing almost 100,000 people and one of the poorest areas in Belgium cheek-by-jowl with the country’s wealthiest.
Molenbeek is the source of the highest concentration in Europe of jihadi foreign fighters going to fight in Syria and Iraq and returning battle-hardened and determined to take their fight to the capitals of Europe. It came as little surprise to locals therefore that a number of those alleged to be involved in Friday’s Paris attack lived in the area.