“Salah and Mohamed had their chance at school like any other Belgian child. Nowhere in these testimonies is there any mention of racism or discrimination.”
Christian Rioux, LeDevoir.com November 5th, 2021
After the scenes of horror, the banality of evil. For the past month, the trial of the November 13, 2015 attacks that continues in Paris had accustomed us to heartbreaking, bloody and sometimes even unbearable scenes. The 150 victims coldly murdered at the Bataclan. This youth shot at point blank range in the name of Allah. These bodies piled up one on top of the other, between which the few survivors had to crawl to safety.
For the past few days, it has been the opposite. With the testimonies of the defendants, this trial, which is to last ten months, raises the curtain on mediocrity. The mediocrity of the life of these small delinquents of the suburbs who, one day, metamorphose into jihadists and exchange the pistol for the Kalashnikov.
“I was a quiet, nice person. That’s it,” Salah Abdeslam said candidly on the stand when asked where he came from. The only survivor of the November 13 commandos, he was born in Belgium into a Moroccan family. His father, who drove streetcars in Brussels, had everything he needed to support his family and his five children. Salah earned a degree in electromechanics and then got a job in the company where his father worked. “I was loved by my teachers. I was a good student,” he says.
But the world is full of good students who turn out badly and prefer the easy way. The easy way is petty theft with friends, alcohol and the casino. The inhabitants of Molenbeek, a Muslim-majority district of Brussels, remember the bar Les Béguines, which he opened with his brother Brahim to cover up a drug deal.
In the course of a sentence, Salah drops that Brahim is his “favorite brother”. A seemingly innocent sentence, but which says the essential. Unlike Salah, who is suspected of having backed out at the last moment, Brahim is the “proud” suicide bomber who will blow himself up after having spread terror with a Kalashnikov on the terraces of the boulevards.
The same banality of petty crime is evident when his childhood friend Mohamed Abrini comes to testify. He does not come from a particularly poor background either.
The “man with the hat”, who participated in the Paris and Brussels airport attacks, is even philosophical at times: “I had my share of happiness. Sometimes I spent 4,000 or 5,000 euros a day.”
These testimonies, which could be those of any small thug of the Islamized suburbs of France, come to destroy all the chimerical accounts according to which the Islamic terrorism would be the fruit of poverty and racism. In Molenbeek, they may not have been rich, but that was not the point. Salah and Mohamed had their chance at school like any other Belgian child. Nowhere in these testimonies is there any mention of racism or discrimination.
What is obvious from the beginning is the detestation of the West, its morals and its way of life. As if the endemic petty crime and terrorism were driven by the same hatred of a civilization that the residents of the area reject outright. It is on it that these terrorist vocations have flourished.
One has to visit Molenbeek, its large square and its small gray streets where Abdeslam and Abrini grew up, to understand that this commune of Brussels is only the extreme example of a perfectly assumed communitarianism. From halal butcher shops to some 19 mosques, from sports associations infiltrated by Islamism to the Islam party, which proposes nothing less than to transform Belgium into an Islamic republic, the Muslims of Molenbeek can live here as if they were in the Maghreb boondocks. Only the low clouds remind them that they are in Belgium.
Mohamed Abrini himself says so. “You can’t imagine the atmosphere in the neighborhoods, all the houses have satellite dishes permanently tuned to the distant war. That’s all we see all the time, the war, we’re in it all the time. No wonder 74% of Muslims under 25 years old say they put Islam above the laws of the Republic (Ifop poll published on September 2 for Charlie Hebdo and the Fondation Jean-Jaurès).
An anecdotal evidence gathered last week in Alençon illustrates this link between communitarianism and criminality. A 14-year-old boy from the suburb of Perseigne, in Alençon, explained that between the police and the gang of hooded youths who had ambushed them the day before, he chose without hesitation to protect those he called “his own. Not because we are afraid of them [the police],” he said, “but because we are a family in the neighborhood. A “family” that even protects its own delinquents is called a mafia!
How can we be surprised then that, according to a recent Harris Interactive poll, 61% of French people are convinced that immigration is taking the form of a “great replacement”? The day when these ghettos will have been dismantled and the young people of Alençon will no longer be afraid to denounce the neighborhood kings to the police, the breeding ground for terrorism will have been neutralized. The jihadists will then be nothing more than beasts on the ropes.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator . Verified by Michel Virard