I recently came across an obscure but very interesting 2007 interview with Dutch journalist Arthur Van Amerongen. Author of the book Brussels Eurabia, he speaks Arabic and went undercover among the Moroccan community in Brussels in 2007. Nine years ago. His warnings–that extremism was gathering steam and would one day explode–went unheeded by Belgian authorities.
I will post the interview here in its entirety. It makes for amazing reading, for many reasons. The willful denial of the interviewer, the inability to comprehend what Van Amerongen was saying, and the retreats into political correctness all have familiar rings. I have had to go through the text and edit the many spelling and syntax errors, but otherwise have left the original intact.
Arthur, you write in your book: “Brussels is a timebomb, there will certainly be an attack.” Isn’t this a little exaggerated?
Arthur Van Amerongen : No, listen, it’s an enumeration; look at what happened in England: doctors originally from India or Pakistan who commit an attempt… if you look at what has happened in 7 years: the Trabelsi Affair, the attack on the Philips Building… all foiled by your intelligence services. If we only look at the reports, I am certain that [an attack] will happen.
Host: For you these are the clues that this will happen?
Arthur Van Amerongen : No, no no. I infiltrated the Muslim community of Molenbeek and Marolles for one year. These folks want nothing to do with Belgium, they hate the Belgians.
Host: What do you base that on?
Arthur Van Amerongen: I was among them, I speak Arabic. They hate the Belgians, they have nothing to do with Belgians, nothing, nothing.
Host: But can you… are you talking about the Moroccan community, the entire Brussels muslim community?
Arthur Van Amerongen: No, the Moroccans with their beards, their half pants and their bare feet in their shoes… no, it is a very dangerous community. It’s a time bomb.
Host: A time bomb. But… you write this in your book as well. Aren’t you fostering a culture of fear?
Arthur Van Amerongen: It’s reality. It’s not a culture of fear. Belgians are much too occupied with B-H-V, Bruxelles-Halle-Vilvoorde. You should be concentrating on the 25% Muslims living in Brussels. The danger comes from there. You are preoccupied by your linguistic quarrels. … The Moroccans are more dangerous than the Walloons.
Host: Yes, but… okay, you say “the Muslim 25%” in Brussels… Are they all dangerous? Come on.
Arthur Van Amerongen: No, but if 1% of them are dangerous, you are up the creek…
Host: But… Can you say at what time… it will happen.. this…
Arthur Van Amerongen: The bomb?
Host: Yes, this “time bomb”…?
Arthur Van Amerongen: Euh, I would say.. next Wednesay. [laughs]
Host: No, seriously…
Arthur Van Amerongen: I have no idea, but it… it will happen. Look at England, look at the Netherlands, Theo Van Gogh assassinated; look at what is happening in England: doctors, distinguished Indian doctors, who had obtained political asylum.. what must one think of the Moroccans that live here? Do you think that they are loyal to the Belgian government? No, they hate us. The Moroccans hate us.
Host: Yes, but you just said.. that the Moroccans that live here in Brussels do not want to have anything do do with Belgium, with Brussels…
Arthur Van Amerongen: No.
Host: … that they hate us.
Arthur Van Amerongen: They want a caliphate; quite simply they want a government that directs the umma [Islamic community] from Baghdad to England. It’s what they want.
Host: These people are therefore free… free to do what they want here?
Arthur Van Amerongen: That, you should report to the police. I mean… Go take a walk through the bookstores at Lemonnier… Look at the hate pouring out of there, against the Jews, against the Christians, against the Shias… It’s there freely for sale, in French and in Arabic. Euh, sorry! All this is possible in Belgium… One can also easily purchase arms…
Host: Let’s go back a bit, [buying] arms is another story. Let’s go back to the Muslim community. You were able to infiltrate yourself into it. Was that easy to do?
Arthur Van Amerongen: No, very difficult, I didn’t get to drink [alcohol] for 8 months, and I appreciate a short beer time to time…
Host: Yes. But how did you get the idea to infiltrate, to dive into the Muslim world?
Arthur Van Amerongen: Because Muriel Delgauque, who comes from Charleroi, went and blew herself up…
Host: In Baghdad…
Arthur Van Amerongen: … in 2004 if I am not mistaken.
Host: Yes, in Iraq.
Arthur Van Amerongen: She had a Moroccan friend, who came from Molenbeek, and was the first “white” martyr from Belgium. Belgium had the honor of having the first “white” martyr for Al Qaeda.
Host: You speak of this woman who blew herself up, who committed a suicide-attack in Iraq. This is what triggered in your head, what decided you to want to do something, try to understand?
Arthur Van Amerongen: Yes, I then said to myself: “How is it that a girl from Charleroi had gotten to such a point where she decided to go to Bagdad with her crummy car and blow herself up? It’s absurd. This girl drank, with her friends, she did drugs, she smoked joints…
Host: Did you find the answer to your question?
Arthur Van Amerongen: No.
Host: No. Euh, let’s imagine.. Let’s come back to the [possible attack at home]. I say to myself: “Okay, imagine that this attack happens.” First: who would commit it? And especially, second: Why?
Arthur Van Amerongen: Moroccans. Look at all the attempts in Europe: Madrid, again in England… 80% are Moroccans.
Host: But what do they want to get out of this? What…
Arthur Van Amerongen: Hate. It’s hatred of Belgium, of the Netherlands, of the West, of Christian culture, you name it. They hate us. The Moroccans hate us. They are frustrated because they… even in the Netherlands, the cultured Moroccans that I know… I… I infiltrated this milieu.. I do not know a Moroccan that has gone with a Belgian into a Belgian home. In the Netherlands, it’s said that among the Belgians one is never invited into the home, so there… The Moroccans have never been among the Belgians. The problems start there.
[At this point the journalist cedes his place to a pre-taped video report on a Moroccan woman, Malika Abbad, who works for a Flemish minister, who provides some counterpoint to Mr. Van Amerongen’s position. She ends her rebuttal by saying… “Franchement, je trouve que ce sont des conneries”]:
“Frankly, I find that this is all nonsense. I would have preferred that, even coming to the same conclusions, he present things from the human side, saying, ‘we, as a society, we must nevertheless reflect seriously on the question of how to integrate, with dignity, these people into our society, and give them the sense that they are part of it…”
[The interview resumes back in the studio]
Host: So, Mr Van Amerongen. “Nonsense”, says Madame Abbad.
Arthur Van Amerongen: Yes, I understand Flemish. This is typically Moroccan to always defend one’s own community. As if scoundrels and junkies didn’t exist. Brussels is harassed by Moroccans and this woman says “no, this is only a few Moroccans that are bothering all the people. Come with us..” I can accompany her into her family and I’d have a nice story… it is not a story. Moroccan hypocrisy is terrible.
Host: For who, this is the type of woman who is completely disconnected from society… She’s the Moroccan who…?
Arthur Van Amerongen: It’s typically Moroccan, to not sweep out one’s doorstep [Note: I think an English version of this expression would be “not to air one’s own dirty laundry”], and once more to defend oneself… Okay, 10% of Moroccans are junkies, 10% are radicals. “No, come with me, you will see a gentle Moroccan who owns a little store, and you’ll see how nice they are…” No, it’s not about that, about that 80%. It’s about this 20% who do f*** all here in Brussels.
Host: You are very harsh towards this community.
Arthur Van Amerongen: Yes, I am very riled up. Absolutely.
Host: In an interview you gave with Knack [magazine], you said that you had some disagreeable experiences with some Moroccans…
Arthur Van Amerongen: I was robbed, yes. In a horrifying manner.
Host: You were the victim of robbery, you and your wife were insulted in the street… Is this all related?
Arthur Van Amerongen: Of course. I walk down Haute street, the “Hoogstraat” as you say. Okay, I’m walking there, with my girlfriend, who was dressed in a manner a little sexy – which means, for Moroccans, that she was wearing a t-shirt. And they were saying in Arabic: “Dirty whore! Dirty whore!” Kahda – a very ugly word.
Ok, I go on my way, I turn around and say: “Your sister!” Not even “Your mother!”, which would be even more serious. I received a blow to the back, and I got worked over. I went to the police… but bla bla bla. These people, if they want to live within an orthodox system, let them go do it elsewhere, but not in Brussels.
Host: Last question. You have also said to our colleagues at Knack: “The more I gathered information on this community, the less I began to understand the Moroccans”, to the point where you used the term “helplessness” [note: or maybe “impotence”… not sure from the context].
I ask myself, therefore: if this is your sentiment, despite all your travels – you were a war correspondent, your studies, this sentiment must be shared by the average Brussels citizen. Does this explain in part why living together is so hard for the two communities, or why they do not recognize each other?
Arthur Van Amerongen: There is no life in common. The Moroccans must adapt or leave. They adapt to our culture, our liberties, and that’s it. If they do not want to adapt, if they want their own… if at Molenbeek they do not want any billboards from H&M with women in bikinis, all they have to do is get the hell out, they have only to leave Brussels and return to Morocco.
Host: In other words, to wrap up, a multicultural society…
Arthur Van Amerongen: Doesn’t exist.
Host: … doesn’t exist.
Arthur Van Amerongen: No, sorry. It’s too bad for Vlaams Belang, but it doesn’t exist.
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