This clip from CBN (The Christian Broadcasting Network) provides fascinating insight into the ongoing demographic transformation of Brussels. We here at the Video Gateway want to provide some context to this clip so we went to the great sea of knowledge Wikipedia to look up a few facts (which should always be checked again before using in your homework or New York Times article). The entry in Wikipedia on “Islam in Belgium” (yes it has its own entry) is worth reading. Here are a few nuggets from the entry that lend important context to the story. If you have other information or find these Wikipedia fact nuggets to be incorrect or incomplete, please post your comments under the video.
1. The population of Belgium is 11 million people and there are currently roughly 900,000 people in Belgium who immigrated to Belgium from an Islamic foreign country. The main countries being Morocco and Turkey which participated in a guest worker programs which ran from the 1960s through 1974. Muslims cover 25.5% of the population of Brussels, 4.0% of Wallonia and 3.9% of Flanders. The majority of Belgian Muslims live in the major cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels and Charleroi. Since 2009, Mohamed was the most popular given name in Brussels and Antwerp, Belgium’s most Muslim populated cities.
2. According to a 2005 study, about 10% of the Muslim population in Belgium are “practicing Muslims.”
4. Today the Muslim community continues to grow through marriage migration. More than 60% of Moroccan and Turkish youth marry partners from their home countries.
5. At the end of 2005, approximately twenty municipalities in Belgium issued a ban on walking the streets completely veiled. Under a 1993 executive order, persons in the streets must be identifiable, based on laws dating back to the Middle Ages. A veil which does not completely cover the body is allowed.
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