Islamic extremism in Europe – what are the answers to a fortified democracy

On Wednesday 28 March EAR-AER board member Mr. Louis Delcart was invited by SME Europe to a debate on radicalisation at the premises of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Brussels.

Because of the specificity of the subject, almost 40 participants mostly from Germany, Austria and Italy showed up, which made it the most attended debate ever held at this Foundation. The subject of two debates was the increasing threat of muslim extremism and its disastrous consequences in European society.

Key note speakers were Mrs. Seyran Ates, founder of a liberal moderated mosque in Germany and chief-commissioner Saad Amrani of the Brussels police.

As former executive officer of the Flemish employer’s organisation, Mr. Delcart represented the business world together with Dr. Horst Heitz, general secretary of executive director of European SME Business Club.

The message brought by both keynote speakers was that the rising presence of young muslim extremists is not taken seriously enough by national and European authorities and that immediat action is required.

They called also on vigilance because of the permanent threat of hate preachers appearing on Arabic satellite stations, on the social media and in non controlled mosques and on the fact that migrant spokespeople to the national authorities are not always the most representative but surely the most colourful with the strongest voice.

Commissioner Amrani insisted on the naivete, sense of denial and disastrous political correctness of national and supra-national authorities in Europe and agreed that the most effective efforts were taken on a local level by charismatic politicians with a framework.

Dr. Heitz in this regard insisted that SMEs feel abandoned in Germany, because they provide with the most jobs for recent migrants, not the large companies, but that they work without a legal nor administrative framework that could help them isolating extremists when they occur. Which reduces the initial recruitment enthusiasm drastically.

In the debate Mr.Delcart insisted much on the local initiatives that are to be taken, including a close collaboration between the local authorities, constant community building work in the migrant blocks, the educational world and the business world. The effort to monitor especially lonely wolfs has to be important and constant and requires as well a zero tolerance approach as a drastic improvement of life, housing and labour conditions of newcomers in general. The striking results of the town of Mechelen were put forward, in which this double approach lead to more inclusion and a migrant community that starts to take its responsibilities.