24/03/2015 Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development
"For many young people from an immigrant background, radicalisation is one response among others to the contempt and hostility encountered on a daily basis. The danger of a community turning in on itself when fingers are constantly pointed at it is more than ever on the agenda,” explained Bernard de Vos, Ombudsman for Children’s Rights of the Wallonia-Brussels Federation, during an exchange of views held in Paris today with the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, on follow-up to the Resolution on “Terrorist attacks in Paris: together for a democratic response”.
To build a new model of integration, he points to four areas in which work must be done. First, according to Mr de Vos, we must identify the target precisely by naming it clearly. “When talking about the terrorist acts which are dominating the headlines, we should refer to ‘radical Salafism’”, he explained. We must develop good practices with regard to ethnic, cultural and religious communities in order to build real partnerships and promote harmonious co-existence at local level. We will also need to revisit the issue of religion in the light of an inclusive pluralism by recognising, among other things, that “Islam” can be a factor for integration, introducing inter-convictional dialogue in schools and facilitating the free exercise of religious practices at local level. Lastly, Mr de Vos recommends pacifying relations between “ethnic minorities” and institutions by restoring confidence in institutions in general – school, the police, the justice system, social welfare bodies, etc. – among young people from immigrant backgrounds.