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Projects for Belgium's Molenbeek Kids Give Them Goals Instead of Extremism
by Marthe van der Wolf
Learning how to build apps, hike in the mountains or expand creative skills such as printing T-shirts are just some of the projects organized for young people in Molenbeek, home to one of the largest Muslim communities in Brussels.
Located across a canal from the Belgian capital's city center, the historically working-class neighborhood captured the world's attention last year when it was revealed that those involved in the November terrorist attack in Paris, and the March attack in Brussels, were linked to the borough. Of the estimated 540 Belgians who traveled to the Middle East to fight for extremist groups, 47 are said to have come from this small enclave.
While most Molenbeek residents are tired of discussing Islamic radicalization, many believe that getting youngsters involved in sports and neighborhood projects is important to discouraging extremism.
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