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the Brussel Antwerpen divide

Reader comment on item: Muslim Populations in European Cities

Submitted by myth (Germany), Jan 25, 2010 at 12:42

To me Brussels having three times the percentage of Antwerpen is the most striking fact. Antwerpen is 45km north of Brussel. This pair on the small scale violates the north-south rule. Here's a special case. Both cities are traditionally roman catholic, as opposed to the Netherlands north of the big rivers. However Brussel today is french speaking in the city center, it is on the language border, and Antwerpen is flemish-dutch. The larger number of muslims in Belgium are from North-Africa and most of them also speak french as 2nd language anyway. That accounts for the fact that more are in Brussel. Or is it the opposite ? Brussel originally is in the flemish-speaking part. Today the city center speaks french. Maybe this is because of the immigrants contribution. The french-speaking part in order to increase political influence over the richer flemish part seems to accomodate this.

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