Photo: Young Islamic women pause in front of a little-used church in Antwerp, Belgium
Inspired by that Islamonline travelogue to Brussels' Molenbeek neighborhood today, I decided to post a few pics from my summertime trip on the road less travelled through Anwterp as well.
This is what the tourist sees, looking toward the old city crowned by the magnificent Cathedral of Our Lady, begun in the 14th century.
The old town square.
But what the tourist lingering at a cafe doesn't see are the Islamic enclaves, more Al Mahgreb than Ye Olde Europe.
The signs point to a world beyond Europe.
Classes in local lore?
Here's a poster advertising the Haj pilgrimage to Mecca.
Turkish flags are not uncommon.
Halal snacks are everywhere. (But no chocolate.)
Notice what barnyard animal is missing. (Hint: Oink, oink.)
The spanking new "Pakistani mosque" is the building with the green turrets.
Now, here's something you don't see every day--a hookah shop!
Of course, none of the scenes here--with the exception of the picture-postcard snaps up at the top--are what you see every day. But, off the medieval town square, behind the storied cathderal, and not far from the souvenir shop, these are the scenes of every day in ... Islamic Europe.