Waarom plots 1 op 5 moslims begrip had voor de acties van IS, maar geen enkele moslim daarvan op de hoogte was

Tenzij je de afgelopen twee dagen onder een steen geleefd hebt, is het je vast opgevallen dat uit een studie die Humo liet uitvoeren door iVox bleek dat 1 op 5 moslims begrip heeft voor IS en haar manier van actievoeren.

Dat was voor ons allemaal even slikken, niet in het minst voor de moslimgemeenschap zelf. Die reageerde geschrokken en geschokt. En terecht, want het lijkt me heel sterk dat 20 procent van de moslims begrip heeft voor IS én haar manier van actievoeren terwijl zo’n 90 procent elke vorm van geweld veroordeelt.

Het was natuurlijk een opvallend cijfer, die 1 op 5. Ik kan het niet oneens zijn met de stelling dat ik begrip heb voor de keuze om dat cijfer in de titel te plaatsen, ook al voelt dat niet helemaal juist.

Misschien net zoals 20 procent van de ondervraagde moslims aangaf het niet eens te kunnen zijn met de stelling “Ik heb geen begrip voor IS”. Over hun begrip voor de manier waarop IS te werk gaat, werd met geen woord gerept in het onderzoek. Geen enkele van de ondervraagde moslims heeft aangegeven daarvoor begrip te hebben. (Voor zover ik kan zien in wat Humo van het onderzoek gepubliceerd heeft.)

Zonder context bewijs je ook helemaal niets met de stelling “ik heb geen begrip voor IS”. Ik kan best begrip hebben voor iemand die uit pure wanhoop of in een vlaag van zinsverbijstering een moord begaat. Dat betekent niet dat ik die actie goedkeur. Begrip is zo’n vage term dat je er dieper op moet ingaan om tot iemands ware bedoeling te komen.

Ik onthoud vooral dat om en bij de 90 procent van de moslims alle geweld veroordeelt. Dat 20 procent van hen op deze of gene manier begrip heeft voor IS lijkt me zelfs helemaal niet zo choquerend in een maatschappij waarin zij aangeven op heel veel onbegrip en discriminatie te stuiten. Dat betekent niet dat we nu voor elke vijfde moslim een omweg moeten maken op straat, gewoon eens knikken of goeiedag mompelen volstaat ook wel.


Ik heb geen recht van spreken.  Ik ben een jonge,  blanke,  autochtone Belg en in die hoedanigheid word ik haast nooit geconfronteerd met discriminatie.  Als dat al gebeurt,  is dat op basis van mijn seksualiteit en dat gebeurt dan ook vaak door mensen die ietwat aan de rand van de samenleving lijken te staan.  Niet door leden van de Kamer. 

“Ga terug naar Marokko” kan nooit een aanvaardbare uitspraak zijn.  Het maakt zelfs niet uit of ze nu aan mevrouw Kitir gericht is,  aan de werknemers van Caterpillar met een andere origine of aan je plaatselijke bakker. Als we dat ongestraft voorbij laten gaan,  kunnen we net zo goed stoppen met doen alsof we een beschaafd land zijn.  

Niet alleen hebben de betrokkenen recht op oprechte excuses,  als dat niet gebeurt geven we een signaal aan alle beige,  bruine of zwarte Belgen dat ze hun mening maar beter voor zich kunnen houden.  “Want ge moogt al blij zijn dat ge hier moogt wonen!” 

Terwijl hun meningen net zo waardevol kunnen zijn. Hoe kunnen we integratie verwachten als alles wat we van Belgen met een andere origine verwachten, is dat ze zich als makke lammetjes schikken naar de bestaande orde der dingen?  

Integratie is de dialoog aangaan.  Als we dit laten passeren,  vrees ik dat België zich vergeet te integreren in de realiteit.  

Pride Matters

Pride month’s not even halfway and already a dark shadow has been cast upon our so deeply cherished rainbow. What happened in Orlando today has left me with a hole in my heart, and a deep understanding that the work of those who started the Stonewall riots nearly 50 years ago is not even close to being done.

Yes, the progress that has been made over the years is irrefutable. And yes, this could still be the work of a lunatic with easy acces to a gun. This information should reach us in the next couple of days, but it doesn’t really matter for this post.

Because all over the world, hundreds of lgbtq+ people are dying every single day. Because of the lunatics with guns, but also because of legislation that renders their very existance illegal. They die because they feel there is no place for them in this world, or because people are robbing them of that place. Which is exactly what happened in Orlando tonight.

I have often been told that the gay rights movement is losing its relevance. Legislation is catching up, and in my 23 years alone a lot has changed for the better.

But as long as there are people believing that the world would be a better place without us, as long as there are people believing that basic human rights don’t apply to us, this movement is not only relevant, it is much needed.

I’m not saying every one of us should become an activist. Hell, I’m not becoming one! But I sure as hell will support those who are standing up for my rights, and the rights of people like me all over the world.

And I’m going to celebrate pride month with a vengeance. To celebrate the progress that has been made, and the progress that has yet to be made. And to honor those who died because who they were did not match the norm.

I lube you

It’s been a while since my last post here, but I’m back! Now, communication is key in any relationship. We all know that, I didn’t need to say it but I did because I needed an introduction for this post.

In a long distance relationship though, communication isn’t just a key component in your relationship, quite often it IS your relationship. And that’s not easy.

I’ve already had a great deal of explaining to do because of vague texts or messages that could be (and were) interpreted in an entirely different way than I meant. The fact that I don’t like texting doesn’t help either, because I often send quite short messages which can make me look uninterested, rude, or both.

As a journalist I know how ambiguous words can be, so I try to take that into account. But you don’t always have time for that, or energy. And that’s when it goes wrong.

Sadly for me, there’s only one solution to this and that’s more texts! More elaborate texts, but also just a higher number of ‘em. Because you just can’t communicate the same way in writing as you can face to face. Even with someone who knows you as well as your own boyfriend. (Or girlfriend, I’m not going to exclude you silly straight people.)

So yeah, when in doubt: text! And if the problem turns out to be bigger than just a misinterpreattion, turn to Skype.

Step 1: Travelling

One month and one day.

That’s exactly how long Olivier and I were together before I went on a one month and three days trip to South-East Asia. It was our first time going long distance because back then, Olivier was still living in Belgium. Needless to say, that month didn’t pass without a struggle.

Months before Olivier and I became a thing, I planned to go backpacking trough Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. I was chronically single back then and not even really interested in a relationship, so of course I didn’t think I would have a boyfriend by the time we hit the road. (Well, sky first, obviously.)

For me, that month went by so fast I didn’t really have time to miss anyone. I’d send messages home every (couple of) days, when possible, and tried to skype with Olivier whenever I could, but with a time difference of 5 hours, that’s not as easy as it sounds. Take into account the (widely available but often poor) wifi connections and you know we didn’t talk as much as we needed to.

In the first two weeks of travel, I was able to skype home every couple of days, because internet connections in Thailand are still kinda okay. And when I knew that I couldn’t call for a couple days, when we went on a jungle trip for example, I would warn Olivier beforehand. So he got pretty worried when I arrived in Vang Vieng (in Laos, awesome party town by the way!) and didn’t give any sign of life for 4 days because the wifi connection seemed to jump from phone to phone but never stayed long enough to even send a facebook message!

I thought everything was fine when we called once I got a decent connection in Don Det, but apparently it wasn’t. It took Oli a week, but then I got a message asking if everything was still okay with us and if nothing happend on one of my nights out. I was pretty angry after getting that message. I had never given him any reason to doubt me, and hadn’t even tried to flirt with anyone, so getting that question kinda hurt. Apparently he talked to his friends about me not sending messages anymore and they put this idea of my having sex with every ladyboy in sight in his mind. I could understand that he was worried, but still, pretty angry at the same time.

It took every bit of control I had to not make my anger come across in my messages, because, let’s face it, if I had, we probably wouldn’t have talked again. Fights don’t get solved on facebook. So I comforted him, told him he had nothing to worry about and vented my anger by going on a shopping spree with one of my travel companions. This was one week before I would go home.

Once I arrived back home I was really sick from the jetlag. Me and Oli had agreed to spend the day together, but since I felt really crappy, I messaged him saying I wanted to meet the next day. I much rather be alone when I’m sick than be lousy company. But he called me, obviously worried sick about our future together, so I told him to come home with me.

Him calling me was probably a really good thing, once I saw him again I knew how much I loved him and that we needed to discuss his insecurity and how offended I was. So we talked, not that day because I was tired and not feeling too well, but a couple of days later. After all, especially when you’re going long distance, nothing’s more important than just trusting each other. Something we’re pretty good at now!

A long distance relationship isn’t the easiest thing, but it’s manageable. When one of you is travelling and the other one’s still home though, things get a whole lot harder. I never thought of home while travelling, I was too busy meeting new people, partying and being on busses for hours on end. Olivier on the other hand was at home, in a daily (be it busy) routine, but still left with a lot of time to worry.

Nevertheless you get through it, if you trust each other, communicate regularly and think wisely about what discussions to postpone until you see each other in real life 😉 (or, let’s say, on skype if it’s really urgent).