A post is being shared on social media with a claim that Molenbeek town in Belgium is the first European town with a 100 percent Muslim population. Let’s fact-check the claim made in the post.
Claim: Molenbik town (Belgium) is the first European town with a 100 percent Muslim population.
Fact: No official information regarding the religious composition of the Molenbeek population was found in the Belgium official census. Various estimates in the last 4-5 years have put the Muslim population in Molenbeek to be around 25-45 percent. Also, no credible information regarding the other comments in the post was found. However, Molenbeek has been identified to be in connection with Islamic extremism on various occasions. Hence the claim made in the post is FALSE.
When we searched on the internet for the information given in the post, no credible reports were found about Molenbeek having 100 percent Muslim population. Molenbeek (or ‘Molenbeek-Saint-Jean’) is one of the municipalities in Brussels (the capital of Belgium). On the website of Belgium – Official Census 2011, it is mentioned that the population of Molenbeek is 92,661, but no official information regarding the religious composition of the population was found. According to a report published by the Brussels Institute for Statistics and Analysis (BISA) in 2021, the population of Molenbeek municipality is around 98,000.
In various articles published by multiple news agencies in the last 4-5 years, it can be seen that the Muslim population in the Molenbeek has been estimated to be around 25-45 per cent. While ‘Reuters’ article in 2017 mentions – ‘Belgium does not keep statistics on religion or race, but an estimated seven percent of the population is Muslim – rising to 45 percent in Molenbeek, independent researchers say’, ‘The New York Times’ article in 2016 says – ‘41 percent of the population of Molenbeek is Muslim’. Also, in an article published by the ‘Goethe-Institut Brüssel’ in 2016, it can be read – ‘In 2013, 36,450 out of 94,650 Molenbeek residents, or nearly 40 percent of the population, were Muslim.’ The ‘Bloomberg CityLab’ article mentions – ‘Local Muslims, who form 25 to 30 percent of the area’s population……’. Other articles mentioning the Muslim population in Molenbeek can be read here and here. None of the articles mentions that Molenbeek has a 100 percent Muslim population.
Also, no credible information regarding the other comments in the post was found. However, Molenbeek has been identified to be in connection with Islamic extremism on various occasions. On the ‘BBC News’ website, it can be read – ‘Paris and Brussels terror attacks: The Molenbeek connection. The focus in Brussels is on the north-western suburb of Molenbeek, where several extreme Islamist cells are known to have been operating’. More news articles on the issue can be read here and here.
To sum it up, Molenbeek municipality in Brussels (Belgium) does not have a 100 percent Muslim population.