Life On The Front Lines


MEAN STREETS: A Muslim woman in an Antwerp shopping district

Along the windswept sidewalk of Hollandstraat in Antwerp North, the half-built shell of what was meant to be the neighborhood's first official mosque is boarded up, with only the stumps of two unfinished minarets poking above the construction site's walls. Work was shut down more than a year ago, thanks to a stop-the-mosque campaign orchestrated by Filip Dewinter, the leader of Belgium's far-right Vlaams Belang party; non-Muslim residents protested against it and lawyers acting for anti-immigrant groups sued its builders for fire-code violations. "Look at this," says Dewinter now, waving a dismissive hand at the mosque's shell. "It's just a few...

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