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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities => Politics & Religion => Topic started by: Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 09:10:59 AM

Title: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 14, 2006, 09:10:59 AM

Posts on the good, not just the bad and the ugly belong here.


October 07, 2006

MUSLIM yobs who wrecked a house to stop four brave soldiers moving in after returning from Afghanistan sparked outrage last night.
The house in a village near riot-torn Windsor had BRICKS thrown through windows and was DAUBED with messages of hate.
Four young Household Cavalry officers who had planned to rent it were also the target of phone THREATS.
They were yesterday forced to look elsewhere to live ? after top brass warned them against inflaming racial violence near the Queen?s Windsor Castle home.
Last night furious Shadow immigration minister Damian Green said: ?This is a shocking development.?

Colleagues of the officers branded the vandalism a ?disgrace?. A source at the regiment said: ?These guys have done nothing but bravely serve their country ? yet they can?t even live where they want in their own country.? The ?3,000-a-month detached home in picturesque Datchet, Berks, is less than a mile from Windsor Castle. It was attacked as extra police were drafted into Windsor ? where battles have raged for days between Asian and white gangs.
On Wednesday a Muslim-run dairy was firebombed.
The young officers ? from the same regiment as Prince Harry ? had planned to use the four-bed house for rest and recuperation after months risking their lives on the frontline.
Louts struck two days after the four arrived in uniform in an Army Land Rover to view it.
The source said: ?A gang of local Muslims set about keeping them away. They hurled bricks through the windows and then wrote offensive graffiti across the front of the house.? The vile messages included one in 4ft letters on the drive ? warning: ?F*** off?.
Sources inside Windsor?s Combermere Barracks ? where the officers are based ? confirmed Muslims had made calls threatening the men.
NI_MPU('middle');NI_MPU('Embedded for DHTML');The scandal comes as Tony Blair today pledges the Army in Afghanistan can have ANYTHING it needs to hammer the Taliban. Writing exclusively in The Sun he declares that Our Boys are ?the best in the world?.
A Household Cavalry insider said of the Muslims? insult to Britain?s heroes: ?Everyone in the regiment is really upset. It?s one thing coming under attack in Helmand in Afghanistan but quite another getting this abuse in England. The officers were determined to face down the yobs and still move in ? but didn?t want a race riot on their hands.?
Police hunting the vandals confirmed: ?One line of inquiry is that it is racially aggravated.?
The house?s owner Johanna Ledwidge refused to comment beyond saying she was very upset. A shocked neighbour in the quiet street said: ?We pride ourselves in this neighbourhood that we welcome all cultures.?
Tory MP Philip Davies said of the attack: ?This is outrageous.
?If there?s anybody who should f*** off it?s the Muslims who are doing this kind of thing. Police should pull out the stops to track down these vile thugs.?
Sir Andrew Green, director of the think-tank Migrationwatch UK, said: ?Incidents like this are absolutely inexcusable and seriously undermine efforts by all sides to achieve integration. Those who choose to live in this country owe a loyalty to Britain.?
A spokesman for letting agency Kings, who are marketing the property, said: ?It was an isolated case of vandalism. We do not know the reasons behind it.?


Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 16, 2006, 04:17:09 AM
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 17, 2006, 05:34:15 AM

Union Federation Wants National Muslim Holiday
UTRECHT, 14/10/06 - The CNV trade union federation feels that a Muslim feast should be introduced as a bank holiday in the Netherlands. The Christian trade union federation is willing to sacrifice a Christian holiday.

CNV vice chairman Rienk van Splunder wishes "to offer Muslims the freedom to practice their faith". The federation is prepared to sacrifice Whit Monday or Easter Monday for a free day during the Sugar Festival. This is the feast day held to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting.

Van Splunder feels the feast days of other religions are insufficiently honoured in the Netherlands. By introducing official holidays on such feast days, he hopes to create "freedom and respect for one another".

Last year, CNV reported it was not yet prepared to sacrifice Whit Monday for a free day during the Sugar Festival. "But his can no longer be sustained in 2006," as Van Splunder stated Friday.

According to Van Splunder, Whit Monday and Easter Monday originate from the Christian tradition but the holidays have long lost their Christian meaning. "For most Dutch people, these two holidays have turned into extra shopping days". The CNV vice chairman denies that he is calling into question the Christian tradition of The Netherlands.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 17, 2006, 08:26:10 AM

16 October 2006
By Julie Mccaffrey

IT is smaller than a 10 pence piece and all but invisible to people standing just inches away.
Yet Nadia Eweida's tiny white gold cross is at the centre of a huge legal row that has engulfed Britain's biggest airline and infuriated religious groups.
Check-in worker Nadia, 55, was forced to take unpaid leave by British Airways after refusing to remove the Christian emblem. But she claims it is a clear display of double standards as Muslims can wear head scarves and Sikh males their turbans.

"It seems that only Christians are forbidden to express their faith," she told the Mirror. "I am not ashamed to be Christian and shouldn't be made to feel that way. I want people to know I am a Christian when they meet me. Just like people know when they meet a Muslim."

The case echoes that of Fiona Bruce, the newsreader who has not worn her cross necklace on television since BBC governors debated whether it would cause offence to other religions. And it bears striking similarities to the Muslim teacher Aishah Azmi, from Dewsbury, Yorkshire, who is taking legal action after being suspended for wearing a veil in lessons.

It will only add to the row over religious clothing after Jack Straw asked Muslim women to ditch their veils.

Hundreds of Nadia's colleagues have demanded she be reinstated and yesterday Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain insisted:

"Frankly, I think the British Airways order for her not to wear a cross was loopy."

As backing for Nadia grows, BA is faced with rumours of staff strikes, Christian boycotts and a slump in ticket sales.

JOHN Andrews, communications officer for the diocese of Bath and Wells, said: "I think BA is being extremely offensive to members of the Christian faith.

"It is rather more than an ornament. It is more than an item of jewellery."

Meanwhile Nadia, from Twickenham, West London, is set to sue for religious discrimination.

She said: "My case shows a company so scared of upsetting a minority that it has swung too far to the other side and upset the majority.

"It is clearly not fair that I am prohibited from wearing my cross, when Muslim ladies are allowed to wear a hijab and Sikhs freely wear turbans.

"They immediately identify that person's religion. I imagine that's why the teacher in Dewsbury is fighting to wear her veil.

She should be allowed to wear it in the classroom. I respect her views but what I don't respect is one rule for some and another for others."

Ironically, the row started the day after Nadia, who has an exemplary seven-year record with British Airways and is based at Heathrow's Terminal Four, attended a training course on diversity and dignity at work.

"We spent the day learning how to integrate and understand different cultures, religions, sexual orientations and political allegiances," she recalled.

"The next day my duty manager asked me to take off my cross. I said it was an expression of my faith. But she refused to accept that.

"I'd worn it many times, but all of a sudden it was an issue. "I was sent to see the customer services manager, who then sent me home."

NADIA, who is single and looks after her elderly mother, was born in Egypt to an Egyptian father and English mother.

She believes that, instead of constantly trying not to offend a minority faith, employers should demonstrate equal consideration towards people of all faiths.

"As a Christian in a Muslim country, I was in the minority and held tightly to my faith," she explained. "I wear a cross because it reminds me what Jesus Christ did for mankind. I think I am within my rights to wear it."

Nadia, who attends church up to seven times a week, has the backing of her local MP Vincent Cable, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, who called BA "disgraceful and petty". And she also has the backing of her union, the TGWU.

However Nadia, whose great grandfather Thomas Paine helped found the Salvation Army, claims to be overwhelmed by all the attention.

She said: "I didn't expect this to escalate. And it seems that the more people who know about my case, the angrier they become.

"But I am not getting angrier, I am growing more determined.

"My ultimate aim is firstly to win an apology from British Airways, saying sorry to me for their behaviour and sorry to all their Christian workers who wish to express their faith.

"Secondly, I want to return to the job I loved. I'm not ashamed of what has happened, and if I go back I won't have my tail between my legs.

"Sometimes it takes one person to make a change by putting their head above the parapet. And if that has to be me, then so be it. I am a loyal and conscientious employee of British Airways but I feel I must stand up for the rights of all Christians, and all citizens."

A BA spokeswoman emphasised that Miss Eweida has not been suspended and said an appeal was due to be heard some time next week.

She said BA recognised that employees may wish to wear jewellery including religious symbols. "Our policy states these items can be worn, underneath the uniform. There is no ban.

"This rule applies for all jewellery and religious symbols on chains and is not specific to the Christian cross."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 18, 2006, 04:44:38 PM
 Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Socialist Canada
Posts: 2,713 
 School bans Christian chastity ring but allows Muslim and Sikh symbols


A secondary school has come under fire for banning Christian pupils from wearing rings symbolising a belief in chastity until marriage.
Millais School in West Sussex has banned the silver 'purity rings', arguing that they fall foul of the school's no-jewellery policy, which only allows pupils to wear simple single stud earrings.
But the school has been accused of double standards as it allows Muslim pupils to wear headscarves and Sikh pupils kara bracelets as a means of religious expression.
The ban is the latest in a series of episodes where organisations ban Christian jewellery. Earlier this week British Airways banned an employee from wearing a cross necklace. The Rev John Brown of Middleton-on-Sea argues that the ban should be lifted as it is 'discriminatory' against Christians.
Rev Brown, 78, a retired Church of England vicar said: 'The ban is totally discriminatory, compared with the way Muslim girls in that school are treated, they are allowed to wear head scarves, symbolising their faith.
'The girls are wearing rings to show their religious belief in abstaining from sex until marraige, it means a great deal to them, so I think it's quite wrong it should be banned.'
Heather and Philip Playfoot have been in dispute with the school in Horsham over the issue for two years.
Their 15-year-old daughter Lydia began wearing her ring - which is inscribed with a biblical verse - in June 2004.
The Playfoots claim Lydia and up to a dozen pupils have been punished for breaking the rules.
Lydia, who no longer wears the ring to school said she feels 'betrayed' by the school.
'My ring is a symbol of my religious faith. I think, as a Christian, it says we should keep ourselves pure from sexual sinfulness and wearing the ring is a good way of making a stand.''
Her parents Heather, 47, a housewife and Phil, 49, a minister in a nondenominational church, are considering taking legal action.
Mr Playfoot said yesterday: 'We hope the school will recognise the ring as a legitimate expression of the childrens' Christian beliefs.'
Mrs Playfoot added: 'The ring is a reminder to them of the promise they have made, much the same as a wedding ring is an outward sign of an inward promise.
'It's a discriminatory policy. We don't want her education to be disrupted because of it but we do want her to feel free to wear something that is very significant.'
Lydia's ring comes from Silver Ring Thing, an evangelical American Christian movement. It has encouraged a growing number of teenagers to make a 'pledge of chastity'. The silver ring demonstrates commitment to this pledge.
The movement was founded by father- of-three Denny Pattyn in Yuma, Arizona, in 1995. He launched it after discovering Yuma had the highest teenage pregnancy rate in Arizona.
Silver Ring Thing launched in Britain in 2004, promoting abstinence before marriage. More than 20,000 members have signed up at roadshows in the U.S. and Britain.
Leon Nettley, headmaster of Millais, said in a statement that the school's own sex education programme already stressed that underage sex is illegal, and encouraged pupils to discuss the issues.
He added: 'The school is not convinced that pupils' rights have been interfered with by the application of the school's uniform policy. 'The school has a clearly published uniform policy and sets high standards in this respect.'
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 21, 2006, 08:45:19 PM

Remember Oriana Fallaci? She had a hard time with the "politically correct" crowd with her last book, because it didn't toe the liberal line. Here's an excerpt from an interview with her on the occasion of her new book "The Force of Reason" (from ).

In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne said in a speech at the U.N.: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere to go to the northern hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory." In other words, says Fallaci, what Islamic armies have not been able to do with force in more than 1,000 years can be achieved in less than a century through high birth rates. She cites as evidence a 1975 meeting of Islamic countries in Lahore, in which they announced their project to transform the flow of Muslim immigrants in Europe in "demographic preponderance."

The "sons of Allah," as Fallaci calls them, do not make a secret of their plans."A respected Muslim cleric told the crowd: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you. Thanks to our Islamic laws we will conquer you." The full interview follows: May 04, 2004, 8:34 a.m.

Forceful Reason

Fallaci issues a wake-up call to Europe.

By Lorenzo Vidino

"Oriana Fallaci" is not a household name in the United States, but it cannot be uttered in Europe without generating a heated reaction. Even though her 2002 book, The Rage and the Pride, was translated into English (by Fallaci herself) and sold many copies in the U.S., it was on the other side of the ocean that intellectuals, politicians, and ordinary citizens passionately debated the views of the celebrated Italian journalist.

The Rage and the Pride is either loved or hated; the positions Fallaci takes in it leave no middle ground. Outraged by the events of 9/11, Fallaci criticizes both Muslims (bent, according to her, on conquering the West and annihilating its culture) and Europeans (described as spoiled, hypocritical, and blind to the mortal threat represented by Islamic expansionism). Fallaci's views as expressed in the Rage and the Pride caused an uproar in politically correct Europe, death threats and lawsuits included. Now, two years later, Fallaci has published a new book, entitled La Forza della Ragione (The Force of Reason), which continues the discourse she began in The Rage and the Pride.

As its title suggests, The Force of Reason is not dictated by the (sometimes excessive) fury that inspired The Rage and the Pride, but it gives a more accurate explanation of why Europe has decided not to defend its identity and to surrender to what she calls the "Islamic invasion." With the sarcasm and uniquely direct style that characterizes her work, Fallaci carefully examines the historic and political reasons that have led Europeans to vilify their own culture, consistently embrace anti-Americanism, and pander to every request from the increasingly powerful Muslim communities that populate the dying Old
Continent. Her analysis does not leave much hope for the future of Europe, although she takes a far more optimistic position on her adoptive country, the United States (Fallaci currently lives in New York).

The long introduction to The Force of Reason recounts the intellectual lynching to which Fallaci was subjected following the publication of The Rage and the Pride. The PC establishment, which she refers to as the "Modern Inquisition," crucified her, submerging her with lawsuits and accusations of being racist and fomenting a religious war. But all of this publicity just played into Fallaci's hands, as sales of The Rage and the Pride soared into the millions. But what has really struck Fallaci in the wake of The Rage and the Pride are the letters she has received from readers throughout the world.

One of the most significant was written by an Italian, who thanked her for "helping me to understand the things I thought without realizing I was thinking them." And this is Fallaci's goal: provoking Europeans into realizing what is going on right under their noses and getting rid of their fear to say something that goes against the PC dogma. According to Fallaci, the "Modern
Inquisition" has managed to keep individuals in fear of expressing what they believe: "If you are a Westerner and you say that your civilization is superior, the most developed that this planet has ever seen, you go to the stake. But if you are a son of Allah or one of their collaborationists and you say that Islam has always been a superior civilization, a ray of light...nobody touches you. Nobody sues you. Nobody condemns you."

Fallaci has her own interpretation of the massive Islamic immigration that is rapidly changing the face of European cities. She sees it as part of the expansionism that has characterized Islam since its birth. After reminding the reader how Islamic armies have aimed for centuries at the heart of Europe (a part of history that is not taught anymore in Europe, since it would offend
the sensitivity of Muslim pupils), reaching France, Poland, and Vienna, she lays out her case, claiming that the current flood of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa is part of a carefully planned strategy. Fallaci uses the words of Muslim leaders to support this thesis.

In 1974, former Algerian President Houari Boumedienne said in a speech at the U.N.: "One day millions of men will leave the southern hemisphere to go to the northern hemisphere. And they will not go there as friends. Because they will go there to conquer it. And they will conquer it with their sons. The wombs of our women will give us victory." In other words, says Fallaci, what Islamic armies have not been able to do with force in more than 1,000 years can be achieved in less than a century through high birth rates. She cites as evidence a 1975 meeting of Islamic countries in Lahore, in which they announced their project to transform the flow of Muslim immigrants in Europe in "demographic preponderance."

The "sons of Allah," as Fallaci calls them, do not make a secret of their plans. A Catholic bishop recounted that, during an interfaith meeting in Turkey, a respected Muslim cleric told the crowd: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you. Thanks to our Islamic laws we will conquer you." But what really makes Fallaci's blood boil is the West's inability to even
acknowledge this aggression. A large part of her book is dedicated to analyzing how the main European countries pander to the arrogant demands of radical Muslim organizations, how they are unable to defend their Jewish citizens from acts of Islamic militant violence (often blamed on neo-Nazis and almost never on the Muslim perpetrators, even when the evidence clearly proves otherwise), and said countries' unwillingness to be proud of their cultures and identities.

Amid Fallaci's bleak vision for Europe, however, a ray of hope comes from America. In a very emotional last chapter, Fallaci describes her admiration in witnessing the 2004 New Year's Eve celebrations in Times Square. In a sharp contrast with the fear-constrained Europeans, thousands of New Yorkers decided to defy the Code Orange terror alert and party hard in the face of the terrorists. Proud to honor itself, young and determined, America is perceived by Fallaci as the only hope for the West. In this unprovoked cultural war that has been waged on the West, America should lead the way, but it cannot do it alone. According to Fallaci, the West has not realized that it is under attack, and that this war "wants to hit our soul rather than our body. Our way of life, our philosophy of life. Our way of thinking, acting and loving. Our freedom. Do not be fooled by their explosives. That is just a strategy. The terrorists, the kamikazes, do not kill us just for the sake of killing us. They kill us to
bend us. To intimidate us, tire us, demoralize us, blackmail us."

Movingly passionate, The Force of Reason is a desperate wake-up call for the West and for Europe in particular. In Italy, despite a complete silence from the media (who have decided not to make the same mistake they made with The Rage and the Pride, when their criticism made the book's sales skyrocket) the book has sold a half million copies in just two weeks. A translation into English is imminent, making The Force of Reason readily accessible for those in the U.S. who want to learn more about the dire situation Europe faces.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 22, 2006, 04:10:32 AM
Hat tip to GM for this one too:

The West's Self-Imposed Censorship
By Amir Taheri
Gulf News | October 13, 2006

In Communist-ruled East Germany, they had a term for it: pre-emptive obedience. This meant guessing the future orders of the politburo and obeying them before they were issued. East Germany was thrown into the dustbin of history a long time ago. However, "pre-emptive obedience" is making a comeback in re-unified Germany and several other European countries.

It was based on "pre-emptive obedience" that the German Opera in Berlin decided to cancel its production of Mozart's Idomeneo after the managers decided that it might anger Muslims. The opera had already been shown in 2003 without incident and no Muslim group had called for it to be withdrawn. Thus, the managers were obeying orders that had not been issued.

A few days after the Idomeneo scandal it was the turn of French philosopher Robert Redecker to do a bit of "pre-emptive obedience" by going into hiding after publishing a newspaper column that some of his friends feared might anger Muslims. The fact is that quite a few Muslim writers have published essays more daring than Redecker's without going into hiding under police protection, thus resisting "pre-emptive obedience" of orders that might come from "Islamofascist" groups.

"Pre-emptive obedience" was also at work when the Whitechapel Art Gallery, one of London's major art exhibition venues, decided to withdraw a number of paintings by the surrealist Hans Bellmer. The reason? The management decided that the erotic paintings might "hurt the sensibilities of the Muslim community" which is strongly present in London's East End of which Whitechapel is a part. Again, no Muslim had seen the paintings or would have been able to interpret them as "an erotic assault on the Quran", let alone demand that they be withdrawn.

Thanks to "pre-emptive obedience", a wave of self-censorship has also hit the traditionally bawdy world of German carnivals. The Dusseldorf carnival, for example, has banned any gear that might appear "Islamic" and thus designed to "hurt Muslim sensibilities". A work by the Swiss sculptor Fleur Boecklin was also withdrawn from public view in Dusseldorf after it was branded "a misrepresentation of Islam as an aggressive faith".

Self-censorship for alleged fear of Islamic revenge has hit other areas of life in Europe.

In Spain, folkloric ceremonies and carnivals marking the expulsion of the Moors from Andalusia have been cancelled in all but a handful of villages, ending a 400-year old tradition.

In Germany, France and Britain numerous illuminated manuscripts of Persian poetry and prose have been withdrawn because they contained images of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and other historic figures of Islam.

In most European countries, an official black of list of books has emerged, containing works deemed to be "hurtful to Muslim sentiments". The list includes the names not only of such major European authors as Voltaire and Thomas Carlyle but also of Muslim writers whose work has been translated into European languages. For example, the novel Haji Agha by Sadeq Hedayat, translated into French and published in the 1940s, is no longer available. The novel Four Pains by Cyrus Farzaneh has also disappeared from French bookshops and libraries along with The Master by Darvish.

Last month a British publisher, acting on "pre-emptive obedience", cancelled plans to publish the translation of Twenty Three Years, a controversial biography of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) by the late Iranian author Ali Dashti. Literary agents and book publishers have no qualms about admitting that they would not touch any manuscript that "smells like stirring the Muslims into a rage". One editor tells me that he has rejected at least 10 manuscripts in the past year alone because he did not wish to "risk controversy or worse" with Muslims. "I don't want to live under police escort," he says.

The American author and feminist Phyllis Chesler is still trying to find a British publisher, while her colleague Nancy Korbin has just lost her American publisher. In both cases, fear of angering Muslims is cited as the excuse for what is, in fact, "pre-emptive obedience".

The practitioners of "pre-emptive obedience" often claim they are acting in accordance with the best principles of multiculturalism.

"We wish to show respect for our Muslim neighbours," says a spokesperson for the Whitechapel Art Gallery.

While museums in Germany and Britain are hiding works that show images of the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), Turkish and Iranian museums continue to display their tableaux containing his images.

Sometimes the imagined threat of "Islamic anger" is used for settling of scores that have nothing to do with Islam. In the Russian city of Volgograd (former Stalingrad), for example, there are no more than a few hundred Muslims. And yet the Russian government has just closed down the local newspaper based on the claim that it had hurt "Muslim sensibilities" by publishing a cartoon that shows Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) along with Moses and Jesus, watching some people fighting on television. The truth is that the local branch of the United Russia Party, the political mouth piece of President Vladimir Putin, had been trying to shut the newspaper for years. The supposed feeling of "Muslim sensibilities" is nothing but an excuse for an attack on media freedom.

Ugliest evils

The truth, however, is that blaming Muslims for censorship, one of the ugliest evils in any civilised society, is an insult to a majority of Muslims. The adepts of "pre-emptive obedience" see Muslims as childish, irrational and incapable of responding to works of literature and art in terms other than passion and violence.

The party of "pre-emptive obedience" violates one of the basic principles of the western societies, that is to say freedom of expression. And, that makes it harder for Muslim democrats to persuade their co-religionists that, rather than fear freedom, they should learn to benefit from it.

The party of "pre-emptive obedience" hurts Muslim interests in another way. By presenting Muslims as agents of censorship and intolerance, it incites the non-Muslim majority against them while presenting the most reactionary fundamentalists as the sole legitimate representatives of Islam.

Self-censorship in Europe also provides the despotic regimes in Muslim countries with an excuse for their systematic violation of the right to free expression. While Muslim writers and artists are fighting and, in some cases, even dying to defend their freedom of creation it would be a sad irony to see that same freedom undermined by the party of "pre-emptive obedience" in the West.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 23, 2006, 03:47:58 AM
Fiddling While Europe Burns
By Aaron Hanscom | October 23, 2006

"It has become politically correct to attack Islam, and this is making it hard for moderates on both sides to remain reasonable.?

That?s the opinion of Imam Wahid Pedersen, a Danish convert to Islam, quoted this month in a New York Times article. 

Where has Pedersen been these past few years? The truth is that today any criticism of certain aspects of Islam -- whether coming from a documentary film, Danish cartoons, the Pope, or the former British foreign secretary -- results in seething Muslim rage and feeble Western obsequiousness. Indeed, contrary to the laments of sensitive Muslims, recent events have shown that it has actually become politically correct to celebrate Islam at every opportunity. 

There is no better time to celebrate than a holiday, which is why the CNV trade union federation in the Netherlands wants a Muslim feast to be introduced as a bank holiday.  The free day would allow Muslims to celebrate the end of Ramadan during the Sugar Festival. By ?offer[ing] Muslims the freedom to practice their faith,? CNV vice chairman Rienk van Splunder wishes to ?create freedom and respect for one another.? Van Splunder seems to be unaware that the Dutch government already funds schools, mosques, and community centers where Muslims are able to practice their religion. The main barrier to the harmony Van Splunder seeks comes from the fact that a great many of the one million Muslims in the Netherlands desire the freedom to live under Shari?a law.


Taking a cue from Dutch politicians like Piet Hein Donner, who has said that he sees no objection to undemocratic Shari?a law in the Netherlands provided it is imposed by ?democratic means," the CNV apparently wants to speed up the process by creating a national Muslim holiday in the Christian nation. To make room for the Sugar Festival, the federation is willing to sacrifice Whit Monday or Easter Monday. Van Splunder may in fact have been correct when he said that these Christian holidays have lost their meaning in an increasingly secularized nation. But replacing them with the celebration of the Islamic month of fasting would be viewed by Muslims as nothing less than a complete rejection by the Dutch of their own traditions.


Spain is one county that knows a thing or two about sacrificing their traditions for the benefit of Muslims. The Spanish newspaper El Pais recently reported that several towns in the Valencia region have made some curious changes to their traditional festivals commemorating the liberation of Spain from more than 700 years of Muslim domination.  Apparently, last year?s angry response by Muslims to the publication of the Danish cartoons spooked some Spaniards so much that certain customs practiced during the celebration of the Reconquista have been abandoned.  Exploding Mohammeds -- made by packing the head of a wood-and-cardboard Mohammed dummy with fireworks -- will no longer be seen in the village of Bocairent. The mayor of Bocairent, Antonio Valdes, explained his reasoning: ?It just wasn?t necessary, and as it could hurt some people?s feelings, we decided not to do it.?


The mayor?s sentiments are not uncommon.  Mayor Alfredo Sanchez Monteseirin of Seville has suppressed the festive character of the ?Feast of San Fernando? because a joyful celebration of the reconquest of the city in 1248 by King Ferdinand III of Castille might upset Muslims.  Meanwhile, there has been opposition to the ?Toma de Granada,? which celebrates the arrival of the Catholic Kings to the last Muslim holdout on the Iberian Peninsula.


The Spanish town of Badajoz has figured out a politically correct way for festivals to be a blast without actually blasting Mohammed dolls: celebrating its founding by Arab invaders.  At this year?s Al-Mossassa festival there was no suppression of traditions, perhaps because it featured veil dancing and not flamenco.


Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar talked about the newest double standard in a speech last month at the Hudson Institute: ?It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologize for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries.?


Aznar might have added that the only apologies are coming from guilt-stricken individuals who believe that "Islamophobia" is the biggest threat to world peace. Explaining the genesis of the ?Venise et l?Orient? festival now running in Venice, organizer Marie George Nida told ?The exhibition highlights cross-fertilization between the West and Islam to counter war mongering clich?s that now make international headlines.? Nida?s premise is flawed: International headlines tell of countries like Italy continuing to arrest Islamic terrorists intent on attacking the West.  An Italian city deciding to host an exhibition celebrating Islamic contributions to Western civilization and arts isn?t likely to change any holy warrior?s mind.


The real malleable minds are those of young children, which makes a story out of Nyssa, Oregon, so disturbing. A local school district has been teaching the ?five pillars? of Islam and having students learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims. Concerned parent Kendalee Garner told that her 13-year-old-son is being ?indoctrinated that Islam is a religion of peace, and being dressed up as a Muslim, being taught prayers, and scriptures out of the Quran.?  Superintendent Don Grotting assured parents that students were learning about the ?contributions to math, science, medicine, and the arts by the Muslim population."


But it is the automatic celebration of all aspects of Islam that is so disturbing. Honest assessments of Islam, especially from Muslims and their Western apologists, are what will bring about a much-needed reformation in Islam.  Until that day, the gulf between the West and the Muslim world will only widen. 


Nowhere is this more evident than in Britain. The British government has long tried to win favor with Muslim minorities by celebrating their differences.  According to the London Telegraph, multicultural favors like using tax dollars to fly Muslim scholars to Britain and encouraging financial institutions to comply with Islamic requirements are only deepening the rift.  A document released by the Church of England revealed the effects of such policies:

Indeed, one might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the Government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community.

Here is the uncomfortable truth facing Islam?s Western apologists: Politically correct concessions to the Islamic community, instead of encouraging moderates, have only empowered the extremists.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 23, 2006, 04:03:12 AM
It's Not Just Osama
By Carol Gould | October 23, 2006

It is admirable that British police foiled a spectacular terror attack this past summer, and equally noble that the United States has been so supportive to Britain in the war on terror.

But what is of concern is the hour-by-hour, obsessive rhetoric about al Qaeda, al Qaeda and al Qaeda.

We have an appalling situation in Great Britain, where the BBC and BAFTA-winning filmmakers like Adam Curtis use Dr Azzam Tammimi, an avowed enemy of Israel, as ?spokesman? on television programmes. I tell my stunned American colleagues about the proliferation of Muslim ?spokespeople? who pepper the airwaves from dawn until dusk, pontificating about every subject under the sun. In the past eighteen months these experts, ranging from Shami Chakrabarti, Faisal ?Israel Has No Right to Exist? Bodi, Sir Iqbal ?I boycott Holocaust Memorial Day? Sacranie, Mohammed Abdul-Bari, Ghada Karmi, Ahdaf Soueif, Abdul Bari-Atwan and many others have been particularly ubiquitous since July 7, 2005. This is because those in authority in Britain felt that ?reaching out to the Muslim community? would prevent further terror attacks.

To add to this, various liberal and left-wing activists, as well as mainstream politicians, have enjoyed unprecedented access to the media in their campaigns to blame George Bush and his Zionist neoconservative cabal for the ?Muslim rage? rampaging across Great Britain from Glasgow to Cardiff to Luton to London. The new head of the Muslim Council is said to want to see a limited degree of sharia law brought to Britain. The ?Father of the House of Commons,? Tam Dalyell MP, blames a cabal of Jews for American foreign policy that so enrages young British Muslims.

I attended the Islam Channel?s ?Global Peace and Unity Conference? at the ExCel Centre in London in December, 2005, thinking it would be a celebration of Islamic/Arab/Asian culture, food and literature. Since I cannot visit Pakistan, Libya, Sudan, Syria or other Muslim connubations because I would be detained and perhaps beheaded, I felt this was a way to enjoy Islamic culture in safety and security. Sadly I was in for a rude awakening.

Behind a large grey curtain was a crowd of 25,000 angry young Muslims being whipped up to a Jihadist frenzy all day by a succession of viscerally hostile white British agitators that included the keffieh-clad lawyer Michael Mansfield QC, Yvonne Ridley and George Galloway MP. Ridley described Israel as ?that vile little nation? and the British police as ?Jackboot Britain.? Galloway exhorted the crowd to express its hatred of the USA and Israel by taking to the streets. The former cricketer and avowed opponent of Gen Musharraf, Imran Khan, gave a bizarre speech about the poor Germans between the World Wars being like the Muslim world today, humiliated by the Western powers.

Not once in the entire day did anyone mention al Qaeda or Osama bin Laden. The hours and hours of rabble-rousing, mostly by British-born Muslims, concentrated on three basic enemies: the United States, Israel and Zionists, wherever they may be. The hatred and aggression of this group is something I will never forget. I felt I was in the midst of a Nuremberg-style rally and was terrified that someone would kill me if they discovered I was American-born and a staunch supporter of Israel.

I was the only non-Muslim writer and filmmaker to attend the event (my full reflection on the day may be found here).

Tonight?s al Qaeda-obsessed reporting on British and American networks is once again ignoring the point Melanie Phillips and other commentators have been trying to drive home for years: that Osama bin Laden does not need to open his mouth for British Muslims to be inspired to plan and stage horrifying atrocities.

The ?Global Peace and Unity? event at the ExCel centre in London in December 2005 left no doubt in my mind that a massive number of British Muslims, mostly young, have been inculcated with abject hatred of Americans and Jews and that Osama?s goading is not necessary to lead them to the ultimate martyrdom. I look at Michael Chertoff tonight and appreciate his vigilance, but he is not surrounded every day, as many of us in London are, by angry young men and women who have been born and educated in their country of domicile and who want to destroy as much as they can in the name of America-hatred and Jew-loathing.

The small community of Anglo Jewry has been at the receiving end of what Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks calls ?a tsunami of anti-Semitism.? This is a double-edged sword: I have met pin-striped-suited Englishmen who have told me they wish more Jews would be killed when suicide bombers attack Israel. I have met otherwise sensible Britons who become embarrassingly loud and abusive about everything under the sun in America, be it food, films, baseball or clothes. This quickly accelerates into a tirade about the Zionists bullying Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney and Blair into ?crusades? to destroy the Middle East. If sober, educated Britons can rail about Israel and the USA from one end of the British Isles to the other, this creates a lethal mix for the angry young Muslims. ?If the local population hates the bloody Yanks and Jews as we do,? they deduce, ?it is open season for our dream of martyrdom in our quiet houses in Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Hampshire.?

If the eminent historian and novelist An Wilson can rail against Israel and the USA in his weekly columns, does this not give reassurance to radicals? When Brian Sewell vents about, of all things, the ?greedy Jews? of Manchester wanting to build a Holocaust memorial, and the aforementioned Tam Dalyell laments the ?cabal of Jews? that drives Anglo-American policy, do extremists not feel comforted? When the New Statesman prints a cover showing a British Union Jack flag being impaled by a Jewish Star, is this not a partnership with terrorists? When streams of commentators flood television, radio and the print media denouncing the USA and Israel, do the potential airline-bombers not feel reassured they are in heaven on earth?

One day this past summer I was in my local ? Halal? ( this is not meant as a barb -- it is now a Halal- geared bank) branch of my bank when two young men became embroiled in a very public shouting match with one of the managers. She firmly told them that their account had been closed down because of ?large amounts of money going in and going out.? They argued that they had ?20,000 Pounds and will just open a new account? but she suggested they go elsewhere. It was indeed odd that the manager had been so indiscreet as to chastise these young men in public, but one had the impression these scenarios unfolded every day. I have watched young men withdraw massive amounts of cash and stuff it into their jackets or into black bags.

Should I have gone to the anti-terror police? Maybe so. But I did not, worried that I would be regarded as a paranoid Islamophobe. It is this very fear amongst the general population that also contributes to the environment of free-range terror planning.

At my local corner shop in London, run by cockney Jack for forty years, the new owners from Bangla Desh have emptied the shelves of bacon, sausages and even tinned ham and Kotex. They will no longer carry any goods that the majority local population had been buying for generations. Building societies think twice about displaying piggy banks and giving them away to children. Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the recent head of the Muslim Council of Britain, boycotts Holocaust Memorial Day and Muslim spokesman Inayat Bungalawala writes to the ?Jewish Chronicle? that the creation of the state of Israel was the great disaster of the last century. The Muslim Public Affairs Council UK (MPACUK) allows shocking rhetoric onto its website but is not proscribed and is opening new branches in Ilford and Birmingham.

These ?leaders? should be bringing their people together with other religious groups in Britain, but what I have seen in the past year has confirmed my worst fears: that the British Muslim community is moving farther and farther away from the tranquil assimilation that every other ethnic and religious group has enjoyed in the United Kingdom. When I first came to England over thirty years ago, brilliant professionals who had not been born here were storming the creative scene, Tom Stoppard, Herbert Wise, Ken Adam amongst them. Other fine minds who have contributed to the rich tapestry of British culture have come from Italy, Africa, the West Indies and America, and they have integrated with ease. From what I saw at the alarming ?Global Peace and Unity Conference,? British Muslim youth are not joining the ranks of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, the Royal Ballet or the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

It is not Osama who is driving the spectacular rise of terror in Britain. It is the support from the white population, the Israel-bashing from public figures -- London Mayor Ken Livingstone being a prime agitator -- and the support the radicals feel they enjoy from a large swath of Britain that is creating this happy breeding ground. The church has obsessed about boycotting Israel, the media fixate on ?Zionist conspiracies? and the imams, many of whom do not speak English, exhort their young worshippers to anything but ballet lessons, football sessions or outings to the Natural History Museum.

The American and British authorities need to get real about the threat from Britain and Europe and stop concentrating all of their attentions on the madrassahs of Pakistan. The elderly white Highlander and war hero who gave me a lift from the train station to my Scottish holiday hotel spent the entire trip berating me about the evils the Jews, Yanks and Zionists have inflicted on the world. If he is so full of rage, what is the Muslim population feeling, when they know his ilk will give them succour?

What has happened in Britain in this turbulent year did not surprise me. Those of us who live there, in the ?coming Caliphate,? know that the threat is huge, is massively supported and may never be extinguished. I am not hopeful.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 24, 2006, 03:30:32 AM
European Muslims worry about frank new Islam debate
Mon Oct 23, 2006 10:29 AM BST

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) - Britain's heated debate about Islamic veils reflects a growing frustration with Muslims in Europe that risks further isolating these minorities rather than integrating them, leading European Muslim activists say.

The new tone in Britain, which Muslims on the continent long saw as a model of tolerance where criticising minorities was politically incorrect, marks a watershed in the way Europeans talk about Islam, they told Reuters.

Islamist radicalism, ethnic segregation and clashes of values must be discussed openly, they agreed, but the increasingly polarised debate squeezes out moderates on both sides.

Former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw sparked off the British debate this month by saying the full facial veils some Muslim women wear hindered integration. Some Muslim leaders called his remarks offensive and accused him of whipping up Islamophobia.

"Intolerance is growing in Europe," said Dalil Boubakeur, president of France's Muslim Council, who saw the new mood as a response to security fears and the radicalisation of a small minority of Muslims who do not accept European values.

"There is a sense we are living in a different time," said Dilwar Hussain, head of policy research at the Islamic Foundation in Britain.

"With all the security concerns, people feel they can be more frank," Hussain said. "The reaction from Muslims is to recede further and further into a sense of victimhood."

The activists said politicians and the media blamed religion for problems that are really economic and social, such as unemployment and discrimination.

"Before, we were just immigrants from Turkey or Morocco or other places, but then they found something to combine us," said Famile Arslan from the Dutch group Islam and Citizenship.

"All immigrant problems have been Islamised. All Muslims have been criminalised," she said.


European policies towards Muslim minorities have ranged from the tolerant British and Dutch "multicultural" path to France's strict ban on Muslim headscarves in state schools.

But the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and the bombings in Madrid and London have deepened concerns about whether Europe's 15 million Muslims all accept European values.

"Europeans were stunned to see that even people who were quite integrated could do these things," Boubakeur said.

Ali Kizilkaya, head of Germany's Muslim Council, said Muslims were now seen "as a kind of security problem".

Yazid Sabeg, France's most successful Muslim businessman, accused the media of tarring all Muslims with the terrorist brush. "Demonising Islam by confusing it with Islamism is the new opium of the people," he complained.

One reflex by politicians and the media -- to call on Muslim leaders to denounce violence any time Islamist radicals strike -- was misguided because it identified the peaceful majority with crimes they did not support, the activists argued.

"Muslims in Europe feel the need to apologise for deeds they didn't contribute to," Arslan explained.


The activists agreed the disarray of Muslim communities, which are often split by differences of ethnicity, dogma and politics, frustrated efforts to respond constructively and left radical voices to be the ones most frequently heard in public.

"Muslims are not a homogenous group," said Arslan. "There is no Muslim community. Maybe that is our biggest problem."

Hussain agreed: "There isn't anything like a coherent group of people you can tell what to do or what not to do."

While most activists said public clashes could degenerate into anti-immigrant campaigns, one Danish Muslim leader said the uproar over caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad there earlier this year had helped calm tensions by promoting a dialogue.

"The cartoon crisis did function as a wake-up call for both Danish politicians and Muslim leaders," said Yildiz Akdogan, spokeswoman for the Democratic Muslims group.

When more such cartoons surfaced this month, the government promptly denounced them and Muslim leaders avoided exploiting the issue, she said. "The final outcome is good."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 25, 2006, 04:13:31 PM

Extremist lawyer wants flag of Islam on Leinster House
19/10/2006 - 5:49:00 PM

The flag of Islam should be flown over Leinster House, an Islamic extremist said tonight.

Speaking in Dublin before addressing a Trinity College debate, Anjem Choudray also reiterated controversial views that Muslim violence is justified in certain circumstances.

The British-born lawyer, 39, angered the Irish Government last year when he said that Ireland risked becoming a target for a 9/11 style attack because it allowed US war planes to refuel at Shannon Airport.

Mr Choudray said: ?As a Muslim, I believe Islam is superior to every other way of life and that it can resolve all the social and economic problems that Ireland suffers from.

?And as a symbol of that, the flag of Islam should be flown over the D?il.

?This is symbolic of the fact that all societies will be run better according to God?s law.?

Mr Choudray, who has visited Ireland several times, was invited by the Philosophical Society at Trinity College to debate Islamic violence with other speakers.

He added: ?I think it is quite important that violence is defined and the Islamic context is presented because it is not as simple to say Muslims can never use any force or violence or fight to defend themselves.

?There is a context where Muslims have a right to defend their lives, their honour and their property.?

Referring to the US military stopovers at Shannon Airport, he said tonight: ?If US warplanes are using Irish soil, then Ireland is seen as aiding and abetting the war on so-called terror.

?Ireland says it has a position of neutrality but I don?t think it is seen that way in the Muslim world at all.?

Mr Choudray also warned that the Pope must be careful with his public statements so that he doesn?t offend Islam.

He said: ?He has enough advisers to tell him that this is a sensitive issue and that Muslims take their religion very seriously.?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on October 27, 2006, 02:05:51 PM
France's Permanent Intifada
New York Sun Editorial
October 27, 2006

Only days after the violence in the Paris suburbs erupted onto the world's front pages a year ago, these columns described the battles between the Muslim youths and French police, in a November 4, 2005, editorial,"Intifada in France." We wrote: "If President Chirac thought he was going to gain peace with the Muslim community in France by taking an appeasement line in the Iraq war, it certainly looks like he miscalculated. Today the streets of the French capital are looking more like Ramallah and less like the advanced, sophisticated, gay Paree image Monsieur Chirac likes to portray to the world, and the story, which is just starting to grip the world's attention, is full of ironies. One is tempted to suggest that Prime Minister Sharon send a note cautioning Monsieur Chirac about cycles of violence."

The "Intifada" label was dismissed in many quarters. On November 5, John Lichfield in Britain's Independent wrote "from the centre of the world's most beautiful city" that "despite the inflammatory rubbish written by some right-wing commentators in the French press about a ?Paris intifada', this is not an Islamic insurrection or a political revolution of any kind." He predicted that the riots "will burn themselves out in a few days, just as they have before." The Washington Post editorialized on November 8 that "? It's not the European version of an intifada: Islamic ideology and leaders play no role in the disturbances." Bernard-Henri Levy wrote on November 9 in the Wall Street Journal that "this is not, thank heaven, a matter of an Intifada wearing French colors."

Well one year later, the riots are still going on, and the French themselves are now calling it an intifada. France's Interior Ministry reported that almost 2,500 police officers were "wounded" in the first six months of the year. Rescue workers need police escort in the Muslim dominated suburbs. The AP recently reported from Paris: "On a routine call, three unwitting police officers fell into a trap. A car darted out to block their path, and dozens of hooded youths surged out of the darkness to attack them with stones, bats and tear gas before fleeing. One officer was hospitalized, and no arrests were made. The recent, apparently planned ambush was emblematic of what some officers say has become a near-perpetual and increasingly violent state of conflict between police and gangs in tough, largely immigrant French neighborhoods."

The head of a police trade union Action Police, Michel Thooris, recently told the interior minister, Nicholas Sarkozy, that the situation in the slums can be described as a "permanent Intifada." Almost every day police cars are pelted by, among other objects, Molotov cocktails. Mr. Thooris told journalists that "We are in a state of civil war, orchestrated by radical Islamists." He said that "Many youths, many arsonists, many vandals behind the violence do it to cries of ?Allah Akbar' (God is Great) when our police cars are stoned," the AP reported.

We recount this not out of any schadenfreude. But all our lives, we have thought of France in a certain way, as Charles of Gaulle once said. We would actually like to see the Fifth Republic come to its senses and see that its interests are with the rest of the Free World and that appeasement is not an answer, not in France, not in Israel, and not in Iraq. We are not with the anti-immigration movement.

One of France's faults is what we, in one of last year's editorials, called its "failure to integrate its immigrant Muslim community." It's a community that "lives in areas rampant with crime, poverty, and unemployment, much the fault of France's prized welfare system ? Immigration into a country with a dirigiste economy is a recipe for trouble, which is why supporters of immigration into France have long warned of the need for liberalization."

But there has been no liberalization. The French labor market is as inflexible as ever. Unemployment still is in the double digits, and it's highest among the immigrants and minority populations. All this, as we noted, "is compounded by the image France projects of itself to its Muslims, which one can surmise is the reason why Muslims see rioting as the solution to any grievance." Monsieur Chirac didn't join the war in Iraq out of fear of his domestic Muslim population. And so, "unsurprisingly when faced with some unhappiness they believe they can pressure the French state into submission."

The way out for France is two-fold. Firstly to reform its welfare state and allow the Muslim dominated slums to integrate into French society. The second is to send a signal to the French Muslim community that France doesn't buckle under threats, that it sees itself as part of the West, allied with America, Israel, and the Free World. On a domestic level, that means employing Mayor Giuliani-style "zero-tolerance" policing in the suburbs. On a national level, France would do well to send troops to fight the Islamists in Iraq and prove themselves to be true members in the coalition in the war on terror. As it is, France is learning the profound truth of which President Bush has begun speaking in respect of Iraq ? if we retreat, the enemy will follow us home.

Title: Book Review: Murder in Amsterdam
Post by: buzwardo on October 30, 2006, 03:30:57 PM
City Journal
The Avant-Garde of the Apocalypse
The Dutch and their Muslims
Theodore Dalrymple
25 October 2006

Murder in Amsterdam: The Death of Theo Van Gogh and the Limits of Tolerance, by Ian Buruma (Penguin Press, 288 pp., $24.95)
Whatever the other effects of the murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh, they have certainly raised the Dutch profile in the global press. A country whose stability, prosperity, and tolerantly pragmatic response to social problems long raised a yawn of ennui among newspaper editors suddenly found itself not only at the forefront of the news but also as emblematic of all the problems of the modern, complex, interdependent, and highly confused world. The Netherlands was suddenly in the avant-garde of the apocalypse, experiencing the coming clash of civilizations. Not since the seventeenth century had Holland been so important.

Ian Buruma seems uniquely placed to explain the Dutch situation to the rest of the world. He is a prolific writer who lived the first half of his life in Holland. Completely fluent in Dutch, he knows his country?s history but has also lived in many other nations and therefore can see his own with an outsider?s, as well as an insider?s, eye. Above all, he focuses on the influence of recent history, and how it is taught and remembered, upon present politics. For example, he wrote a book comparing the ways in which Germany and Japan (both of whose languages he speaks) have dealt with their war records.

The recent Dutch past hampers them in responding to Islamic extremism. The Dutch war record is not glorious: a greater proportion of Dutch Jews wound up deported and killed during the German occupation than of any other Western European country?s. Buruma does not mention that the Dutch also contributed more men to the SS than most other occupied nations. No sooner was the occupation over, moreover, than they engaged in a brutal but hopeless war to retain the East Indies as a colonial possession.

A bad conscience, then, bubbled under the calm, prosperous surface of Dutch life, waiting to emerge at precisely the wrong moment?when Dutch society faced the genuine challenge of Islamic extremism among large numbers of Moroccan immigrants. Frankness then became impossible, and intellectuals drew false analogies between anti-Islamist opinion and the anti-Semitism that had led to the inglorious war record. The Dutch then had to fight with at least one, and sometimes two, hands tied behind their back.

Where self-censorship exists on a large scale, eventually a maverick will arise who breaks the collective silence, often in a rather vulgar and unattractive way. Theo Van Gogh was such a maverick. Coming from a secure background in Holland?s haute bourgeoisie, he felt privileged and safe enough to mock, deride, and insult his society?s conventions: indeed, from an early age, no doubt because of inherent temperament, he felt compelled to do so. For example, he started a scatological magazine, The Dirty Paper, at his primary school. He seems to have come into the world with a desire to shock and get seen doing so.

He thought he was a licensed jester. His ability to shock depended, of course, upon the persistence in Dutch society of the Calvinist mentality of purse-lipped moralism, now as frequently employed against those who dare suggest that the rank, and deeply ideological, hedonism of Amsterdam is not only unattractive but morally reprehensible as against those, such as fornicators, traditionally regarded as sinners. Scratch a Dutch liberal, and you will find a Calvinist moralist not far beneath the surface.

This Calvinism, however, was tolerant to the extent that it did not prescribe slaughter in the streets for those deemed to have insulted it. Its worst sanction was disapproval?precisely what Van Gogh sought. Van Gogh hid under so many layers of rather crude irony that it became impossible to know what he really believed, if anything; and it was beyond his comprehension that anyone would take anything so seriously, or perhaps literally is a better word, as to kill for it.

Van Gogh could be funny. For example, at one public forum, he remarked on his surprise that an Islamist who was taking part in the discussion needed the protection not only of Allah but of bodyguards as well. There may be disagreement about the socio-cultural and psychological roots of Islamism, but a sense of humor certainly isn?t among them. The Islamist left the forum in a rage, with Van Gogh exclaiming, ?Allah knows best! Allah knows best!?

Buruma is good at depicting the crosscurrents of Dutch society. Its political class is?or at least until recently was?a self-selected elite, whose members sought office without ever wishing to change policies. It required its members to be gray and featureless, without flamboyance or ostentation: observing and listening to one ex?prime minister, for example, I thought I was seeing a better-than-averagely-dressed member of an eastern European politburo. He spoke fluently but said nothing; his fleshy face suggested years of official luncheons and dinners in banqueting halls without natural light; I doubt that he had paid for a sandwich for decades.

Meanwhile, back in le pays r?el, pressures and discontents have mounted. The original idea of Dutch employers was that Moroccan men from desperately poor villages would come for a time to provide cheap labor (they liked their immigrants poor and illiterate, because they would be easier to control and less likely to organize and cause trouble), and then go home again once the sweeping or assembling or whatever menial task they were to perform was done. Instead, the men stayed and their families joined them. The assumption was that they would eventually assimilate, once they perceived the full beauty of the Dutch way of life.

The native Dutch population increased arithmetically, that of the immigrants geometrically, until whole neighborhoods, usually of public housing, became in effect Moroccan colonies. As Marx might have put it, the colonizers found themselves colonized.

Three factors retarded the newcomers? integration into Dutch society. The first was a social security system that allowed large numbers of people to subsist without working and therefore without engagement in the wider society, so that the creation of mental ghettoes soon followed the creation of physical ones; the second was the ideology of multiculturalism, which was born of a combination of liberal guilt and indifference to the real fate of immigrants; and the third was the permission given to second generation immigrants to seek their spouses back in Morocco, so that the most retrograde aspects of their parents? native culture could survive.

Interestingly, Dutch-Moroccan young men seek sexual liaisons with European-Dutch girls, whom they regard as being ?easy in the sexual sense,? but prefer Moroccan women (from Morocco) as wives. Village girls, they believe, are compliant, undemanding, obedient, and easily cowed. When you are at the bottom of the social pile, domination of women can seem particularly important and rewarding, and it compensates for all manner of other humiliations. Unfortunately, it is a primitive compensation that inhibits genuine social advance.

Buruma does not disguise from us the unattractive side of a modern and extremely liberal western society such as Holland?s. Returning to live a few months in Amsterdam, he stays in a house in the famous, or infamous, red-light district:

The virtually naked ?window prostitutes,? from all the poor countries in the world, pose in their dimly lit rooms along the canal, in old houses decorated with gracefully carved seventeenth- and eighteenth-century gables and neon signs offering live sex shows. It is easier in that part of town to buy a large electric dildo than a newspaper.
This is not attractive, to say the least; and it is hardly surprising that some reflective young men, with the normal frustrations of youth as well as the difficulties of being not fully at ease in either society, Dutch or Moroccan, turn to a doctrine that seems to them to solve all social and personal problems at once and gives them besides a powerful sense of mission and purpose.

Buruma is quite clear about the absurdity of Islamism as a doctrine. Its intellectual nullity is patent. He lets Islamists and their sympathizers speak for themselves, and perhaps the most startling moment comes when one of his interlocutors, by no means the most stupid, objects to the slaying of Van Gogh because it was done during Ramadan.

However, he is much less clear about what part Islam itself plays in the situation. The subtitle of the book leads us to expect an answer as to whether Islam is now compatible with liberal democracy and the kind of religious tolerance that we took for granted until recently.

Optimists might point to India, for example, which has the second largest population of Muslims in the world, but which has maintained the highest standards of democratic freedom of any country in the Third World. However, pessimists might reply that it is the memory and very real threat of intercommunal violence, from which the Muslims must emerge the overall losers because they are so much in the minority, that keeps freedom alive in India and Muslims loyal to, or at least compliant with, the democratic order. If they scented weakness in the Indian state, they?or rather the Islamists among them?would go on the offensive.

You sense reluctance on the author?s part to tackle the really difficult questions, for fear of being too offensive. He is so judicious that he arrives at no judgment. At the book?s end we are no nearer knowing what the limits of tolerance are or should be than we were at the beginning. For instance, the author treats Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch-Somali woman who made the offending film, Submission, with Van Gogh and now lives under permanent threat of death, with a certain disdain, as if he fears to identify with anyone too closely, and he underscores her privileged background, as if it somehow vitiated her argument that Islam has at the heart of its doctrine and way of seeing the world the justification for oppression and intolerance. This is not to say that all Muslims are oppressive or intolerant, any more than that all people of democratic or egalitarian sentiment treat their social inferiors with deep respect. Hirsi Ali may be wrong in what she says, but it is important to prove her wrong, not merely mildly deprecate her as the scion of privilege and a person given by temperament to extreme positions.

The smell of political correctness wafts gently through the book. We read, for example, that all doctrines have the potential for violent extremism. Is this really true? Quakerism, for example? Does one really expect Christian Scientists to turn politically violent after reading Mary Baker Eddy? On another occasion, Buruma permits a young man of Moroccan origin, who turned out badly though his two brothers did well, to explain without challenge his persistent failure in life, despite his intelligence and obvious ability, by reference to discrimination. Why should he have faced such incapacitating discrimination, and not his two successful brothers? It is possible, of course, that a reason exists, but Buruma does not seek it out.

That said, his book is highly readable, and it is not as if readers of English are well-supplied with books about the cultural and political situation of Holland. Since both Holland and Belgium are now very important, not perhaps in the statistical sense, but in a symbolic sense, since both experience with particular acuteness pan-European problems, this book is welcome. I would have preferred it to be harder-edged, but perhaps that is because I have the makings of a fanatic.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 02, 2006, 08:35:43 AM;jsessionid=0TBMNM00S0QNBQFIQMFSFFWAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/11/02/wfrance02.xml

Youths challenge the French state
David Rennie in Paris
Last Updated: 2:17am GMT 02/11/2006

Symbols of the French state, including policemen, firemen and postmen, are under intensified attack from disaffected youths as the country faces the worst race relations crisis in its history.

Hardly a night passes without gangs ? many of them from immigrant families ? attacking police cars, buses and emergency rescue teams.

Firefighters attempt to extinguish a burning city bus

Yesterday, the weekly magazine Le Nouvel Observateur published a confidential report drawn up by a public service trade union, the CGT, containing scores of eye-witness accounts of brutal attacks on public servants who work in the worst suburbs, or "banlieues", from gas board workers to staff from the electricity company.

Its publication follows the revelation that attacks on police have soared this year, with some 14 a day, and a growing number of incidents in which officers have been lured into ambushes.

This has prompted a warning that the day France witnesses the lynching of a policeman is not far off.

The CGT report painted a graphic picture of violence: blocks of cement dropped on paramedic crews; washing machines pushed off balconies on to fire engines; electricity company agents too scared to cut off customers who have not paid bills, after being attacked with knives, guns and fists.

On the Right and Left, politicians have accused youths of singling out symbols of the state, in an attempt to show that they, and not the French republic, are the law in their run-down neighbourhoods.

Shortly after three weeks of rioting that gripped French suburbs last November, Nicolas Sarkozy, the interior minister and favourite to be the Centre-Right candidate for the French presidency next year, said the violence, which left scores of businesses in ruins and nearly 10,000 cars burned, was above all "territorial". Gangs were trying to seize control of a piece of territory, "and rule it by force", Mr Sarkozy said in an interview with Le Point magazine.

Mr Sarkozy is admired and loathed in equal measure for his vocal pledges to crack down on such "scum", as he called rioters last year, and his policies of sending heavily armed police units into the worst neighbourhoods, in a show of force.

This week, a year later, Le Nouvel Observateur found a clear echo in the views of a politician on the opposite end of the spectrum, the Communist mayor of Sevran, a poor north-eastern Paris suburb. Youths who burned buses or attacked firemen were only hurting their own families and neighbours, who would be deprived of the few remaining public services, said the mayor, Stephane Gatignon. "For them it's a way of showing they exist, that this is their home, their territory."

The banlieues' inhabitants include millions of immigrants. Some police representatives, notably the small, fringe trade union Action Police, squarely blame radical Muslim imams for whipping up the violence, talking of an "intifada" in the banlieues. But a leaked report by the French police intelligence service, the Renseignements G?n?raux (RG), concluded last year that Islamists had "no role in setting off the violence", which it described as a "popular revolt" against the authorities.

A more recent report by the RG, leaked to Le Figaro last month, also reported, in a tone of some relief, that rumours of angry youths in different suburbs linking up in organised networks were not true.

A close study of the CGT trade union report also revealed a less than political motivation for attacks. Many workers from the gas board, electricity or telephone companies reported being attacked after accidentally witnessing drug deals, or stumbling on caches of drugs or weapons belonging to criminal gangs.

Crime in the banlieues is described as a part of life, and while billions of pounds have been spent on some estates many remain grim concrete widernesses with unemployment at 20 per cent, or double the national average, with youth unemployment still higher.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 03, 2006, 12:48:07 PM
Sorry for the lack of URL.  This came to me on 10/24/06 from a usually reliable source:

Police Tuesday near Osnabrueck, in western Germany, arrested a 36-year-old terrorism suspect, identified only as Ibrahim R., after they had searched his apartment and computer.

The Iraqi man, described by his landlord as "helpful but crazy," had administered an Internet chat room where he supported terrorist ideologies and even tried to recruit new personnel for al-Qaeda.

Police had surveyed him for more than a year and found that he downloaded and disseminated audio and video messages by al-Qaida bosses Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri. Officials said he likely didn't have direct contacts to al-Qaida, but what he shared with the terror network was a profound hatred against the United States and the West, hatred that he discharged onto the Web.

Rolf Tophoven, a German terrorism expert, recently told United Press International that the Internet, used for "propaganda and inciting purposes," has become the Islamists' most important recruitment tool.

"The Web has turned into something like the University of Jihad -- it has become a virtual self- service shop of Islamist terror," he said. Officials in Berlin agree. Wolfgang Schaeuble, Germany's interior minister and thus the top security chief, has long called for closer monitoring of the Internet.

Last week's arrest was preceded by a failed train bombing, when two men placed homemade bombs on two regional trains. They had found the plan to build the explosive devices on the Internet, and although the bombs failed to detonate, the attempt shook Germany's intelligence community to the core, as both individuals had not previously appeared as terror suspects.

In recent months, more and more videos have popped up online that have German subtitles, to spread the jihadist messages for converts with little to zero knowledge of Arabic, but a large potential for violence.

In an update of the country's anti-terror laws, lawmakers gave Schaeuble some $165 million to improve the war against online terrorism. Observers say this funding was much needed: While federal police and intelligence agents already comb through the Web on the lookout for terror propaganda, the number of Islamist Web sites has grown exponentially in recent months. The money, the German news magazine Der Spiegel writes in its latest issue, may result into new computers and the creation of an additional 50 jobs assigned to survey the Web.

According to Spiegel Online, Schaeuble as early as the beginning of this year has asked his experts to develop a concept for a new department of Berlin's Anti-Terror Center, a federal institution designed to combat terrorism in Germany. The new department will be called Center for Internet Monitoring and Analysis and will go live in 2007, the magazine wrote. Germany reportedly wants to cooperate with other countries (mainly with the United States and its western European partners) to fight online terrorism.

"More than before and at best round the clock we have to know what happens in Islamist forums, analyze hints for developments and try to arrest possible disseminators of propaganda in Germany," August Hanning, the deputy interior minister, told the magazine.

Some lawmakers even want to go a step further. Uwe Schuenemann, the conservative interior minister of Lower Saxony , wants Web site providers to sign guarantees that they take terrorism-related material off their servers. He also calls for outlawing the download of terrorism videos.

Ingo Wolf, the Free Democrat interior minister of North-Rhine Westphalia, wants to enable law enforcement agents to not only survey terrorism suspects who go online, but also access their hard drives, according to Der Spiegel, via spy ware or similar programs.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 03, 2006, 01:36:38 PM

Germans Nab Iraqi in al-Qaida Web Case
Iraqi arrested in Germany for allegedly spreading al-Qaida messages on Web

 BERLIN, Oct. 10, 2006


(AP) An Iraqi man suspected of spreading messages by al-Qaida leaders on the Internet in the past year was arrested Tuesday in Germany, prosecutors said.

The 36-year-old, who was identified only as Ibrahim R., was arrested near the western city of Osnabrueck, and his apartment was searched, the prosecutors said.

He was accused of spreading audio and video messages by leaders of al-Qaida and al-Qaida in Iraq on the Internet from his home "in several cases since Sept. 24, 2005," _ and "in doing so of having supported these groups in their terrorist activities and aims."

The prosecutors said the messages were from Osama bin Laden, his deputy Ayman al-Zawahri and former al-Qaida in Iraq leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in a U.S. airstrike north of Baghdad in June.

Prosecutors did not elaborate on the man's alleged activities or say how he got the messages.

It was unclear whether the man was suspected of posting the messages on the Web himself or of having circulated messages already online, and there also was no word on whether he was believed to have acted alone.

Prosecutors gave no details of the contents of the messages.

The top security official in Lower Saxony state, Uwe Schuenemann, said the man had been under observation for a year because he had been accused of involvement in another crime, of which he gave no details.

The Iraqi had applied for a residence permit, but it had not yet been approved, Schuenemann said.

The man was to be brought before a federal judge Wednesday for a decision on whether he could be held pending possible charges of supporting a terrorist organization _ a charge that falls short of membership in a terrorist group.

Germany introduced legislation designed to prosecute supporters of foreign terrorist groups on its soil after it emerged that three of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers had lived and studied in Hamburg.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 10, 2006, 11:55:07 AM

Terrorist threat to UK - MI5 chief's full speech
Following is the full text of a speech delivered on November 9, 2006 by Eliza Manningham-Buller, Director-General of MI5, on the terrorist threat facing the UK:

The International Terrorist Threat to the UK

I have been Director General of the Security Service/M15 since 2002. Before that I was Deputy Director General for five years. During that time, and before, I have witnessed a steady increase in the terrorist threat to the UK. It has been the subject of much comment and controversy. I rarely speak in public. I prefer to avoid the limelight and get on with my job. But today, I want to set out my views on:

the realities of the terrorist threat facing the UK in 2006;
what motivates those who pose that threat
and what my Service is doing, with others, to counter it.
I speak not as a politician, nor as a pundit, but as someone who has been an intelligence professional for 32 years.

2. Five years on from 9/11, where are we? Speaking in August, Deputy Assistant Commissioner Peter Clarke, the head of the Anti-Terrorist Branch of the Metropolitan Police, described the threat to the UK from Al-Qaida-related terrorism as ?real, here, deadly and enduring?. Only last week the Home Secretary said the threat will be ?enduring ? the struggle will be long and wide and deep.? Let me describe more fully why I think they said that. We now know that the first Al-Qaida-related plot against the UK was the one we discovered and disrupted in November 2000 in Birmingham. A British citizen is currently serving a long prison sentence for plotting to detonate a large bomb in the UK. Let there be no doubt about this: the international terrorist threat to this country is not new. It began before Iraq, before Afghanistan, and before 9/11.

3. In the years after 9/11, with atrocities taking place in Madrid, Casablanca, Bali, Istanbul and elsewhere, terrorists plotted to mount a string of attacks in the UK, but were disrupted. This run of domestic success was interrupted tragically in London in July 2005. Since then, the combined efforts of my Service, the police, SIS and GCHQ have thwarted a further five major conspiracies in the UK, saving many hundreds (possibly even thousands) of lives. Last month the Lord Chancellor said that there were a total of 99 defendants awaiting trial in 34 cases. Of course the presumption of innocence applies and the law dictates that nothing must be said or done which might prejudice the right of a defendant to receive a fair trial. You will understand therefore that I can say no more on these matters.

4.  What I can say is that today, my officers and the police are working to contend with some 200 groupings or networks, totalling over 1600 identified individuals (and there will be many we don?t know) who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas. The extremists are motivated by a sense of grievance and injustice driven by their interpretation of the history between the West and the Muslim world. This view is shared, in some degree, by a far wider constituency. If the opinion polls conducted in the UK since July 2005 are only broadly accurate, over 100,000 of our citizens consider that the July 2005 attacks in London were justified.  What we see at the extreme end of the spectrum are resilient networks, some directed from Al-Qaida in Pakistan, some more loosely inspired by it, planning attacks including mass casualty suicide attacks in the UK. Today we see the use of home-made improvised explosive devices; tomorrow?s threat may include the use of chemicals, bacteriological agents, radioactive materials and even nuclear technology. More and more people are moving from passive sympathy towards active terrorism through being radicalised or indoctrinated by friends, families, in organised training events here and overseas, by images on television, through chat rooms and websites on the Internet.

5.  The propaganda machine is sophisticated and Al-Qaida itself says that 50% of its war is conducted through the media. In Iraq, attacks are regularly videoed and the footage downloaded onto the internet within 30 minutes. Virtual media teams then edit the result, translate it into English and many other languages, and package it for a worldwide audience. And, chillingly, we see the results here. Young teenagers are being groomed to be suicide bombers. We are aware of numerous plots to kill people and to damage our economy. What do I mean by numerous? Five? Ten? No, nearer??. thirty that we know of. These plots often have links back to Al-Qaida in Pakistan and through those links Al-Qaida gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here on an extensive and growing scale. And it is not just the UK of course. Other countries also face a new terrorist threat: from Spain to France to Canada and Germany.

6. A word on proportionality. My Service and the police have occasionally been accused of hype and lack of perspective or worse, of deliberately stirring up fear. It is difficult to argue that there are not worse problems facing us, for example climate change... and of course far more people are killed each year on the roads than die through terrorism. It is understandable that people are reluctant to accept assertions that do not always appear to be substantiated.  It is right to be sceptical about intelligence. I shall say more about that later. But just consider this. A terrorist spectacular would cost potentially thousands of lives and do major damage to the world economy. Imagine if a plot to bring down several passenger aircraft succeeded. Thousands dead, major economic damage, disruption across the globe. And Al-Qaida is an organisation without restraint.

7.  There has been much speculation about what motivates young men and women to carry out acts of terrorism in the UK. My Service needs to understand the motivations behind terrorism to succeed in countering it, as far as that is possible. Al-Qaida has developed an ideology which claims that Islam is under attack, and needs to be defended. This is a powerful narrative that weaves together conflicts from across the globe, presenting the West?s response to varied and complex issues, from long-standing disputes such as Israel/Palestine and Kashmir to more recent events as evidence of an across-the-board determination to undermine and humiliate Islam worldwide. Afghanistan, the Balkans, Chechnya, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Kashmir and Lebanon are regularly cited by those who advocate terrorist violence as illustrating what they allege is Western hostility to Islam.

8.  The video wills of British suicide bombers make it clear that they are motivated by:

perceived worldwide and long-standing injustices against Muslims;
an extreme and minority interpretation of Islam promoted by some preachers and people of influence; 
 their interpretation as anti-Muslim of UK foreign policy, in particular the UK?s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Killing oneself and others in response is an attractive option for some citizens of this country and others around the world.

What Intelligence can do
9.  As I said earlier, I have been an intelligence officer for some 32 years. And I want again to describe what intelligence is and is not. I wish life were like ?Spooks?, where everything is (a) knowable, and (b) soluble by six people. But those whose plans we wish to detect in advance are determined to conceal from us what they intend to do. And every day they learn. From the mistakes of others. From what they discover of our capabilities from evidence presented in court, and from leaks to the media. Moreover intelligence is usually bitty and needs piecing together, assessing, judging. It takes objectivity, integrity and a sceptical eye to make good use of intelligence: even the best of it never tells the whole story. On the basis of such incomplete information, my Service and the police make decisions on when and how to take action, to protect public safety. Wherever possible we seek to collect evidence sufficient to secure prosecutions, but it is not always possible to do so: admissible evidence is not always available and the courts, rightly, look for a high standard of certainty. Often to protect public safety the police need to disrupt plots on the basis of intelligence but before evidence sufficient to bring criminal charges has been collected. Moreover we are faced by acute and very difficult choices of prioritisation. We cannot focus on everything so we have to decide on a daily basis with the police and others where to focus our energies, whom to follow, whose telephone lines need listening to, which seized media needs to go to the top of the analytic pile. Because of the sheer scale of what we face (80% increase in casework since January), the task is daunting. We won?t always make the right choices. And we recognise we shall have scarce sympathy if we are unable to prevent one of our targets committing an atrocity.

And the Service?
10. As I speak my staff, roughly 2,800 of them, (an increase of almost 50% since 9/11, 25% under 30, over 6% from ethnic minorities, with 52 languages, with links to well over 100 services worldwide), are working very hard, at some cost to their private lives and in some cases their safety, to do their utmost to collect the intelligence we need. The first challenge is to find those who would cause us harm, among the 60 million or so people who live here and the hundreds of thousands who visit each year. That is no easy task, particularly given the scale and speed of radicalisation and the age of some being radicalised.  The next stage is to decide what action to take in response to that intelligence. Who are merely talking big, and who have real ambitions? Who have genuine aspirations to commit terrorism, but lack the know-how or materials? Who are the skilled and trained ones, who the amateurs? Where should we and the police focus our finite resources? It?s a hard grind but my staff are highly motivated: conscious of the risks they carry individually; and aware that they may not be able to do enough to stop the next attack. We owe them a tremendous debt of gratitude and I thank them. On July 8 last year I spoke to all my staff. I said that what we feared would happen had finally happened. I reminded them that we had warned that it was a matter of when, not if, and that they were trained to respond ? indeed many had been up all night, from the intelligence staff to the catering staff. I told them that we had received many messages of support from around the world, and that we, along with our colleagues in the police and emergency services, were in the privileged position of being able to make a difference. And we did. And we have done so since.

11.  My Service is growing very rapidly. By 2008 it will be twice the size it was at 9/11. We know much more than we did then. We have developed new techniques, new sources, new relationships. We understand much better the scale and nature of what we are tackling but much is still obscure and radicalisation continues. Moreover, even with such rapid growth, we shall not be able to investigate nearly enough of the problem, so the prioritisation I mentioned earlier will remain essential but risky. And new intelligence officers need to be trained. That takes time as does the acquisition of experience, the experience that helps one with those difficult choices and tough judgements.

What else can others do?

12.  That brings me on to my final point. None of this can be tackled by my Service alone. Others have to address the causes, counter the radicalisation, assist in the rehabilitation of those affected, and work to protect our way of life. We have key partners, the police being the main ones and I?d like today to applaud those police officers working alongside us on this huge challenge, those who collect intelligence beside us, help convert it into evidence for court, and face the dangers of arresting individuals who have no concern for their own lives or the lives of others. The scale and seriousness of the threat means that others play vital roles, SIS and GCHQ collecting key intelligence overseas, other services internationally who recognise the global nature of the problem, government departments, business and the public.

13.  Safety for us all means working together to protect those we care about, being alert to the danger without over-reacting, and reporting concerns. We need to be alert to attempts to radicalise and indoctrinate our youth and to seek to counter it. Radicalising elements within communities are trying to exploit grievances for terrorist purposes; it is the youth who are being actively targeted, groomed, radicalised and set on a path that frighteningly quickly could end in their involvement in mass murder of their fellow UK citizens, or their early death in a suicide attack or on a foreign battlefield.

14.  We also need to understand some of the differences between non-Western and Western life-styles; and not treat people with suspicion because of their religion, or indeed to confuse fundamentalism with terrorism. We must realise that there are significant differences between faiths and communities within our society, and most people, from whatever origin, condemn all acts of terror in the UK. And we must focus on those values that we all share in this country regardless of our background: Equality, Freedom, Justice and Tolerance. Many people are working for and with us to address the threat precisely for those reasons. Because: All of us, whatever our ethnicity and faith, are the targets of the terrorists.
15.  I have spoken as an intelligence professional, describing the reality of terrorism and counter-terrorism in the UK in 2006. My messages are sober ones. I do not speak in this way to alarm (nor as the cynics might claim to enhance the reputation of my organisation) but to give the most frank account I can of the Al-Qaida threat to the UK. That threat is serious, is growing and will, I believe, be with ? us for a generation. It is a sustained campaign, not a series of isolated incidents, It aims to wear down our will to resist.

16.  My Service is dedicated to tackling the deadly manifestations of terrorism. Tackling its roots is the work of us all.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 17, 2006, 07:42:01 PM
Dutch seek ban on burqas in public

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP)-- The Dutch government, facing re-election next week, said Friday it plans to draw up legislation "as soon as possible" banning the head-to-toe garment known as burqas and other clothing that covers the entire face in public places.
The announcement puts the Netherlands, once considered one of Europe's most welcoming nations for immigrants and asylum seekers, at the forefront of a general European hardening of attitudes toward Muslim minorities.

"The Cabinet finds it undesirable that face-covering clothing -- including the burqa -- is worn in public places for reasons of public order, security and protection of citizens," Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk said in a statement.

"From a security standpoint, people should always be recognizable and from the standpoint of integration, we think people should be able to communicate with one another," Verdonk told national broadcaster NOS.

Basing the order on security concerns apparently was intended to respond to warnings that outlawing clothing like the burqa, worn by some Muslim women, could violate the constitutional guarantee against religious discrimination.

The main Dutch Muslim organization CMO has been critical of any possible ban. The idea was "an overreaction to a very marginal problem" because hardly any Dutch women wear burqas anyway, said Ayhan Tonca of the CMO. "It's just ridiculous."

"This is a big law for a small problem," he said. Tonca estimated that as few as 30 women in the Netherlands wear a burqa and said the proposed law could be unconstitutional if it is interpreted as targeting Muslims.

He also said that the security argument did not stand up.

"I do not think people who have bad things in their minds would wear a burqa," he said.

In the past, a majority of the Dutch parliament has said it would approve a ban on burqas, but opinion polls in advance of national elections on November 22 suggest a shift away from that position, and it is unclear if a majority in the new parliament would still back the government-proposed ban. 

Amsterdam's mayor, Job Cohen, of the opposition Labor party, said he would like to see burqas disappear, though he did not advocate a ban.

"From a viewpoint of integration and communication, naturally it's very bad," he told reporters. "You can't speak with each other if you can't see each other, so in that sense, I'd say myself the less (it's worn), the better."

The issue has resonance throughout Europe, Former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw recently caused a stir by saying he wants Muslim women to abandon the full-face veil -- a view endorsed by Prime Minister Tony Blair. In France, the center-right's leading presidential candidate Nicolas Sarkozy has increasingly been adopting some of the rhetoric of the extreme-right.

Germany, which also has a large Muslim immigrant community, has a law banning teachers in public schools from wearing head scarves, but no burqa ban.

In Holland, policies associated with the nationalist fringe in 2002 have been co-opted by the center: holding asylum-seekers in detention centers, more muscle for the police and intelligence services, and visa examinations that require would-be immigrants to watch videos of homosexuals kissing and of topless women on the beach. Everyone must learn to speak Dutch, and Muslim clerics must mind what they say in their Friday sermons for fear of deportation.

The Netherlands is deeply divided over moves by the government to stem the tide of new arrivals and compel immigrants to assimilate into Dutch society. The issue was given added urgency with the 2004 slaying of filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by a Muslim fanatic and the failed attempt to expel a Somali-born critic of Islam.

Around 1 million Muslims live in the Netherlands, about 6 percent of the population of 16 million.

After France banned the wearing of head scarves in public schools, the Dutch government decided to leave that question up to individual schools. Most allow head scarves.

The city of Utrecht has cut some welfare benefits to unemployed women who insist on wearing burqas to job interviews. The city claimed the women were using the burqa to avoid working, since they knew they would not be hired.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2006, 06:29:20 AM
Ser Spiegel, Nov. 17, 2006

Germany's Struggle To Prosecute Terrorists
By Dominik Cziesche

Germany has had little success in jailing suspected accomplices of Mohammed Atta, largely for lack of evidence. A risky foreign mission launched by its security services went badly awry.

On that fateful morning of September 11, 2001, Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli must have known that their lives were about to change forever. The moment the first images of the blazing World Trade Center hit the screens, Zammar, considered a mentor to the attack's ringleaders by Germany's security services, and Mamoun Darkazanli, long suspected of supporting al Qaeda, were speaking on the phone. Shortly afterward, they met up. For about an hour, Darkazanli later recalled, he and Zammar followed the coverage on TV.

Mzoudi on trial (before Hamburg's Higher Regional Court, 2003): Sharing quarters with Mohammed Atta
It was to be their last meeting. For almost five years, Zammar has been languishing in a Middle Eastern prison cell. Darkazanli still lives in his Hamburg apartment, despite the authorities' best efforts to indict him. The fate of these two Islamists epitomizes the dilemma faced by Western democracies in their war against terror. Can it be won without impinging on civilians' constitutional rights? And can a state governed by the rule of law afford to cooperate with countries that use torture in their interrogations?

Zammar was abducted by CIA officers during a trip to Morocco at the end of 2001 and taken to Syria, a country that practices torture. That made Syrian-born Zammar, who had acquired German citizenship in 1982, one of the first victims of "rendition," a U.S. practice that rides roughshod over fundamental legal principles. He is now incarcerated in a 6x3 foot cell, a gaunt shadow of his former 300-pound self.

The German authorities have long been aware of Zammar's circumstances. Back in November 2002, officials from Germany's federal investigative agencies embarked upon a top-secret mission to interview him in Damascus. Their superiors had stipulated in their brief that "under no circumstances may German agencies and their personnel take part, either actively or passively, in torture." If at any time they discovered that a detainee was being treated "inappropriately," they were to halt the mission immediately.

Back in Germany, just after the 9/11 attacks, Zammar had mocked a judge at his trial, saying: "The law obligating me to testify here is not an Islamic law. As a consequence, I do not feel bound by it." But in Damascus, he was proving almost garrulous. Clad in a dark-gray jalabiya and a green army anorak, he chatted to his visitors over pistachios and tea about things that had never passed his lips in Germany. He volunteered, for example, how he had encouraged the 9/11 attackers to enroll at a terrorist training camp.

But Zammar also bemoaned being left to vegetate in his tiny cell. The German officials noted that he looked emaciated, but could discern "no visible sign of infirmity."

The dubious Syrian jaunt did little to further the Germans' 9/11 investigation. Evidence obtained through the efforts of Syrian torturers is inadmissible in a German court. Details of the trip leaked late in 2005 placed Merkel's fledgling government in an embarrassing bind - and left ministers groping for explanations: "It was the unanimous view of all the officials involved" that proper interviewing conditions were "not violated," a spokesperson for the country's new grand coalition said.

In fact, the previous coalition - comprising the Social Democrats and Green Party - had struck a very questionable bargain to secure permission for the interrogation in the first place. In return for access to the prison, the German authorities suspended espionage proceedings against some Syrian intelligence agents. "We wouldn't do that again," says one official today.

The government got itself into trouble of a different kind over Zammar's associate, Darkazanli. In his case, the German investigators played it strictly by the book, but an entire army of German and American experts were unable to produce enough evidence to indict him in Germany.

Probably no other case has damaged Germany's reputation as much as this one, especially in Washington. Intelligence services had to explain why they had not monitored Darkazanli more closely in the build-up to 9/11, while the German federal prosecutor's office was accused of doing too little too late. For weeks on end, the government faced a barrage of media accusations that top suspects had nothing to fear in Germany.

But Darkazanli is by no means the only suspected terrorist to escape prosecution, compounding the impression of legal lethargy. The state's attorneys failed to build cases against most of the hijackers' associates. A handful have quit the country in the interim; some left voluntarily, others were deported. Only one - Ramzi bin al-Shibh - is being held by the U.S. at an undisclosed location.

But many continue to live in Germany - because they are married to German nationals, or still enrolled at universities. And above all because nobody can prove they were complicit in Mohammed Atta's plans.

In the wake of 9/11, the Federal Prosecutor launched proceedings against just two of the terrorists' associates: Abdelghani Mzoudi and Mounir al-Motassadeq, known in Hamburg's department of interior affairs simply as "M & M."

Hamburg's higher regional court sentenced al-Motassadeq to 15 years for being a member of a terrorist organization and an accessory to 3,066 counts of murder. The conviction was then quashed by the country's Supreme Court. In a second trial, the sentence was reduced to seven years. But Germany's Federal Court of Justice this week affirmed his conviction and extended the charges to include 246 counts of abetting murder for the deaths of the passengers and crew members of the airlines used by the hijackers. The court said the evidence proved that al-Motassadeq had been aware that attacks were being planned. It turned the case back to the lower court and said the thousands of deaths in New York and Washington could be taken into consideration when al-Motassadeq is sentenced.

In the original trial - an attempt to convict al-Motassadeq of belonging to a German-based terrorist organization - the courts resorted to sleight of hand. Since supporting foreign terrorist groups was not punishable before September 11, the judges simply reversed the sequence of events. In the court's version, a terror cell based in Germany had decided to carry out attacks in the U.S., before its members traveled to Afghanistan to drum up support. In other words, bin Laden hadn't recruited henchman Atta. Atta was the global mastermind and bin Laden his loyal follower.

Continue to Part 2


Germany's Struggle To Prosecute Terrorists (2)
Return to Part 1

The German Supreme Court rejected this theory as implausible, and overturned the sentence. The lack of statements from key witnesses, including that of Chalid Sheikh Mohammed, also affected their ruling. The strategist behind the attacks is being held by the Americans at an undisclosed location - outside the range of normal jurisdiction, and beyond the reach of even the longest arm of the law. Although German intelligence is privy to some of his testimony, German courts are not - as is also the case with Zammar's statements to the Syrians.

Klaus Tolksdorf, the presiding judge at Germany's Supreme Court, warned that terrorism did not justify "barbarous, uninhibited war." In doing so, he clearly rejected the strong-arm methods advocated by Washington, which former CIA antiterror chief Cofer Black once euphemistically referred to as "taking off our kid gloves." Tolksdorf's words expose the (self-imposed) limitations of the German state, but leave its prosecutors on the horns of a dilemma.

 Knut M?ller / DER SPIEGEL
Islamist Zammar (2001 in Hamburg): "The law is not an Islamic law; as a consequence, I do not feel bound by it"
Like his friend al-Motassadeq, Abdelghani Mzoudi also underwent weapons training at an al Qaeda camp in Afghanistan. He even spent some time living at Marienstrasse 54 in Hamburg, the house where the student terrorists hatched their plot. But Hamburg's higher regional court was forced to acquit him, too - again for lack of evidence.

At the trial, the federal prosecution service and representatives of the country's security services had entangled each other in a web of contradictions. While one was insisting that Mzoudi had been in Hamburg when the attacks were planned, the other was claiming the terrorists had hatched their conspiracy in Afghanistan in his absence. Mzoudi was acquitted, and now lives in Morocco, where he unfailingly sings the praises of Germany's legal system.

According to the Hamburg judge Ernst-Rainer Schudt, Germany's criminal law is designed to handle clubs and associations, but is powerless to stop "sporadic fundamentalist cells springing up," organizations that fail to elect treasurers and submit regular reports.

This plays into the hands of men like Mohammed B. and Abderrazek L., just two of scores of students from Islamic fundamentalist circles.

Mohammed B. was an electrical engineering major who flunked his exams twice as long ago as 1995. After that he reported sick before each further test, to avoid being thrown off his degree program. He was friends with two of Atta's alleged accomplices, Said Bahaji and Zakariya Essabar, both of whom are still at large. In March 2000, his Internet connection was used twice to access a website containing information on U.S. flying schools. But not by him, he claims.

He once wrote to his uncle in Morocco that the Germans were waging war on Islam, but would never win. In the fall of 2003 he returned to Morocco of his own free will; there was no evidence to justify deportation.

Abderrazek L., a short, stocky man, once shared an apartment with Mzoudi. Among his possessions the police found one video showing Chechen Mujahideen beheading a captive. And another in which imams encourage good Muslims to "kill the children of the unbelievers ... drag off their women and destroy their homes."

Once again, the authorities hit a brick wall. "I'd like to stress that being someone's acquaintance doesn't necessarily mean 'knowing' them," said Abderrazek L., detailing his links with the hijackers' associates. "We are all Muslims, and at the mosque we are all brothers." He knew most of those involved in the attacks, but without knowing much about them, he claimed.

And what about the videos? "I didn't watch them all from beginning to end," he professed. And anyway, who's to say he shares the imam's views? He didn't think the attacks of 9/11 were "all that good" - given all the innocent victims, he says.

Abderrazek L. has at least left the country: one of the first from the wider group of people linked with the terrorists. But in the war on terror, his case neither raises the German judiciary's profile nor enhances its image.

In the beginning, things had looked so different. Immediately after September 11, the Germans seemed on the brink of dramatic breakthroughs. Within days the police had made rapid progress, documenting the key information and major participants. They searched Darkazanli's apartment just 48 hours after the attacks, confiscating papers and instructing him to report for questioning two days later. Which he did: the following Saturday Darkazanli duly turned up and was interrogated from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Convicted terrorist al-Motassadeq: Accomplice in the murder of 246 passengers and crew members
"How long have you known Said Bahaji?" he was asked about a man who continues to evade capture. "Does the name Mohammed Zammar ring a bell?" And: "Do you know Abdelghani Mzoudi?" They questioned him about the hijackers and about bin al-Shibh, one of the plotters.

They also quizzed Darkazanli about his business connections. "Don't you find it strange that your business partners in the United States are all in jail for their parts in bomb attacks?"

His answer: "No. I was just looking to make some money with these people. In my line of business, I can't be expected to know what everyone else is up to."

The authorities first took an interest in Darkazanli's unusual connections as early as 1993, when they intercepted a wire transfer from his wife's bank account to the suspected head of an Afghan training camp. The alleged purpose of the payment: "child support." Then there was the discovery of a photo showing Darkazanli wielding a submachine gun in Afghanistan's mountainous Hindu Kush region. And then there was his alleged involvement in the purchase of a ship for al Qaeda, contributing - according to Spanish investigators - 152,000 deutschmarks toward the total price of 760,000 deutschmarks. Darkazanli insists that none of these transactions are connected to terrorism.

In 1998, Mamduh Mahmud Salim - Osama bin Laden's purported financier - was arrested in Bavaria. Since that day Darkazanli, who had power of attorney for one of Salim's accounts in Frankfurt, has been eyed as a major catch.

Federal investigators twice asked prosecutors to institute legal proceedings against Darkazanli prior to 9/11. But they refused.

And so he stayed in his home on a leafy side street in Hamburg's Uhlenhorst quarter, a few steps from the Alster Lake. In the days following the attacks, local joggers were joined by hordes of camera crews, journalists and investigators - all demanding an explanation for the crime. But as he has repeatedly done, Darkazanli denied any links with al Qaeda.

Today, the crowds have disappeared. It looks as if Darkazanli is living happily ever after, having yet again slipped through the prosecution's net, unlike his friend Zammar. And at first glance it seems as if the authorities have suffered yet another setback in their war against terrorism.

But appearances can be deceiving. Before the German parliament retired for its summer recess, it ratified new legislation on EU arrest warrants, allowing the extradition of German nationals to other EU states. This could prove crucial to the Spanish authorities who have long been demanding Darkazanli's handover. Unlike their German counterparts, Spanish prosecutors believe they have the evidence to prove Darkazanli's membership in al Qaeda. They see him as an accomplice of the Islamic fundamentalist Imad Yarkas, who was given a 27-year sentence for his role in the 9/11 attacks.

Darkazanli appealed successfully against the attempted deportation at Germany's Constitutional Court. He was due to be put on an Iberia Airlines flight from Berlin's Tegel Airport to Madrid's Barajas Airport, but the judges suspended the extradition order minutes before take-off. The court requested increased safeguards for German citizens against extradition, which should only be permitted, they ruled, "in cases where the offense has a typical cross-border dimension from the outset and shows a corresponding gravity, as is the case with international terrorism or organized trafficking in drugs or human beings." The government lawyers returned to the drawing board.

It was a convoluted process, they say - unlike the case of Zammar, who was simply blindfolded, bundled onto a plane, and spirited away to a torture chamber. With Darkazanli, the legislation had to be meticulously worded, reworded and reworded again; there were thirty-odd drafts in all. The final law represents the German civil servants' riposte to the mob-like methods of the war on terror. Darkazanli, they say, has yet to fully appreciate the danger he faces.

But - they suspect - that will soon change.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 20, 2006, 03:45:25 AM
A German friend shares these two articles with me about prosecuting Islamofascists in Germany

The Spiegel is Germanys largest and most famous magazine for politics, economics and social matters. It also is very critical. You may be interested:,1518,448921,00.html,1518,449003,00.html

My friend's comments on these two articles:

Ever since the attempted bombings on two trains in Germany, people have become more aware that they could be a potential target for terrorists. As the German government strictly abides torture any kind of illegal action to gather information, they have had a hard time to collect evidence. As you may read as an example in the second story, evidence obtained by the Syrians were not admissible in the German court. Despite the struggle for a verdict, this trial will be the first of many to come. Germany already expelled some radical muslim leaders (one was brought back to Turkey to face trial there). It's a slow development, but Germany wil have more expierence next time and be able to handle such a case more quicker in compliance with german civil law or as the articles closing statement goes "The final law represents the German civil servants' riposte to the mob-like methods of the war on terror."

Motasseq has now been arrested to await the final verdict.


In its online-edition the Spiegel magazine has dedicated a website to the topic of Muslims in Europe, collecting all its english articles. You may be interested:,1518,k-6817,00.html


Several very interesting articles in the final URL.? Very valuable to get the perspective of a major mainstream German publication -- all in English!
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 20, 2006, 04:11:23 AM
Here is one of the articles in that final URL:

Prince Karim Aga Khan IV is considered to be the direct descendant of the Prophet Mohammad and, as the 49th imam, the spiritual leader of the Ismaili Muslims. A minority community within the Muslim faith, the Ismailis include some 20 million members scattered across 25 countries in Central Asia, Europe and Eastern Africa. The Aga Khan himself lives near Paris in Aiglemont Palace. Born near Geneva, the prince grew up in Kenya, Switzerland and London before being educated at Harvard. At the age of 20, he succeeded his grandfather as the Aga Khan, thus becoming a religious leader and the administrator of billions in assets. Fed by his family inheritance and a 10 percent tithing fee from Ismaili Muslims, the Aga Khan channels much of the money into the Aga Khan Development Network, one of the world's most important private development aid organizations. The Aga Khan has two sons from his first marriage - - Rahim, 34, and Hussein, 32. He also has a son from his second marriage to the German princess Gabriele zu Leiningen - - six- year- old Ali Mohammed. The Aga Khan must name one of his sons as his successor, but that choice will remain a secret until his death.
SPIEGEL: Your Highness, in a lecture Pope Benedict XVI quoted Emperor Manuel as saying: "Show me just what Muhammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as a command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." This quotation from the 14th century has caused great uproar in the Muslim world. Why? And what was your reaction?

Aga Khan: From my point of view, I would start by saying that I was concerned about this statement because this has caused great unhappiness in the Islamic world. There appears to be momentum towards more and more misunderstandings between religions, a degradation of relations. I think we all should try not to add anything to worsen the situation.

SPIEGEL: Benedict XVI did explicitly dissociate himself from the emperor's quoted statement. The pope's own position with regard to his lecture is that he wanted it to promote a dialogue; and since then, several times, he has expressed his respect for the world religion that is Islam. Was it just an unfortunate choice of words? Or was he deliberately misunderstood?

Aga Khan: I do not wish to pass judgement on that, nor can I. And it might also be unreasonable for me to presume that I know what he meant. But that (medieval) period in history, to my knowledge, was one of the periods of extraordinary theological exchanges and debates between the Byzantine Empire and the Muslim world. A fascinating time. The emperor's statement does not reflect that, so I think it is somewhat out of context.

SPIEGEL: The theme of Pope Benedict's lecture was different, it was one of his favorites: the link between faith and reason which, he said, implies a rejection of any link between religion and violence. Is that something you could agree on?

Aga Khan: If you interpret his speech as one about faith and reason then I think that the debate is very exciting and could be enormously constructive between the Muslim world and the non-Muslim world. So I have two reactions to the pope's lecture: There is my concern about the degradation of relations and, at the same time, I see an opportunity. A chance to talk about a serious, important issue: the relationship between faith and logic.

SPIEGEL: If the pope were to invite you to take part with other religious leaders in a debate about faith, reason and violence, would you accept?

Aga Khan: Yes, definitely. I would, however, make the point that an ecumenical discussion at a certain stage will meet certain limits. Therefore I would prefer to talk more about a cosmopolitan ethic stemming from all of Earth's great faiths.

SPIEGEL: Does Islam have a problem with reason?

Aga Khan: Not at all. Indeed, I would say the contrary. Of the Abrahamic faiths, Islam is probably the one that places the greatest emphasis on knowledge. The purpose is to understand God's creation, and therefore it is a faith which is eminently logical. Islam is a faith of reason.

SPIEGEL: So, what are the root causes of terrorism?

Aga Khan: Unsolved political conflicts, frustration and, above all, ignorance. Nothing that was born out of a theological conflict.

SPIEGEL: Which political conflicts do you mean?

Aga Khan: The ones in the Middle East and in Kashmir, for example. These conflicts have remained unresolved for decades. There is a lack of urgency in understanding that the situation there deteriorates, it's like a cancer. If you are not going to act on a cancer early enough, ultimately it's going to create terrible damage. It can become a breeding ground for terrorism.

Now to the issue of spreading faith by the sword: All faiths at some time in their history have used war to protect themselves or expand their influence, and there were situations when faiths have been used as justifications for military actions. But Islam does not call for that, it is a faith of peace.

SPIEGEL: It's true that horrible crimes were committed in the name of Christianity, for example by the crusaders. That was long ago, that's the past. But jihadists commit their crimes now, in our times.

Aga Khan: It is not so far in the past that we have seen bloody fights in the Christian world. Look at Northern Ireland. If we Muslims interpreted what happened there as a correct expression of Protestantism and Catholicism or even as the essence of the Christian faith you would simply say we don't know what we are talking about.

SPIEGEL: "The West (will stand) against the Rest" wrote Professor Samuel Huntington in his famous book "Clash of Civilizations." Is such a conflict, such a clash inevitable?

Aga Khan: I prefer to talk about a clash of ignorance. There is so much horrible, damaging, dangerous ignorance.

SPIEGEL: Which side is responsible?

Aga Khan: Both. But essentially the Western world. You would think that an educated person in the 21st century should know something about Islam; but you look at education in the Western world and you see that Islamic civilizations have been absent. What is taught about Islam? As far as I know -- nothing. What was known about Shiism before the Iranian revolution? What was known about the radical Sunni Wahhabism before the rise of the Taliban? We need a big educational effort to overcome this. Rather than shouting at each other, we should be learning to listen to each other. In the way we used to do it, by working together, with mutual give-and-take. Together we brought about some of the highest achievements of human civilization. There is a lot to build on. But I think you cannot build on ignorance.

SPIEGEL: Nonethless, it is striking that a particularly large number of Muslim-dominated states figure among the most backward and undemocratic states in the world. Is Islam in need of an era of enlightment? Is the faith even incompatible with democracy as others claim?

Aga Khan: As I said before, one has to be fair. Some of the political leaders have inherited problems that are in no way attributable to the faith. New governance solutions have to be tested and validated over time. Nor do I believe Muslim states are systematically economic underperformers. Some of the fastest growing economies and some of the most successful newly industrialized countries are in the Islamic world. Now concerning democracy: My democratic beliefs do not go back to the Greek or French (thinkers) but to an era 1,400 years ago. These are the principles underlying my religion. During the prophet's life (peace be upon him), there was a systematic consultative political process. And the first imam of the Shiites, Prophet Muhammad's cousin and son-in-law, Hazrat Ali, emphasized: "No honor is like knowledge, no power is like forbearance, and no support is more reliable than consultation."


SPIEGEL: If pluralism, civil society and Islam can coexist harmoniously, as was proven in the past, then why is this so seldom achieved nowadays?

Aga Khan: I think we have a very diverse situation in the Islamic world. Wealthy countries with enormous ressources, newly industrialized countries, extremely poor ones.

SPIEGEL: Not many are functioning democracies.

Aga Khan: People speak about failed states. I do not think that states can fail, but democracies certainly can. The failure of democracy is not specific to the Islamic world. Indeed, about two years ago, the United Nations carried out an in-depth analysis of democracy in South America. About 55 percent of the population in South American states said that they would prefer to live under a paternalistic dictatorship instead of an incompetent or corrupt democracy that is not improving their living condition.

SPIEGEL: Most of your Ismaili constituency lives in states that cannot be called perfect democracies: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran. What makes democracies fail?

Aga Khan: I ask myself every day what we can do to sustain the multiple forms of democracy, to make these forms of government work, whether it is in Latin America, Africa or the Middle East.

SPIEGEL: And what do you believe to be the answer?

Aga Khan: I admit that I live in a mood of frustration. What is the point in these areas of the world of carrying out a referendum in a population that essentially cannot read and write? What is the point in testing a constitution with a population that knows no difference between a presidential regime or a constitutional monarchy? Elections, constitutions -- all this is necessary, but not sufficient. I think we have to accept that countries have different histories, different social structures, different needs, so we have to be a great deal more flexible than we have been.

SPIEGEL: Nor is democracy monolithic. The American model of democracy is no panacea for the rest of the world. Has George W. Bush aggrevated the situation with his particular way of bringing democracy to the Middle East? Can the United States still win the war in Iraq?

Aga Khan: I am very, very worried about Iraq. The invasion of Iraq had an impact across the world like nothing before in modern times. The invasion has unleashed every force in the Islamic world, including the relations between the Arabs and non-Arabs and the relationship between the Shia und the Sunni.

SPIEGEL: You mean the war created a new terrorist base and radicalized people?

Aga Khan: Indeed. It mobilized a large number of people across the Islamic world, who before then were not involved, and indeed I think they did not want to be.

SPIEGEL: Do you share the view of the American professor and Islam expert Vali Nasr that the balance of power in the Muslim world is undergoing a decisive shift, that Shiites could become the most influential force from Baghdad to Beirut, that the future of the Middle East will be shaped by wars between different Muslim factions?

 Aga Khan: When the invasion of Iraq took place, we were told two things: (that there would be) regime change and democracy. Well, anyone who knew the situation in Iraq, as you did, I did, but what did that mean? That meant a Shia majority; it could not have been otherwise. Anyone who then concludes that the next issue is a Shia majority in Iraq is going to start thinking, What does that mean in the region, what does it mean in the Islamic world, what does it mean in relation to the West? All that was as clear as daylight, you didn't even have to be a Muslim or a scholar to know that.

SPIEGEL: In your opinion, was it pure ignorance and naivete that made the Bush government start the war? Was it really about introducing democracy or a strategic decision about conquering oil fields and military bases?

Aga Khan: I wish I could answer that question.

SPIEGEL: Are you in contact with the religious leaders in Iraq, like Grand Ayatollah Sistani? And with the religious leaders of Iran as well?

Aga Khan: We have frequent contacts with important personalities in both countries.

SPIEGEL: What would it take to get you to go to the region as a mediator?

Aga Khan: This is, at the moment, not one of my priorities. One day maybe, we might consider (participating in the) reconstruction (effort).

SPIEGEL: When you compare the invasion in Iraq with the one in Afghanistan, where the Taliban and al-Qaida worked hand in hand ...

Aga Khan: ... there I see a completely different picture. First of all, the Afghan regime at the time was quasi totally detested by the people; it was equally unpleasant for Sunnis as it was the for Shias and it was totally unacceptable I think just in terms of overall civilized life.

SPIEGEL: Afghanistan is currently being confronted with major problems and the situation seems to be deteriorating by the hour. What went wrong? And what can the West do to make the situation more stable?

Aga Khan: The security situation is indeed very worrying -- it is getting worse, especially in the south. Most of our projects are in the capital and in the north where (the situation) is better but not satisfying. We can supply energy from Tajikistan, we can provide civil services. We try to avoid the danger that certain areas in Afghanistan will be rehabilitated more quickly than others. If this development overlaps with ethnic divides you have another problem. But the main problem is that most people in Afghanistan have not seen an improvement in their daily lives. The process of reconstruction does not seem to be penetrating. We have not succeded in bringing a culture of hope to this country. One of the central lessons I have learned after a half century of working in the developing world is that the replacement of fear by hope is probably the most powerful trampoline of progress.

SPIEGEL: President Karzai is a personal friend of yours. Many people see him as a weak leader, and some call him "Mayor of Kabul" because he is unable to control large parts of the country.

Aga Khan: We should do everything to help him. He has an enomously complex agenda to deal with. He is our best hope. And besides, he is the elected leader and we have to work with the parliament.

SPIEGEL: Even if warlords and a former members of the Taliban are represented in Afghanistan's parliament?

Aga Khan: You either accept the results of democracy or you don't. Otherwise you talk about qualifying democracy.

SPIEGEL: That means the West should deal with the radical Islamist Hamas as well?

Aga Khan: You have to work with whoever the population has elected as long as they are willing to respect what I call cosmopolitan ethics. Now, it's true that Hamas has a record of conflict ...

SPIEGEL: ... of outright terror ...

Aga Khan: ... but it would not be the only time that movements that have such a record make it into parliament, and even end up in charge of government later on. Can I remind you of Jomo Kenyatta and his Mau Mau movement in Kenya, for example, or the ANC in South Africa? Take away the causes of extremism and extremists can come back to a more reasonable political agenda. That change to me is one of the wonderful things about the human race.

SPIEGEL: You know Syria's president, Bashar Assad, very well. You recently visited him again in Damascus. In contrast to the American administration, the German government is trying to get him involved in the Middle East peace process.

Aga Khan: I would like to compliment the German government and others in Europe who have taken the decision to invite President Assad to be a party to the peace process. The process of change from decades of political directionalism is something that needs time, as you saw in East Germany. I think there are many reasons to go out of our way to assist Syria in making the transition from the past to the future.

SPIEGEL: If you look back at the years that have passed since World War II -- the Cold War between the East and the West, the ideological conflict with communism -- would you ever have thought that this conflict could be replaced by one between the West and radical Islamists?

Aga Khan: I beg you, please get away from the concept of a conflict of religion. It is not such a conflict. Nobody will ever convince me that the faith of Islam, that Christianity, that Judaism will fight each other in our times -- they have too much in common. That's why I am talking about this global ethic which unites us all. That's why we are trying to work with the Catholic Church in Portugal on a program aimed at immigant minorities. I am aware of a sense of disaffection with the society that many young Muslims feel because they think that the Western society has the intention of marginalizing or damaging them.

SPIEGEL: The German government just organized a conference with many different Muslim groups and personalities who live in Germany. Do you consider such a forum useful or is it just window dressing?

Aga Khan: We can avoid misunderstandings by having such a forum where people from different faiths consult each other so they understand what really affects them. Once you have committed an offense all you can do is to try and reverse it. Anyone who knows the faith of Islam, for example, would have known that the caricatures of the prohet were profoundly offensive to all Muslims.

SPIEGEL: Again, this whole affair was misused by radical Islamists. They added caricatures much more offensive than the original ones to incite the masses.

Aga Khan: But I am told that there was an internal debate between the editors of that publication and they actually knew what they were doing. They took a risk and somebody should have said to them, Why get into that situation? Now we are talking about civility, which is a completely different concept. If we are talking about civility in a pluralist society, then how do you develop that notion of civility, particularly where there is ignorance. And that's the thing that's worrying. And that's why I get frustrated when I see these situations that go on and on and on. Because I'm not willing to believe that they are all inspired by evil intent.

SPIEGEL: Provocative, sad and distasteful. But the freedom of the press is one of the highest values in our democracy. We have to balance one thing against the other and we will allow non-believers to express even outrageous opinions.

Aga Khan: I think that you are now referring to one of the most difficult problems that we have and I don't know the answer. The industrialized West is highly secularized; the Muslim world is much less secularized and that stems largely from the nature of the faith of Islam, which you know and I know has an intrinsic meshing with everyday life. And that is a scenario where people of goodwill need to think very, very carefully.

SPIEGEL: In some of your speeches you mentioned Kemal Atat?rk in a positive context. Turkey followed his path and is one of the very few countries with a predominant Muslim population where there is separation of church and state. Would you like to see others go the same way?

Aga Khan: I am not opposed to secularism as such. But I am opposed to unilateral secularism where the notions of faith and ethics just disappear from society.

SPIEGEL: Your Highness, we thank you for this interview.

Interview conducted by Stefan Aust and Erich Follath.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 20, 2006, 04:16:14 AM
Hope I'm not overloading everyone's reading time this morning!? Here's more from Germany:


More than 70 Muslim workers have been stripped of their security clearances at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport for alleged links to terrorist organizations. Now the unions representing the workers are threatening to strike.

When French nationalist politician Phillipe de Villiers decried the "Islamization of France" in his book "The Mosques of Roissy" this spring, he was called xenophobic, extremist, paranoid -- and a best-selling author. Indeed, despite some heavy criticism of his views, the French were snatching up his book in droves, and the government started heeding his warnings.

"Islamists and criminals from the housing projects are working in concert to put the airport under Shariah law, threatening managers and the rare employees of French origin," he wrote. Two months after de Villiers' claims that "Allah's workers" had access to sensitive security zones at Paris's Charles de Gaulle airport, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy ordered all unofficial prayer sites in the airport closed. Now, as a result of an anti-terrorism investigation, 72 Muslim airport employees have been stripped of their security clearances.

The workers -- who are mainly baggage handlers and aircraft cleaners -- are accused of having visited terrorist training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan. One is thought to have been close to a senior figure in an Algerian terrorist group with links to al-Qaida, and another is thought to have been a friend of "shoe-bomber" Richard Reid. Reid is currently serving a life prison sentence in Colorado for attempting to blow up a flight from Paris to Miami in 2001 with explosives hidden in his shoe.

Charles de Gaulle airport -- also called the "Roissy" -- is located north of Paris, and many of its employees are Muslims of north-African descent who live in the rundown suburbs nearby. De Villiers claims in his book that clandestine mosques line the tunnels beneath the airport's runways and that some luggage handling companies employ members of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Workers and unions complain the suspensions amount to religious discrimination. Legal suits and labor strikes are on the table. France's largest trade union, the CFDT, filed a discrimination lawsuit in mid-October over the revocations, while 10 affected workers are taking legal action in individual capacities. Now the unions representing the airport workers have announced that they are meeting next Tuesday to consider strike action. On the following Friday, a court in Cergy-Pontoise will hear the case for unfair dismissal brought by six men who were sacked.

Jacques Lebrot -- the French government official who oversees the airport -- insists that religion is not the issue. "Monsieur or Madame X who goes to pray in a mosque and travels to Mecca for the pilgrimage is not the problem for us. But we will ask questions if we find someone who has spent holidays several times in Pakistan," he told reporters. Eric Moutet -- a lawyer for the suspended workers -- told the New York Times: "We have not seen any objective evidence against our clients. The only common denominator we see today is that they are all Muslim."

For de Villiers, though, that may be reason enough. As head of the far-right party, Movement for France, he's basing his 2007 presidential bid on an anti-immigrant platform. His campaign is unlikely to garner any significant proportion of the vote, but he's sure to sell a few more books.

Police Protection for German Parliamentarian
A German parliamentarian of Turkish origin has called for Muslim women to throw off their headscarves and embrace Western values. After receiving death threats for the remarks, she is under police protection. Politicians are defending her right to free speech.

With the increased focus on immigrants in Germany, it sometimes seems like integration success stories don't exist. They do. And Ekin Delig?z is one of the country's finest. A Turkish-born German citizen, she now serves in the seat of German democracy, the Bundestag. But, cultural emissaries like Delig?z don't only build bridges, they also sometimes expose the vast differences that make their existence so crucial.

That, in fact, is why Delig?z is now kept company by a police detail. The Green party member has received death threats for calling on Muslim women to take off their headscarves and to embrace German society and values two weeks ago. "You live here, so take your headscarf off," Delig?z was quoted by the Bild am Sonntag newspaper as saying.

In addition to the threats, she has also been the victim of a negative media campaign in Turkey with tabloid stories comparing her to the Nazis. In a letter of complaint written to the Turkish Ambassador by the head of the Green Party Renate K?nast, she indicated that Delig?z had been "insulted in writing, by telephone, and also in person ... overwhelmingly by Turkish men."

Delig?z sees the headscarf as a symbol of female oppression and patriarchy. If it were just a fashion accessory, she says, "then I wouldn't now be under police protection."

A number of Muslim organizations in Germany have accepted an invitation from K?nast and the Greens to discuss the threats and to talk about "behaving with respect toward each other."

Meanwhile, a number of German politicians are vociferously denouncing the threats and defending Delig?z's right to freedom of speech. "It is absolutely legitimate that a woman who is Muslim herself ... makes this appeal, said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Sch?uble. In an interview with the German radio station RBB, he continued, "What we lawmakers must decisively support is that someone can voice these opinions and that one doesn't need police protection to do so."

Norbert Lammert, president of the Bundestag and a close ally of Chancellor Merkel, called the threats "a severe attack on the core values of our constitution."

Delig?z is pleased at the support the German government has provided. "Most threats were supposed to intimidate me," she said, "but in a democratic society it should be possible to also express a critical opinion."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 26, 2006, 02:19:43 AM
**On the whole, the western born/western educated jihadists tend to be from middle class, even upper class socioeconomic backgrounds. So we know they aren't "depraived because they are deprived".**

British Terror Trial Traces a Path to Militant Islam

In 2004, the British authorities received a tip from a suspicious employee of a storage warehouse outside London, above, that Nabeel Hussain, one of the defendants in the conspiracy trial, was storing a large amount of fertilizer there.

Published: November 26, 2006

LONDON, Nov. 25 ? More than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer suitable for making bombs was locked in a rented storage warehouse. A cookie tin of aluminum powder was hidden behind a garden shed. Young British Muslims underwent military training at guerrilla camps in remote parts of Pakistan. Suspects, surreptitiously taped by the police, talked about bombing targets in Britain.

At the storage site, the police found more than half a ton of ammonium nitrate fertilizer which could fuel a blast.

A search at a defendant?s home turned up a cookie tin of aluminum powder, another possible bomb ingredient.

Omar Khyam and Salahuddin Amin, defendants linked to an alleged bomb plot; Mohammed Junaid Babar, a prosecution witness; and Mohammed Momin Khawaja, awaiting trail in Canada in connection with same case.

Enter a computer technician in Canada experimenting with remote-controlled detonation devices and a collaborator-turned-informer from Queens testifying about secret meetings with operatives of Al Qaeda.

For eight months, the tale of the Operation Crevice Seven has been unfolding in a cramped, windowless courtroom in the Old Bailey in London.

On trial are seven men, ages 19 to 34, six of them with family roots in Pakistan. Arrested in 2004, they are charged with involvement in a criminal conspiracy to make explosives to commit murder, allegations that they all deny. Their target, the authorities say, was unclear ? a nightclub, perhaps, or a shopping mall, public utilities, a British airliner or even the House of Commons.

But investigators say the evidence reveals the workings of the kind of cell most feared by officials in Europe. Young Muslims, radicalized by local imams and trained at military camps in Pakistan with vague connections to Al Qaeda, plan an attack at home with help from outside terrorists.

The July 7, 2005, London transit bombings and the alleged London-based plot uncovered last August to blow up airliners also involved disaffected British youths of Pakistani descent, some of whom had traveled to Pakistan for family visits, study and perhaps training.

In a speech this month, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the director general of the British security service known as MI5, disclosed that intelligence officers were watching 1,600 people ?who are actively engaged in plotting, or facilitating, terrorist acts here and overseas.?

She said they had identified nearly 30 plots that ?often have links back to Al Qaeda in Pakistan and through those links Al Qaeda gives guidance and training to its largely British foot soldiers here.? She said other countries ? Spain, France, Canada and Germany ? faced similar threats.

Dame Eliza?s comments echo concerns among intelligence officials throughout Europe that remnants of Al Qaeda?s network, disrupted after Sept. 11, were reconstituting in the tribal areas on the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Crevice defendants deny they were a conspiratorial cell. Some admit to training in Pakistan but insist they had a goal other than attacking Britain, notwithstanding the fertilizer stored near London. They said they supported jihad in Afghanistan and the liberation of Kashmir, a disputed area between Pakistan and India.

One defendant, Salahuddin Amin, a 31-year-old part-time taxi driver from Luton, testified Tuesday that he started donating money to help Kashmir in 1999. Then he moved to Pakistan in 2001 and became a conduit directing assistance from Britain to Afghan refugees in Pakistan, he said.

But prosecutors charge that Mr. Amin, who knew some of the other Crevice defendants from Britain, became a link between them and militants in Pakistan. They said he and others attended a two-day course in Pakistan to learn to make fertilizer-based explosives. In videotaped confessions to the British police after his arrest in 2005, he admitted being ?mixed up with terrorists? and said he provided a formula for explosives to one of his co-defendants through an Internet chat room.

On the witness stand, Mr. Amin proclaimed his innocence, saying he confessed only after being jailed for 10 months in Pakistan, where he said he was beaten and threatened with a whirring electric drill. ?I would never take part in plots like that,? he testified.

Heeding the Call to Jihad

Omar Khyam, 24, considered by prosecutors to be the ringleader of the group, began his journey to extremism as a teenager in Crawley, just south of London.

Mr. Khyam, a standout cricket player, planned to study electrical engineering in college, but when he was 16 he began spending time with members of Al Muhajiroun, a radical group active in Crawley and dedicated to a global Islamic community under Shariah, the legal code based on the Koran. The group, led by Omar Bakri Mohammed, is now banned in Britain.

Two years later, instead of preparing for his high school exams, Mr. Khyam ran away, leaving a note saying he was off to join Islamic freedom fighters in Kashmir.

His uncle told a British newspaper that ran an article in 2000 about Mr. Khyam?s sudden departure that his nephew had been indoctrinated by Al Muhajiroun. Mr. Khyam?s family persuaded him to return home, but not before he had attended a training camp.

?They taught me everything I needed for guerrilla warfare in Kashmir, AK47s, pistols, RPGs, sniper rifles, climbing and crawling techniques, reconnaissance and light machine guns,? Mr. Khyam testified in the Crevice trial in September.

After enrolling in college in Britain, Mr. Khyam returned to Pakistan in 2001 for a friend?s wedding and crossed into Afghanistan to meet members of the Taliban movement before it was overthrown after 9/11. ?They were soft, kind and humble, but harsh with their enemies,? he recalled in court.

Meanwhile, in Luton, a town on the other side of London and another center of Al Muhajiroun recruitment, Mr. Amin also heeded the call to jihad.

His videotaped confessions to the police tell the story of his rejection of his Western way of life, his turn to prayer and the rules of Islam and his political radicalization.

It was in a Luton prayer center that he first met some of the men accused of being Crevice conspirators, including Mr. Khyam and a man accused of being a Qaeda operative, Abu Munthir, who was visiting from Pakistan.

Videos showing the slaughter of Muslims in Chechnya and Bosnia jolted Mr. Amin into sending money to ?freedom fighters? in Kashmir to buy arms and ammunition. The lectures of the radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri at the Finsbury Park mosque in London shortly before 9/11 and the American-led invasion of Afghanistan helped persuade him that he should join the Afghan fight.

Two months after 9/11, Mr. Amin sold his house in Luton and went to Pakistan in search of training with militants, according to his confessions. The prosecution argues that over the next three years, Mr. Amin, Mr. Khyam and their associates entered a hidden world of terrorism with tentacles on three continents.

Secrecy was maintained by using aliases and coded language. Cellphone conversations were avoided. Rather than using e-mail messages, communications were passed through Internet chats or by electronic messages stored for others to pick up later with passwords. Computer hard drives and cellphone SIM cards were discarded and replaced often.

The prosecution?s guide through that world was a Pakistani-American named Mohammed Junaid Babar, who said he worked for the New York chapter of Al Muhajiroun.

Defense lawyers portray Mr. Babar as a fabricator and possibly an agent for the United States government. ?You are a liar, a deceitful, self-centered, arrogant fantasist,? Michel Massih, a lawyer for one of the defendants, told Mr. Babar during cross-examination last April.

Mr. Babar acknowledged having lied when first questioned by the F.B.I. He pleaded guilty in New York in June 2004 to providing material support for terrorists, and he said in court that he was testifying against the Crevice suspects to reduce his sentence.

Yet during 17 days on the witness stand, Mr. Babar, the star witness for the prosecution, told a riveting story.

A militant networker, Mr. Babar said he moved to Pakistan in November 2001 with money and instructions from Al Muhajiroun. A year later, on a fund-raising trip to London, Mr. Babar said, he first met members of what he called the ?Crawley lot,? including Mr. Khyam and Anthony Garcia, an Algerian-born aspiring fashion model who had changed his name and is now accused of purchasing the secreted fertilizer.

Mr. Babar said Mr. Khyam told him that he and other ?brothers? from Crawley were not just a local operation but reported to a man called Abdul Hadi, described by Mr. Khyam as the ?No. 3? in Al Qaeda.

In mid-2003, the prosecution said, the Crevice suspects began coming together in Pakistan where Mr. Babar?s home in Lahore was a haven for young, radical Britons of Pakistani descent.

Bomb-related equipment like detonators, fertilizer and aluminum powder that can be used to fuel an explosion, and beans to make the poison ricin were stored in a bedroom cupboard, he said. The backyard was used for small-scale experiments with explosives, including the detonation of a spice jar packed with chemicals.

Mr. Amin, meanwhile, was living close by. He said in his police confessions that he had been collecting money and materials for fighters in Afghanistan and passing them on to the man accused of being a Qaeda operative, Abu Munthir, who had once visited the Luton prayer center.

When Mr. Khyam arrived in Pakistan in 2003, hoping to train to fight in Afghanistan, he was told there were enough fighters there, according to Mr. Amin?s confessions. Instead, Abu Munthir sent word that if he was really serious, he should ?do something? in Britain, Mr. Amin told the police.

Later that year, Mr. Khyam, Mr. Amin and another man traveled to a safe house in Kohat, Pakistan, for two days of training in making explosives, including fertilizer bombs, Mr. Amin said. Mr. Khyam then organized a session in the mountains around Malakand near the Afghan border, allegedly to teach others what he had learned.

Mr. Khyam and a core group of three other Crevice suspects, including Mr. Babar, made their way there by posing as Western tourists looking to visit lakes and glaciers.

Mr. Babar said one of the men he brought along was a Canadian named Mohammed Momin Khawaja, a computer engineer, now 27, who is accused of being the detonator-maker in the plot.

Mr. Babar recalled in court that the first test with fertilizer-based explosives failed; the second was moderately successful.

?It created a U in the ground,? Mr. Babar testified. ?It went down, sideways and back up the other way.? The group videotaped the scene, he added, hoping to produce a ?a minimovie-type thing? with Koranic verses or songs, to inspire others.

If Mr. Babar is to be believed, Mr. Khyam became so determined to carry out an attack in Britain that during this time he also took a 10-day trip to seek more guidance from Qaeda operatives.

Mr. Babar said Mr. Khyam told him that the instructions from Abu Munthir were for ?multiple bombings,? either ?simultaneously or one after the other on the same day.?

Mr. Babar recalled Mr. Khyam saying that Britain was as responsible as the United States for what was happening in the Middle East and should be attacked. ?He said we need to hit certain spots like pubs, nightclubs and trains,? Mr. Babar said.

An Undercover Investigation

Precisely how and when the authorities learned of the group?s activities is unclear, but by early February 2004, they had begun one of Britain?s largest antiterrorist undercover investigations. Operation Crevice, aided by the United States, Canada and Pakistan, involved round-the-clock human surveillance, audio wiretaps in cars and homes and video surveillance.

On Feb. 20, investigators got an extraordinarily lucky break: a suspicious employee at a self-storage warehouse outside of London called the police to report that someone named Nabeel Hussain was storing a large amount of fertilizer.

The police inserted an undercover officer called Amanda as the receptionist and secretly replaced the fertilizer with a benign substance. A hidden camera was installed and filmed Mr. Khyam when he showed up to check the contents.

The police continued to watch and listen, and their 3,500 hours of surveillance tapes are at the core of the prosecution case. Some of the most chilling conversations played in court are between Mr. Khyam, whose Suzuki sport utility vehicle and apartment had been bugged, and Jawad Akbar, 23, a college student whose apartment had been bugged.

In a conversation recorded in February 2004, Mr. Akbar talked of an ?easy? target, like a nightclub, ?where you don?t need no experience and nothing and you could get a job.? In such a place, he said, ?no one can even turn round and say, ?Oh, they were innocent,? those slags dancing around,? using a slang term for loose women.

When Mr. Khyam asked what he would do if he got a job at a place like the Ministry of Sound, London?s largest nightclub, Mr. Akbar replied, ?Blow the whole thing up.?

In March, Mr. Khyam talked about a simultaneous attack of Britain?s gas, electricity and water systems.

?The electrics go off so it?s a blackout, and then the gas lot move in and bang,? he said. ?Then something goes wrong with the water, a simultaneous attack.?

In late March, when Mr. Khyam and his younger brother, Shujah Mahmood, 19, also a defendant, bought tickets to fly to Pakistan on April 6, the police feared that an attack in Britain was imminent.

On March 30, 700 police officers raided two dozen locations, shutting down what they suspected was a cell and arresting six of the defendants.

They found the cookie tin containing aluminum powder behind a shed at Mr. Khyam?s family home in Crawley. They also found a dozen CD-ROMs giving detailed plans of Britain?s electricity and gas systems that they charged had been stolen from the National Grid Transco utility company by an employee, Waheed Mahmood. At 34, Mr. Mahmood, a father of four, is the oldest Crevice defendant.

The police seized a list of British synagogues and computer video files containing parts of an explosives handbook and a military training manual. Investigators also found instructions for how to react if contacted by counterterrorism authorities.

Meanwhile, Mr. Khawaja, who had recently returned from visiting Crevice suspects in Britain, was arrested in Canada. Electrical equipment, described by British authorities as remote-control devices that could be connected to bomb detonators, as well as guns and ammunition, were found at his home. He is awaiting trial in Canada, the first suspect to be tried under Canada?s 2001 Antiterrorism Act.

The Prosecution?s Case

Prosecutors acknowledge that they have not been able to identify either a fixed target or a date for an attack, but they do not have to. To win convictions, they only have to prove that the seven defendants conspired to cause an explosion ?likely to endanger life? in Britain.

Mr. Khyam, Mr. Garcia and Mr. Hussain are also charged with possessing 600 kilograms, or about 1,320 pounds, of ammonium nitrate fertilizer, and Mr. Khyam and Mr. Mahmood with possessing aluminum powder, in both cases with the intent to use the ingredients to commit an act of terrorism.

In considering the surveillance tapes, defense lawyers argue that their clients may have been doing a lot of talking about deadly chaos, but that it was nothing more than talk. Some of the schemes seemed like fantasy, like injecting poison into beer cans at soccer games. Others were more frightening, if true: Mr. Amin is accused of making inquiries about buying a radioactive ?dirty bomb? from the Russian mafia in Belgium.

As in other criminal cases in Britain, some of the evidence against the suspects is not permitted to be disclosed ? either to the jury or the public ? until the trials are over for fear that juries will be improperly swayed. Even the news media is under a strict order by the judge to avoid revealing certain information about the case.

The evidence presented shows that the radicalization of the defendants began years ago, raising questions about how well the British security services monitored militants in their midst before last year?s transit bombings. The authorities continue to investigate any links between the Crevice defendants and the 2005 bombers, one of whom, the government says, had visited a training camp in Pakistan before the attack.

Investigators closely watch traffic between Britain and Pakistan. But that is a significant challenge with nearly 400,000 visits by residents of Britain to Pakistan in 2004, of an average length of 41 days. And it is even more difficult to determine which, if any, of those visitors are militants following the dangerous route of traveling to Pakistan for indoctrination and training.

?Counterterrorism efforts haven?t been able to penetrate the process of radicalization and recruitment,? said Sajjan M. Gohel, director for international security at the London-based Asia-Pacific Foundation. ?For every individual captured or killed, there are at least five more coming down the assembly line.?

Ariane Bernard contributed reporting.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 26, 2006, 05:26:34 AM
**On the whole, the western born/western educated jihadists tend to be from middle class, even upper class socioeconomic backgrounds. So we know they aren't "depraived because they are deprived".**

IMO not quite true. If you would be well educated, studied, and coming from a somewhat secular background and you'd still have to face racial discrimination because being coloured or muslim, then you'd most probably feel even more depraved than someone who comes from a lower social class and is used to being discriminated. Some of these muslims are highly educated but get no job because they're muslim. Of course this discrimination is being fueled by people who think Eurabia is coming. Its a vicious circle in its own - Thomas theorem coming true. (
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 26, 2006, 05:51:31 AM
**And the european converts to islam become suicide bombers because.....**

SPIEGEL ONLINE - May 30, 2006, 04:01 PM
War on Terror

German Women Vowed to Mount Suicide Attacks in Iraq

By Matthias Gebauer and Holger Stark

German authorities may have thwarted suicide bomb attacks in Iraq by German women. According to intelligence sources, three women were prevented from travelling to Iraq after one of them had announced she planned to blow herself up in Iraq.

Car bombs and suicide bombs remain a daily feature of life in Iraq. On Monday, some 39 people were killed in multiple bombings in the country.

SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that German intelligence agencies have prevented three German women from travelling to Iraq in recent weeks. The women, who have close contacts to the Islamist scene in Germany and at least one whom has converted to Islam, came to the attention of intelligence agencies after one of them had announced on an Internet site that she intended to blow herself and her child up in Iraq.

After the Web posting were spotted, Germany's domestic and foreign intelligence agencies mounted an intense search for the three women. One of them was located in Berlin, the other two are believed to come from southern Germany. The Berlin woman's child was taken away from her and she has been put in a psychiatric clinic. The two other women were also prevented from leaving Germany. One of them is also believed to have a child.

It's not clear yet how serious the women were about their claims and how far their plans for an attack had progressed. There has been no official confirmation. Well-informed sources say the women have had contacts with sympathizers of Ansar al Islam, a militant group linked to al-Qaida and suspected of smuggling suicide bombers from Germany to Iraq. The group is also suspected of raising money for the resistance to the US-led forces in Iraq.

There have been several such cases in the past and German security officials have long been worried that Islamic militants are increasingly recruiting young Muslims with German passports for suicide attacks.

It has become almost routine for foreign bombers to be used in Iraq. But the use of European citizens could be a new and dangerous trend. Last November a female Belgian convert blew herself up near Baghdad.


  Posted September 13, 2006 03:31 PM  Hide Post,20867,20408791-2703,00.html

Western-born Muslims seen as biggest threat
Richard Kerbaj, Herzliya, Israel
September 14, 2006

YOUNG Western-born Muslims recruited in universities, mosques and on the internet are increasingly being turned to jihad by terrorist networks, which train them in Islamic countries to support and conduct attacks on their homelands.
The return of brainwashed sleeper agents trained in counter-intelligence and covert fundraising, as well as the use of explosives, was the "biggest threat to humanity in modern times", said Boaz Ganor, founder of the Israeli-based Institute of Counter-Terrorism.

"They are looking for them in mosques ... in the youth centres ... on the web ... relying on social acquaintances and also family ties and universities," Dr Ganor told a conference hosted by the institute in the resort city of Herzliya yesterday.

He said terror organisations used psychological strategies to win the hearts of "specific" young Muslims through either indirect recruitment platforms such as the internet, and direct ones such as combing radical mosques and prayer halls.

Extremists looked for recruits who were not integrated into Western society and wanted to reinvent themselves.

"They are looking for people who are alienated from society, they're looking for people that have religious devotion, they're looking for those who believe that they are discriminated against," Dr Ganor said.

Converts to Islam with a proclivity for violence and fanaticism were also considered good recruits. "They are using this idea of divine command, saying 'we are just messengers and it is God that demands you to do this job ... we have to save Islam'.

"(But) when you spread a network like that, sometimes you get fissures that you don't expect to get because these alienated, frustrated youngsters are not just in the Muslim society, and therefore we see another phenomenon, which are converts."

Last month, The Australian revealed that dozens of violent criminals in Sydney were being brainwashed by hardliners and converting to radical Islam in jail, creating a serious national security time bomb.

Dr Ganor said of the recruits: "They are usually being trained in other countries - it could be Pakistan or another place - and then they are infiltrated again into the old society as an indoctrinated, trained sleeper that are just sitting and waiting for the order.

"Some of them are being used for fundraising missions, some of them are being used for collection of intelligence and for recruiting others. But we have to understand ... that some of them are being used for this mission of launching a terrorist attack on Western society."

Another expert on Islamic terrorism who spoke at the conference, Steven Emerson, told The Australian that terrorist organisations were increasingly shifting towards training their recruits on how to become better intelligence agents and expose the weaknesses of their enemies.

"It's in al-Qa'ida's manual to do better counter-intelligence, to do observation, surveillance, reconnaissance," he said. "That's critical to any good terrorist apparatus. You always have to have a reconnaissance man.

"Hezbollah excels in reconnaissance - sending back to Tehran videos that they have witnessed in terms of the vulnerabilities."

Dr Ganor said Muslim communities worldwide needed to take the initiative in exposing and thwarting the actions of radicals.


Al Qaeda exploits 'blue-eyed' Muslim converts
12 October 2005

PARIS/BERLIN: What prompts someone to convert to Islam and to sign up for global "holy war" in the name of Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda?

Security agencies are asking that question with increasing urgency as they confront a growing catalogue of actual or attempted attacks in which Muslim converts are suspected of playing prominent roles.

Christian Ganczarski, a German suspected of involvement in a 2002 bombing in Tunisia, converted at 20 before embarking on a jihadist career in which, investigators believe, he became a close associate of bin Laden's.

Other high-profile militant converts include Jamaican-born Germaine Lindsay, one of four suicide bombers who killed 52 people in London in July, and Briton Andrew Rowe, jailed for 15 years last month for possessing terrorist materials.

Frenchman Lionel Dumont, a suspected Rowe associate and another convert, will go on trial in December accused of a series of attacks in the 1990s, including an attempt to bomb a Group of Seven summit in Lille.

"It's striking, the number of converts engaged in terrorist activities," said Michael Taarnby, a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies who has studied the recruitment and radicalisation of Islamist militants.

Jean-Louis Bruguiere, France's top anti-terrorism judge, told the newspaper Le Figaro in an interview: "The converts are undeniably the toughest. Nowadays the conversions happen more quickly and the commitment is more radical."

The phenomenon is not confined to Europe.

John Walker Lindh, dubbed "the American Taliban", was convicted and jailed in 2002 for fighting alongside the Afghan militia, and US citizen Jose Padilla has been held for more than three years as a suspected enemy combatant in connection with an alleged "dirty bomb" plot.

In Australia, British-born Muslim convert Jack Roche was jailed for nine years in 2004 for conspiring to bomb the Israeli embassy in Canberra.

In interviews with Reuters, European experts said the vast majority of those who converted to Islam did so for legitimate personal reasons. Some convert in order to marry Muslims.

Many converts were drawn, the experts said, by the appeal of a universal faith that transcended national and ethnic barriers, offered a sense of belonging and brotherhood and provided a new identity, including the choice of a Muslim name.

However, a small fraction were extremists who saw in radical Islam a vehicle to challenge and overthrow the existing world order, said Olivier Roy, research director of the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

The advantage for militant groups and the problem for security agencies is that converts can often move more freely and attract less suspicion than people of obviously Middle Eastern appearance.

"If you are a youngster in the French suburbs, your mates are second-generation Muslim immigrants and you want to wage war against society, the system, where do you go?" said Roy.

"Thirty years ago, you joined the Maoists, the Trotskyists, the far left, the Baader group, Action Directe. Today, where do you go? Bin Laden." A German intelligence official cited cases where radical foreigners had acquired residents' status by marrying local women, complicating authorities' attempts to kick them out.

"It gives them more security in their legal status. If they're married to a German woman, it's very hard to expel them," he said.

Some of the best-known extremist converts whose cases have come to trial were drifters on the margins of society.

David Courtailler, a Frenchman convicted last year of abetting terrorists, was drawn into radical circles when he converted to Islam at a British mosque and was approached by a stranger there who gave him money and an air ticket to Pakistan.

Reid, Rowe and Ganczarski all had records as small-time thieves or drug dealers.

"They are people who feel devalued, despised and by becoming terrorists they suddenly become supermen, heroes," said Roy.

Once they converted, the experts said, such people often moved towards violence quickly, driven partly by a need to prove themselves. They might also be more easily manipulated by extremists because they lacked the cultural grounding to distinguish between true and distorted versions of Islam.

"Basically, you can tell them just about anything and they're willing to believe it," Taarnby said. "They're not asking the right questions. They're just accepting what they're being told at face value."

The advantage for militant groups ? and the problem for security agencies ? is that converts can often move more freely and attract less suspicion than people of obviously Middle Eastern appearance.

"Thanks to their physical appearance they can penetrate targets in Europe much more easily without being spotted," said Roland Jacquard, head of the International Terrorism Observatory in Paris.

In theory, white Europeans attending radical mosques would be easy for intelligence services to identify. "But when they are taken on by terrorist organisations, they are asked to ensure they don't draw attention to themselves in that way," Jacquard said.

Such individuals are insiders who understand perfectly the nature of the Western societies they are trying to subvert, Jacquard said. "They know the mentality, the lifestyle that the terrorist organisations want to strike." He said al Qaeda's recruitment of "blue-eyed" Europeans dated from the Bosnian war.

"Now, when you take Muslim converts whose mother and father are French, English, Spanish or Italian and who live in society normally, with society's habits, they are absolutely undetectable."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 26, 2006, 06:01:51 AM
Well, that doesn't really contradict to what I'm saying...

Quoted from one of your articles:

The phenomenon is not confined to Europe.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 26, 2006, 07:27:48 AM

The Thomas principle you cite has considerable merit of course.  Of course the flip side is sticking one's head in the sand or up one's butt when there really is a problem has its own drawbacks.  These are challenging times we live in.

I am reminded of mathematician Nash's prisoner's dilema game theory here and subsequent evolutions thereof.  In Nash's original thought experiement, the players play one time.  Do they choose win-win or zero sum?  Subsequent theoreticians of these things then researched what happens when the same players play each other repeatedly.  It turns out that the best strategy is "tit for tat"  i.e. I treat you as you treat me.  In an environment where the cultural context tends to assume win-win, then the first time the game is played, people tend to choose win-win.  Conversely, someone who plays win-win repeatedly in a zero sum environment tends to get fcuked.

For good people used to win-win mindset, the Thomas thereom you site seems self-evident.  But to repeatedly apply it with those who live by zero sum presents some real survival questions.


PS:  I would also add to the mix the economic policies that IIRC the French call "dirigiste" meaing a government directed quais-socialist economy.  IMHO these policies, such as extreme job security laws, high unemployment benefits, high mandated benefits, etc tend to be very destructive of job creation.  If I have my facts right, unemployment rates in countries such as France and Germany are over 10%, more than double that of the US.  (IIRC you are German, yet live in Switzerland (which is not part of the EU) because of the lack of job opportunity?)  In an environment lacking opportunity, exclusionary attitudes on the part of some are hard to avoid.
(A plausible case can be made that a part of the Paristinean Infitifada has much of its roots in these economics.)  Conversely, here in the US where job creation is much higher and unemployment much lower, Muslims are much better integrated.  Coincidence?  I suspect not.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 26, 2006, 08:04:16 AM
In my opinion the Eurabia theory is detriment to our efforts in Europe to integrate the muslims. Also if everything Europe does to take a step to approach our muslim population at the very instant is considered to be dhimmitude, this is very unproductive.? IMO the Eurabia theory is anti-european and counter-productive to our efforts. Bat Ye'or as educated as she may be (she's a studied archeologist, maybe she should keep away from politics), is fueled by hatred against muslims. Unfortunately she has made quite an impact in the US with her awkard theorem, while she remains mostly unknown in Europe.

If I have my facts right, unemployment rates in countries such as France and Germany are over 10%, more than double that of the US.

Yes, they are. Many countries in Europe have economic problems. See my WW for Wealth thread.

Conversely, here in the US where job creation is much higher and unemployment much lower, Muslims are much better integrated.? Coincidence?? I suspect not.

Partly yes, sure. In most parts of Europe muslims are discriminated and not welcome - simply because they're foreigners. Therefore they're not being integrated into society. In France muslims as studied as they may be, get no job, French are preferred.? The Eurabia theorem fuels the hatred against muslims. So we create our own little pond of sharks for radicals to fish in. Therefore I oppose the Eurabia theory and I warn that we have to look out for those muslims who want to integrate as they will give a good signal for others to follow. Considering the muslim population in Europe to be part of a bigger plan to seize Europe is not only paranoid, it's useless. It only adds up to the problem.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 26, 2006, 09:27:27 AM
IMHO the Eurabia theory cannot simply be wished away-- there does seem to be rational basis for it.  Yes it does make things harder for bringing Muslims into the mainstream-- just as ignoring certain realities does not make them go away.  Its a tough problem.

Anyway, here's this Quijote, which complements some of the points you are making.

U.S. tour offers visitors lessons on tolerance
Eastern Europeans meet with community leaders in L.A. and across the nation as part of a program to foster ethnic relations at home.
By Teresa Watanabe, Times Staff Writer
November 26, 2006

If you think ethnic conflict is bad in Los Angeles, listen to the stories of recent visitors Aleksandar Milovanovic, Edin Colic and Gjylnaze Syla.

Milovanovic, a Serbian Christian, said Albanian Muslims expelled him from his land, decapitated his uncle and burned his family homes. Syla, a member of the Kosovo parliament in Serbia, said mobs burned her family homes and expelled her sister. Colic of Bosnia-Herzegovina said he went without sufficient food, healthcare, schooling and electricity for three years while Serbian military forces surrounded his native Sarajevo.

Having survived the terrors of ethnic cleansing, war and raging hatred as the former Yugoslavia broke up in the 1990s, the three Eastern Europeans came to Los Angeles recently to learn how this city manages its dizzying ethnic diversity and promotes pluralism and tolerance.

Among the lessons learned: Dialogue makes a difference. Networking among ethnic community groups to promote common interests is vital. And ducking the problems makes them worse."What I found out is that you have your problems here, but the U.S. addresses them," Syla said. "You see it. You face it. That's what makes America great. Europe is much slower to react."

The 10-day visit to a total of seven cities, co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, included meetings with city officials, Hollywood players, religious leaders and community activists from Latino, Asian American, black, gay and Jewish groups.

The committee's Rabbi Andy Baker said he began organizing the "Promoting Tolerance in Central and Eastern Europe" program in 1992 in collaboration with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation of Germany to help the region's developing democracies learn from U.S. experiences with diversity.

Jewish communities, which had suffered repression under the region's Communist rule, were beginning to see what Baker called populist anti-Semitism after the end of the Cold War. New press freedoms, for instance, opened the door to the republication of Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" and other biased publications, Baker said.

"Freedom didn't suddenly bring understanding and appreciation of ethnic relations, as we saw in the former Yugoslavia," Baker said. "The challenge for us was what could we take from our experiences in America to benefit what was going on in these societies."

The program's 18 participants visited Capitol Hill and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.; toured Little Italy and the Jewish Lower East Side in New York City; and explored Olvera Street and Chinatown in Los Angeles. They also visited the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and experienced Shabbat at the homes of local families.

Several participants, most of them young political leaders, said their meetings with ethnic and charitable organizations left some of the deepest impressions. In Washington, for instance, the group discussed race and ethnic issues with representatives from the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, Japanese American Citizens League and the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People.

At the Skirball Center, a panel about Hollywood's effect on pluralism was a "big hit," according to Steve Addison, the American Jewish Committee's director of international relations in Los Angeles.

Vic Bulluck, executive director of the NAACP's Hollywood office, said he outlined how his organization serves as a watchdog over media portrayals of African Americans and works with other ethnic groups to push minority hiring.

And at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center, Chief Executive Lorri L. Jean described the organization's successful legal fight more than three decades ago to win nonprofit status, which the federal government had denied, and its collaborative work with other groups to protest bias against immigrants, ethnic minorities and others.

To Julia Leferman, a National Liberal Party of Romania member, the dynamic role of U.S. nonprofit and community organizations in promoting tolerance was particularly instructive. In Romania, where the government officially recognizes 18 minority groups, people depend on the state to solve their problems, she said. She wondered aloud if the nation's Gypsies, formally known as Romas, might become more integrated into society with stronger networking among private minority organizations.

"In Romania, people depend on the state to solve their problems, including minorities," she said. "Here, communities are working together to better promote their interests without necessarily relying on the federal and state governments."

Milovanovic, a legal assistant at the Democratic Party of Serbia's Education Center, said he was impressed by discussions about common values and beliefs between Muslim and Jewish youth in Chicago.

"This is something we could do between Serbians and Albanians," he said. "We have so many common issues: unemployment, the pain we share on both sides. "It would require a lot of energy and strength to do this," he added, "but if we don't deal with it we'll be in constant danger of another cycle of violence."

And Colic, a political science student and Liberal Democratic party board member of Bosnia-Herzegovina, said he gained hope for the future between Bosnians and Serbs after seeing how the Jewish committee and German foundation had paired up to produce the tolerance program. He also was inspired by the educational power of the Holocaust Memorial, he said.

"We definitely need something like that so we can teach the next generation of kids what people can do to people ? so they can learn from the mistakes of their parents," he said. "I don't think it will happen soon, though, because everything is still fresh."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 26, 2006, 09:34:29 AM
What a great program!
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 26, 2006, 10:55:44 AM
IMHO the Eurabia theory cannot simply be wished away-- there does seem to be rational basis for it.

I do not wish it away. But I also don't have the time to write a book to disproof its theories.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 26, 2006, 03:04:48 PM
Let me know what you think of the Steyn book when it arrives and you read it  :-)
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 26, 2006, 11:20:26 PM
Well, that doesn't really contradict to what I'm saying...

Quoted from one of your articles:

The phenomenon is not confined to Europe.

Yes, but please explain to me how you take a european muslim convert (Or American, Canadian, Australian convert) and then get a jihadist. You don't have the "victim" status you claim is what is fueling the jihad with middle eastern, south asian, african ethnicities that face discrimination in europe.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 27, 2006, 02:30:50 AM
Why are there youngsters packing a buchload of guns and going into their high school on a rampage?

Hard to say. I guess its many components playing together;

I'd say these convert jihadist are an exception and no rule.

What do you think?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 27, 2006, 03:01:39 AM
You don't have the "victim" status you claim is what is fueling the jihad with middle eastern, south asian, african ethnicities that face discrimination in europe.

This is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that we have to beware of generalizations and that we have to look for the causes to seek Jihad within the muslim population differently within the different groups.

Turks and Arabs hate each other. The French muslims tend to seek radical ideals mainly due their discrimination (they are french!), while for example the Pakistani immigrants of London certainly carry the idea of Jihad from their motherland.

The muslims in Europe are not one big corps and far from being ever united. That also is their weakness which we have to use.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 27, 2006, 04:03:16 AM
Why are there youngsters packing a buchload of guns and going into their high school on a rampage?

Hard to say. I guess its many components playing together;
  • lack of cultural identity
  • self hatred
  • feeling of exclusion (from society, friends, family)
  • suicical tendencies
  • depression

I'd say these convert jihadist are an exception and no rule.

What do you think?

I think there is a massive body of evidence to correlate violence to islam. Not every muslim, but as a rule the more religiously observant, the more likely to engage in jihad, or at least support it due to islam's core theology. Those that might have joined the Brownshirts 70 years ago or the Red Army Faction or Bader-Meinhof 30 years ago are converting to islam and becoming jihadis today. The commonality between the various groups is the endorsement, even sanctification of violence to meet their communal goals.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 27, 2006, 04:19:21 AM
I think there is a massive body of evidence to correlate violence to islam.

Unfortunately yes, I have to agree. Elias Canetti, one my favourite authors, considered Islam to be a religion of war.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 27, 2006, 06:34:05 PM
Here's Ralph Peters take on things.  Quijote, if you are not familiar with RP, he is a retired Army Colonel who worked intel matters in the mid-east.  He is regarded as a bold thinker, willing to take chances, and there is never any doubt what he thinks. :-D

The piece by Ralph Peters was linked from RealClearPolitics yesterday. I saved it, didn't keep link. Should be in recent archives of NY Post or RCP. But another interesting counter conventional wisdom point of view about Europe. (Which I find compelling since I thought this in the late '90's when the skinheads were firebombing Turkish slums in Germany back then.)

November 26, 2006 -- A RASH of pop prophets tell us that Muslims in
Europe are reproducing so fast and European societies are so weak
and listless that, before you know it, the continent will become
"Eurabia," with all those topless gals on the Riviera wearing veils.
Well, maybe not.

The notion that continental Europeans, who are world-champion
haters, will let the impoverished Muslim immigrants they confine to
ghettos take over their societies and extend the caliphate from the
Amalfi Coast to Amsterdam has it exactly wrong.

The endangered species isn't the "peace loving" European lolling in
his or her welfare state, but the continent's Muslims immigrants -
and their multi-generation descendents - who were foolish enough to
imagine that Europeans would share their toys.
In fact, Muslims are hardly welcome to pick up the trash on Europe's

Don't let Europe's current round of playing pacifist dress-up fool
you: This is the continent that perfected genocide and ethnic
cleansing, the happy-go-lucky slice of humanity that brought us such
recent hits as the Holocaust and Srebrenica.
THE historical patterns are clear: When Europeans feel sufficiently
threatened - even when the threat's concocted nonsense - they don't
just react, they over-react with stunning ferocity. One of their
more-humane (and frequently employed) techniques has been ethnic

And Europeans won't even need to re-write "The Protocols of the
Elders of Zion" with an Islamist theme - real Muslims zealots
provide Europe's bigots with all the propaganda they need. Al Qaeda
and its wannabe fans are the worst thing that could have happened to
Europe's Muslims. Europe hasn't broken free of its historical
addictions - we're going to see Europe's history reprised on meth.
The year 1492 wasn't just big for Columbus. It's also when Spain
expelled its culturally magnificent Jewish community en masse - to
be followed shortly by the Moors, Muslims who had been on the
Iberian Peninsula for more than 800 years.
Jews got the boot elsewhere in Europe, too - if they weren't just
killed on the spot. When Shakespeare wrote "The Merchant of Venice,"
it's a safe bet he'd never met a Jew. The Chosen People were
long-gone from Jolly Olde England.

From the French expulsion of the Huguenots right down to the last
century's massive ethnic cleansings, Europeans have never been shy
about showing "foreigners and subversives" the door.
And Europe's Muslims don't even have roots, by historical standards.
For the Europeans, they're just the detritus of colonial history.
When Europeans feel sufficiently provoked and threatened - a few
serious terrorist attacks could do it - Europe's Muslims will be
lucky just to be deported.
Sound impossible? Have the Europeans become too soft for that sort
of thing? Has narcotic socialism destroyed their ability to hate? Is
their atheism a prelude to total surrender to faith-intoxicated
Muslim jihadis?

The answer to all of the above questions is a booming "No!" The
Europeans have enjoyed a comfy ride for the last 60 years - but the
very fact that they don't want it to stop increases their rage and
sense of being besieged by Muslim minorities they've long refused to
assimilate (and which no longer want to assimilate).

WE don't need to gloss over the many Muslim acts of barbarism down
the centuries to recognize that the Europeans are just better at the
extermination process. From the massacre of all Muslims and Jews
(and quite a few Eastern Christians) when the Crusaders reached
Jerusalem in 1099 to the massacre of all the Jews in Buda (not yet
attached to Pest across the Danube) when the "liberating" Habsburg
armies retook the citadel at the end of the 17th century, Europeans
have just been better organized for genocide.

It's the difference between the messy Turkish execution of the
Armenian genocide and the industrial efficiency of the Holocaust.
Hey, when you love your work, you get good at it.
Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having
babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third
of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for
Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front - a party that makes the Ku Klux
Klan seem like Human Rights Watch - all predictions of Europe going
gently into that good night are surreal.

I have no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships
are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest,
Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's
Muslims. After all, we were the only ones to do anything about the
slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans. And even though we botched it,
our effort in Iraq was meant to give the Middle East's Muslims a
last chance to escape their self-inflicted misery.
AND we're lucky. The United States attracts the quality. American
Muslims have a higher income level than our national average. We
hear about the handful of rabble-rousers, but more of our fellow
Americans who happen to be Muslims are doctors, professors and
And the American dream is still alive and well, thanks: Even the
newest taxi driver stumbling over his English grammar knows he can
truly become an American.

But European Muslims can't become French or Dutch or Italian or
German. Even if they qualify for a passport, they remain
second-class citizens. On a good day. And they're supposed to take
over the continent that's exported more death than any other?
All the copy-cat predictions of a Muslim takeover of Europe not only
ignore history and Europe's ineradicable viciousness, but do a
serious disservice by exacerbating fear and hatred. And when it
comes to hatred, trust me: The Europeans don't need our help.
The jobless and hopeless kids in the suburbs may burn a couple of
cars, but we'll always have Paris.
Ralph Peters' latest book is "Never Quit the Fight."

NEW YORK POST is a registered trademark of NYP Holdings, Inc. NYPOST.COM,
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 27, 2006, 11:15:11 PM
**Mark Steyn responds.**

November 26, 2006
They Report, You Decide (with update from Mark Steyn)

Most of our readers are aware of Mark Steyn's "Demography is Destiny" theme, which he has elaborated in much of his recent writing. Steyn thinks that low birth rates among Europeans, in particular, will inevitably lead to their replacement on the European continent by Muslims who are reproducing at a far faster rate. Steyn pursues the theme in today's article in the Chicago Sun-Times, Quartet of Ladies Shows Where We're Headed. He contrasts Fatma An-Najar, the 64-year-old Palestinian grandmother who became a suicide bomber, with Katharine Jefferts Schori, the new Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church:

An-Najar gave birth to her first child at the age of 12. She had eight others. She had 41 grandchildren. Keep that family tree in mind. By contrast, in Spain, a 64-year old woman will have maybe one grandchild. That's four grandparents, one grandchild: a family tree with no branches.
Meanwhile, what of the Episcopalians?

Bishop Kate gave an interview to the New York Times revealing what passes for orthodoxy in this most flexible of faiths. She was asked a simple enough question: "How many members of the Episcopal Church are there?"
"About 2.2 million," replied the presiding bishop. "It used to be larger percentage-wise, but Episcopalians tend to be better educated and tend to reproduce at lower rates than other denominations."

This was a bit of a jaw-dropper even for a New York Times hackette, so, with vague memories of God saying something about going forth and multiplying floating around the back of her head, a bewildered Deborah Solomon said: "Episcopalians aren't interested in replenishing their ranks by having children?"

"No," agreed Bishop Kate. "It's probably the opposite. We encourage people to pay attention to the stewardship of the earth and not use more than their portion."

Is that a death wish, or what? As Steyn points out, "Here's the question for Bishop Kate: If Fatma An-Najar has 41 grandchildren and a responsible 'better educated' Episcopalian has one or two, into whose hands are we delivering 'the stewardship of the earth'? If your crowd isn't around in any numbers, how much influence can they have in shaping the future?"

Steyn's logic is persuasive to me, but Ralph Peters isn't buying it. He thinks that, far from taking over Europe, that continent's Muslims "will be lucky just to be deported:"

Have the Europeans become too soft for that sort of thing? Has narcotic socialism destroyed their ability to hate? Is their atheism a prelude to total surrender to faith-intoxicated Muslim jihadis?
The answer to all of the above questions is a booming "No!" The Europeans have enjoyed a comfy ride for the last 60 years - but the very fact that they don't want it to stop increases their rage and sense of being besieged by Muslim minorities they've long refused to assimilate (and which no longer want to assimilate).

Far from enjoying the prospect of taking over Europe by having babies, Europe's Muslims are living on borrowed time. When a third of French voters have demonstrated their willingness to vote for Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front - a party that makes the Ku Klux Klan seem like Human Rights Watch - all predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.

I have no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe's Muslims. After all, we were the only ones to do anything about the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans.

It's true that the Europeans have historically been willing to act much more harshly that Americans when they have felt threatened. But I wouldn't start sending the Marines to Brest just yet.

To comment on this post, go here.

UPDATE: Mark Steyn comments:

I don?t know whether Mr Peters is referring to my book, because, as usual when this particular columnist comes out swinging, he prefers to confront unnamed generalized opponents: thus, he refers to ?a rash of pop pundits? predicting Europe will become Eurabia. Dismissing with airy condescension ?a rash? of anonymities means you avoid having to deal with specific arguments.

Had he read America Alone, for example, he would know that I do, indeed, foresee a revival of Fascism in Europe. He concludes: ?All predictions of Europe going gently into that good night are surreal.? Which of us predicted anything about ?going gently?? As I write on page 105 of my book: ?It?s true that there are many European populations reluctant to go happily into the long Eurabian night.? What I point out, though, is that, even if you?re hot for a new Holocaust, demography tells. There are no Hitlers to hand. When Mr Peters cites the success of Jean Marie Le Pen?s National Front, he overlooks not only Le Pen?s recent overtures to Muslims but also the fact that M Le Pen is pushing 80. As a general rule, when 600 octogenarians are up against 200 teenagers, bet on the teens. In five or ten years? time, who precisely is going to organize mass deportations from French cities in which the native/Muslim youth-population ratio is already ? right now - 55/45?

As I?ve said innumerable times, the native European population is split three ways: some will leave, as the Dutch (and certain French) are already doing; some will shrug and go along with the Islamization of the continent, as the ever-accelerating number of conversions suggests; and so the ones left to embrace Fascism will be a minority of an aging population. It will be bloody and messy, as I write in America Alone, but it will not alter the final outcome. If you don?t breed, you can?t influence the future. And furthermore a disinclination to breed is a good sign you don?t care much about the future. That?s why the Spaniards, who fought a brutal bloody civil war for their country in the 1930s, folded instantly after those Madrid bombings. When you?ve demographically checked out of the future, why fight for it?

Ralph Peters is late to this debate. If he?s going to join the discussion, he might do better to tackle the facts. But that would require him to acknowledge real specifics rather than ?a rash of pop pundits?. You?ll notice that his column and mine differ not just in their approach to worldviews but in their approach to argument: mine cites four specific persons, their actions and assertions; his boldly batters anonymous generalizations. I know which I regard as more effective.

Thanks to Mark Steyn for this addition to the discussion.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 28, 2006, 04:20:08 AM

November 27, 2006
Europe's Ineradicable Viciousness?
Steven M. Warshawsky

Yesterday in the New York Post, Ralph Peters wrote a strongly-worded piece  challenging the "pop prophets" who argue that, as a result of demographic and cultural forces, Europe is rapidly turning into a Muslim-dominated continent -- what Bat Ye'or has termed "Eurabia."  Presumably Peters is thinking of fellow commentator Mark Steyn, whose best-selling book, America Alone,  is based on this exact thesis.  (For my review of America Alone, see here).

Peters argues that reports of Europe's demise are greatly exaggerated, and that once Europeans "feel sufficiently threatened" by the increasing numbers of Muslims in their midst, they will "over-react with stunning ferocity."  According to Peters, there is an "ineradicable viciousness" at the core of European civilization, and he strongly suggests that a genocide of Europe's Muslim population is a likely eventuality.  To support his analysis, Peters points to Europe's historical mistreatment of Jews, the massacres committed by the Crusaders in 1099, the expulsion of the Moors from Spain in 1492, and the growing popularity of Jean-Marie Le Pen's National Front party in France.  Peters' argument is not remotely persuasive.

To begin with, societies obviously change over time.  For example, the United States no longer permits slavery or segregation.  No serious person would argue, based on these historical practices, that black Americans are in danger of experiencing similar treatment in the future.  Similarly, while European countries certainly have had a "vicious" past (even the Scandinavians have their Viking ancestors), Peters offers absolutely no reason to believe that either the governments or a majority of the people living in Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, et al., retain such intolerant and warlike impulses.  On the contrary, as Steyn and others have extensively documented, the available evidence points in the opposite direction.  (See, e.g., the Madrid bombings that caused the Spanish electorate to vote out the conservative government that had supported the war on terror.)   

Significantly, Peters does not question the demographic trends that underlay the Eurabia thesis.  Steyn reports that Western women in Europe have an average of 1.4 children (well below the "replacement level" of 2.1 children per woman), whereas Muslim women have an average of 3.5 children.  This means that the Western population in Europe will shrink with each new generation, while the Muslim population explodes.  Already in France, for example, it is estimated that the numbers of Western and Muslim youths are roughly the same.  This means that the numbers of potential "warriors" available to each demographic group are at parity.  Hardly the situation that confronted European Jews before World War Two.

There are other problems with Peters' article, and I am sure it will spark many more rebuttals.  But his main argument that Europeans are "world-champion haters" who are poised to slaughter their Muslim neighbors is devoid of evidence, and ignores the very real problems posed by an increasingly Muslim Europe.

Steven M. Warshawsky   
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 28, 2006, 05:29:09 AM

The Veil Controversy
Islamism and liberalism face off.
by Olivier Guitta
12/04/2006, Volume 012, Issue 12

IN 1989, the first hijab incident in Europe took place in Creil, a suburb of Paris, when three high school girls tried to go to class wearing the Islamic headscarf. The students were expelled. Fifteen years later, with the hijab spreading fast among Muslims in France, the government formally banned the wearing of religious symbols in public schools. At the time, most European countries criticized French "intolerance" and deemed the issue a uniquely Gallic problem. But it wasn't. Today most European countries--and a number of Muslim countries--are debating what to do about this increasingly problematic sign of Islamization.

The British were among the most vocal critics of the French ban--back when they were still quite pleased with their own multicultural model. But on October 5, ex-foreign minister Jack Straw revealed that he regularly asked women who came to see him wearing face veils to take them off. Straw pointed out that veils are bad for community relations, and Prime Minister Blair added that the veil is a "mark of separation." This debate coincided with the decision of a British principal to fire an assistant teacher who refused to remove her full-face veil, or niqab, while teaching. Joining the fray was author Salman Rushdie, whose elegant contribution was the statement, "Veils suck." Tensions are rising, fueled by accusations of Islamophobia from some Muslim officials. There is fear that race riots could break out in some British suburbs.

Then there is Germany, where four states have barred public school teachers from wearing the hijab. Some brave female politicians born in Turkey spoke out on the issue in an October 15 interview with Bild am Sonntag. One of them, Ekin Deligoz, a Green party member of parliament, advised fellow Muslim women: "You live here, so take off the headscarf." She added that the headscarf is a symbol of female oppression. Because of her comments, Deligoz has received death threats and is now under police protection.

Finally, in Italy, where the niqab is banned, the controversy has reached new heights since the broadcast of a heated exchange on a television talk show. Right-wing member of parliament Daniela Santanche clashed with the imam of a mosque near Milan, Ali Abu Shwaima. Said Santanche: "The veil isn't a religious symbol and it isn't prescribed by the Koran." Retorted Shwaima: "The veil is an obligation required by God. Those who do not believe that are not Muslims. You're ignorant, you're false. You sow hatred, you're an infidel."

Coming from an imam, this rant carried almost the weight of a fatwa, or religious edict, in certain quarters, where it could be seen as a death sentence. Santanche has been given 24-hour police protection. She says she is speaking out because Muslim women forced to wear the veil have asked her to. She told the Sunday Times, "It's time to turn our backs on the politically correct. It's a question not of religion but of human rights."

And not only in Europe. Muslim countries are not immune to the controversy over the veil. In Egypt--where some 80 percent of women are now veiled, according to sociologist Mona Abaza--the dean of Helwan University has recently expelled female students for wearing the niqab. Interestingly, Soad Saleh, a former dean of the female faculty and Islamic law professor at the most prestigious Islamic university in the world, Cairo's Al-Azhar, confirmed that the niqab is not an obligation. Gamal al-Banna, brother of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, goes further: "Neither the Koran, nor the hadith require women to wear a headscarf."

But the country whose government is currently going after the hijab most vigorously is Tunisia. The wearing of the hijab has been spreading rapidly in Tunisian towns, prompting President Ben Ali recently to reactivate a 1981 decree banning the wearing of the hijab in government offices, schools, universities, and public places in general. His government views the hijab as one more sign of the unwelcome but growing influence of Islamists in Tunisian society. This past Ramadan, in a reversal of the standard pattern for Muslim religious police, Tunisian police were seen tearing headscarves off women in the streets.

The authorities consider the hijab unacceptable in a country that enshrined women's rights as long ago as 1956, with the banning of repudiation (male-initiated casual divorce), polygamy, forced marriage, and the granting of women's rights to vote and sue for divorce. Ben Ali sees women "as a solid defense against the regressive forces of fanaticism and extremism."

Interestingly, the Tunisian author and feminist Samia Labidi, president of A.I.M.E., an organization fighting the Islamists, recounts that she personally started wearing the veil before puberty, after Islamists told her the hijab would be a passport to a new life, to emancipation. After a few years, she realized she had been fooled and that the veil made her feel like she was "living in a prison." At first, she could not bring herself to stop wearing it because of the constant psychological pressure. But the 1981 ban on the hijab in public places forced her to remove it, and she did so for good.

Labidi's experience suggests that in both Tunisia and France the recent banning of the hijab has actually helped Muslim women who are subject to Islamist indoctrination.

For Islamists, the imperative to veil women justifies almost any means. Sometimes they try to buy off resistance. Some French Muslim families, for instance, are paid 500 euros (around $600) per quarter by extremist Muslim organizations just to have their daughters wear the hijab. This has also happened in the United States. Indeed, the famous and brave Syrian-American psychiatrist Wafa Sultan recently told the Jerusalem Post that after she moved to the United States in 1991, Saudis offered her $1,500 a month to cover her head and attend a mosque.

But what Islamists use most is intimidation. A survey conducted in France in May 2003 found that 77 percent of girls wearing the hijab said they did so because of physical threats from Islamist groups. A series in the newspaper Lib?ration in 2003 documented how Muslim women and girls in France who refuse to wear the hijab are insulted, rejected, and often physically threatened by Muslim males. One of the teenage girls interviewed said, "Every day, bearded men come to me and advise me strongly on wearing the veil. It is a war. For now, there are no dead, but there are looks and words that do kill."

Muslim women who try to rebel are considered "whores" and treated as outcasts. Some of them want to move to areas "with no Muslims" to escape. However, that might not be a solution, as Islamists are at work all over France. The Communist newspaper L'Humanit? in 2003 interviewed two Catholic-born French women who said they had converted to Islam and started wearing the niqab after systematic indoctrination by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In light of this, wearing the hijab may or may not be a manifestation of the free exercise of religion. For any individual, it may reflect the very opposite--religious coercion. In fact, millions of women are forced to wear the veil for fear of physical retribution. And the fear is well founded. According to Cheryl Benard of RAND, every year hundreds of women in Pakistan and Afghanistan alone are killed, have acid thrown in their faces, or are otherwise maimed by male fanatics.

Given the Islamists' ferocious determination on this point, it is worth asking: Why exactly is covering the female so important to them? The obvious answer is that it is a means of social control. Not coincidentally, it is one of the only issues on which Sunni and Shia extremists agree. It's not by chance that use of the hijab really took off after Iran's Islamic regime came to power in 1979. Some Shiite militias in Iraq have actually started forcing women--Muslim or not--to wear the veil or face the consequences.

If this issue were not vital for Islamists, how can one explain their reaction when France banned the hijab in public schools? Al Qaeda's number two, Ayman al Zawahiri, "strongly condemned" President Chirac's decision and threatened actions against France. Likewise, Sheikh Fadlallah, founder and spiritual leader of Hezbollah, wrote to Chirac threatening "likely complications" for France. Mohammad Khatami, former president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, called on the French government to "cancel this unjust law."

Commenting recently on the veil and the Islamists' strategy, Professor Iqbal Al-Gharbi, from the famous Islamic Zaytouna University in Tunis, explained: "The veil is just the tip of the iceberg. Behind the veil, there is the regressive interpretation of the sharia [Koranic law]. There are the three essential inequalities which define this interpretation: inequality between man and woman, between Muslim and non-Muslim, between free man and slave."

"Islam is the solution" is the motto of the Muslim Brotherhood. Instead, the real solution to the veil problem in Europe and in modern countries elsewhere is the defeat of radical Islam, making possible the peaceful integration of normal Muslims into Western societies on Western terms.

Olivier Guitta is a foreign affairs and counterterrorism consultant in Washington.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 28, 2006, 12:27:48 PM
Once I read Peters I couldn't quite agree with him (don't remember the topic), but now he has my sympathies...  :-D
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 29, 2006, 07:20:11 AM
Europe's quiet integration

Zachary Shore
International Herald Tribune
Lately European leaders seem seized by acute Islamophobia. First President Jacques Chirac perceived a threat to French identity posed by schoolgirls decked in head scarves. Then Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain spoke of outlawing the veil from public view. Now, after calling for a nationwide burka ban, Christian Democrats in the Netherlands have won the most seats in Parliament.

Most Western European nations are tightening their immigration laws while fretting over free speech in cartoons, plays and print. All the while, right-wing xenophobic parties are on the rise across the Continent. One year after riots set French housing projects ablaze, Europe appears to be shifting sharply to the right.

Just below the news media's radar screens, however, a countertrend is under way, which promises a kinder, gentler and potentially more successful approach to Europe's Muslim quandary.

While right-leaning ministers at the national level are talking tough to Muslims, progressive officials and private citizens at local levels are spearheading innovative programs to aid Muslim integration.

In Berlin, Ren?e Abul-Ella runs Al- Dar (The Home), an organization dedicated to helping Arabic women and their families integrate into German society. Al-Dar provides language, typing and computer training to Muslim women and counsels them on issues they cannot discuss in most contexts. Abul- Ella told me that nearly every family she knows has had some incidence of domestic violence.

Al-Dar works with fathers, too, some of whom have prevented their daughters from attending school. "We don't make the people who come to us feel ashamed about their culture," Abul-Ella said. "Instead, we show them that what is appropriate in one country may not be appropriate in another.

At the other end of Germany, Michael Blume is at work in Stuttgart pushing through a series of radical policy shifts in the state of Baden-W?rttemberg. Blume had not even finished his doctoral thesis on comparative religion when he received a call from the state's minister-president. It was just after the 9/11 attacks, and the minister-president was repeatedly being asked about his government's policies toward Muslims, who comprise 5.7 percent of Baden- W?rttemberg's population, and whose numbers are swelling fast. He had no policies, and there was no one on his staff to handle it.

Having heard about Blume's provocative research, the minister-president invited the young Ph.D. student to tea, and in the course of their discussion asked Blume to join his staff. Since then, Blume has initiated a pilot program in 12 public schools serving large concentrations of Muslim children. With the schoolteachers' and parents' consent, these schools now offer classes in Islam as well as the usual courses on Christianity. Religion has always been taught in German schools, but the study of Islam had never been part of the curriculum. The aim is to encourage a sense of Muslim inclusion within German society and discourage the all-too- common development of a parallel society existing outside the mainstream.

Further west, the French city of Strasbourg is also experimenting with new integration strategies. Here sits the European Parliament, with its ornate marble stairways and plush voting chambers, and the Council of Europe, devoted to ensuring human rights and social cohesion throughout the continent. But travel just a few minutes to the other side of Strasbourg, to the neighborhood of Neuhof, and you will see dilapidated housing, shattered windows and crumbled streets.

Drugs have plagued the neighborhood, but the city is attempting to revitalize it, not just by constructing decent housing. Outside the Ecole Maternelle Reuss, scores of immigrant children play tag with all the boisterous energy you would find in any playground. Behind the playground, a more serious course is under way inside a prefab concrete two-room structure where the mothers are learning French. Many came from Bangladesh, Turkey, Morocco or Algeria with little education. All say they are grateful to learn the language, and their courses are paid for by the city if they cannot afford to pay themselves.

These are just a few of Europe's smart steps toward Muslim integration. There are many others. In Berlin, the Aziz Nesin Europa elementary school is completely bilingual. Half of all courses are taught in German; the other half in Turkish. Most policy makers insist that only by mastering European languages can immigrants and their children prosper. The Aziz Nesin school is proving that early bilingual education enhances cognitive ability, fosters curiosity about other cultures, and may even improve academic performance. And the school is not just for Turkish children. It is mixed between Turkish-German and German kids, fostering bonds between cultures at a very early age.

Tough talk and burka bans may win votes at the national level, but municipal governments cannot afford to let their Muslim residents remain closed off from the community and open to extremism. If any of the progressive local projects succeed, they will eventually be adopted nationwide. Europe's leaders have no other choice. If they keep fiddling with the politics of exclusion, Paris will again be burning.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 29, 2006, 08:32:53 AM
**I'd agree that integration is taking place. The question is, who is integrating who?**;jsessionid=Y3UZA1RZGTHK5QFIQMFSFGGAVCBQ0IV0?xml=/news/2006/11/29/nsharia29.xml

Sharia law is spreading as authority wanes
By Joshua Rozenberg, Legal Editor
Last Updated: 2:03am GMT 29/11/2006

Islamic sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain, a report claims.

Sharia, derived from several sources including the Koran, is applied to varying degrees in predominantly Muslim countries but it has no binding status in Britain.

The Koran is one of the sources that Sharia derives from

However, the BBC Radio 4 programme Law in Action produced evidence yesterday that it was being used by some Muslims as an alternative to English criminal law. Aydarus Yusuf, 29, a youth worker from Somalia, recalled a stabbing case that was decided by an unofficial Somali "court" sitting in Woolwich, south-east London.

Mr Yusuf said a group of Somali youths were arrested on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager. The victim's family told the police it would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.

A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate their victim. "All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

Although Scotland Yard had no information about that case yesterday, a spokesman said it was common for the police not to proceed with assault cases if the victims decided not to press charges.

advertisementHowever, the spokesman said cases of domestic violence, including rape, might go to trial regardless of the victim's wishes.

Mr Yusuf told the programme he felt more bound by the traditional law of his birth than by the laws of his adopted country. "Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law," he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious ? it's just a cultural thing."

Sharia's great strength was the effectiveness of its penalties, he said. Those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families.

Some lawyers welcomed the advance of what has become known as "legal pluralism".

Dr Prakash Shah, a senior lecturer in law at Queen Mary University of London, said such tribunals "could be more effective than the formal legal system".

In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, says there is an "alternative parallel unofficial legal system" that operates in the Muslim community on a voluntary basis.

"Sharia courts now operate in most larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions," he says. These are based on sharia councils, set up in Britain to help Muslims solve family and personal problems.

Sharia councils may grant divorces under religious law to a woman whose husband refuses to complete a civil divorce by declaring his marriage over. There is evidence that these councils are evolving into courts of arbitration.

Faizul Aqtab Siddiqi, a barrister and principal of Hijaz College Islamic University, near Nuneaton, Warwicks, said this type of court had advantages for Muslims. "It operates on a low budget, it operates on very small timescales and the process and the laws of evidence are far more lenient and it's less awesome an environment than the English courts," he said.

Mr Siddiqi predicted that there would be a formal network of Muslim courts within a decade.

"I was speaking to a police officer who said we no longer have the bobby on the beat who will give somebody a slap on the wrist.

"So I think there is a case to be made under which the elders sit together and reprimand people, trying to get them to change."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 29, 2006, 08:39:37 AM
Indeed very interesting. I think the British have larger problem than they'd like to admit. Again, in Britain the Pakistani muslims are very strong, but they're not found anywhere else in such larger numbers. Still, sharia courts will not have any importance upon British civil law ever and I trust the British stubborness to never allow this.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 29, 2006, 08:49:17 AM
Well, I have my fingers crossed. Just keep in mind that much of the middle east was once very christian in it's makeup. Now it's the heart of the muslim world.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 29, 2006, 10:21:08 AM
The British have centuries of expierence with their Empire of how to handle foreign folks. In the commonwealth the British have learned a lot how to appease its population and still keep it under their strict rule. Sure, their Empire is no more, but in Iraq and Afghanistan the British have clearly shown just how well they get along with other cultures and still be a hard bite.

I have a profound trust, especially in the Brits (in opposition to the French), that they know what they're doing and can handle some sharia-wannabe-courts.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 29, 2006, 02:35:24 PM
Very interesting.

The current real time application of the magnificent tradition of Anglo-Saxon common law, which originated in UK and of which US is an off-shoot, has serious problems and the response here of the Somalis is not without its logic.

Unfortunately, the rise of a parallel legal system based along these lines has some profound dangers to it.  Yet it is precisely because of its merit, that nipping it in the bud could accentuate divisions as well.  Does tragedy lie ahead?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 29, 2006, 04:19:46 PM

I don't have the faith in the Brits you have. I fear political correctness will be the death of them.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 30, 2006, 08:46:38 AM
Today I had an interesting talk with a Turk. I asked him about the differences between Sunnites, Shiites and Wahabits. He himself is a Sunnite which also has four distinctions. He isn't someone who would be very talkative, but his comments were very much on point. For him the Shiites are simply wrong when claiming Ali to be descendant of Mohammed. And when I asked about Wahabits he just said; "Saudis are Wahabits, aren't they? Well, they're just utterly stupid." I didn't ask him any further because he started to get upset about Shiites and Wahabits. Once more a personal affirmation for how different the muslims here in Europe are.

I fear political correctness will be the death of them.

I fear you don't know the Brits, because 'political correctness' and 'britishness' are two extremes.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 30, 2006, 09:07:52 AM

Muslims have been fighting over their theological divisions since the death of Muhammad. That doesn't mean they can't unite against the dhimmi and kufar under the banner of jihad. If I recall correctly Khomeni started out as a Sufi, which tends to be the hippy-dippy, new-agey version of islam. Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on November 30, 2006, 09:29:05 AM
Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.

Which ones?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on November 30, 2006, 11:01:56 PM
**This covers a bit of it.**

December 6, 2002, 9:55 a.m.
A Wahhabism Problem
Misleading historical negationism.

By Andrew G. Bostom

n his recent writings on NRO (here and here) and elsewhere, and in his new book, The Two Faces of Islam, Stephen Schwartz appropriately draws the attention of policymakers and the public at large to the dangerous, unsavory interactions between the Saudi royal family, Wahhabi Islam, and international terrorism. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Schwartz identifies Wahhabism as the source of all Islamic terror and injustice. He does not mention that the twin institutionalized scourges of Islam at the crux of the violent, nearly 1,400-year relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims — i.e., jihad and dhimmitude — were already well-elaborated by the 8th century, 1,000 years before Wahhabism arose in the 18th century.

Ibn Khaldun (d. 1406), perhaps the preeminent Islamic scholar in history, summarized five centuries of prior Muslim jurisprudence with regard to the uniquely Islamic institution of jihad:

In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force... The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense... Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

In "The Laws of Islamic Governance," al-Mawardi (d. 1058), a renowned jurist of Baghdad, examined the regulations pertaining to the lands and infidel (i.e., non-Muslim) populations subjugated by jihad. This is the origin of the system of dhimmitude. The native infidel population had to recognize Islamic ownership of their land, submit to Islamic law, and accept payment of the poll tax (jizya). Some of the more salient features of dhimmitude include: the prohibition of arms for the vanquished non-Muslims (dhimmis), and of church bells; restrictions concerning the building and restoration of churches and synagogues; inequality between Muslims and non-Muslims with regard to taxes and penal law; the refusal of dhimmi testimony by Muslim courts; a requirement that Jews and Christians wear special clothes; and their overall humiliation and abasement. Furthermore, dhimmis, including those living under "enlightened" Turkish and Bosnian Muslim domain, suffered, at periods, from slavery (i.e., harem slavery for women, and the devshirme child levy for Balkan Christian males), abductions, deportations, and massacres. During the modern era, between 1894-96, the Ottoman Turks massacred over 200,000 (dhimmi) Christian Armenians, followed by the first formal genocide of the 20th century, in 1915, at which time they slaughtered an additional 600,000 to 800,000 Armenians. Contemporary accounts from European diplomats confirm that these brutal massacres were perpetrated in the context of a formal jihad against the Armenians who had attempted to throw off the yoke of dhimmitude by seeking equal rights and autonomy. For example, the Chief Dragoman (Turkish-speaking interpreter) of the British embassy reported regarding the 1894-96 massacres:

…[The perpetrators] are guided in their general action by the prescriptions of the Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if the "rayah" [dhimmi] Christian attempts, by having recourse to foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed them by their Mussulman [Muslim] masters, and free themselves from their bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind the Armenians had tried to overstep those limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially England. They therefore considered it their religious duty and a righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and properties of the Armenians…"

The scholar Bat Yeor confirms this reasoning, noting that the Armenian quest for reforms invalidated their "legal status," which involved a "contract" (i.e., with their Muslim Turkish rulers). This

…breach…restored to the umma [the Muslim community] its initial right to kill the subjugated minority [the dhimmis], [and] seize their property…

Schwartz extols the ecumenism and tolerance of Sufi Islam. Sufism was derivative from Hinduism, in addition to strains of mysticism borrowed from Judaism and Christianity. However, Sufi Islam as practiced in the Indian subcontinent was quite intolerant of Hinduism, as documented by the Indian scholar K. S. Lal (The Legacy of Muslim Rule in India [1992], p. 237):

The Muslim Mushaikh [Sufi spiritual leaders] were as keen on conversions as the Ulama, and contrary to general belief, in place of being kind to the Hindus as saints would, they too wished the Hindus to be accorded a second class citizenship if they were not converted. Only one instance, that of Shaikh Abdul Quddus Gangoh, need be cited because he belonged to the Chishtia Silsila considered to be the most tolerant of all Sufi groups. He wrote letters to the Sultan Sikandar Lodi, Babur, and Humayun to re-invigorate the Shariat [Sharia] and reduce the Hindus to payers of land tax and jizya. To Babur he wrote, "Extend utmost patronage and protection to theologians and mystics... that they should be maintained and subsidized by the state... No non-Muslim should be given any office or employment in the Diwan of Islam... Furthermore, in conformity with the principles of the Shariat they should be subjected to all types of indignities and humiliations. They should be made to pay the jizya...They should be disallowed from donning the dress of the Muslims and should be forced to keep their Kufr [infidelity] concealed and not to perform the ceremonies of their Kufr openly and freely… They should not be allowed to consider themselves the equal to the Muslims."

Sadly, both Schwartz's recent NRO contributions and his book reflect two persistent currents widespread among the Muslim intelligentsia: historical negationism and silent hypocrisy. To these two trends, Schwartz adds a third: misleading reductionism. If we would only neutralize "Wahhabism," he claims — presumably by some combination of military means, promoting the "true Islam," and perhaps having the world switch to a hydrogen-based fuel economy — all Islamic terror and injustice will disappear. But the reality is that, for nearly 1,400 years, across three continents, from Portugal to India, non-Muslims have experienced the horrors of the institutionalized jihad war ideology and its ugly corollary institution, dhimmitude. Post hoc, internal disputes among Muslim scholars, including Sufi scholars, about the theological "correctness" of "lesser" versus "greater" jihad are meaningless to the millions of non-Muslim victims of countless jihad wars: Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, and Buddhists. What is important is that after well over a millennium, Muslims finally acknowledge the suffering of these millions of victims of jihad wars, as well as the oppressive governance imposed on non-Muslims by the laws of dhimmitude. Thus far this brutal history has been completely denied, and even celebrated, as "enlightened" conquest and rule.

Moreover, it is critical to understand that there were never organized, mass progressive efforts within Islam comparable to the philo-Semitic movement by European Christendom that lead to the emancipation of European Jewry, or the European Judeo-Christian movement that led to the abolition of slavery. Indeed, it took European military (primarily naval) power to force Islamic governments, including the Ottoman Empire, to end slavery at the end of the 19th century. Beginning in the mid-19th century, treaties imposed by the European powers on the weakened Ottoman Empire also included provisions for the so-called Tanzimat reforms. These reforms were designed to end the discriminatory laws of dhimmitude for Christians and Jews living under Muslim Ottoman governance. European consuls endeavored to maintain compliance with at least two cardinal principles: respect for the life and property of non-Muslims, and the right for Christians and Jews to provide evidence in Islamic courts when a Muslim was a party. Unfortunately, the effort to end the belief in Muslim superiority over "infidels," and to establish equal rights, failed. Indeed, throughout the Ottoman Empire, particularly within the Balkans, emancipation of the dhimmi peoples provoked violent, bloody responses against any "infidels" daring to claim equality with local Muslims. Enforced abrogation of the laws of dhimmitude required the dismantling of the Ottoman Empire. This finally happened only after the Balkan Wars of independence, and in the European Mandate period after World War I.

Today, the Muslim intelligentsia focus almost exclusively on debatable "human-rights violations" in the disputed territories of Gaza, Judea, and Samaria, while ignoring the blatant and indisputable atrocities committed by Muslims against non-Muslims throughout the world. The most egregious examples include: the genocidal slaughter, starvation, and enslavement of south Sudanese Christians and animists by the Islamist Khartoum government forces; the mass murder of Indonesian Christians by Muslim jihadists, with minimal preventive intervention by the official Muslim Indonesian government; the imposition of sharia-sanctioned discrimination and punishments, including mutilation, against non-Muslims in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Sudan, and northern Nigeria; the brutal murders of Copts during pogroms by the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, as well as official Egyptian government-mandated social and political discrimination against the Copts; murderous terrorist attacks and the return of such heinous institutions as bonded labor, and punishment for "blasphemy," directed against Pakistani Christians by Pakistani Muslims.

There is a dire need for some courageous, meaningful movement within Islam that would completely renounce both dhimmitude and jihad against non-Muslims, openly acknowledging the horrific devastation they have wrought for nearly 1,400 years. Nothing short of an Islamic Reformation and Enlightenment may be required, to acknowledge non-Muslims as fully equal human beings, and not "infidels" or "dhimmis." It is absurd and disingenuous for Schwartz to pretend that Islam's problems are centered solely within Wahhabism.

— Andrew Bostom, M.D., an associate professor of Medicine at Brown University Medical School, has spent the past 15 months researching the history of jihad and dhimmitude. He has written for NRO previously, coauthor of a piece with dhimmi historian Bat Yeor.


Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on December 01, 2006, 05:59:14 AM
**Another response to Ralph Peters.**

The Reality of Eurabia
By Aaron Hanscom | December 1, 2006

More than a few thinkers have posited that, should demographic trends hold, Europe is destined to become a cultural and political province of the Arab/Muslim world -- “Eurabia,” as the author Bat Ye’or has famously dubbed it. But Ralph Peters will have none of it. Eurabia, he seems to think, is just a myth perpetuated by Islamophobic Cassandras.

In a recent New York Post op-ed, the columnist does acknowledge the possibility of impending doom on the continent but with a twist. While there’s “no chance” Europe will be taken over by Muslims, Peters believes that “Europe’s Muslims are living on borrowed time.”  And why should those young Muslim Swedes who don the popular “2030—then we take over” T-shirts believe him?  Peters explains: “From the French expulsion of the Huguenots right down to the last century's massive ethnic cleansings, Europeans have never been shy about showing ‘foreigners and subversives’ the door.”

Not the least noteworthy of Peter’s errors is the assumption that modern Europeans are as ready to fight for the continuation of their way of life as the burgeoning Muslim populations in their midst are prepared to destroy it. Unwilling to admit the inconvenient truth that Europeans have grown lethargic due to cradle-to-grave state welfare and utopian pacifism, Peters is forced to seek out dates far back in history—such as 1492 when Spain ended 800 years of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula—to try and make his point that the inherent brutality of Europeans will ensure their survival.  A more sober analysis of the troubling situation in Europe comes from America Alone author Mark Steyn in a response to the Peters’ column:

As I’ve said innumerable times, the native European population is split three ways: some will leave, as the Dutch (and certain French) are already doing; some will shrug and go along with the Islamization of the continent, as the ever-accelerating number of conversions suggests; and so the ones left to embrace Fascism will be a minority of an aging population. It will be bloody and messy, as I write in America Alone, but it will not alter the final outcome. If you don’t breed, you can’t influence the future. And furthermore a disinclination to breed is a good sign you don’t care much about the future. That’s why the Spaniards, who fought a brutal bloody civil war for their country in the 1930s, folded instantly after those Madrid bombings. When you’ve demographically checked out of the future, why fight for it?

It’s worth taking a closer look at Spain to assess the validity of Peters’ Eurabia-as-myth thesis.  With the average Spanish woman having 1.32 children and the average Muslim unwilling to renounce the increasingly loud calls for the Islamic reconquest of Spain, the country’s future is in great jeopardy.  Indeed, the process of repossessing land that is viewed as illegitimately occupied is well underway.


In his book The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus, Spanish politician Gustavo de Arístegui describes the policy of the “foot in the threshold,” which is a clearly designed strategy to reconquer land that was once under the domain of Islam. Patience and determination are the prerequisites for success: Before the reconquest of the entire country can take place, it is first necessary to conquer neighborhoods, towns, cities, provinces and regions—in that order. 


Arístegui details how Muslims in Spain are buying land, houses and businesses in the cities most emblematic of Al-Ándalus.  Captured Al-Qaeda leader Mustafa Setmariam, who lived in Granada for two years, has verified Arístegui’s claim. He described in detail to the Spanish National Police the activities of the Moroccan radical organization Justice and Charity in the Spanish town of Tecla: “They have a plan of obtaining Spanish nationality, buying houses and goods and having children.  Many of them are married to Spaniards and all of it is done with the goal of conquering the town in any possible way.”


This goal is also evident in Albaicín, a prominent neighborhood in Granada.  Interviews with Muslims living in Albaicín reveal a group all but convinced that Spain will belong to them in the future.  In recent interviews conducted by the Spanish television station Telecinco, many Muslims stated that because they had been able to conquer Albaicín they would now be able to conquer Granada and then all of Al-Ándalus.  An Imam of a mosque in Albaicín who was profiled on a National Public Radio program last year predicted that all of historic Al-Ándalus would become Muslim again.  As he explained, “Islam is resurgent from within the land.” 


Meanwhile, less than 20 percent of Spaniards declare themselves to be practicing Roman Catholics; that’s down from 98 percent fifty years ago. So while mosques and  madrasahs are popping up across Spain, the Catholic Church is being forced to close monasteries and convents.  It doesn’t help matters that Spain’s Socialist government saw no problem in canceling the reintroduction of compulsory religious classes while later financing the publication of a textbook for Muslim first graders to learn about Islam.  Spain’s leading archbishop, Cardinal Antonio María Rouco, is understandably concerned about the future: “Some people wish to place us in the year 711," he has said. "It seems as if we are meant to wipe ourselves out of history."


Indeed, it is the self-destruction of European civilization that should most concern doubters like Ralph Peters. Instead, in his article he writes that he has “no difficulty imagining a scenario in which U.S. Navy ships are at anchor and U.S. Marines have gone ashore at Brest, Bremerhaven or Bari to guarantee the safe evacuation of Europe’s Muslims.”  Were that ever to occur, however, the US would most likely be rescuing Muslims from the hands of other Muslims, intent on imposing their unforgiving brand of Islamic Shari’a law. A report issued last month claims that Islamic Sharia law is gaining an increasing foothold in parts of Britain. In his book Islam in Britain, Patrick Sookhdeo, director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, writes, “Sharia courts now operate in larger cities, with different sectarian and ethnic groups operating their own courts that cater to their specific needs according to their traditions.”


Far from being irrational, the “pop prophets” that Peters criticizes are using reasoned observation when they warn of the coming of Eurabia. In her book The Force of Reason, the late Oriana Fallaci, perhaps the bravest of the “prophets” Peters scorns, described Albaicín in the following way:

[The Brothers in Prophet Mohammed] moved to Granada where they settled in the historical quarter of Albaicin, and this is the point. Because despite the naïve anti-clericalism spit up during the Holy Week Procession, those Brothers in Prophet Mohammed were not naïve at all. In Granada they created a situation similar to the one which at the time was engulfing Beirut and which now is engulfing so many cities of France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, etcetera. Ergo, today the quarter of Albaicin is in every sense a State within a State. An Islamic feud, an apostatic domain, which lives with its own laws. Its own institutions, its own hospital, its own cemeteries. Its own abattoir, its own newspaper: La Hora del Islam. Its own publishers, its own libraries, its own schools. Schools that exclusively teach how to memorize the Koran. And its own shops, of course. Its own markets, its own banks. Even its own currency, given that in Albaicin all is bought and sold with the gold and silver coins struck on the model of the dirham in use at the time of Boabdil Lord of old Granada. (Money coined in Calle San Gregorio that for the usual reasons of «public order» the Spanish Ministry of Finance pretends to know nothing about).

Fallaci understood something that Peters seems unwilling to contemplate. "Eurabia" is not merely a possibility for the future. In some ways, indeed, it may already have arrived.

Title: Rejecting Rationalism; Occasionalism in Action
Post by: buzwardo on December 01, 2006, 06:14:21 AM
Islam and the Problem of Rationality
The American Thinker | December 01, 2006 | Patrick Poole

In the run-up to Pope Benedict's current visit to Turkey, TIME Magazine opened its pages to Tariq Ramadan, Europe's favorite Islamist and perhaps the most influential Muslim figure in the West today. Ramadan chided the Pope and Europe for ignoring the positive contributions of Islam to the development of rational thought in the West.

Writing in response to Benedict's now-famous Regensburg speech (which prompted outrage in the Muslim world) and the Pope's first visit to a predominantly Muslim country, Ramadan's article, "And He's Still in the Dark", offers a back-handed compliment to Benedict's attempt at dialogue with Muslims, warning that the Pope's efforts actually threatens the West, and directs Muslims in the West to their point of apologetic attack:

As I have written before, this profoundly European Pope is inviting the people of his continent to become aware of the central, inescapable character of Christianity within their identity, or risk losing it. That may be a legitimate goal, but Benedict's narrow definition of European identity is deeply troubling and potentially dangerous. This is what Muslims must respond to: the tendency of Westerners to ignore the critical role that Muslims played in the development of Western thought. Those who "forget" the decisive contributions of rationalist Muslim thinkers like al-Farabi (10th century), Avicenna (11th century), Averroes (12th century), al-Ghazali (12th century), Ash-Shatibi (13th century) and Ibn Khaldun (14th century) are reconstructing a Europe that is not only an illusion but also self-deceptive about its past.

But in fact, it is Ramadan who is operating under an illusion and is self-deceived about Islam's supposed prominent role in shaping the rationalist tradition of Christendom. As an article ("The Pope and the Prophet") by Robert Reilly in the current issue of Crisis Magazine ably notes, Western Christianity's rational tradition developed in the Medieval era precisely as a result of the outright rejection of the irrationalism inherent in Islamic philosophy, not the embracing of it.

Any hope of the development of a rational tradition within Islam was dashed with the rise of Caliph Ja'afar al-Mutawakkil (847-861). Prior to al-Mutawakkil's rule, a rationalist philosophy had begun to develop under the Mu'tazilite school of interpretation, which advocated for a created, as opposed to an uncreated, Quran. But Caliph al-Mutawakkil condemned the Mu'tazilite school, which opened the door for the rival Ash'arite interpretation, founded by al-Ash'ari (d. 935), to eventually take preeminence within Sunni Islam - a position of dominance it has retained over the centuries. By 1200 A.D., any hope of recovering a semblance of rational Islamic philosophy was seemingly forever lost.

It was the work of the very Islamic philosophers that Ramadan cites that prompted Europe Christian thinkers to make a break with their Muslim counterparts. Historically, the views of the Ash'arite school were rooted in the theological dogma of "volunteerism", which holds that rather than created objects having inherent existence, Allah constantly recreates each atom anew at every moment according to his arbitrary will. This, of course, undermines the basis for what Westerners understand as natural laws.

From volunteerism sprung another irrational idea amongst Muslim thinkers - occasionalism - that further prevented the development of rationalism within the Islamic tradition. Occasionalism is the belief that in the natural world, what is perceived as cause and effect between objects is mere appearance, not reality. Instead, only Allah truly acts with real effect; all seemingly natural observances of causation are merely manifestations of Allah's habits, for Allah simultaneously creates both the cause and the effect according to his arbitrary will. This view is best expressed by one of the Islamic philosophers cited by Ramadan, al-Ghazali (1059-1111), in his book, The Incoherence of the Philosophers:

The connection between what is habitually believed to be the cause and what is habitually believed to be the effect is not necessary for us. But in the case of two things, neither of which is the other and where neither the affirmation nor the negation of the one entails the affirmation or the negation of the other, the existence or non-existence of the one does not necessitate the existence or non-existence of the other; for example, the quenching of thirst and drinking, satiety and eating, burning and contact with fire, light and the rising of the sun, death and decapitation.... On the contrary, it is within God's power to create satiety without eating, death without decapitation, to prolong life after decapitation and so on in the case of all concomitant things. (quoted in "Causation in Islamic Thought" from the Dictionary of the History of Ideas)

Using al-Ghazali's own analogy of decapitation, according to the occasionalist view, when a sword struck off a person's head causing death, it only merely appeared that the sword was the cause of the decapitation: the real and primary cause of the decapitation and the death was the will of Allah, not the sword. The sword, in fact, played no part at all. Had Allah willed it so, the sword could have cut through the neck without decapitation or death. To believe otherwise, Islamic occasionalism held, would be a limitation of the omnipotence of Allah. As with volunteerism, the consequences of occasionalism had catastrophic effects for the development of empirical science in the Islamic world.

Occasionalism was rigorously opposed by the two great philosophers of Medieval Europe, Albert Magnus and Thomas Aquinas, along with the great medieval Jewish philosopher, Moses Maimonides (1135-1204), who lived and wrote in Muslim-occupied Spain. The Fourth Lateran Council (1215) also addressed the threat posed by Islamic occasionalism by affirming the ancient Christian truth that God created the universe ex nihilo (from nothing). This prevented the volunteerist view from gaining ground in the West, and thus occasionalism, merely by stating that God had actually created, and that objects in the natural world created by God have an actual inherent existence and do not need to be constantly recreated.

Other problems developed within Islamic philosophy which prevented the rise of rationalism. Perhaps the most notable following volunteerism and occasionalism is the "dual-truth" theory advanced by Averroes, who with Avicenna is considered one of the two most important Islamic philosophers in history.

In an attempt to navigate between faith and rationality, Averroes argued that what may be true in the realm of religion may be contrary to what is true in nature. Thus, the Quranic maxim, "there is no compulsion in religion," (Sura 2:256) can be entirely true from a religious sense; but in the real world and in the course of jihad, compulsion may not only be required, but entirely justifiable. The dual-truth theory was vigorously rejected by Aquinas, and eventually both Roman Catholic, and later, Protestant theology acknowledged both the authoritative nature and the necessary agreement between special revelation (Scripture) and general revelation (nature).

Aquinas also refuted Averroes on his denial of the personal element to the human soul in the classic treatise, De Unitate Intellectus Contra Averroistas. The implication of Averroes' belief was an ultimate denial of the individual and the rejection of personal immortality - an inseparable component to historic Christian theology.

Neoplatonism and its associated ideas were also commonplace to Islamic philosophy, particularly the recurrent eternal cycles of history (Ibn Khaldun), which stands opposed to the linear view of history that is integral to the development of modern science. But science and rationalism were not the only victims of the problems of Islamic philosophy: free will and ethics also became targets. Islamic occasionalism led to fatalism and ethical positivism, as articulated in recent centuries by Muhammad as-Sanusi (b. 1780):

It is impossible for the Most High to determine an act as obligatory or forbidden... for the sake of any objective, since all acts are equal in that they are his creation and production. Therefore the specification of certain acts as obligatory and others as forbidden or with any other determination takes place by his pure choice, which has no cause. Intelligibility has no place at all in it rather it can be known only by revealed-law shar?a. (quoted in Joseph Kenny, Islamic Monotheism: Principles and Consequences)

Again, this is standard Ash'arite doctrine, which is the predominant view of Sunni Islam, not an obscure element within Muslim thought. Because there are no objective standards of good or evil, even with Allah, the only resort to maintain ethics is shari'a; and as-Sanusi makes clear, there is no role at all for rationality in ethics. Ibn Taymiyya (1263-1328), the favorite medieval theologian of Wahhabis and jihadists alike, contended that there was no role or ability for man to understand Allah; man's sole response was to obey shari'a, making any use of rational faculties irrelevant (see Reilly's article on this point). This is why the reinstitution of shari'a is so critical to the current Islamist project - there are no other alternatives except a complete reconstruction of Islam itself.

Tariq Ramadan is well aware of these problems within Islamic philosophy, as evidenced by his vocal appeals to reopen the "doors of ijtihad" to allow for new interpretations of Islam to escape the irrationalism of the principal ancient schools of belief. But instead of acknowledging those problems and ignoring the insurmountable philosophical obstacles posed by his own Islamic tradition, Ramadan shamelessly attempts to claim for Islamic traditions a commonality with the fruits of Western rationality.

Rather than focus on differences, the true dialogue between the Pope and Islam, and between secularized societies and Islamic ones, should emphasize our common, universal values: mutual respect of human rights, basic freedoms, rule of law and democracy.

The reality is that none of these values - human rights, basic freedoms, rule of law, or democracy - actually exists anywhere in the Muslim world (even in "secular" Turkey) to the degree that they are practiced in or are recognizable to the West, nor are they identifiable in the 1,400 years of Islamic history. (In subsequent essays I hope to show that Islamic theology itself negates these very concepts, making any rapprochement between Islam and Western values impossible without abandoning the most basic tenets of Islam itself.)

As Robert Reilly notes in his article, this acknowledgement of the intrinsic problems of Islamic theology and its incompatibility with Western values is not just a view exclusive to just infidels, but honest Muslim intellectuals as well. He quotes the Iranian thinker Abdolkarim Soroush, who admits:

Some of the understandings that exist in our society today of the Imams . . . or even of the concept of God are not particularly compatible with an accountable state and do not allow society to grow and develop in the modern-day sense.

If Tariq Ramadan is really serious about a dialogue between Islam and the West and cultivating Western values amongst Muslims (and there is some reason to believe that he isn't serious), it must not only be open, but honest as well. Relying on an invented and purely mythological Islamic history and ignoring the problems of Islamic philosophy are not the place for Muslims to initiate the dialogue. Pope Benedict's starting point is clearly much better.

Patrick Poole is an occasional contributor to American Thinker. He maintains a blog, Existential Space.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on December 01, 2006, 11:12:29 PM
**As usual, VDH is right on the money.**

Losing the Enlightenment
A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 12:01 a.m. EST

 Our current crisis is not yet a catastrophe, but a real loss of confidence of the spirit. The hard-won effort of the Western Enlightenment of some 2,500 years that, along with Judeo-Christian benevolence, is the foundation of our material progress, common decency, and scientific excellence, is at risk in this new millennium.

But our newest foes of Reason are not the enraged Athenian democrats who tried and executed Socrates. And they are not the Christian zealots of the medieval church who persecuted philosophers of heliocentricity. Nor are they Nazis who burned books and turned Western science against its own to murder millions en masse.

No, the culprits are now more often us. In the most affluent, and leisured age in the history of Western civilization--never more powerful in its military reach, never more prosperous in our material bounty--we have become complacent, and then scared of the most recent face of barbarism from the primordial extremists of the Middle East.

What would a beleaguered Socrates, a Galileo, a Descartes, or Locke believe, for example, of the moral paralysis in Europe? Was all their bold and courageous thinking--won at such a great personal cost--to allow their successors a cheap surrender to religious fanaticism and the megaphones of state-sponsored fascism?

Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker.

And we need not only speak of threats to free speech, but also the tangible rewards from a terrified West to the agents of such repression. Note the recent honorary degree given to former Iranian President, Mohammad Khatami, whose regime has killed and silenced so many, and who himself is under investigation by the Argentine government for his role in sponsoring Hezbollah killers to murder dozens of Jewish innocents in Buenos Aires.

There are many lessons to be drawn from these examples, besides that they represent a good cross-section of European society in Denmark, England, France, Germany, Holland, and Italy. In almost every case, the lack of public support for the threatened artist or intellectual or author was purportedly based either on his supposed lack of sensitivity, or of artistic excellence.
Van Gogh, it was said, was obnoxious, his films sometimes puerile. The academic Pope was perhaps woefully ignorant of public relations in the politically correct age. Were not the cartoons in Denmark amateurish and unnecessary? Rushdie was an overrated novelist, whose chickens of trashing the West he sought refuge in finally came home to roost. The latest Hans Neuenfels's adaptation of Mozart's "Idomeneo" was apparently as silly as it was cheaply sensationalist. And perhaps Robert Redeker need not have questioned the morality of Islam and its Prophet.

But isn't that fact precisely the point? It is easy to defend artists when they produce works of genius that do not challenge popular sensibilities--Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa" or Montesquieu's "Spirit of the Laws"--but not so when an artist offends with neither the taste of a Michelangelo nor the talent of a Dante. Yes, Pope Benedict is old and scholastic; he lacks both the charisma and tact of the late Pope John Paul II, who surely would not have turned for elucidation to the rigidity of Byzantine scholarship. But isn't that why we must come to the present Pope's defense--if for no reason other than because he has the courage to speak his convictions when others might not?

Note also the constant subtext in this new self-censorship of our supposedly liberal age: the fear of radical Islam and its gruesome methods of beheadings, suicide bombings, improvised explosive devices, barbaric fatwas, riotous youth, petrodollar-acquired nuclear weapons, oil boycotts and price hikes, and fist-shaking mobs, as the seventh century is compressed into the twenty-first.

In contrast, almost daily in Europe, "brave" artists caricature Christians and Americans with impunity. And we know what explains the radical difference in attitudes to such freewheeling and "candid" expression--indeed, that hypocrisy of false bravado, of silence before fascists and slander before liberals is both the truth we are silent about, and the lie we promulgate.

There is, in fact, a long list of reasons, among them most surely the assurance that cruel critics of things Western rant without being killed. Such cowards puff out their chests when trashing an ill Oriana Fallaci or a comatose Ariel Sharon or beleaguered George W. Bush in the most demonic of tones, but they prove sunken and sullen when threatened by a thuggish Dr. Zawahiri or a grand mufti of some obscure mosque.

Second, almost every genre of artistic and intellectual expression has come under assault: music, satire, the novel, films, academic exegesis, and education. Somehow Europeans have ever so insidiously given up the promise of the Enlightenment that welcomed free thought of all kinds, the more provocative the better.

Yes, the present generation of Europeans really is heretical, made up of traitors of a sort. They themselves, not just their consensual governments, or the now-demonized American Patriot Act and Guantanamo detention center, or some invader across the Mediterranean, have endangered their centuries-won freedoms of expression--and out of worries over oil, or appearing as illiberal apostates of the new secular religion of multiculturalism, or another London or Madrid bombing. We can understand why outnumbered Venetians surrendered Cyprus to the Ottomans, and were summarily executed, or perhaps why the 16th-century French did not show up at Lepanto, but why this vacillation of present-day Europeans to defend the promise of the West, who are protected by statute and have not experienced war or hunger?

Third, examine why all these incidents took place in Europe, where more and more the state guarantees the good life even into dotage, where the here and now has become a finite world for soulless bodies, where armies devolve into topics of caricature, and children distract from sterile adults' ever-increasing appetites. So, it was logical that Europe most readily of Westerners would abandon the artist and give up the renegade in fear of religious extremists who brilliantly threatened not destruction, but interruption of the good life, or the mere charge of illiberality. Never was the Enlightenment sold out so cheaply.

We on this side of Atlantic also are showing different symptoms of this same Western malaise, but more likely through heated rhetoric than complacent indifference--given the events of September 11 that galvanized many, while disappointing liberals that past appeasement had created monsters rather than mere confused, if not dangerous rivals. The war on terror has turned out to be the torn scab that has exposed a deep wound beneath, of an endemic Western self-loathing--and near mania that our own superior education and material wealth have not eliminated altogether the need for force and coercion.
Consider some of the recent rabid outbursts by once sober, old-guard politicians of the Democratic Party. West Virginia Senator Jay Rockefeller insists that the world would be better off if Saddam were still running Iraq. Congressman John Murtha, of Pennsylvania, rushed to announce that our Marines were guilty of killing Iraqis in "cold blood" before they were tried. Illinois Senator Richard Durbin has compared our interrogators at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and mass murderers, while Massachusetts Senator John Kerry said our soldiers have "terrorized" Iraqi women and children. The same John Kerry warned young Americans to study or they would end up in the volunteer army in Iraq--even though today's soldiers have higher educational levels than does the general public. But furor as well as fear, not logic, drives us in West to seek blame among the humane among us rather than the savagery of our enemies.

Billionaire leftist philanthropists seem to be confused about the nature of American society and politics that gave them everything they so sumptuously enjoy. Ted Turner of CNN fame and fortune said he resented President Bush asking Americans, after 9/11, to take sides in our war against Islamic terrorists. George Soros claimed that President Bush had improved on Nazi propaganda methods. Dreaming of killing an elected president, not a mass-murdering Osama Bin Laden, is a new national pastime. That is the theme of both a recent docudrama film and an Alfred Knopf book.

What are the proximate causes here in America that send liberal criticism over the edge into pathological hysteria? Is it only that George Bush is a singular polarizing figure of Christian and Texan demeanor? Or is the current left-wing savagery also a legacy of the tribal 1960s, when out-of-power protestors felt that expressions of speaking bluntly, even crudely, were at least preferable to "artificial" cultural restraint?

Or does the anger stem from the fact, that until last week, the Democrats had not elected congressional majorities in 12 years, and they've occupied the White House in only eight of the last 26 years. The left's current unruliness seems a way of scapegoating others for a more elemental frustration--that without scandal or an unpopular war they cannot so easily gain a national majority based on European-based beliefs. More entitlements, higher taxes to pay for them, gay marriage, de facto quotas in affirmative action, open borders, abortion on demand, and radical secularism--these liberal issues, at least for the moment, still don't tend to resonate with most Americans and so must be masked by opponents' scandals or overshadowed by a controversial war.

Just as the Europeans are stunned that their heaven on earth has left them weak and afraid, so too millions of Americans on the Left are angry that their own promised moral utopia is not so welcomed by the supposedly less educated and bright among them. But still, what drives Westerners, here and in Europe, to demand that we must be perfect rather than merely good, and to lament that if we are not perfect we are then abjectly bad--and always to be so unable to define and then defend their civilization against its most elemental enemies?

There has of course always been a utopian strain in both Western thought from the time of Plato's "Republic" and the practice of state socialism. But the technological explosion of the last 20 years has made life so long and so good, that many now believe our mastery of nature must extend to human nature as well. A society that can call anywhere in the world on a cell phone, must just as easily end war, poverty, or unhappiness, as if these pathologies are strictly materially caused, not impoverishments of the soul, and thus can be materially treated.

Second, education must now be, like our machines, ever more ambitious, teaching us not merely facts of the past, science of the future, and the tools to question, and discover truth, but rather a particular, a right way of thinking, as money and learning are pledged to change human nature itself. In such a world, mere ignorance has replaced evil as our challenge, and thus the bad can at last be taught away rather than confronted and destroyed.

Third, there has always been a cynical strain as well, as one can read in Petronius's "Satyricon" or Voltaire's "Candide." But our loss of faith in ourselves is now more nihilistic than sarcastic or skeptical, once the restraints of family, religion, popular culture, and public shame disappear. Ever more insulated by our material things from danger, we lack all appreciation of the eternal thin veneer of civilization.

We especially ignore among us those who work each day to keep nature and the darker angels of our own nature at bay. This new obtuseness revolves around a certain mocking by elites of why we have what we have. Instead of appreciating that millions get up at 5 a.m., work at rote jobs, and live proverbial lives of quiet desperation, we tend to laugh at the schlock of Wal-Mart, not admire its amazing ability to bring the veneer of real material prosperity to the poor.

We can praise the architect for our necessary bridge, but demonize the franchise that sold fast and safe food to the harried workers who built it. We hear about a necessary hearing aid, but despise the art of the glossy advertisement that gives the information to purchase it. And we think the soldier funny in his desert camouflage and Kevlar, a loser who drew poorly in the American lottery and so ended up in Iraq--our most privileged never acknowledging that such men with guns are the only bulwark between us and the present day forces of the Dark Ages with their Kalashnikovs and suicide belts.

So we are on dangerous ground. History gives evidence of no civilization that survived long as purely secular and without a god, that put its trust in reason alone, and believed human nature was subject to radical improvement given enough capital and learning invested in the endeavor. The failure of our elites to amplify their traditions they received, and to believe them to be not merely different but far better than the alternatives, is also a symptom of crisis in all societies of the past, whether Demosthenes' Athens, late imperial Rome, 18th-century France, or Western Europe of the 1920s. Nothing is worse that an elite that demands egalitarianism for others but ensures privilege for itself. And rarely, we know, are civilization's suicides a result of the influence of too many of the poor rather than of the wealthy.

But can I end on an optimistic note in tonight's tribute to Winston Churchill, who endured more and was more alone than we of the present age? After the horror of September 11, we in our sleep were also given a jolt of sorts, presented with enemies from the Dark Ages, the Islamic fascists who were our near exact opposites, who hated the Western tradition, and, more importantly, were honest and without apology in conveying that hatred of our liberal tolerance and forbearance. They arose not from anything we did or any Western animosity that might have led to real grievances, but from self-acknowledged weakness, self-induced failure, and, of course, those perennial engines of war, age-old envy and lost honor--always amplified and instructed by dissident Western intellectuals whose unhappiness with their own culture proved a feast for the scavenging Al-Qaedists.
By past definitions of relative power, al-Qaeda and its epigones were weak and could not defeat the West militarily. But their genius was knowing of our own self-loathing, of our inability to determine their evil from our good, of our mistaken belief that Islamists were confused about, rather than intent to destroy, the West, and most of all, of our own terror that we might lose, if even for a brief moment, the enjoyment of our good life to defeat the terrorists. In learning what the Islamists are, many of us, and for the first time, are also learning what we are not. And in fighting these fascists, we are to learn whether our freedom can prove stronger than their suicide belts and improvised explosive devices.

So we have been given a reprieve of sorts with this war, to regroup; and, in our enemies, to see our own past failings and present challenges; and to rediscover our strengths and remember our origins. We can relearn that we are not fighting for George Bush or Wal-Mart alone, but also for the very notion of the Enlightenment--and, yes, in the Christian sense for the good souls of those among us who have forgotten all that as they censor cartoons and compare American soldiers to Nazis.

So let me quote Winston Churchill of old about the gift of our present ordeal:

"These are not dark days: these are great days--the greatest days our country has ever lived."

Never more true than today.

Mr. Hanson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, a distinguished fellow of Hillsdale College, and author most recently of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." This article is adapted form a speech he delivered at the Claremont Institute's annual dinner in honor Sir Winston Churchill.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 06, 2006, 10:26:19 AM
From another forum

December 5, 2006

Belgium: Muslims Stone Jewish Children

A story I found in Expatica News caught my attention. It described how Jewish children, who were visiting Beringen, in Limburg province, Belgium, were set upon by "local residents of foreign origins." I tried to think which people "of foreign origins" would want to attack a group of Jewish schoolchildren.

Being of a suspicious mind, I Googled, and eventually found more information, care of Islam in Europe, backed up by reports in Dutch from and Eyes and in English from JTA News. Their attackers were, unsurprisingly, Muslim youths of Turkish origin. What is bizarre is why Expatica bothered to report the ethnicity of the victims, but not their assailants.
About 60 Jewish children had gone to stay at a youth hostel on an excursion on Thursday, November 30. They had come to visit the Beringen mines, which include the Vlaams mijnmuseum, a mine which had closed in 1992 but has been preserved, with a museum. Other former coal mines, such as the Charbonnages de Beringen (pictured) which closed in 1989 lie deserted in the area, as historical sites of interest.

The Jewish children had come from Antwerp, and were aged from 12 to 15 years, expecting a stay which would be an educational holiday. The children were Hasidic, and wore their traditional black attire and hats, with long sideburns. As soon as they reached the youth hostel where they were to stay, they came under attack from 10 Turkish Muslims, who pelted them with stones. Once the children had gone into the hostel, the Muslims continued to throw stones and concrete blocks, smashing windows of the building. The Muslims were shouting anti-semitic abuse. The children had to shelter from the missiles and flying glass in an inner corridor of the hostel.

The leaders of the school group called the police, but even after the arrival of police, the youths continues to throw stones and shout insults for about an hour. Once the aggression had subsided, the Muslims continued to stay in the vicinity of the hostel. As a result, police decided that they could not guarantee the schoolboys' safety, and escorted them to the highway for them to return to Antwerp.

Four adults and six youths under the age of 18 were arrested, and at the weekend they were brought before a district court. All were sentenced to 30 hours' of community service, and were ordered to pay compensation to the youth hostel. The commune (district authority) issued an apology to the schoolchildren. It may press charges once all information on the case is clarified.
Already, charges have been filed by centre against racism and for equal chances. Claude Marinower, a Jewish member of parliament, said he will "raise the issue with the ministers of justice and the interior."

Forum, an Antwerp-based Jewish group demanded "drastic measures to guarantee the safety of all youth throughout Belgium. A failure to do so would endanger our democracy."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on December 07, 2006, 11:59:10 AM
There's an article in the Spiegel about Jewish pupils being hunted down by both, Nazis and Muslims in Germany. I grind my teeth about news like that. I'm furious. I'm waiting for it to appear in the english version. Maybe I have to change my standpoint...
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 07, 2006, 03:30:51 PM

I'd like to see that when it comes out.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Quijote on December 08, 2006, 10:23:36 AM
Here it is:

SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 8, 2006, 06:32 PM

Insults Against Jews on the Rise

By Björn Hengst and Jan Friedmann
Right-wing adolescents and young Muslims are displaying levels of anti-Semitism that were long considered unthinkable in Germany. At many German schools, the word "Jew" is becoming an insult again. German politicians don't seem to know how to respond.

The Jewish High School in Berlin's central Mitte district resembles a high-security ward. Those who want to access the imposing old building on Grosse Hamburger Strasse have to pass through a meticulous security check. The building is surrounded by a fence several meters high and video cameras register every move. Policemen stand guard in front of the building.
"We're no ghetto," school director Barbara Wittig clarifies. "We offer those children protection who have to fear discrimination at other schools," she adds. And such cases have increased dramatically in the past two years. "I always though Jews were integrated into German society," says Wittig. "I would never have thought it possible for anti-Semitism to express itself as virulently as it has recently."

As of this week, Wittig's students have included two girls who previously attended the public, non-confessional Lina-Morgenstern High School in Berlin's Kreuzberg neighborhood. Their woes attracted considerable public attention. For months, one of the two girls, who is 14 years old, suffered anti-Semitic insults from adolescents with an Arab background. They also beat her and spat on her. Walking to school became like running the gauntlet for her. Her tormentors would hide in wait for her and chase her through the streets. In the end the girl had to be given police protection on her way to school.

Anti-Semitism on the rise

These events in Kreuzberg represent an especially drastic example, but they're not the exception. Berlin's state parliament lists 62 reported cases under the category "(right-wing) extremism" in its study "Indicators of Violence at Berlin's Schools, 2004/2005." That's a steep increase in comparison with the previous year, when only 39 cases were registered. The category "(right-wing) extremism" includes "anti-Semitic, racist / xenophobic and right-wing extremist remarks" by children and adolescents, in addition to remarks that "incite racial hatred or express fundamentalist / Islamist fundamentalist views."

One high school student in Berlin's Steglitz-Zehlendorf district said in class: "All Jews must be gassed." Students in the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district locked another student inside the chemistry lab and said: "Now we'll turn on the gas." A non-German child at an elementary school in Treptow-Köpenick insulted his teacher by calling her a "Jew," a "witch" and a "sea cow." When a teaching aid in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg tried to settle an argument between students, he was told: "Piss off, Jew!"

And the surge of anti-Semitism seems to be growing. In November, Berlin's public authorities had already registered more cases of anti-Semitism than during the entire previous year. A recent study by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) also criticized cases of anti-Semitism, racism and right-wing extremism at German schools.

Right-wing extremists take up Nazi slogans

This week, in the town of Grimmen in West Pomerania, right-wing adolescents mobilized against an exhibition on Anne Frank, disparaging her diary as a forgery. In October, several adolescents in Parey, a town in Germany's Saxony-Anhalt region, forced their 16-year-old classmate to walk across the school yard wearing a large sign during lunch break. The sign read: "In this town I'm the biggest swine / Because of the Jewish friends of mine." It's a phrase from the Nazi era, used to humiliate people with Jewish friends.

A teacher intervened, took the sign away and called the police. The students responsible for the incident, who are aged between 14 and 16, are under criminal investigation. The charges are incitement of racial hatred, coercion and defamation. One of the students is also accused of assault.

Berlin's Jewish community has already issued warnings about "a new dimension of anti-Semitism." Jewish children increasingly face the hatred of Muslim adolescents in addition to aggression from right-wing extremists. The Jewish community advises parents to send their children to Jewish schools in case of conflicts, pointing out that there they will at least be safe.
Skullcaps hidden out of fear

But the protected zone ends outside the school walls. A school class from the Jewish High School was exposed to massive anti-Semitic insults by another Berlin school class while riding the subway. Religious Jewish adolescents hide their skullcaps under a hat whenever they venture onto the street.

The incidents prompted Peter Trapp, a member of the Christian Democrat Party (CDU) in Berlin's parliament, to submit a formal query: Trapp wants to know how many such incidents have occurred recently. He also wants to know how many of those incidents can be attributed to "the right-wing extremist camp" and how many can be traced to adolescents "of non-German origin." Trapp has yet to receive a reply -- indeed, the CDU complains that it is taking unusually long.

And yet school director Wittig insists that politicians are very much making an effort to respond to the problem. It's just that she rarely gets through to them with her projects and appeals, she says. Wittig also complains that many Arab adolescents are so pig-headed it's hard to get through to them. "And the teachers allow their students to tell Jewish jokes," she adds.

"Jew" -- a popular insult

"Students are increasingly using the word 'Jew' in a pejorative sense. It's climbed up a long way on the ranking of popular insults," reports Peter Wagenknecht from the Kreuzberg-based project "Educational Building Blocks Against Anti-Semitism." Wagenknecht and his associates educate adolescents about anti-Semitism in specially organized workshops and classroom talks. The project still receives financial support from the German government.

But not everyone who uses the word "Jew" as an insult is automatically an anti-Semite, Wagenknecht says. Many people just act thoughtlessly, in his view. "Many students no longer have a sense of how charged the word 'Jew' is when it's used as an insult. They just want to break a taboo." Wagenknecht points out that some students similarly use the word "victim" as an insult intended to stigmatize someone as weak.

When he started to work with young people during the early 1990s, anti-Semitism wasn't a problem, Wagenknecht explains. He traces much of today's anti-Semitism to two sources: Students from Arab or Turkish families have been politicized by the conflict in the Middle East such that their "anti-Israeli" attitude sometimes crosses over into open anti-Semitism. German adolescents with extreme right-wing tendencies, on the other hand, have often been exposed to right-wing ideology and hence dispose of a correspondingly distorted knowledge about Jews and Jewish culture.

Wagenknecht worries that more and more Jewish students are too afraid to openly stand up to their background: "They don't want to present themselves as Jewish. In such cases, the class often doesn't know about their background, and the teachers keep mum." Wagenknecht adds that the students are often acting on advice from their parents, who want to spare their children conflicts and exposure to aggressive behavior.

School director Wittig says: "We're now the only school in Berlin where Jewish children can stand up to their identity. Elsewhere, most of them have to adapt to the majority."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on December 08, 2006, 10:43:18 AM
A new documentary is coming out on this topic. "Ever Again".
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 01, 2007, 07:43:59 AM
 Hide Post

Culture Clash in Denmark
The close-knit Danes find their liberal ideals tested by a growing, alienated Muslim population
By Thomas Omestad

Posted Sunday, December 31, 2006

COPENHAGEN–This, a recent study concluded, is the happiest country on Earth. With Denmark's cradle-to-grave social welfare, highly regarded healthcare and education, prosperity, and small-country ethnic cohesion, the land that gave us Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales also excels at producing a good life in reality.

And yet, over the past year or so, the contented Danes have been forced to face both their greatest international crisis since World War II and the rise here of separate Muslim communities where many are unable or unwilling to enter the Danish mainstream. The international uproar over publication of 12 prophet Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper triggered violence that left at least 139 people dead, Danish diplomatic outposts torched in Lebanon and Syria, and Danish goods boycotted. Suddenly, Denmark felt dangerously exposed–a country of just 5.4 million people facing the wrath of an Islamic world exceeding a billion people.

The violence outside Denmark ultimately quieted down, though the country's security-threat level remains elevated. At home, the bitter disputes over the cartoons have highlighted an unhealed–and potentially hazardous–rift between the dominant Danes and the Muslim immigrants living in what are being called "parallel societies." Ask Danes and Muslim immigrants alike, and many will say there is something a bit rotten in the Kingdom of Denmark.

The legacy of the cartoon uproar is not all bad. Private efforts at building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslim Danes have accelerated. Secular Danish Muslims condemned the violence overseas and appealed for dialogue. That, say Danes, has encouraged a greater appreciation of the differences–political and otherwise-among Muslims here.

"Time bomb." Still, the cartoon crisis itself did not prompt any basic rethinking of how to integrate Muslims more deeply into Danish society. And the country is now preoccupied with things Muslim. Attention is riveted on any controversy linked to its Muslim residents–so-called honor killings of female relatives, street crime, terrorism probes, unemployment, forced marriages, use of veils, and so on. Denmark is pondering the specter of ever more young Muslims–unemployed and undereducated–finding their identities not as coolly secularized Danes but as fervent or even radical Muslims. "We are sitting on a time bomb," warns Eva Smith, a law professor and racism expert at the University of Copenhagen.

The ferment in Denmark is especially striking because of its progressive traditions, but it also reflects the broader tremors rattling western Europe, where tangled issues of national identity, culture, religion, and security arising from Muslim immigration have bolted to the fore. Old, ethnically grounded societies are being roiled by the presence of Muslim newcomers–or at least by the reaction to them. "There's kind of an unspoken assumption that they're not really Dutch, not really Danes, and so forth," reasons one senior U.S. official who follows the phenomenon. "Europeans are uncomfortable with Islam, and they see it as an alien body in their midst. ... Europe's got a huge problem, and they're just getting their minds around it now."

The cartoon controversy, along with frustration over the slow pace of Muslim integration, is leading some Danes to question their prized image as an open and tolerant nation. This, after all, is a people who under Nazi occupation spirited nearly all of their 7,000-some Jews to safety in Sweden. In the 1960s and 1970s, Denmark sought to offer one of Europe's most liberal immigration policies. Many came as guest workers and were later joined by family members and asylum seekers. Even so, Denmark remained remarkably mono-ethnic; only about 4 percent of the population is Muslim. Coming mostly from Arab states, Iran, and Pakistan, the immigrants have clustered in a few neighborhoods in Copenhagen and other cities.

Yet as the preoccupation with Muslims has deepened in recent years, Denmark has swung in the opposite direction, erecting perhaps Europe's most restrictive set of rules. A rightist, anti-immigration party sits not in government but at its side; the ruling coalition relies on its votes to govern. The mood toward immigrants has, with exceptions, soured. The share of Danes who view Islam as incompatible with democracy has shot up. And Muslims are often portrayed as troublemakers who sup at the table of Danish generosity–all the while rejecting what makes Denmark special. "They create ghettos. ... There are a lot of criminals," says Henrik Pedersen, a Dane who runs a Copenhagen trucking business. "Muslim people should be in a Muslim country."

More sophisticated immigration skeptics worry that "Danish values" are under threat by politicized Muslims who resist assimilation. These values include democracy, far-reaching personal freedoms, equality between the sexes, and the trust born of unusually strong social bonds. One government minister frankly called the Danes a "tribe" in describing their group identity. "The whole quality of Danish life stands or falls with this community of values," adds Ralf Pittelkow, a newspaper columnist and coauthor of a bestselling book on the Islamist challenge. "Danes need to feel reassured that the main features of Danish society remain unchanged. ... We are at a crunch point."

Some Danes argue that evading the impact of immigration is impossible. "Some people want to keep Denmark as a kind of museum," says Helle Stenum, the chairwoman of MixEurope, a pro-integration group. "We are a rich, safe society that is scared." Adds Copenhagen schoolteacher Maia Lisa Petersen as she rushes to a subway station, "These other cultures, other values force us to wake up. ... We can't hide anymore in this nice, perfect little Scandinavian world."

Nor can the Muslim immigrants easily hide in enclaves that insulate them from the culture that surrounds them. They say that the political and media atmosphere has turned against them–particularly since the cartoon crisis. "It totally changed my view of Danish society," says Mustafa Kucukyild, 26, who came from Turkey as a 1-year-old boy. "The spotlight is on Muslims. I'm much more cautious about what I say." As the kebab and pizza restaurant where he works fills up with blond-haired college students, he is talking about his estrangement from the Danes. Kucukyild is asked if, having spent nearly all his life here, he feels Danish. "Definitely, no," he replies. "No matter how much you want to be, you always have this black hair," he says, grabbing at a lock of his own. "I will always be a foreigner."

The alienation is pervasive, and it goes well beyond the discomfort some Muslims feel toward Denmark's permissive atmosphere. "Danish people are very hard people, very cold," claims Hassan, a middle-aged, Iraqi-born businessman in the Copenhagen district of Norrebro, where Danes often mix with immigrants. Hassan says that his children are adapting better than he is, though his 15-year-old daughter has faced problems in class–a teacher has chided her about her head scarf. Other immigrants report occasional hassles of other sorts: snide comments or being bumped on buses, being barred from nightclubs or followed by department store security officers–or the "what are you doing here?" stares in coffee shops. (Some Danes counter that Muslims are being overly sensitive, playing up an image of victimhood.)

A young doctor of Palestinian descent–fluent in Danish as well as Arabic and English and a fan of the country's famed pastries–describes tensions that have ensued from being overtly Muslim. A radiologist colleague turned to Suher Othman one day and announced, "I don't like scarves." One patient refused to be treated by her; another resisted until a fellow patient intervened. Othman, 27, says immigrants are routinely seen as "a burden." Still, she adds, "this is the only society I've ever known. They have to face that we're going to stay here."

Stay indeed, but many without jobs. In a country with an aging workforce, negligible unemployment overall–and even labor shortages–joblessness among non-European immigrants is shockingly high: Barely half work. Employers say that discrimination is not to blame but rather language barriers, scant job experience, and lack of motivation to work. Jobless benefits rival the wages of entry-level positions. Companies even cite immigrants' inability to understand the ironic Danish sense of humor.

The depth of alienation between ethnic Danes and the Muslim newcomers is, in one respect, surprising. Denmark has long been one of Europe's bastions of tolerance and openness. Part of the Danish mentality is an outsize will to do good in the world. The country ranks fifth in the share of income donated to overseas development aid. Especially in the past, newcomers to Denmark received generous benefits, including three years of free instruction in Danish–a perk that continues. It is an impressive record that might encourage some Danes to feel that nothing more is required of them–perhaps even create some blind spots. "We are so sure we are good," says Smith of the University of Copenhagen.

Close-knit. The closeness of the Danes, though, leads Muslims to conclude that the Danish club is a hard one to join. Othman has the education and language skills to fit in. Yet, she says, "it is very difficult to break into this culture." Other Muslims contend that too many Danes lack respect for them and their cultures. "They have a picture of the Muslim immigrant as a parasite," says Mahmoud Alsaadi, who runs a sweets shop in Norrebro and has worked as a carpenter. Alsaadi, 37, is a Palestinian from Lebanon who arrived here in 1990. "We appreciate a lot about Denmark, but we feel that they could also learn from us"–particularly about close-knit families, he says. "I don't want to impose my ways on them, and I don't want them to impose their ways on me."
Title: Part Two
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 01, 2007, 07:44:51 AM
The sheer religiosity–and signs of devotion are said to be growing–of some Danish Muslims is itself a source of worry in Denmark. The Danes generally take a relaxed approach to their leading religion, Lutheranism. A mere 3 percent of Danes attend church at least weekly, the lowest such rate in a recent survey of 21 countries. Secularism is celebrated, and religion, in a typical Danish view, is a strictly personal affair that should be kept out of the public eye as much as possible. Some Danes are offended by demonstrative manifestations of Islam, including the veil. Concerns also arise from the growing number of Muslim parents who are opting to send their children to private, religiously oriented schools. The government's culture minister has publicly commented on the inferior status of a "medieval Muslim culture." Says Tim Jensen, a religious historian at the University of Southern Denmark, "There is a sense of threat by an antimodern, medieval force [Islam]." Pressures from immigration, globalization, and the European Union all "make Danes feel more insecure. We are constantly being asked what you are, constantly being confronted with people who behave differently."

Against this backdrop of clashing cultures came the Muhammad cartoons on Sept. 30, 2005, in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. The impetus for publication, says the paper's cultural editor, Flemming Rose, was to stir a debate about self-censorship after he learned that illustrators refused to work on a children's book about Muhammad for fear of offending Muslims. Muslims regard any depiction of Muhammad as sacrilegious. Danish Muslims protested the publication, albeit peacefully, contending that the cartoons mocked their prophet. One cartoon showed a turban in the shape of a lit bomb.

Their complaints met with a stiff response from the paper, which saw the issue as a fundamental test of freedom of speech. The paper eventually expressed regret for any offense caused-but not for publishing the caricatures. Rose, who has received death threats and was working from Washington until recently, says that demands for observing such taboos amount to "asking for my submission." He adds, "You should not allow special treatment of religion."

"Smearing." Islamic activists also pressured the Danish government to rein in the paper. There, as well, they got nowhere. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said he could do nothing that might erode freedom of speech. He also rejected a request to meet with Muslim-country ambassadors who complained about a "smearing campaign" against Islam and Muslims by Danish politicians and media.

Lacking clout in Denmark, some of the local imams decided to export the controversy. Two missions were dispatched to the Middle East to publicize the cartoons and the Danish government's uncompromising response. Some Arab ambassadors in Copenhagen also played up the controversy. Within weeks, violence flared on the streets of the Middle East, Pakistan, Nigeria, and Indonesia–some of it orchestrated by national governments and Islamists, according to both Danish and U.S. officials. "The Danes didn't know what hit them," says a senior U.S. official. The Bush administration at first reacted cautiously, hoping not to do anything that might align itself with religiously offensive drawings and further harm its own standing in the Islamic world. Then the shaken Danes complained to their American allies that they were not getting enough public support. They got it.

Though Denmark itself saw no violence, the images of deadly mobs burning Danish flags deepened the sense of threat from Islamists, wherever they may be. But the crisis did not lead to any rethinking of the government's strategy for integrating Muslims. "We have to agree on some fundamental values," says Rikke Hvilshoj, the integration minister. "Denmark is not just a piece of geography where we live side by side." In power since 2001, the current government has tightened the immigration rules that affect many Muslims, slicing arrivals in the categories of family reunification and asylum from more than 17,000 that year to fewer than 5,000 in 2005. A foreign spouse must now be at least 24 before legally coming to live in Denmark; benefits for newcomers were reduced, and collateral was required for their support. At the same time, overall immigration, especially from within Europe, is rising.

The government's moves, at the least, have sought to give Danes a breather from rapid immigration. After years of policy neglect, Hvilshoj says, "the number [was] too high. ... we needed to get control of immigration." The government is stepping up efforts to reduce immigrant unemployment and emphasizing success stories, sending "role models" into Muslim communities.

The governing coalition has a persuasive reason not to soften its stand on immigration: It needs the tacit backing of the right-wing Danish People's Party to stay in power. With 13 percent of the seats in parliament, it appears to wield more influence than any other such party in Europe. Critics accuse it of outright xenophobia, a charge it rejects. But Danes know where the group stands in the culture wars. Its party chairwoman has called Islamic leaders here the "Trojan horse in Denmark," and another lawmaker's website referred to Muslims as "cancer tumors." The party aims to keep Denmark the way it is. "We don't want to change our ways. They [immigrants] have to adapt their ways," says Soren Espersen, a prominent People's Party lawmaker. Espersen likens political Islamists to communists and Nazis and says they aim to limit Denmark's democracy. "There are people now who want to tell us what we can laugh at," he says. "I don't want to respect Islam. Why should I respect the prophet Muhammad?"

There is political combat within Denmark's Muslim communities as well. Ahmed Abu Laban, an imam who leads Copenhagen's Muslim Faith Society, tells U.S. News that he helped organize the foreign missions publicizing the Muhammad cartoons in order to counter "an anti-Islamic campaign." Says Laban, "We have been demonized for six, seven, eight years–then the cartoons." Laban adds, "The Danes don't like religion, and they don't like Islam. ... I see nothing bad in this country except the spirit itself." Many Danes now loathe Laban as a virtual traitor for having promoted the controversy overseas.

Bodyguards. Laban dismisses a recent political initiative by moderates to form the group Democratic Muslims, calling it a "fake approach." The leader of the new group, a secular Muslim lawmaker named Naser Khader, needs 24-hour-a-day bodyguards. His effort is popular with Danes, but hard-line Muslims like Laban call Khader a "shield" for the Danes and vilify him. The group makes it "very difficult to say, 'You Muslims,'" says Khader. "We are democratic without any reservations. ... We are Danes first and Muslims second." Naser says that the Islamists consider secular Muslims like himself as their principal enemy. "They are seen as more dangerous than Christians and Jews," he says. Still, only 14 percent of Danish Muslims back his group, according to a recent poll.

Meanwhile, Danes are edgy about growing Muslim radicalism–a development that is not quantified but is almost universally suspected. The primary threat to Denmark may be external: Its sturdy support for the Bush administration, including troop commitments to Iraq and Afghanistan, along with the cartoon case has raised its profile in the Muslim world–in a most unwelcome way. A poll of Egyptians rated Denmark as the second-most-hostile country after Israel. Officials have tallied some 200 threats against Denmark, including one from al Qaeda during the cartoon crisis.

Yet there are worries about what is happening inside Denmark as well. Two terrorism cases are headed for trial. One involves arrests in October 2005 of alleged militants in a Copenhagen suburb said to be connected to a Sarajevo-based plot against European forces in Bosnia or elsewhere. The other case emerged from police raids into an immigrant neighborhood near the city of Odense last September. Investigators uncovered supplies of ammonium nitrate, metal shavings, and the explosive TATP. Five of the nine arrested are still jailed for allegedly planning attacks that authorities say would have been "the most severe ever in Denmark."

Security agents enjoy wide latitude for spying on suspected extremists, and they employ that most Danish of practices: the "preventive visit." According to Hans Jorgen Bonnichsen, the former head of operations at the Danish Security Intelligence Service, the "knock on the door" sometimes leads to tense conversations, but more often they are "friendly." "It's a way to tell him, 'Be careful. We know what you're doing now,'" Bonnichsen says. The visits can serve to neutralize a suspect because his cohorts then cannot know whether he has turned informer. The Intelligence Service has more than doubled its size since 9/11, adding Arabic speakers and analysts.

Still, Danes talk as though it is only a matter of time before they are hit, and the alienation Muslims feel from unemployment, discrimination, and being portrayed as radicals may be feeding the danger. The government's philosophy is "always pushing these immigrants away," argues Fatih Alev, a moderate imam. "The government says it wants integration, but what it does is anti-integration." Adds Jensen, the religious historian, "They are constantly put under suspicion of being fifth-column people." He asks, "Are we contributing to the production of terrorists?" For the happy but wary Danes, it is a question as essential as it is grating.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 14, 2007, 06:24:03 PM

Rome, 10 Jan. (AKI) - Italian conservative MP Daniela Santanche has received death threats over her opposition to the Muslim veil, Italy's leading paper Corriere della Sera reported in a front-page article on Wednesday. Santanche reportedly received a letter in Arabic and English at her lower house office Tuesday night with pictures of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, murdered in 2004 by an Islamist fundamentalist for his movie Submission, which denounced violence on women in Muslim countries, and Dutch MP Hirsi Ali, the film's author, who has also received death threats.

"This is the hour of my liberation...your time has come," the note said. The message also carried a paragraph from the BBC World website on 23 October, describing Santanche as an MP who "has said the veil is not required by the Koran" and has been described as "an infidel by an imam."

Santanche, a leading member of the right-wing National Alliance Party in Italy's opposition, has been under police escort since late October last year, when her criticism of the Muslim veil led to threats which were considered serious by security officials, including those of Muslim cleric Aby Shwaima, the imam of the mosque of Segrate in Milan and one of the founders of Italy's largest Muslim group UCOII, who slammed her as an "infidel" during a television show on Sky Italia on 20 October.

Shwaima's outrage was sparked by two television interviews given by Santanche in which she had said that the Muslim veil "is not a religious symbol and it is not required by the Koran" and that "it is not a symbol of freedom." 993235&par
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2007, 06:10:13 PM
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 15, 2007, 10:28:57 PM,,1990069,00.html

Dublin imam takes on the fanatics

A Muslim cleric is taking a stand against those who preach Islamic extremism in Ireland and think that the cult of the suicide bomber is noble

Henry McDonald
Sunday January 14, 2007
The Observer

Beneath a basketball net in a freezing sports hall, a Muslim cleric is waging war on Islamic extremism.
Imam Shaheed Satardien is taking a stand against those Muslims in Ireland whom he claims are too sympathetic to Osama bin Laden and the cult of the suicide bomber. At Friday prayers in the sports hall in north-west Dublin, the South African-born former anti-apartheid activist warns his multinational congregation against blaming other religions and the West in general for all Muslims' ills.

Cast out by the majority Islamic community in Dublin for his outspokenness, the 50-year-old preacher says he has received death threats. 'I am standing firm in my beliefs,' Satardien says. 'The truth is more important than being popular or living a quiet life. Extremism has infected Islam in Ireland. It's time to get back to the spiritual aspect of my religion and stop it being used as a political weapon.'
The imam from Cape Town fled his native country following death threats, he says, from Islamic extremists in South Africa. His younger brother, Ibrahim, was shot dead in 1998 following a row with Islamic radicals in the city. When Satardien was told he would be next, he travelled to Ireland, the birthplace of his maternal grandmother, and pleaded for asylum.

'I never, ever, expected that Muslims would come under the influence of extremists in Ireland when I arrived here with my family. So I was shocked to find support for Osama bin Laden, to discover the presence of the Muslim Brotherhood and even al-Qaeda here in Dublin.'

Satardien fell out with the main Dublin mosque at Clonskeagh, singling out the influence of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, an Egyptian born sheikh who has spoken openly in support of suicide bombers and issued fatwas on gays.

According to Satardien, al-Qaradawi's European headquarters is based at the Clonskeagh mosque in south Dublin. Its own website refers to al-Qaradawi and to Clonskeagh as the headquarters of the sheikh's European Council for Fatwa and Research. The authorities at the Clonskeagh mosque and at the South Circular Road mosque, the other main establishment in Dublin, angrily deny the extremist accusation. They point out that these mosques attract thousands of mainstream Muslims to their doors each week.

Satardien, however, is adamant that extremist Wahhabi sects have infiltrated the republic's 40,000-strong Muslim community, especially in Dublin. 'Young, impressionable Muslims in Ireland are being raised to think that suicide bombers are cool. I know for a fact that when the Americans killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi [al-Qaeda's leader in Iraq who died after an airstrike in June last year] there were prayers for him in this city. This was for a man who slaughtered other Muslims. What I am trying to do is convince the young people that such practices are un-Islamic, that there is another way,' he says.

Although his mosque is tiny, Satardien has attracted a loyal following from 20 nationalities of Muslims now living in Ireland. Haris Puskar, 19, fled from Bosnia to Ireland with his family while he was still at primary school. A victim of Serb ethnic cleansing in Banja Luka in the early 1990s, Puskar now speaks English with a Dublin accent and is an ardent Gaelic football fan.

'The imam preaches the same kind of tolerant Islam that my family grew up with back in Bosnia. He is a moderate voice against the extremists. I also like him because he preaches in English, which is the language I have grown up speaking since I came to Ireland at the age of eight,' he says.

Moshin Khan, a 35-year-old shopkeeper, originally from Lahore in Pakistan, agrees. 'I like the message this imam gives us. I don't like extremism - here, in this mosque, there is the teaching of true Islam.'

Satardien has applied to the local schools around Blanchardstown, which has the largest concentration of Muslims in the republic, to speak to students. 'I want to tell the kids from all faiths about true Islam, not the radicalised, false version they hear about in the media.'
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 23, 2007, 04:59:19 AM

Muslims in police will rise up, Bakri insists

By Mike Hirst and Adam Lusher, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:02am GMT 21/01/2007

Moderate British Muslims in the police, Armed Forces and Civil Service will one day revolt against the system to "crush it from within", according to Omar Bakri Mohammed, the notorious Islamic extremist.

In claims condemned as a cynical attempt to create division, the co-founder of the extremist al-Muhajiroun group said that Britain was "digging a deep hole" for itself by allowing Muslims into the Services and Whitehall.
Speaking exclusively to The Sunday Telegraph in Lebanon, where he moved in August 2005 — at about the time it emerged the British authorities might charge him with incitement to treason — he claimed police officers, soldiers and civil servants would one day become radicalised.

"When you start to ask Muslims to join your Army and your police you are making a grave mistake. That British Muslim who joins the police today will one day read the Koran and will have an awakening," he said.
"Those moderates are one day going to be practising Muslims. Now what happens if they are British police or in the Army and they have weapons? How much information do they have about you that they will use to serve the global struggle?
"They will revolt against the system if they have been failed by your foreign policy which is oppressive against Islam, or have been contacted by people who believe Britain is a domain of war."
In remarks almost certain to cause widespread anger among the survivors and relatives of victims, he also claimed that the world was a better place after the July 7 bombings in London. "I believe it is a better place for Islam and Muslims… but not for non-Muslims. What's happening around the world is good and positive for Islam."

The comments were condemned by moderate Muslim leaders. Ibrahim Mogra, the chairman of the Interfaith Relations Committee of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: "This is part of an attempt to create divisions both within the Muslim community and the wider society.
"On the contrary, the more a Muslim police officer becomes a practising Muslim, the more loyal he will become, the more he will realise his duty to his country and the need to contribute to its well-being."
He added: "People are entitled to their views, but we actually have our own scholars and imams, who are still in this country, not abroad, and who talk about contributing to Britain and the responsibilities that we have to it."

Bakri Mohammed came to Britain in 1985 after being expelled from Saudi Arabia. He was rapidly derided as "the Tottenham Ayatollah". His inflammatory pronouncements have included calling the September 11 terrorists the "Magnificent 19". He disbanded al-Muhajiroun in 2004. Shortly after the July 7 attacks Tony Blair announced the group would be banned as part of a series of measures against condoning or glorifying terrorism.  After Bakri Mohammed left for Beirut he was banned from returning to Britain. The Government deemed his presence "no longer conducive to the public good".

In Beirut last week, a relaxed Bakri Mohammed sipped freshly-squeezed strawberry juice in an upmarket restaurant overlooking the Mediterranean.  He took pleasure in hearing media reports about Abid Javaid, 41, of Thornton Heath, Surrey, a civil servant in the Immigration and Nationality Directorate, who was exposed late last year as a leading member of the extremist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT), which Mr Blair had wanted to ban.

This was despite Bakri Mohammed's admission: "I left HT in 1996 and they condemn what I stand for."
Bakri Mohammed readily confirmed that he had officiated at the wedding of Pc Alexander Omar Basha, his relative by marriage.
In October, however, when the diplomatic protection officer faced controversy after being excused guard duties at the Israeli embassy, Bakri Mohammed admitted Pc Basha's views were far more moderate than his own and even complained: "If I'd have known [he was a policeman at the time of the wedding] I would never have married them. My advice to all Muslims in the police is to leave their jobs."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 30, 2007, 04:23:51 PM
A remarkable poll and conversation on British TV:
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 17, 2007, 10:28:34 AM
A Horror Travelogue
by Srdja Trifkovic
Thousands of young Muslims, armed with clubs and sticks and shouting, “Allahu akbar!” riot and force the police to retreat. Windows are smashed; stores are looted; cars are torched. Europeans unlucky or careless enough to be trapped by the mob are viciously attacked, and some are killed.

The scene could be Mogadishu in the aftermath of Pope Benedict’s Regensburg address; or Tripoli during the Danish-cartoons fury; or Karachi, Kabul, Gaza, and countless other cities in Dar al-Islam’s heartland, on any number of occasions. Yet a year ago, such scenes were unfolding, for weeks on end, in places with such names as Clichy-sous-Bois, Argenteuil, and La Courneuve. The trouble in the banlieus finally ended, as various Muslim “community leaders” had claimed it would, only when various levels of French officialdom quietly accepted that there were de facto no-go areas within the country, mini-Islamistans run by the dominant local majority. “Mon Clichy à moi, c’est ça!” just about sums it up, on the official website of Clichy-sous-Bois, whose population is 80-percent Muslim.

In practice, this means that local groceries refrain from selling wine, and young Muslim men feel emboldened to use violence against “sluts”—women who do not follow Islamic ways. Many more French-born Arab girls wear the hijab today than did so a year ago: It is their protection against mutilation and gang rape. Failing to do so makes them fair game for both: A knife slash across the scarfless girl’s cheek from the lip to the ear is especially common and known as a “smile.”

The demand for communal self-rule is not new, and it will be made with increasing frequency in the years to come. Of some 25 million Muslims in Western Europe, the majority already consider themselves autonomous, a community justifiably opposed to the decadent host society of infidels. This demand is but the first step: It will lead to the clamoring for the adoption of sharia within segregated Muslim communities and, finally, for the imposition of sharia on the society as a whole.

Europe’s elite class is prepared for this challenge. Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner—a Christian Democrat—sees the demand as perfectly legitimate and argues that sharia could be introduced “by democratic means.” Muslims have a right to follow the commands of their religion, even if that included some “dissenting rules of behavior”: “It is a sure certainty for me: if two thirds of all Netherlanders tomorrow would want to introduce Sharia, then this possibility must exist. Could you block this legally? It would also be a scandal to say ‘this isn’t allowed’! The majority counts. That is the essence of democracy.”

The same “essence” was reiterated in similar terms last July by Jens Orback, the Swedish Integration [sic] Minister, who declared in a radio debate, “We must be open and tolerant towards Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so towards us.” Yes, when we become a minority; the fact that, four months later, both Orback and his Social Democratic government remain in power aptly illustrates Sweden’s political and cultural scene.

Until a generation ago, Sweden used to be one of the safest and most law-abiding countries in the world. Today, in the southern city of Malmö, the authorities are no longer able to deal with the problem of crime among Muslim immigrants, 90 percent of whom are on welfare. They make up one third of the city’s 300,000 people; at the city’s Rosengrad School, of 1,000 students, only 2 were Swedes last year. “If we park our car it will be smashed—so we have to go very often in two vehicles, one just to protect the other,” says policeman Rolf Landgren. Both vehicles are needed to escort Swedish ambulance drivers into certain neighborhoods. Robberies of all sorts increased by 50 percent in 2004 alone, with gangs of young Muslims specializing in mugging old people visiting the graves of relatives. Thomas Anderberg, head of statistics for the Malmö police, reported a doubling of “rapes by ambush” in 2004. Almost all of the increase is attributable to Muslim men raping Swedish women.

Next door in Norway and Denmark, two thirds of all men arrested for rape are “of non-western ethnic origin”—the preferred euphemism for Middle Eastern and North African Muslims—although they account for under five percent of their residents. The number of rapes in Oslo in the summer of 2006 was twice that of the previous summer. All “gang rapes” in Denmark in 2004 were committed by immigrants and “refugees.”

The victims are overwhelmingly Scandinavian women, yet only one in twenty young Muslim men say they would marry one. Their reluctance is explained by an Islamic scholar, Mufti Shahid Mehdi, who told an audience in Copenhagen that European women who do not wear a headscarf were “asking to be raped.” His view is shared by Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo and a self-described feminist; she holds that “Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes” because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative: “Norwegian women must realize that we live in a multicultural society and they must adapt themselves to it.”

Swedish courts are adapting by introducing sharia principles into civil cases. An Iranian man divorcing his Iranian wife was ordered by the high court in the city of Halmestad to pay Mahr, Islamic dowry ordained by the Koran as part of the Islamic marriage contract.
In the judicial sphere, Britain has gone even further, legitimizing sharia compliance even in criminal cases. A key tenet of sharia is that non-Muslims cannot try Muslims, or even testify against them; and this has been upheld by Peter Beaumont, QC, senior circuit judge at London’s Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey. Before the trial of Abdullah el-Faisal, a preacher accused of soliciting the murder of “unbelievers,” Justice Beaumont announced that, “[f]or obvious reasons, members of the jury of the Jewish or Hindu faith should reveal themselves, even if they are married to Jewish or Hindu women, because they are not fit to arbitrate in this case.” (One can only speculate what would be the reaction if equally “obvious reasons” were invoked in an attempt to exclude Muslims from the trial of BNP Chairman Nick Griffin for “Islamophobia.”)

The legitimization of sharia has also penetrated culture—both high and popular. In the fall of 2005, British audiences enjoyed a widely acclaimed production of Tamburlaine the Great, Christopher Marlowe’s 16th-century classic. Few noticed, however, that several irreverent references to Muhammad had been deleted. An essential scene in the play, in which the Koran is burned, became the destruction of “a load of books” relating to any culture or religion. Director David Farr and Simon Reade, Old Vic’s artistic director, said that, if they had not altered the original, it “would have unnecessarily raised the hackles of a significant proportion of one of the world’s great religions.” Both agreed that, in any event, the censored version—produced partly with public funds—was better than the original, making the play more powerful and relevant.


The British Council, another taxpayer-funded organization that sponsors cross-cultural projects, sacked one of its press officers, Harry Cummins, for publishing four articles in London’s Sunday Telegraph. British Muslims took exception to his observation that Muslims had rights to practice their religion in the United Kingdom that were not enjoyed by Christians in the Islamic world, “despite the fact that these Christians are the original inhabitants and rightful owners of almost every Muslim land.” His cardinal sin was to note that “it is the black heart of Islam, not its black face, to which millions object.” Abdul Bari, deputy secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, welcomed Cummins’ firing but expressed “dismay” that the publishing company had not taken action against the editor of the Sunday Telegraph as well.

Public funds were also used to build state-of-the-art senior housing in London’s East End. This housing is to be reserved strictly for Muslim “elders”: English and other white pensioners need not apply. Sirajul Islam, in charge of social services at the local borough of Tower Hamlets, responded to the journalists’ questions about racial and religious equality by stating that a “one size fits all” approach to public services was no longer acceptable in 21st-century Britain: “Tower Hamlets is fortunate to have a diverse mix of communities, and the council strives to ensure that its services are responsive to the differing and changing needs of its residents.”
That these and other fortunes are befalling Britain under “New Labour” is perhaps to be expected, but the revamped Tory Party hardly offers an alternative. Determined that out-Blairing Blair is the only way to regain power, it has, under David Cameron, jumped on the multiculturalist bandwagon and come out in support of retaining and expanding racial, ethnic, and sex-based quotas. Cameron’s colleague, Conservative Party Chairman Francis Maude, claims that immigration has been “fantastically good” for the United Kingdom.

Such inanities are light years away from Churchill’s warning, over a century ago, that “no stronger retrograde force exists in the world” than Islam:

Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science—the science against which it had vainly struggled—the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome.
Churchill’s prescience could not envisage the possibility that the invader would find his best friends and allies at No. 10, Downing Street, at the European Community Headquarters in Brussels, and in dozens of chancelleries and palaces across the Old Continent. Their joint efforts are helping change the face of Europe. Its southern maritime frontier is as porous as that on the Rio Grande. Boats packed with thousands of migrants from Africa and Asia land somewhere along Europe’s coasts every day. Their numbers are unknown, but the cumulative effect is not in doubt: By 2050, these people will account for one third of Europe’s young residents.
In Germany, mostly Muslim immigrants already account for about one quarter of all teenagers and ten percent of the population as a whole. But mention “integration” to Evelyn Rühle, a teacher in Wedding, a predominantly Turkish suburb of Berlin, and she will murmur, “disintegration, more likely,” with a sad smile. Her students’ Muslim parents routinely demand the separation of girls and boys in sports and take their children out of biology classes. Most students speak poorer German than immigrant children did 20 years ago. Their extracurricular activities are limited to attending Koran classes, and many speak only Turkish or Arabic at home.
The growth of digital television has made a host of Turkish and Arabic-language channels available, intensifying language problems and nurturing identities that are informed more by the situation in Lebanon, Gaza, or Iraq than by the events in Paris, Berlin, or London. Millions of Muslim youths all over Europe live in a parallel universe that has very little to do with the host country, toward which they have a disdainful and hostile attitude.

The elite class responds to hostility with ever-greater inclusiveness. Giuseppe Pisanu, Italy’s former minister of the interior, who is responsible for controlling the country’s borders, declared three years ago that the high fatality rate of North African illegals on the high seas en route to Sicily was “a dreadful tragedy that weighs on the conscience of Europe.” His reaction was paradigmatic of the utopian liberal mind-set. If “Europe” should feel guilty that people who have no right to come to its shores are risking their lives while trying to do so illegally, then only the establishment of a free passenger-ferry service between Africa and Southern Europe—with no passport or customs formalities required upon arrival, and a free shuttle to Rome or Milan—would offer some relief to that burdened conscience. Now that Sr. Pisanu and his boss, Silvio Berlusconi, have been replaced by a leftist government even more deeply committed to tolerance and diversity, this solution may finally become a reality.

The tangible results in Italy are as devastating as the moral and spiritual ones. In Venice, the invaders have taken over the Piazza San Marco. In Genoa, the marvelous palazzi that Rubens so admired have been seized by them “and are now perishing like beautiful women who have been raped.” In the late Oriana Fallaci’s native Florence, a huge tent was erected next to the cathedral to pressure the Italian government to give immigrants “the papers necessary to rove about Europe,” and to “let them bring the hordes of their relatives” to Italy. As Fallaci described it:

A tent situated next to the beautiful palazzo of the Archbishop on whose sidewalk they kept the shoes or sandals that are lined up outside the mosques in their countries. And along with the shoes or sandals, the empty bottles of water they’d used to wash their feet before praying. A tent placed in front of the cathedral with Brunelleschi’s cupola and by the side of the Baptistery with Ghiberti’s golden doors . . . Thanks to a tape player, the uncouth wailing of a muezzin punctually exhorted the faithful, deafened the infidels, and smothered the sound of the church bells . . . And along with the yellow streaks of urine, the stench of the excrement that blocked the door of San Salvatore al Vescovo: that exquisite Romanesque church (year 1000) that stands at the rear of the Piazza del Duomo and that the sons of Allah transformed into a shithouse.

Europe is increasingly populated by aliens who physically live there but spiritually belong to the umma. They do not want to “adapt” to Florence or any other new abode they conquer; offended and intimidated by beauty and order, they instinctively want to remake it in the image of Anatolia, Punjab, or the Maghreb. Their influx, made possible by the Pisanu malaise, is making the transformation irreversible.

A century ago, Pisanu’s class shared social commonalities that could be observed in Monte Carlo, Carlsbad, or Paris, depending on the season. Their lingua franca was French. Englishmen, Russians, and Austrians shared the same outlook and sense of propriety, but they nevertheless remained rooted in their national traditions, the only permanent vessels in which Weltanschauung could be translated into Kultur. Today’s “United Europe,” by contrast, does not create social and civilizational commonalities—except on the basis of wholesale denial of old mores, inherited values, and “traditional” culture. It creates a cultural similarity that has morphed into the dreary sameness of antidiscriminationism. The Continent is ruled by a secular theocracy focused on the task of reforming and reshaping the individual consciences of its subjects.


The fruits are greeted with haughty arrogance by Tariq Ramadan, professor of Islamic studies at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland, and a grandson of Hasan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan insists that Muslims in the West should conduct themselves not as hyphenated citizens seeking to live by “common values” but as though they were already living in a Muslim-majority society and were exempt on that account from having to make concessions to the faith of others. Muslims in non-Muslim countries should feel entitled to live on their own terms, Ramadan says, while, “under the terms of Western liberal tolerance,” society as a whole should be obliged to respect that choice.

If such respect continues to be extended, by the end of this century, there will be no “Europeans” who are members of ethnic groups that share the same language, culture, history, and ancestors and inhabit lands associated with their names. The shrinking populations will be indoctrinated into believing—or else simply forced into accepting—that the demographic shift in favor of Muslim aliens is actually a blessing that enriches their culturally deprived and morally unsustainable societies.
The “liberal tolerance” and the accompanying “societal obligation” that Tariq Ramadan invokes are key. “No other race subscribes to these moral principles,” Jean Raspail wrote a generation ago, “because they are weapons of self-annihilation.” They need to be understood and discarded. The upholders of those principles must be removed from all positions of power and influence if Europe is to survive.

Foreign-affairs editor Srdja Trifkovic is the author, most recently, of Defeating Jihad.
This article first appeared in the December 2006 issue of Chronicles: A Magazine of American Culture.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 22, 2007, 09:05:13 PM
Sorry I don't have the URL for this, and yes it is argumentative.  That said, it will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on February 23, 2007, 06:17:43 AM

I assume this is the URL you were looking for....
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 26, 2007, 06:15:53 AM
An Upside-Down World
The British far left makes common cause with Muslim reactionaries.

Sunday, February 25, 2007 12:01 a.m. EST

LONDON--The other day Ken Livingstone, the mayor of my hometown of London, organized a conference on Islam and the West. It was a carefully rigged affair in which handpicked speaker after handpicked speaker stood up and announced that the democracies were to blame for the tidal wave of murder sweeping the world. To provide a spurious air of balance, the organizers invited a few people who dissented from the line of the Muslim Brotherhood and its British allies. Agnès Poirier, a French feminist, was one of them, but she pulled out because although there were no special facilities for Christians, Hindus and Jews, Mr. Livingstone had provided separate prayer rooms for Muslim men and Muslim women.

She wanted to know: Does Ken Livingstone's idea of multiculturalism acknowledge and condone segregation? It clearly does, but what made this vignette of ethnic politics in a European city worth noting is that commentators for the BBC and nearly every newspaper here describe Mr. Livingstone as one of the most left-wing politicians in British public life. Hardly any of them notice the weirdness of an apparent socialist pandering to a reactionary strain of Islam, pushing its arguments and accepting its dictates.

Mr. Livingstone's not alone. After suicide bombers massacred Londoners on July 7, 2005, leftish rather than conservative papers held British foreign policy responsible for the slaughters on the transport network. ("Blair's Bombs," ran the headline in my own leftish New Statesman.) In any university, you are more likely to hear campaigns for the rights of Muslim women derided by postmodernists than by crusty conservative dons. Our Stop the War coalition is an alliance of the white far left and the Islamist far right, and George Galloway, its leader, and the first allegedly "far left" member to be elected to the British Parliament in 50 years, is an admirer of Saddam Hussein and Hezbollah.

I could go on with specific examples, but the crucial point is the pervasive European attitude to the Iraq catastrophe. As al Qaeda, the Baathists and Shiite Islamists slaughter thousands, there is virtually no sense that their successes are our defeats. Iraqi socialists and trade unionists I know are close to despair. They turn for support to Europe, the home of liberalism, feminism and socialism, and find that rich democrats, liberals and feminists won't help them or even acknowledge their existence.

There were plenty of leftish people in the 20th century who excused communism, but they could at least say that communism was a left-wing idea. Now overwhelmingly and everywhere you find people who scream their heads off about the smallest sexist or racist remark, yet refuse to confront ultra-reactionary movements that explicitly reject every principle they profess to hold.
Why is the world upside down? In part, it is a measure of President Bush's failure that anti-Americanism has swept out of the intelligentsia and become mainstream in Britain. A country that was once the most pro-American in Western Europe now derides Tony Blair for sticking with the Atlantic alliance. But if Iraq has pummeled Mr. Blair's reputation, it has also shone a very harsh light on the British and European left. No one noticed it when the Berlin Wall came down, but the death of socialism gave people who called themselves "left wing" a paradoxical advantage. They no longer had a practical program they needed to defend and could go along with ultra-right movements that would once have been taboo. In moments of crisis, otherwise sane liberals will turn to these movements and be reassured by the professed leftism of the protest organizers that they are not making a nonsense of their beliefs.

If, that is, they have strong beliefs to abandon. In Europe and North America extreme versions of multiculturalism and identity politics have left a poisonous legacy. Far too many liberal-minded people think that is somehow culturally imperialist to criticize reactionary movements and ideas--as long as they aren't European or American reactionary movements. This delusion is everywhere. Until very recently our Labour government was allowing its dealings with Britain's Muslim minority to be controlled by an unelected group, the Muslim Council of Britain, which stood for everything social democrats were against. In their desperate attempts to ingratiate themselves, ministers gave its leader a knighthood--even though he had said that "death was too good" for Salman Rushdie, who happens to be a British citizen as well as a great novelist.

Beyond the contortions and betrayals of liberal and leftish thinking lies a simple emotion that I don't believe Americans take account of: an insidious fear that has produced the ideal conditions for appeasement. Radical Islam does worry Europeans but we are trying to prevent an explosion by going along with Islamist victimhood. We blame ourselves for the Islamist rage, in the hope that our admission of guilt will pacify our enemies. We are scared, but not scared enough to take a stand.

I hope conservative American readers come to Britain. But if you do, expect to find an upside-down world. People who call themselves liberals or leftists will argue with you, and when they have finished you may experience the strange realization that they have become far more reactionary than you have ever been.
Mr. Cohen, a columnist for the Observer and The New Statesman, is the author of "What's Left?: How Liberals Lost Their Way" (Fourth Estate, 2007).

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 15, 2007, 03:56:09 AM

Ondiep, a working class neighbourhood in the Dutch town of Utrecht, is in turmoil. After the death last Sunday of Rinie Mulder, a 54-year old indigenous Dutchman who was shot by a police officer, non-immigrant citizens went on a rampage, burning cars, looting shops and arsoning a community centre in “inverted Paris style riots.” According to our sources the police officer who killed Mulder is a woman of Moroccan origin.
The Ondiep residents have been complaining for months about harassment and intimidation by immigrant youths of Moroccan origin. The Dutch mainstream media do not go into much detail about what is going on. Most of them do not mention the ethnicity of the victim and the police officer, though the riots clearly have an ethnic nature.
Apparently Mulder intervened when Muslim youths harassed a pregnant native Dutch woman. He was able to grab the knife of one of the youths. When the police arrived Mulder was shot because he had raised the knife. Witnesses say Mulder was indicating to the police that he had called for them.
Locals claim the police has failed to protect them for years. They say the authorities are afraid of the immigrants and tolerate their criminal behaviour. After the death of Mulder the indigenous Dutch decided they had had enough and started riots which went on for two continuous nights. The police made 130 arrests: 60 of them are Ondiep residents. According to the mainstream media the others are mainly “football hooligans” from other parts of the country. Annie Brouwer-Korf, the Socialist mayor of Utrecht, has ordered Ondiep to be sealed off from the rest of town to keep non-residents out. She expressed some sympathy for the frustrated Ondiep residents. “I understand that residents are sometimes upset about the nuisance around their own house and neighbourhood. That does you no good whatsoever.”
The riots are no surprise. As I wrote last January:

The Netherlands are bracing themselves for more [Parisian style] incidents this year. An official report published last week states that the Government has seriously underestimated “tensions between various ethnic and cultural groups of youths.”

The report says that the Dutch authorities fail to grasp the gravity of the problem. If nothing is done the country will soon witness situations similar to the French riots of 2005 and 2006 which led to the police abandoning immigrant suburbs to gangs of Muslim youths. The result of the French ambivalence is that the same gangs have now taken over effective control of more than 750 French urban neighborhoods.

Ondiep is one of the Dutch urban neighbourhoods which seem to have been abandoned by the authorities. It is hardly a surprise that the natives are beginning to fight back. The same thing happened recently in Britain.

14 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – Seven of the people arrested on Tuesday in Utrecht will be brought before the court on Thursday. The other 128 will be released with a fine.

As the municipality braces for another night of disturbances, and police close off the neighbourhood of Ondiep for another evening, the question remains of why such violent riots broke out on Monday in response to a shooting by police on Sunday.

Several neighbourhood residents spoke to the Volkskrant on Tuesday.

It is clear that there is more going on than just rage and sadness over the death of Rini Mulder, the 54-year-old man shot dead on Sunday. "They just don't do anything about the creeps that are ruining this neighbourhood," says resident Ali Kwarten. "That is frustration number one."

That was the case on Sunday as well, says the man talking with Kwarten. He had been friends with Mulder for "almost 30 years." They were involved in a fight on Sunday against a group of 20 young Dutch-Turks that were hanging about the streets. Rini Mulder had left the house determined to "teach a lesson" to the group hanging out there, playing loud music and intimidating local residents.

He says Rini put his hand in the air when police finally arrived. "But he wasn't threatening them. He wanted to indicate that it was he that had called police."

The officer thought he was being threatened and shot Mulder in the chest. "He should have shot into the air, the bastard," says Kwarten.

"Those cops don't know what they're doing," says Mulder's friend. "They never come when you need them. Just call 112 if things get serious, they say. It's obviously too late then."

The neighbourhood of Ondiep, with a primarily native Dutch population, has been designated by the state as a disadvantaged neighbourhood and there are urban renewal plans in the works that will result in the demolition of most of the homes. Many of the area residents have already moved out.

The neighbourhood is not enthusiastic about the renewal plans. They complain that the new homes planned for the area will be unaffordable for them. "They want richer people here in the neighbourhood," says Willem de Graaf, another resident.

"The neighbourhood is at a difficult point in the renewal," says Rinda den Besten, alderwoman for the neighbourhood." "One in three houses is standing empty at the moment, soon that will be two in three. The situation is going to last for a few months."

Den Besten admits that the neighbourhood will be a mess in the meantime. There is little social control, precisely the kind of situation that plays into the hands of the group that was hanging about the intersection of the Boerhaavelaan and the Thorbeckelaan on Sunday.


The Utrecht neighbourhood of Ondiep is to be sealed off to outsiders for a second night on Wednesday, following two nights of clashes between youths and riot police, a city council spokesman confirmed.
The area has been ringed with fences which will be pulled across all roads later today, closing the area to non-residents. At least 130 people were arrested on Tuesday following a number of incidents in both in the city centre and on the fringes of Ondiep.
Police said the arrests included a number of football supporters from FC Utrecht, Rotterdam’s Feyenoord and Amsterdam’s Ajax who had come to the city looking for trouble. Some 60 people were arrested in Ondiep itself for breaking the ban on public gatherings.
The trouble began on Monday following the arrest of two people when youths went on the rampage after a 54-year-old man was shot dead by police. The police officer said he had felt threatened by the man who had a knife.
However, local residents told TV reporters that the man himself had called for police help after being harassed by a gang of youths.
Ondiep is a largely white, working-class neighbourhood and is the focus of the city council’s urban renewal efforts. Mayor Annie Brouwer is to meet local people again this afternoon.
A police spokesman told ANP that the area will probably be kept under tight control until after Thursday’s march (stille tocht) in memory of the dead man.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 17, 2007, 08:50:34 AM

Native Revolt: A European Declaration of Independence
From the desk of Fjordman on Fri, 2007-03-16 07:52

After the death last Sunday of Rinie Mulder, a 54-year old indigenous Dutchman who was shot by a police officer, non-immigrant citizens went on a rampage in Utrecht. Apparently Mulder intervened when Muslim youths harassed a pregnant native Dutch woman. Locals claim the police has failed to protect them for years. They say the authorities are afraid of the immigrants and tolerate their criminal behavior.

This issue is not just about Utrecht or Holland. Similar resentment against Muslim immigrants, but at least as much against their own authorities, is quietly brewing among the natives all over Western Europe.

It is insulting that two thirds of the Dutch, one of the founding members of the European community, voted against the proposed EU Constitution, and yet EU leaders will apparently just ignore this and force their massively undemocratic Constitution down people's throats anyway. The German Presidency wants EU leaders to agree on a text for a new treaty by February 2008. The label 'Constitution' is to be dropped, in order to avoid further referendums.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso expressed unease with the prospect of a second Dutch constitution referendum. "Referendums make the process of approval of European treaties much more complicated and less predictable," he said "If a referendum had been held on the creation of the European Community or the introduction of the Euro, do you think these would have passed?"

Although the EU warns against "Islamophobia," those who live in the real world know that there has been an explosion of violent infidelophobia in Western Europe staged by Muslim immigrants. This wave of violence especially targets Jews, but the attacks against Christians that are going on in the Middle East are increasingly spreading to Europe as well. In more and more cities across the continent, non-Muslims are being harassed, robbed, mugged, raped, stabbed and even killed by Muslims. Native Europeans are slowly becoming second-rate citizens in their own countries.

This violence by Muslims is usually labelled simply as "crime," but I believe it should more accurately be called Jihad. Those who know early Islamic history, as described in books such as The Truth About Muhammad by Robert Spencer, know that looting and stealing the property of non-Muslims has been part and parcel of Jihad from the very beginning. In fact, so much of the behavior of Muhammad himself and the early Muslims could be deemed criminal that it is difficult to know exactly where crime ends and Jihad begins. In the city of Oslo, for instance, it is documented that some of the criminal Muslim gangs also have close ties to radical religious groups at home and abroad. As Dutch Arabist Hans Jansen points out, the Koran is seen by some Muslims as a God-given "hunting licence," granting them the right to assault and even murder non-Muslims. It is hardly accidental that while Muslims make up about 10% of the population in France, they make up an estimated 70% of French prison inmates.

In the city of Antwerp, Belgium, Marij Uijt den Bogaard from 2003 to 2006 worked as a civil servant in the immigrant borough of Berchem. She noted how radical Islamist groups began to take over the immigrant neighbourhoods, but was fired when she warned against this danger in her reports to the authorities:

"Many victims of burglaries in houses and cars, of steaming and other forms of violence, can testify that aggression by Muslims is not directed against brothers and sisters, but against whoever is a kafir, a non-believer. Young Muslims justify their behaviour towards women who do not wear the headscarf, whether Muslim or non-Muslim, by referring to the Salafist teaching which says that these women are whores and should be treated as such. They told me this. I wrote it down in my reports, but the authorities refuse to hear it."

Filmmaker Pierre Rehov tells how a friend of his is a retired chief of police who used to be in charge of the security of a major city in the south of France. According to him, 80% of the rapes in the area were made by Muslim young men. In most cases, the parents would not understand why they would be arrested. The only evil those parents would see, genuinely, was the temptation that the male children had to face from infidel women.

The wave of robberies the increasingly Muslim-dominated city of Malmö is witnessing is part of a "war against Swedes," this according to statements from the immigrant youths themselves. "When we are in the city and robbing, we are waging a war, waging a war against the Swedes." This argument was repeated several times. "Power for me means that Swedes shall look at me, lie down on the ground and kiss my feet."

Jonathan Friedman, an American living in Sweden, mentions that the so-called Integration Act of 1997 proclaimed that "Sweden is a Multicultural society." The Act implicitly states that Sweden doesn't have a history, only the various ethnic groups that live there. Native Swedes have been reduced to just another ethnic group in Sweden, with no more claim to the country than the Somalis who arrived there last Thursday. As Friedman puts it: "In Sweden, it's almost as if the state has sided with the immigrants against the Swedish working class."

Pierre Schori, Minister for immigration, during a parliamentary debate in 1997 said that: "Racism and xenophobia should be banned and chased [away]," and that one should not accept "excuses, such as that there were flaws in the immigration and refugee policies." In other words: It should be viewed as a crime for the indigenous population not to assist in wiping themselves out. The state is turned into an enemy of the very population it is supposed to protect. Swedes pay some of the highest tax rates in the world, and for this they get runaway crime rates and a government that is actively hostile to their interests.

Exit the People's Home of Sweden is a book from 2005 about immigration and the Swedish welfare state model. According to the authors, the Multicultural elites see themselves first of all as citizens of the world. In order to emphasize and accentuate diversity, everything that smacks of "native culture" is deliberately disparaged. Opposition to this policy is considered a form of racism:

"The dominant ideology in Sweden, which has been made dominant by powerful methods of silencing and repression, is a totalitarian ideology, where the elites oppose the national aspect of the nation state."

Researchers Gert Tinggaard Svendsen og Gunnar Lind Haase Svendsen have written the book Social Kapital. When general levels of trust were measured in 86 countries, the Nordic nations Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland came out on top. According to the authors, the trust between citizens and the trust between citizens and the state is very high in these countries, and this "social capital" is highly profitable and accounts for up a to a quarter of these countries' wealth.

However, they also warn that such trust is vulnerable. A society can lose its social capital and trust rather quickly, but it can take centuries to rebuild it. This social capital is now being squandered a matter of official state policy all over Western Europe, accompanied by wild cheers from the media and the intelligentsia.

Although such high levels of trust are in many ways attractive and desirable, they also contain some potential pitfalls. People's trusting nature may make them easy targets for outsiders from more cynical cultures, who view them as gullible fools. However, it also makes them vulnerable to threats from within.

In the 1990s, Swedish authorities decided that native Swedes and their culture had no more claim to the country than Kurds. At the same time, the country became a member of the EU. Mass immigration to Sweden started years before EU membership and wasn't caused by this, but the EU certainly didn't help. Now suddenly, as with other EU members, Swedes have most of their laws passed by unelected EU bureaucrats rather than their own elected national representatives.

Swedes were used to that laws were passed with their consent and with their best interests in mind, because by and large they had been. Within a few years, all of this has changed. Laws are now passed by EU bureaucrats who don't give a damn about their interests, and by elites who don't care about their own people, in fact view them as potential stumbling blocks for the new Multicultural society. Yet most Europeans still follow these laws. Why? I can see at least two reasons.

Germany's ex-president Roman Herzog pointed out that between 1999 and 2004, 84 percent of the legal acts in Germany stemmed from Brussels, and warned that "EU policies suffer to an alarming degree from a lack of democracy and a de facto suspension of the separation of powers. The question has to be raised of whether Germany can still unreservedly be called a parliamentary democracy."

Why is this pan-European EU dictatorship still functioning? Because seeing is believing. Most Europeans still don't know that EU leaders are using their money without their consent to merge Europe with the Arab world because their media don't tell them this. Due to the common Euro currency and the lack of national borders they can move around most of Europe at ease, which seems convenient. They don't physically see, however, that the EU has also usurped the power of their national parliaments. The latter appear to be working just as always, but have now been reduced to implementing the policies of unelected Eurocrats.

The second reason is because ordinary European citizens are held hostage by their own law-abiding nature. Abiding by rules and regulations used to serve them well in the past, but things have changed. Even the laws that are in their interest are no longer upheld. Their nations have vacated their national borders and the ensuing uncontrolled mass immigration is creating rampant urban insecurity.

For Dutchmen, in what once was a peaceful and orderly country, to go against decades of indoctrination to stage something like the recent uprisings in Utrecht, they have to feel an extreme amount of repressed frustration and anger. Perhaps they watched the media reactions to the Muslim riots in France, which were sympathetic and were followed by promises from political leaders to listen to the "legitimate grievances" of the rioters. Perhaps the native Dutch in Utrecht thought that hey, we are quiet and peaceful and yet we get only contempt from our so-called leaders. Muslims burn stuff and get concessions. Perhaps we should start burning stuff, too. What have we got to lose? We're already losing our country.

The excellent Chinese blogger Ohmyrus has warned against precisely this:

"While it took a long time for Europeans to learn to settle their differences peacefully through the ballot box, this important lesson is slowly being unlearned. The lesson learned from the Danish cartoon affair is that violence pays. Most Western governments caved in by issuing apologies or condemning the cartoons instead of defending free speech. Soon groups that oppose immigration will turn to violence too. If European democracies cannot manage their ethnic tensions, democracy will break down, ushering in dictatorial rule."

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 17, 2007, 08:51:52 AM
In a British poll from January 2007, a massive 82% disagreed (57% strongly) as to whether the government was in control of immigration. When asked if the government was "open and honest" about the scale of immigration into Britain, 80% disagreed. Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migrationwatch, said: "After a decade of efforts to stifle debate, there is now a fundamental lack of trust between the Government and the public on this issue." The numbers also "reflect a deep underlying resentment among the public that they have not had any opportunity to express their views – still less to be consulted - on a matter of major importance to them and to the future of our country."

According to Theodore Dalrymple, "For the last 40 years, government policy in Britain, de facto if not always de jure, has been to render the British population virtually defenseless against criminals and criminality. Almost alone of British government policies, this one has been supremely effective: no Briton nowadays goes many hours without wondering how to avoid being victimized by a criminal intent on theft, burglary, or violence."

He fears that "the failure of the state to protect the lives and property of its citizens, and to take seriously its duty in this regard, creates a politically dangerous situation, for it puts the very legitimacy of the state itself at risk. The potential consequences are incalculable, for the failure might bring the rule of law itself into disrepute and give an opportunity to the brutal and the authoritarian."

In Norway, local politician Bengt Michalsen had a tape from a surveillance camera clearly identifying two youths as doing damage to a van at a car park. He delivered the tape to the police, and months later received a note that the case had been dismissed because the police didn't have the capacity to prosecute it. According to the local police chief, the public "just had to get used to" the fact the police wouldn't spend time on petty crime.

So, that means that Scandinavians will have to protect our own property, right? Not exactly. The authorities just want us to take it lying down and do nothing.

In Denmark, at least one of three would-be robbers shot by a watchmaker plans to file for compensation over wrongful injury, loss of work time and loss of the ability to work. The three threatened the watchmaker by putting a fake pistol up to his chin, but he had a real pistol behind his counter and managed to fire it. He was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm and taken into police custody. Attorney Svend Raether said that it is possible for the thief to receive compensation, despite having been injured while committing a crime.

Citizens in Western European countries pay high taxes to a state that is totally incapable of protecting our most basic rights, and is frequently unwilling even to try. With hate speech laws we are deprived of the right to protest against being swamped by immigration that will eventually render us minorities in our own countries. The law is used to punish the law-abiding while the criminals rule the streets.

If the authorities refuse to uphold the laws designed to protect us and keep passing new laws that threaten the freedom of our children and the survival of our nations, we will sooner or later have to decide when civil disobedience becomes not just a right, but a duty. And I fear what will happen once we reach that point, which may not be too far off. Judging from the recent uprisings in Utrecht, this process has already begun.

Vladimir Bukovksy, a former Soviet dissident, fears that the European Union is on its way to becoming another Soviet Union:

"The sooner we finish with the EU the better. The sooner it collapses the less damage it will have done to us and to other countries. But we have to be quick because the Eurocrats are moving very fast. It will be difficult to defeat them. Today it is still simple. If one million people march on Brussels today these guys will run away to the Bahamas. If tomorrow half of the British population refuses to pay its taxes, nothing will happen and no-one will go to jail. Today you can still do that."

Mr. Bukovsky is right. Europeans should launch tax rebellions and stage street demonstrations in every major European city until Muslim immigration is ended. We should stage a Million Man March to Brussels, for instance on September 11th this year, to demand that the pan-European dictatorship called the European Union is dismantled. We need to get angry and squeeze our so-called leaders into doing this, since they obviously understand nothing else.

Here is what Thomas Jefferson wrote in the American Declaration of Independence from 1776:

"That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. [...] It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Europeans are currently subject to worse insults from our governments than the Americans were at that time, being persecuted in our own cities and subject to a government-supported program of gradual cultural eradication. We need a European Declaration of Independence, calling for our emancipation from the bureaucratic feudalism of Brussels and the totalitarian ideology of Multiculturalism. Allow me to write the first draft:

A European Declaration of Independence

We, the citizens of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Spain, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Hungary, (fill in the blanks) demand that the following steps are taken immediately:

We demand that our national governments should immediately and without delay pull their countries out of the European Union, which should be dismantled entirely. European citizens pay up to half of their salaries in direct or indirect taxes to their nation states. If these nations do not control their own borders nor their policies, and they don't as long as the EU exists, those taxes are a scam. National taxes require national borders. If our national borders are not enforced, we have no obligation whatsoever to pay national taxes.

We demand that all documents regarding the Euro-Arab Dialogue and the creation of the Eurabian networks for "Euro-Mediterranean cooperation" between European countries and Arab countries since the 1970s, as documented by Bat Ye'or's work on Eurabia, are published and explained in their full significance to the general public. Those chiefly responsible for this - one of the greatest betrayals in the history of Western civilization - should stand trial, followed by a period of general de-Eurabification of our laws and regulations.

We demand that all financial support to the Palestinian Authority should cease immediately. It is proven beyond any doubt that this has in the past been used to finance campaigns of Jihad terrorism against Jews in Israel and against Christians in territories under PA control. A public statement in support of Israel against Muslim aggression should be issued, and the money that has previously been awarded to Palestinians should be allocated partly to Israel's defense, partly to establish a Global Infidel Defense Fund with the stated goal of disseminating information about Muslim persecution of non-Muslims worldwide.

We demand that the ideology of Multiculturalism should immediately be removed from all government policies and school curricula, and that the state should adopt a policy of supporting the continuation of the cultural heritage and traditions of the indigenous populations. Multiculturalism has never been about tolerance. It is an anti-Western hate ideology championed as an instrument for unilaterally dismantling European culture. As such, it is an evil ideology bent on an entire culture's eradication, and we, the peoples of Europe, have not just a right, but a duty to resist it and an obligation to pass on our heritage to future generations.

We demand that all Muslim immigration in whatever form should be immediately and completely halted, and that our authorities take a long break from mass immigration in general until such a time when law and order has been reestablished in our major cities. We will not accept any accusations of "racism." Many European nations have for decades accepted more immigration into our countries in a shorter period of time than any other people has done peacefully in human history. We are sick and tired of feeling like strangers in our own lands, of being mugged, raped, stabbed, harassed and even killed by violent gangs of Muslim thugs, yet being accused of "racism and xenophobia" by our media and intimidated by our own authorities to accept even more such immigration.

Europe is being targeted for deliberate colonization by Muslim states, and with coordinated efforts aimed at our Islamization and the elimination of our freedoms. We are being subject to a foreign invasion, and aiding and abetting a foreign invasion in any way constitutes treason. If non-Europeans have the right to resist colonization and desire self-determination then Europeans have that right, too. And we intend to exercise it.

If these demands are not fully implemented, if the European Union isn't dismantled, Multiculturalism isn't rejected and Muslim immigration isn't stopped, we, the peoples of Europe, are left with no other choice than to conclude that our authorities have abandoned us, and that the taxes they collect are therefore unjust and that the laws that are passed without our consent are illegitimate. We will stop paying taxes and take the appropriate measures to protect our own security and ensure our national survival.
Title: Dutch giving up on multi-culturalism?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 20, 2007, 10:33:52 PM
Lessons for Britain as Fearful Dutch Turn Their Backs on Multi-Cultural Society

David Paul – The Sunday Express December 20, 2004

Beside a giant Christmas tree in Amsterdam's Dam Square last night a Rastafarian was cheerfully selling lumps of cannabis to passers-by.

A few hundred yards away dozens of almost naked girls from all around the world were standing in floodlit shop windows selling their bodies to any man with £30 in his wallet.

Drugs and sex openly on sale are familiar scenes to anyone who has visited Amsterdam, whose residents have long adhered to the maxim "Leven en laten leven" or "Live and let live".

But beneath the surface, Dutch society, hailed for many years as a model of liberalism and racial tolerance, is in crisis.

And there are some disturbing lessons for Britain in the alarming breakdown in the social order of a European nation just a one-hour flight from London or Manchester.

Rising religious and ethnic violence has erupted across Holland, with attacks on immigrants and revenge attacks by them in response.

In just one week last month, more than 20 mosques, churches, Islamic and Christian schools were either petrol bombed or vandalised.

Half a dozen Dutch politicians accused of being "enemies of Islam" have received death threats. Two are deemed to be in such danger they are living in police safe houses.

The Speaker of the Dutch parliament, Jozias van Aartsen, said: "Holy war has come to the Netherlands."

Holland's educated, white middle class fear for the future, despite having an income per head that is higher than in any major country in Europe, and they are leaving their homeland in droves.

Last year, more people left The Netherlands than arrived as migrants or asylum seekers, for the first time since the end of the Second World War. In the first six months of this year, the net loss to Holland's population was 13,313 people.

Those leaving are engineers, nurses, computer experts, lawyers, accountants and businessmen.

They have had enough of the multiculturalism of Holland and are heading for the wide open - and, though few will publicly admit it, almost exclusively white-populated - lands of Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Just last month, Dutch immigration and integration minister Rita Verdonk, who is one of those to have received a death threat, admitted: "We were naive in thinking people would exist in society together." The chairman of the independent MigrationWatch UK pressure group , Sir Andrew Green, believes the Dutch "white flight" phenomenon may already have also begun in Britain, but because we have more space, people here still have the option to settle in different areas of the country, rather than move abroad.

"There is clear evidence from a recent survey by the London School of Economics that people are moving out of London at the rate of 100,000 a year, and people are leaving other city centres, " said Sir Andrew.

"It could be that this is a pattern similar to that developing in Holland.

We need more research into the reasons for these very significant movements."

The Office of National Statistics last month predicted a population boom in many areas of Britain, caused by immigrants. Numbers living in London and the South-east are forecast to swell by 15 per cent, to about 30million by 2028. The population of East Anglia will rise the most - by 16.8 per cent - with a 16.5 per cent increase in the South-west.

"Immigration now accounts for 85 per cent of our population growth, " Sir Andrew said. "These figures confirm there will be still further pressure on the south of England. London and the South are already twice as crowded as Holland, the most crowded country in continental Europe."

Home Office officials are monitoring the situation in Holland closely, while scores of British MPs have visited the Netherlands in recent months to see for themselves what has happened.

The wave of anti-Islamic violence in Holland is also being watched nervously in Germany, which is home to more than three million Muslims, most of them Turkish. Former German Chancellor Helmut Schmidt, caused outrage last month by saying that allowing the Turks who arrived in Germany as "gastarbeiter" or guest workers, to prop up the economy in the 1960s, had been a mistake.

The present Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder, has recently adopted a much tougher line on his country's immigrants, warning they must integrate better into German society.

But in the sleepy Dutch town of Alphen Aan Den Rijn, employment office worker Ibolya Fransen is not particularly interested in the debate about European states and multiculturalism. She just doesn't like having two mosques near her home.

"In some places 'white flight' is happening, " said Ibolya, a 35-year-old mother of two. "I don't live in an ethnic neighbourhood, but when you go to our big cities you think to yourself 'Where am I? I am the only person who speaks Dutch'.

"In Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague or Utrecht, there are places where immigration is out of hand.

They recreate their own country

They have their own shops, their own schools, their own places of worship.

"In my town, we have a population of 70,000, but we already have two mosques. In five years time it will be three or four. They will take over."

The facts back up Ibolya's argument to some extent. Dutch Government experts believe that by 2010 Rotterdam, Amsterdam, The Hague and Utrecht will have Muslim majorities.

Holland has a population of 16.2million, of which almost one in five is of foreign origin. White Dutch children are already the minority in four Dutch cities.

Fearful for their safety and convinced there is a better life to be had away from Holland, Ibolya, her oil engineer husband Marc, 37, and their two daughters Kinga, five, and eightmonth-old Odett, are emigrating to Alberta, Canada, in May next year.

Experts from the Buysse Immigration Consultancy are helping the Fransens to move abroad.

Last month the Buysse website had 13,000 inquiries from Dutch people seeking information on how to leave their country for good.

"I have seen what has happened to a civilised country like ours, and I think I will be happier somewhere else, " said Ibolya.

"If people in England believe they have the same problem, they should do the same as us.

"There is a growing intolerance of immigrants in Holland. It's a shame - the good ones will suffer because of the bad ones.

"The perception in Holland is that the immigrants are responsible for the increased violence."

The events of one Tuesday morning early last month convinced Ibolya she is right to quit her homeland.

Dutch artist and TV personality Theo Van Gogh, great-grandnephew of the painter Vincent Van Gogh, was cycling to work through the centre of Amsterdam when a Muslim extremist shot him eight times. As Van Gogh pleaded for his life, his attacker tried to chop off his head with a knife. The murder had seemingly been provoked by a film Mr Van Gogh had made, highlighting the treatment of women under Islam.

IBOLYA said: "After Van Gogh was murdered there were revenge attacks on mosques and Muslim schools. It has developed into a hate campaign.

"I don't want my daughters to end up in the middle of this fight.

The killers are attacking people in the streets, people are on the streets with knives and guns."

Van Gogh's murder followed the May 2002 assassination of Holland's firebrand homosexual politician Pim Fortuyn.

He was shot by a left-wing activist after denouncing the Netherlands' 30-year "experiment" with multiculturalism as a "disastrous error".

Mr Fortuyn launched a mass movement he said was to defend Holland's tolerant way of life from the radical Muslim clerics based in his country, who are often subsidised by Dutch taxpayers. He was killed just nine days before an election that might well have seen him become Prime Minister.

"When Pim Fortuyn was shot everyone said it was just a one off, " Ibolya said. "Now it's happening more and more. These Muslim extremists want their 15 minutes of fame. We've already got Dutch MPs living in hiding - this is crazy."

Ibolya is excited about the future she believes her family will enjoy 6,000 miles away from Holland.

"When you go to live in Canada as an immigrant you become part of the rest of the population there, " she said.

"But in Holland and elsewhere in Europe there is an Us and Them mentality. I think this is happening in England and Germany as well.

"People say we are turning our back on our country of birth, but we can't change things on our own.

The Netherlands has too many people and not enough space."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 22, 2007, 06:42:39 PM
SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 21, 2007, 04:16 PM

A German Judge Cites Koran in Divorce Case
By Veit Medick and Anna Reimann

He beat her and threatened her with murder. But because husband and wife were both from Morocco, a German divorce court judge saw no cause for alarm. It's a religion thing, she argued.

The Koran seems to have become the basis for a court decision in Frankfurt.
The case seems simply too strange to be true. A 26-year-old mother of two wanted to free herself from what had become a miserable and abusive marriage. The police had even been called to their apartment to separate the two -- both of Moroccan origin -- after her husband got violent in May 2006. The husband was forced to move out, but the terror continued: Even after they separated, the spurned husband threatened to kill his wife.

A quick divorce seemed to be the only solution -- the 26-year-old was unwilling to wait the year between separation and divorce mandated by German law. She hoped that as soon as they were no longer married, her husband would leave her alone. Her lawyer, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk agreed and she filed for immediate divorce with a Frankfurt court last October. They both felt that the domestic violence and death threats easily fulfilled the "hardship" criteria necessary for such an accelerated split.

In January, though, a letter arrived from the judge adjudicating the case. The judge rejected the application for a speedy divorce by referring to a passage in the Koran that some have controversially interpreted to mean that a husband can beat his wife. It's a supposed right which is the subject of intense debate among Muslim scholars and clerics alike."The exercise of the right to castigate does not fulfill the hardship criteria as defined by Paragraph 1565 (of German federal law)," the daily Frankfurter Rundschau quoted the judge's letter as saying. It must be taken into account, the judge argued, that both man and wife have Moroccan backgrounds.

"The husband can beat his wife"

"The right to castigate means for me: the husband can beat his wife," Becker-Rojczyk said, interpreting the judge's verdict.

In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE, Becker-Rojczyk said the judge indicated to her that it makes no sense to insist on an accelerated divorce. The judge's advice? Wait for the year-long waiting period to elapse.

The fax from the Frankfurt court granting the conflict of interest claim.

The lawyer and her client were shocked. Immediately, they filed a claim alleging that the judge should have recused herself due to a conflict of interest. They felt that, because of the point of view presented by the judge, she was unable to reach an objective verdict. In the reply sent to Becker-Rojczyk, the judge expressly referred to a Koran verse -- or sura -- which indicates that a man's honor is injured when his wife behaves in an unchaste manner. "Apparently the judge deems it unchaste when my client adapts a Western lifestyle," Becker-Rojczyk said.

On Tuesday evening, Becker-Rojczyk expressed amazement that the judge was still on the bench, given that the controversial verdict was handed down weeks ago. Becker-Rojczyk had elected to go public with the case to attract attention to the judge's conduct. It seems to have worked. On Wednesday, after the Tuesday evening publication of the story on SPIEGEL ONLINE, the attorney received a fax from the Frankfurt court granting the conflict of interest claim and excusing the judge from the case.

Still, it is unlikely that the case will be heard again before the mandated year of separation expires in May. But the judge who heard the case may have to face further consequences for her decision. On Wednesday, numerous politicians in Berlin voiced their horror at the verdict -- and demanded disciplinary action against the judge.

Further investigation

"In my opinion, this is a case of extreme violation of the rule of law that can't be solved with a mere conflict of interest ruling," Social Democrat parliamentarian Dieter Wiefelspütz told SPIEGEL ONLINE. "There have to be further consequences. This is a case for judicial supervision -- this case needs to be further investigated."

The deputy floor leader for the Christian Democrats, Wolfgang Bosbach, agreed. "This is a sad example of how the conception of the law from another legal and cultural environment is taken as the basis for our own notion of law," he said on Wednesday.

This isn't the first time that German courts have used cultural background to inform their verdicts. Christa Stolle of the women's rights organization Terre des Femmes said that in cases of marital violence, there have been a number of cases where the perpetrator's culture of origin has been considered as a mitigating circumstance -- although such verdicts have become seldom in recent years.

But there remains quite a bit of work to do. "In my work educating sexist and short-sighted Muslim men," asked Michaela Sulaika Kaiser of the Network for Muslim Women, "do I now have to convince German courts that women are also people on the same level with men and that they, like any other human, have the right to be protected from physical and psychological violence?"

With reporting by Franziska Badenschier and Severin Weiland
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 24, 2007, 01:00:32 PM

America's eyes should look to Europe
By Diana West
Friday, March 16, 2007

Without attracting much attention, representatives of the Belgian political party Vlaams Belang recently visited Washington, D.C. Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter hoped to meet members of Congress; but Congress was in recess. They hoped to engender some understanding of their program to reverse the Islamization of Belgium; but the media were strip-mining the tinsel life and tawdry times of Anna Nicole Smith.

Maybe they should have known that Tabloid America doesn't care about the likely transformation of Europe into an Islamic continent, let alone the fate of a French- and Dutch-speaking country of 10 million people. And while Literary America does write books about the transformation -- "While Europe Slept" by Bruce Bawer, "The War for the West" by Tony Blankley, and "America Alone" by Mark Steyn come to mind -- Political America has yet to acknowledge or even notice this colossal, epoch-defining shift now taking place.

Why don't our leaders face it? This may be one of those questions our children will ask some day. But if such natural curiosity isn't expressed until the next generation, the civilizational struggle for Europe will certainly have been lost. Better to question our politicians now. Better to examine the issue today.

Europe, as we may readily observe, is very far along in an accommodation with its still-increasing Muslim immigrant population that is resulting not in the Europeanizing of Islam, but rather the Islamizing of Europe. As Bernard Lewis declared in 2004, Europe will have an Islamic majority by the end of the 21st century at the latest. As Vlaams Belang's Dewinter recently put it, "We are becoming foreigners in our own land."

Such tragic pronouncements turn conversation with Vlaams Belang into a kind of political free verse -- sadly evocative but rooted in a desperate reality that should shake American complacency. That is, "foreigners in our land" is poetry; Mohammed as the most popular boy's name in Brussels for six years running is implacable fact. The idea that "We are living on a dying continent but we are not dead yet," as Dewinter has explained, is metaphorical. His citation from Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi that "Allah is mobilizing Muslim Turkey to add ... 50 million more Muslims" to the European Union augurs world-class revolution.

Is such a revolution desirable? After writing nearly incessantly about Islamization since Sept. 11, I won't surprise anyone by saying no -- not if freedom of conscience, religious equality or women's rights are your bag (not to mention the glorious representational artworks Europe's museums are stuffed with). Besides, the strategic implications for the United States are, in a word, bleak.

In multiculturally totalitarian Belgium, however, you make such judgments at your own risk. Vlaams Belang, a conservative, free-market party that stands for Flemish secession from the French-speaking part of Belgium and opposes continued immigration, now stands trial in a Belgian court for a comment -- a comment! -- Dewinter made in 2005 to a New York publication, The Jewish Week. When asked why Belgian Jews should vote for a party that espouses "xenophobia," Dewinter replied: "Xenophobia is not the word I would use. If (it) absolutely must be a 'phobia,' let it be 'Islamophobia.' Yes, we're afraid of Islam. The Islamization of Europe is a frightening thing."

If convicted of the "crime" of "Islamophobia" ("1984," anyone?), the party would lose its state funding. In a country that effectively prohibits private political fund-raising, Vlaams Belang -- the largest party in Belgium -- would ultimately cease to exist. And so, too, would free speech in the center of Europe.

Before I met Vlaams Belang's Frank Vanhecke and Filip Dewinter in Washington, I believed Europe's rush to Islamize itself was a stampede, its transformation all but inevitable. Now, I think these men have at least earned Europe the benefit of the doubt. Studying their various statements and interviews, I found no evidence to support the crude slanders to which they are continually subjected in the media for being a right-wing party opposed to the massive Islamic immigration now transforming traditional European culture. Indeed, their statements on Israel are more supportive than any European party I know of. As Vanhecke put it in a recent speech, "They call us 'intolerant' because we oppose intolerance. They call us 'fascists' because we oppose Islamo-fascism.

They call us 'the children of holocaust perpetrators,' because we oppose Islamists who are preparing a new holocaust against the Jews.' " America must start paying attention to Europe. And to Vlaams Belang.

Diana West is a contributing columnist for
Title: Dhimmitude
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 29, 2007, 03:51:01 PM
An ordinary American with some fitness centers in Europe responds to the Bernard Lewis piece:

Good to hear from you.  I work all over Europe, especially in Spain and Germany and I can tell you first hand that we don't want to do things the way they are over here.
The terrorists run the show and the people and governments are afraid of offending them.
You should see Belgium, for example.  The Moors control many districts and make the people follow their laws, not those of the state of whom they are guests.
In France the Moors are constantly battling the police, burning cars and generally disrupting the society. Yesterday 200 Moors battled the police in the metro for 12 hours, before order was restored.
In England the Moors openly preach hate of their hosts and their ways, laws and existence and call for rebellion and a state within a state.
In Spain, the government collaborated with the terrorists to win the election in 2003, and today the government has politicized the judiciary branch so that no actions or convictions happen against the terrorists.
3 days ago, in a public protest, on live tv, a terrorist kicked one of the organizers of the opposition square in the b----, and his bodyguard caught the terrorist and as he was handing him over to the police, the cops let him go.  They actually witnessed it all and they let the guy go.
It's amazing.
This is all true and I live it everyday. But don't be discouraged to visit. There is much to like.
It's amazing how people who live in the place where more wars have occured in the entire history of the world forget and refuse to learn from the past.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 29, 2007, 08:48:09 PM
SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 29, 2007, 05:27 PM

Paving the Way for a Muslim Parallel Society

A recent ruling in Germany by a judge who cited the Koran underscores the dilemma the country faces in reconciling Western values with a growing immigrant population. A disturbing number of rulings are helping to create a parallel Muslim world in Germany that is welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.

She didn't know it, nor did she even expect it. She had good intentions. Perhaps it was a mistake. In fact, it was most certainly a mistake. The best thing to do would be to wipe the slate clean.

Last week, in the middle of the storm, Christa Datz-Winter, a judge on Frankfurt's family court, was speechless. But Bernhard Olp, a spokesman for the city's municipal court, was quick to jump in. Olp reported that the judge had been under emotional stress stemming from a murder that had been committed in her office 10 years ago, and that she was now planning to take a break to recuperate. He also mentioned that she was "outraged" -- not about herself or her scandalous ruling, but over the reactions the case has triggered.

Photo Gallery: Does Germany already Have Sharia Law?
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The reactions were so fierce that one could have been forgiven for mistakenly thinking that Germany's Muslims had won the headscarf dispute and the controversy over the Mohammed cartoons on a single day and, in one fell swoop, had taken a substantial bite out of the legal foundations of Western civilization.

The ensuing media furor came from both sides of the political spectrum. The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung ran a story on the case titled: "In the name of the people: beating allowed," while the right-wing tabloid Bild called it "An outrageous case!" The same unanimity across party lines prevailed in the political realm. "Unbearable," was conservative Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein's ruling, while Lale Akgün, a member of parliament of Turkish origin and the Social Democratic Party's representative on Islamic issues, commented that the Frankfurt judge's ruling was "worse than some backyard decision by an Islamist imam." Even the deputy head of the Green Party's parliamentary group, Hans-Christian Ströbele, noted that a German judge is obligated to uphold German law.


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The original purpose of the case was not to carry the clash of cultures into the courtroom. Instead, the case brought before Frankfurt's family court was that of a 26-year-old German woman of Moroccan origin who was terrified of her violent Moroccan husband, a man who had continued to threaten her despite having been ordered to stay away by the authorities. He had beaten her, and he had allegedly said that he would kill her if necessary.
But German law requires a one-year separation before a divorce can be completed -- and exceptions for an expedited process are only granted in extreme situations. When the woman's attorney, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, filed a petition for an expedited divorce, Judge Christa Datz-Winter suddenly became inflexible. According to the judge, there was no evidence of "an unreasonable hardship" that would make it necessary to dissolve the marriage immediately. Instead, the judge argued, the woman should have "expected" that her husband, who had grown up in a country influenced by Islamic tradition, would exercise the "right to use corporal punishment" his religion grants him.

The judge even went so far as to quote the Koran in the grounds for her decision. In Sura 4, verse 34, she wrote, the Koran contains "both the husband's right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband's superiority over the wife."

A disturbing pattern of rulings

Put plainly, the judge argued that a woman who marries a Muslim should know what she's getting herself into. In Germany, no less. Leading German feminist Alice Schwarzer argued that this was tantamount to a "softening of our legal system" that is "by no means a coincidence." Germany's only minister of integration at the state level, Armin Laschet, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from the state of North Rhine Westphalia, sees the Frankfurt ruling as the "last link, for the time being, in a chain of horrific rulings handed down by German courts" -- rulings in which, for example, so-called honor killings have been treated as manslaughter and not murder.

This, says Berlin family attorney and prominent women's rights activist Seyran Ates, is part of the reason one should "be almost thankful that (judge Datz-Winter) made such a clear reference to the Koran. All she did was bring to the surface an undercurrent that already exists in our courts." Out of a sense of misguided tolerance, says Ates, judges treat the values of Muslim subcultures as a mitigating circumstance and, in doing so, are helping pave the way for a gradual encroachment of fundamentalist Islam in Germany's parallel Muslim world. It's an issue Ates often runs up against in her cases. "In Frankfurt," she says, "someone expressly openly for the first time what many are already thinking."

Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, an Islam expert from the central German university town of Marburg, has a similar take on the matter. "Do we already have Sharia here?" she asks, adding that the Frankfurt case shows that "things are getting out of hand here."

Does the unspeakable decision by a single Frankfurt family court judge truly mark a new stage in the German judiciary's unspoken policy of appeasement toward aggressive Muslims? Or is the collective outcry so loud and nonpartisan this time because the case is so clear? Is it because everyone believed that the debate, raging for years and still unresolved, over the issue of how much immigration the Germans should tolerate and how much assimilation they can expect was finally coming to an end? And because this particular case was about violence, the lowest common denominator on which everyone from left-leaning feminists to neoconservatives could agree?

And now that the danger has been recognized, is it being addressed quickly? Not exactly.

An abuse of the liberal state

Frankfurt family court judge Datz-Winter was removed from the case and the courts proved themselves capable of acting responsibly. In many other cases in Germany, however, the liberal nature of the constitutional state has been misused -- and a misguided approach to tolerance has been turned into self-sacrifice. But isn't it the court's job to protect the liberalism that has taken Germans so long and so much effort to achieve -- and with zero tolerance for intolerance, if need be?

The questions this raises in the context of social reality are agonizingly difficult, even insulting to many, and they lead us into a web of taboos that has developed over time. Those who move within this web often cannot help but rub someone the wrong way.


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The debate that Judge Christa Datz-Winter has now revived once again seems to afflict Germans like bouts of fever. It revolves around the question of how much assimilation the constitutional state can or must demand from immigrants. Will the Germans accept the sometimes outmoded customs of other cultural groups? In other words, will they permit groups to not only live in a society that parallels German society, but also to live their lives in an entirely different age and at a completely different pace? Is Germany not obligated to integrate those who are foreign to its society and bring them into the present?
Just as battles are often waged around flags, social conflicts tend to erupt around symbols -- the headscarves worn by female teachers, the minarets that are changing the appearance of some towns, the severed head of the Prophet Mohammed in the Berlin production of the opera "Idomeneo," and the harmless Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed, triggering an outcry that led to the torching of Western flags and embassies worldwide in 2005. But social conflicts also arise over seemingly minor issues. For example, if churches can ring their bells, why shouldn't the muezzin be allowed to call the Muslim faithful to prayer -- at 5:45 in the morning?

Because Germany became a country open to immigration some time ago, it now urgently needs guidelines on how rigidly it should enforce its standards and how it should treat its new arrivals -- as well as how the country expects them to behave.

As this debate becomes more and more urgent, Germans really ought to be thankful to the Frankfurt judge for naively stepping into the web of taboos. The problem Germany faces with its deeply religious Muslim immigrants is not unlike the challenge modern Israeli society faces in dealing with orthodox Jews. Fundamentalists -- including Muslims in Germany --- tend to produce large families, so that the men and women of the past could very well lay claim to a substantial share of the future. According to a study by the University of Tübingen, the number of fundamentalist Muslims in the country will have more than doubled by 2030.

For far too long, Germany's muslim immigrants were not asked to put much effort into integrating. For decades, German judges essentially paved the way for Islamic fundamentalists to form a parallel society. They raised little opposition to the strategy employed by Islamic groups to demand their supposed religious freedom in court until they got it. But the judges must have known, argues Johannes Kandel, that "giving preferential treatment to groups violates the principle of equal treatment in a secular legal system." Kandel heads the intercultural dialogue group at the political academy of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, which is closely alligned with the center-left Social Democrats.

Citing the freedom of religious expression guaranteed under the German constitution, judges in Germany permitted Muslims to withdraw their children from swimming lessons or to forbid them from taking part in school celebrations or school trips. This allowed outdated concepts of chastity from places like Turkey's highly traditional eastern Anatolia region to survive in an otherwise enlightened Europe. But religious freedom, says Udo Di Fabio, a judge on Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, the country's highest judicial institution, is no "basic right deluxe," but rather one of many constitutional rights -- and one that constantly has to be weighed against other rights.

"We were far too negligent for much too long," says Andreas Jacobs, the coordinator for Middle East policy and Islamic countries at the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which is aligned with the conservative Christian Democrats. Wolfgang Bosbach, the deputy chairman of the CDU's parliamentary group says he sees the ruling as an indication "that we are gradually putting our own concepts of the law and values up for grabs." But Jacobs believes it is instead a kind of aftershock of the naïve multicultural illusions of recent decades.

A much-delayed wake-up call

"Finally the reactions to this nonsense are showing that sensitivity has become much greater than it was in the past," he says. The murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, he believes, served as a much-delayed wakeup call for most German judges and politicians.

In the autumn of 2004 Mohamed Bouyeri, the son of Moroccan immigrants who was born in Amsterdam and attended school there, slit van Gogh's throat as if he were slaughtering an animal on an Amsterdam street. He felt that van Gogh's film "Submission," about the oppression of women in Islam, was offensive to him and his religion. Van Gogh had shot the film together with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born Dutch who is one of the most prominent critics of Islam. The murder set the Netherlands into a deep state of shock. Suddenly the country was faced with the wreckage of its much-touted tolerance. Before long mosques and Koran schools were going up in flames, followed by retaliatory acts against churches.

Photo Gallery: Does Germany already Have Sharia Law?
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The clash of cultures in the neighboring Netherlands also drew Germany's attention to conditions that many had preferred to play down as "cultural diversity." Suddenly Germans were waking up to the creeping Islamicization on the fringes of their society, and to the existence of parallel worlds in German cities. Ironically, until only a few years ago all of this was happening with the enthusiastic support of the constitutional state and its servants.

German judges were accommodating to Muslims in many minor rulings, and often with good reason. In 2002, the state labor court in the northern city of Hamm ruled that prayer breaks are permissible during working hours, but must be coordinated with the employer. The case had come to the fore after a company reprimanded a Muslim worker who wanted to pray several times a day. The worker demanded his rights, citing religious freedom.

In a number of cases dealing with halal butchering, German courts were forced to grant exceptions to Muslim butchers similar to those applied to butchers who adhere to Jewish kosher butchering rituals. In 2002, the Federal Constitutional Court issued a landmark decision allowing butchering according to Muslim ritual, after Rüstem Altinküpe, a butcher in the eastern city of Wetzlar, had filed a lawsuit.

Muslims can also often count on the support of German courts when it comes to building mosques. As far back as 1992, the Federal Administrative Court ruled that neighbors must "fundamentally accept" being woken before sunup.

The muezzin, who calls the faithful to prayer from the minaret in traditional mosques, can also usually look to German judges to support his cause. Attempts by cities to appeal decisions favoring mosques have rarely succeeded.

In Dillenburg, a town in the state of Hesse, a rural district office attempted to use the highway code to silence the local muezzin, arguing that his devout calls to prayer could irritate drivers. The Giessen Administration Court overturned the decision.

In theory, the Muslim call to prayer could be enforced in court in all German communities, the logic being that where Christians can sing their hymns the Muslims must be allowed to call the faithful to prayer.

As the courts saw it, the principle of equal treatment also applied to those with little interest in equality. But most mosques voluntarily waive this right to equal treatment.

Muslims can also often depend on courts that deal with the laws governing the press. The outcome of a legal dispute last May between the former imam of Berlin's Mevlana mosque, Yakub Tasci, and the ZDF public television network before the district court in Potsdam outside Berlin was especially absurd. Judge Klaus Feldmann barred the network from referring to the imam as a "hate preacher" on its Web site. And yet Tasci, according to an investigative piece in the magazine Frontal21, had characterized Germans during his sermons as the equivalent of stinking infidels. According to the court, Tasci had not been referring to Germans in particular but atheists in general, and had only preached about Germans' alleged lack of hygiene and apparent body odor outside of the mosque.

Issues of fundamental importance

While these cases may seem trivial, the matter becomes more sensitive when cases revolve around issues of fundamental importance. In some cases German courts choose to do little more than dabble, as in the headscarf dispute. In 2003, Fereshda Ludin, a teacher in the southern state of Baden-Württemberg, sued for the right to wear the headscarf in the classroom. Her case was referred to the Federal Constitutional Court, which ruled that schools are the business of the states. In other words, it would be up to the states to enact the appropriate legislation if they wanted to ban teachers from wearing the headscarf. This hasn't happened yet in many German states, and the debate continues.

In some cases German courts are even more accommodating to Muslims than those in secular Turkey. In 1984, the Wiesbaden Administrative Court upheld a Muslim woman's demand that she be allowed to wear her headscarf on photos for official identification documents. In the grounds for its decision, the court wrote: "The Islamic faith requires the plaintiff to cover her head in public." Even though the ruling is not legally binding, Muslims have used it to support their arguments.

Experts view a 1993 decision by the Federal Administrative Court as one of the most blatant mistakes on the road to establishing a legal framework to protect Islamic parallel words. The judges decided to allow a 13-year-old Turkish girl to be excused from physical education and swimming instruction if it could not be offered in a way that kept boys and girls strictly separated. The girl's family had argued that the headscarf could very well slip off during these activities.

The court was not even swayed by the school district's objection -- which now seems downright prophetic -- that granting special rights would make it increasingly difficult for schools to offer class trips, sex education classes and outings to the theater. The judges ruled that it was "unreasonable" to require pupils to take part in physical education classes. They decided in favor of the parents' religious freedom and against the development opportunities and rights of personal liberty of the child -- and of many other children.

In a similar case, a judge argued that whether the Koran does in fact require certain behaviors is immaterial, and that a perceived precept is already sufficient. In fact, the judge continued, it could not be argued that these religious rules "are, according to Western standards, one-sided and do not favor adolescent women."

This was an attitude that still prevailed in the minds of German judges one year after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

At the time, the higher administrative court in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia ruled that a female Muslim student in the 10th grade should be permitted not to take part in a school trip. The family had argued that Islam prohibits allowing girls to go on such trips without being accompanied by a male family member. The family also insisted that the girl was constantly worried about losing her headscarf. The judges found that such fears were "comparable with the situation of a partially mentally impaired person who, because of her disability, can only travel with a companion." This assessment was devastating because it accepted the rules of a camel drivers' society in the modern age -- literally, because a few years earlier, an Islamic legal opinion dubbed the "camel fatwa" had been added to the professional literature.

Amir Zaidan, the then chairman of the Islamic Religious Community in the state of Hesse, wrote the opinion. He argued that a Muslim woman could travel no more than 81 kilometers (50 miles) from the home of her husband or parents without being accompanied by a male blood relative. The opinion came to be known as the "camel fatwa," because this was the distance a camel caravan could travel within 24 hours in the days of the Prophet Mohammed.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 29, 2007, 08:48:48 PM
Zaidan even defended this position at a 2001 conference of Germany's protestant churches in Frankfurt. His argument was that a woman who traveled farther would run the risk of being raped. Apparently one could spout such nonsense to the good church people who had gathered in Frankfurt without running the risk of being run off the premises for committing rape against religious freedom.

A bonus for polygamists

In another letter from Absurdistan, the Federal Ministry for Social Affairs issued the following announcement to German health insurance agencies in the summer of 2004: "Polygamous marriages must be recognized if they are legal under the laws of the native country of the individuals in question."

What the policy statement boiled down to was this: In certain cases Muslim men from countries where polygamy is legal -- like Morocco, Algeria and Saudi Arabia -- could add a second wife to their government health insurance policies without having to pay an additional premium.

Photo Gallery: Does Germany already Have Sharia Law?
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Such excesses are rare today. Judges are increasingly accepting the responsibility that legal expert and Islam scholar Mathias Rohe demands of them: to use the law "to signal to a society what is allowed and what is not."

For example, in 2005 a Düsseldorf judge ordered that a Muslim boy could be required to attend school swimming sessions together with girls. In his grounds, the judge argued that in Germany Muslims are "confronted with more liberal values, which they must be able to handle. The same applies to required swimming instruction."

But this change of heart within the judiciary has not brought about fundamental social change. On the contrary, the genie that the courts once let out of the bottle continues to shape social reality. "More and more girls are not taking part in swimming instruction or are not going on class trips," says Christa Stolle of Terre des Femmes, a women's rights group. "Or they are simply taken out of school." The wearing of headscarves has also increased tremendously, says Stolle, who is convinced that "it's getting more difficult for girls."

Experiences in urban German schools show just how much integration has suffered as a result of the decisions of timorous judges in past years. At the Carlo Mierendorff School in Preungesheim, a Frankfurt neighborhood, about one-third of students in the upper grades are permitted to not attend class trips for religious reasons, says Alexander Zabler, the school's principal. To prevent their daughters from traveling with schoolmates, many Muslim parents have either called the girls in sick or simply ordered them not to show up. Zabler tried many approaches, including talking to the parents, visiting them at home, offering special meals for Muslims during travel -- but all to no avail. Finally he turned to the government and asked the local school board for help -- also to no avail. He has since resigned.

Last month parents, teachers and students at the Carlo Mierendorff School decided to cancel future class trips altogether if more than 10 percent of students could not attend. "On this issue integration has failed here," complains Zabler.

That failure is at least partly attributable to the activities of people like Yavuz and Gürhan Özoguz, two brothers who offer sample letters for parents seeking to exempt their children from swimming instruction on their Web site, The parents then use the letters to demand special rights for their children from teachers and principals.

"Doing their best to survive"

If the parents' strict faith expresses itself as an extreme form of modesty in girls, then it often leads to rowdiness in Muslim boys. Paul Reiter, 47, an English and French teacher at a school in the western city of Bochum, constantly experiences the results of self-imposed, aggressive exclusion in the classroom. Reiter says he knows many "poor students with gold chains" who routinely use anti-American, anti-Semitic and sexist language, often addressing German women as "whores." Reiter says female teachers "are doing their best to survive" in some classes.

Marie-Luise Bock, the principal of Martin Luther Middle School in Herten, a city in the industrial Ruhr region, says her efforts to integrate Muslim girls are torpedoed from two sides: "arch-conservative" Muslim parents and "macho brothers." About one-third of female Muslim students wear headscarves, "and one in two are unhappy about it," says Bock, who has occasionally reserved spots in a women's shelter for some of her former female students. "It deeply upsets me that we can so little for these girls," she says.

Ursula Spuler-Stegemann, the Islam scholar, also has stories to tell about desperate teachers. "Many have no idea where they are allowed to draw the line when it comes to Muslims," she says. More dangerous, says Spuler-Stegemann, is a "dramatic development that is currently unfolding in the education sector, practically unnoticed by the general public: There are groups that truly want to establish a separate world."

She is referring to organizations like the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers, which operates a number of children's centers throughout Germany. Critics say the children, who often have no exposure to the outside world, are subjected to religious indoctrination -- an allegation the association's leadership denies. Milli Görüs and the Islamic Community of Germany -- two groups that are under observation by Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Germany's domestic intelligence agency -- are also heavily involved in working with youth. Muslim organizations in Germany, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble warns, must behave in a way "that indicates partnership with us" -- at least if they hope to steer clear of investigators and the courts.

Muslim organizations are also beginning to establish their own schools, arguing that Christian nuns teach at some German schools. The Muslims tout their concepts as being integrative, and education officials believe them and approve the schools. But then, far from being integrated, the schools end up attracting only Muslims.

Domestic intelligence kept a close watch on the King Fahd Academy in Bonn for years. The mosque and associated school were criticized because some of the schoolbooks they used glorified jihad. But even the ordinary Koran schools, which exist at practically every German mosque, often forcefully draw their roughly 70,000 children and adolescents back into the world of their grandfathers.

Of course, in many families there is no escaping the closeness justified by Muslim traditions and rules. Women are brought up to serve and obey. Boys are alternately spoiled and beaten, as custom requires. According to a study conducted by the Lower Saxony Criminology Research Institute, physical abuse of boys is more than twice as common in Turkish families than German families. And "girls from conservative families say that their fathers and brothers have the right to hit them," reports Judith Gerling-Tamer, an educator at the Elisi Evi Support Center for women and girls in Berlin's heavily Muslim Kreuzberg district.

The authorities are generally aware of little of what happens in families. Nevertheless, laws and court decisions do send signals. If the wrong signals are sent, as was the case in many past court rulings, this also affects families. And lawmakers' failure to enact legislation that is urgently needed can also have devastating effects.

Young women routinely come to support centers after being married off against their will, but such arranged marriages are neither illegal nor regulated in Germany.


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According to a 2004 study commissioned by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, 17 percent of Turkish women surveyed considered their marriage forced. The Turkish twins Ayse Auth and Hatice Nizam know what it's like to be forced into an arranged marriage in Germany. They were born in the state of Hesse into a large Turkish guest worker family. Both girls did well in school and trained to become hairdressers. But then, the twins say, their parents insisted that it was time for them to marry. Hatice was married at 18, Ayse at 19. The two sisters spent four years trying to separate themselves from their husbands they neither loved nor wanted. When they finally succeeded, the family treated them as outcasts.
Unlike many other girls with similar stories, the girls have now confidently made a life for themselves in Germany. They own two hairdressing salons and both live with their German partners. Arranged marriages, says Hatice Nizam, are "unfortunately still" part of everyday life for many women of Turkish origin in Germany, "and it's incredibly difficult to extract yourself from them."

Ayten Köse, 42, who manages a shelter in the Neukölln Rollberg district, tries to help. She doesn't resemble most of the Muslim women here. Instead of a headscarf, she wears her hair uncovered. Köse knows how difficult it is for Muslim women in Germany to be courageous and rebel. But she is constantly reminding women that the German state will not let them down. "But what should I tell them now, after this Frankfurt ruling?" Köse asks furiously. "That it can happen sometimes?" Trust in the constitution and the hope that it will be enforced, says Köse, is sometimes the only thing Muslim women can rely on for encouragement.

The problem for many women, says Köse, is that they are completely alone, alone against their own family or their husband's family. "And if they haven't attended school in Germany," Köse explains, "they usually don't even know about human rights."

A political system too paralyzed to act

Chances are slim that they can expect much help from the political end anytime soon. German lawmakers have repeatedly considered raising the age at which guest workers are allowed to come to Germany as a way of protecting young girls against forced marriages. Many immigrants are very young when they are forced into arranged marriages. A law outlawing forced marriages still doesn't exist today, although the German criminal code has been updated somewhat to deal with the problem. Even some of the measures other countries established are nonexistent in Germany. In Britain, for example, women who are worried that they could be forced into hastily arranged marriages while on vacation can leave information with the authorities before leaving the country. If they fail to report back by a prearranged date, officials, including those at the British Foreign Office, begin searching for them.

Germany is still a long way off from such well-meaning approaches and the symbolism they convey. In fact, some of the women who contact the women's rights group Terre des Femmes do so because they feel stabbed in the back by the constitutional state. If they are taken to their native countries against their will for forced marriages, the door often slams shut behind them -- permanently. If the brides are unable to extricate themselves and return to Germany within six months, their residency permits automatically expire in most cases.

Berlin attorney Seyran Ates says: "We are at a crossroads, everywhere in Europe. Do we allow structures that lead straight into a parallel society, or do we demand assimilation into the democratic constitutional state?"

The answer is clear, at least if one studies the literature of conservative Muslims. For example, in his book "Women in Islam," Imam Mohammed Kamal Mustafa of Spain recommends how women should be beaten. If you beat their hands and feet with "whips that are too thick," he warns, you risk leaving scars. Abdelkader Bouziane, an Algerian imam who calls two women his own, recommends handing out beatings in such a way that the consequences are not apparent to infidels.

Although Islamic groups do their best to condemn marital violence, there are clear indications of how ubiquitous beatings are in many Muslim marriages. Experts say that a disproportionately high percentage of women who flee to women's shelters are Muslim. This sort of domestic violence in the family has even ended in death for more than 45 people in Germany in the last decade. According to an analysis by the Federal Office of Criminal Investigation on the "phenomenon of honor killings" in Germany, woman are often slaughtered in the most gruesome of ways for violating archaic concepts of morality. In many cases an entire family council has ruled on the execution of a rebellious female family member.

In 2005, Hatun Sürücü, a young Berlin woman, was killed because she was "living like a German." In her family's opinion, this was a crime only her death could expiate. Her youngest brother executed her by shooting her several times, point blank, at a Berlin bus stop. But because prosecutors were unable to prove that the family council had planned the act, only the killer himself could be tried for murder and, because he was underage, he was given a reduced sentence. The rest of the family left the courtroom in high spirits, and the father rewarded the convicted boy with a watch.

It is by no means unusual for people put on trial for honor killings in Germany to be convicted on the lesser charge of manslaughter in the end. In 2003 the Frankfurt District Court handed down a mild sentence against a Turkish-born man who had stabbed his German-born wife to death. She had disobeyed him and was even insolent enough to demand a divorce.

Muslim moral precepts as mitigating factors

The court argued that one could not automatically assume that the man's motives were contemptible. He had, after all, acted "out of an excessive rage and sense of outrage against his wife" -- who he had regularly beaten in the past -- "based on his foreign socio-cultural moral concepts." According to the court's decision, the divorce would have violated "his family and male honor derived from his Anatolian moral concepts." The Federal Constitutional Court reversed the decision in 2004.

Even though higher courts usually reverse these sorts of rulings, judges are still handing down sentences based on the same logic. For example, the municipal court in the western city of Leverkusen sentenced a Lebanese man to probation in 2005 after he had severely beaten his daughter several times for resisting his efforts to force her into an arranged marriage. He hit her on the head with a stick. When it broke he choked her and threatened to stab her to death. The court argued that the fact that his actions were based on his Muslim moral concepts served as a mitigating factor.

The district court in Essen was equally lenient when, in 2002, it sentenced a Lebanese man who had applied for asylum -- and who routinely beat his children and wife with a belt and also raped his spouse -- to nothing more than probation. The judge cited the man's cultural background as a mitigating circumstance. In commenting on his crimes, the man said: "I am a Muslim, a normal person. I pray, fast and fulfill do my duties."

Both criminal courts and family courts have often gone soft on violent parents whose concepts of honor were more important to them than the well-being of their child. In 2000 the Cologne Higher Regional Court ruled that a couple from Kosovo who had planned to force their 17-year-old daughter into an arranged marriage at home should be denied custody of the girl. This was a reversal of a lower court's decision to send the girl, who had sought protection from the youth welfare office, back to her parents. It was only the higher court that clarified something that should have been obvious: that it is completely irrelevant as to whether "the parents, based on their origin, have different ideas about family obligation and the duty to obey." Family attorneys say that social workers have even been known to turn away girls who have turned to youth welfare officials for fear of being forced into a marriage. The social workers' response to the girls is that that sort of thing is, well, "normal with you people."

Jutta Wagner, a family attorney and president of the German Association of Female Lawyers, says that she is constantly hearing about "attorneys with a migration background" who have studied law in Germany but conclude marriage contracts "in which they attempt to adapt a sort of 'Sharia light.'" According to Wagner the purpose of the contracts, which are barely acceptable for German courts, is to make Islamic law acceptable in small steps.

Christa Datz-Winter, the Frankfurt family court judge, argued as if she had already accepted the basic tenets of Sharia law. In the Koran, she wrote, "the honor of the man, simply put, is tied to the chastity of the woman." Therefore, she continued, "for a man with an Islamic upbringing the fact that a woman is living according to Western cultural rules is already considered a violation of his honor."

Matthias Bartsch, Andrea Brandt, Simone Kaiser, Gunther Latsch, Cordula Meyer and Caroline Schmidt

Translated from the German by Christopher Sultan

Title: Re: Islam in France
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 30, 2007, 06:06:24 AM

That was an interesting read. 

From today's NY Slimes, here's this about France:


Published: March 30, 2007
PARIS, March 29 — France’s presidential campaign has been seized by a subject long monopolized by the extreme right: how best to be French.

The conservative candidate, Nicolas Sarkozy, wants to create a ministry of “immigration and national identity” that would require newcomers to embrace the secular values of the republican state.

The Socialist candidate, Ségolène Royal, wants every French citizen to memorize “La Marseillaise” and keep a French flag in the cupboard for public display on Bastille Day.

The far-right candidate, Jean-Marie Le Pen, of the National Front party, chortles that his rivals have stolen — and therefore validated — his message of “France for the French.”

Some political commentators have accused Mr. Sarkozy of harking back to the darkest period in modern French history: the collaborationist Vichy government during the Nazi occupation. Ms. Royal, meanwhile, is being attacked by both her rivals and her own camp for manipulating symbols that historically have been the domain of the far right.

With the first round of the election 24 days away, the battle over French identity has overtaken discussion of more practical issues like reducing unemployment and making France more competitive.

On Tuesday, as if to underscore the tensions over identity, roving bands of young people threw objects at the police, smashed store windows and damaged property for several hours at the Gare du Nord, a major train station in Paris. The trouble started when an illegal immigrant from Congo jumped a turnstile in the subway and tried to punch a transit agent who asked to see his ticket.

The police shut down the subway and commuter train system, arrested 13 suspects and used tear gas before restoring order after midnight.

The shift to debating Frenchness is aimed in part at luring the right-wing vote away from Mr. Le Pen, who shocked France in 2002 when he finished the first round of voting in second place.

It is also an attempt to reassure jittery voters that France will remain an important power at a time when it is losing prominence in a larger European Union and a globalized world and struggling with a disaffected Muslim and ethnic Arab and African population at home.

“Resolving the identity crisis in France is a very serious problem, but both Nicolas Sarkozy and Ségolène Royal have trivialized it in this election,” said Eric Dupin, a political scientist and an author. “Both of them are playing on the fears and the base emotions of the people.”

François Bayrou, the centrist candidate who leads the tiny Union for French Democracy party, denounced the “nationalistic obsession” that had infiltrated the campaign. “Every time in our past that we have wanted to go back to external signs, it has led to periods that are unhappy,” he said.

For the past few years, France has struggled with economic and cultural issues related to its immigrants. One is shared by much of the rest of Europe: how to stop the influx of illegal immigrants who drain a country’s economy and social services. A second is how to force French citizens of immigrant origin to obey laws, including those banning practices like polygamy and the wearing of head scarves by Muslim girls and women in schools and universities.

As interior minister before he stepped down Monday to focus on his campaign, Mr. Sarkozy tightened immigration laws and boasted that he had expelled tens of thousands of illegal immigrants and prevented others from entering. His pledge in 2005 to rid France’s ethnic Arab and Muslim suburbs of “scum” contributed to a three-week orgy of violence there.

Mr. Sarkozy, who has largely avoided the suburbs during his campaign, has criticized immigrants and their offspring who resist the French model of integration, saying it is unacceptable to want to live in France without respecting and loving the country or learning French.

He touched off the current debate in a television appearance on March 8 when he announced a plan to create a “ministry of immigration and national identity” if elected.

Ms. Royal called the plan “disgraceful,” adding, “Foreign workers have never threatened French identity.”

“Indecent,” was the reaction of Azouz Begag, the minister for equal opportunity. “I’m not stupid, and neither are the French,” he said. “It’s a hook to go and look for the lost sheep of the National Front.”

Simone Veil, a beloved former government minister and Holocaust survivor, found herself denouncing Mr. Sarkozy’s idea shortly after she endorsed him for president.

“I didn’t at all like this very ambiguous formula,” she told the magazine Marianne. She said a ministry for immigration and “integration” would be a better idea.

Mr. Sarkozy was unfazed. “I want the promotion of a common culture,” he said in reply to his critics.

Published: March 30, 2007
(Page 2 of 2)

Indeed, an OpinionWay Internet poll for the newspaper Le Figaro, splashed on the paper’s front page this month, indicated that 55 percent of French voters approved. Sixty-five percent agreed that the “immigrants who join us must sign up to the national identity.”

Although the poll was conducted using a representative sample via the Internet, not by using more reliable telephone surveys, it was widely cited as evidence that the French wanted a more restrictive immigration policy and that they wanted Muslims here conform to secular French customs.

But Mr. Sarkozy’s proposal has revived memories of the Vichy era. The idea of a national identity ministry has been compared to the General Commissariat of Jewish Affairs, which was created with ministerial rank under the Vichy administration. “Only Vichy developed administrative structures in their efficient way to defend a certain concept of ‘national identity,’ ” the columnist Philippe Bernard wrote in Le Monde last week. He said that the Commissariat, “even before being a tool in the service of the policy of extermination, responded to the objective of purification of the French nation.”

Some conservative Jewish voters, who were planning to vote for Mr. Sarkozy because of his staunch support of Israel, say they now are considering shifting to Mr. Bayrou.

Despite Ms. Royal’s criticism of Mr. Sarkozy, she followed his lead by wrapping herself tightly in her own mantle of nationalism. She started by encouraging her supporters to sing “La Marseillaise,” the national anthem and the rallying cry of the right, at the end of her rallies.

Last week in southern France, which historically votes for the right and extreme right, she called for a “reconquest of the symbols of the nation” from the right.

She said all French citizens should have the French flag at home, adding, “In other countries, they put the flag in the windows on their national holiday.” And she promised that if elected, she would “ensure that the French know ‘La Marseillaise.’ ”

In the end, both camps acknowledge that they are trying to appeal to voters on the right.

“Ségolène Royal is taking back the terrain too often abandoned by the left for ages to the right and the extreme right,” said a former defense and interior minister, Jean-Pierre Chevènement, who supports her.

Mr. Sarkozy was more explicit. “Since 1983, we have the strongest far right in Europe,” he said this month. “We must not proceed as if it does not exist. I want to talk to those who have moved toward the far right because they are suffering.”

During a campaign trip last week in the Caribbean, where some of the region’s residents can vote in French elections, Mr. Sarkozy boasted that after he proposed his immigration and national identity ministry, his standing in the polls jumped.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 31, 2007, 03:49:01 PM
Steyn will be seen as a prophet by future generations.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: sgtmac_46 on April 01, 2007, 04:21:17 PM
"How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live.

"A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property, either as a child, a wife, or a concubine, must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men.

"Individual Moslems may show splendid qualities, but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilization of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilization of ancient Rome."

Sir Winston Churchill (The River War, first edition, Vol. II, pages 248-50, London: Longmans, Green Co., 1899).

And, Sir Winston, it appears as though oil revenues are buying technological parity.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: sgtmac_46 on April 01, 2007, 04:28:57 PM

Muslims have been fighting over their theological divisions since the death of Muhammad. That doesn't mean they can't unite against the dhimmi and kufar under the banner of jihad. If I recall correctly Khomeni started out as a Sufi, which tends to be the hippy-dippy, new-agey version of islam. Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.
More to the point, Sunnis and Shiites HAVE been working together.  Hezbollah practically invented Hamas.  Hezbollah has been aiding al-Qaeda since the very beginning.  Iran has been secretly supplying and pulling the strings for Sunni terrorist groups for nearly 3 decades.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2007, 09:17:15 PM

Schools are dropping the Holocaust from history lessons to avoid offending Muslim pupils, a Governmentbacked study has revealed.
It found some teachers are reluctant to cover the atrocity for fear of upsetting students whose beliefs include Holocaust denial.
There is also resistance to tackling the 11th century Crusades - where Christians fought Muslim armies for control of Jerusalem - because lessons often contradict what is taught in local mosques.

The findings have prompted claims that some schools are using history 'as a vehicle for promoting political correctness'.
The study, funded by the Department for Education and Skills, looked into 'emotive and controversial' history teaching in primary and secondary schools.

It found some teachers are dropping courses covering the Holocaust at the earliest opportunity over fears Muslim pupils might express anti-Semitic and anti-Israel reactions in class.

The researchers gave the example of a secondary school in an unnamed northern city, which dropped the Holocaust as a subject for GCSE coursework.

The report said teachers feared confronting 'anti-Semitic sentiment and Holocaust denial among some Muslim pupils'.

It added: "In another department, the Holocaust was taught despite anti-Semitic sentiment among some pupils.

"But the same department deliberately avoided teaching the Crusades at Key Stage 3 (11- to 14-year-olds) because their balanced treatment of the topic would have challenged what was taught in some local mosques."

A third school found itself 'strongly challenged by some Christian parents for their treatment of the Arab-Israeli conflict-and the history of the state of Israel that did not accord with the teachings of their denomination'.

The report concluded: "In particular settings, teachers of history are unwilling to challenge highly contentious or charged versions of history in which pupils are steeped at home, in their community or in a place of worship."

But Chris McGovern, history education adviser to the former Tory government, said: "History is not a vehicle for promoting political correctness. Children must have access to knowledge of these controversial subjects, whether palatable or unpalatable."

The researchers also warned that a lack of subject knowledge among teachers - particularly at primary level - was leading to history being taught in a 'shallow way leading to routine and superficial learning'. Lessons in difficult topics were too often 'bland, simplistic and unproblematic' and bored pupils.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: sgtmac_46 on April 02, 2007, 05:54:26 PM
It appears as though the single most effective weapon the Islamic world has to subjugate the Western World is immigration.  First come small groups of Muslims, who due to Western Religious toleration, become large groups of Muslims.  Then those Muslims start demanding Sharia.  Once the populations reach 20%, they begin dictating terms to the secular governments.  The progressives, fearing violence and the appearance of 'intolerance' cave to demand after demand.  Is dhimmitude far behind?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on April 02, 2007, 07:13:16 PM

Muslims have been fighting over their theological divisions since the death of Muhammad. That doesn't mean they can't unite against the dhimmi and kufar under the banner of jihad. If I recall correctly Khomeni started out as a Sufi, which tends to be the hippy-dippy, new-agey version of islam. Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.
More to the point, Sunnis and Shiites HAVE been working together.  Hezbollah practically invented Hamas.  Hezbollah has been aiding al-Qaeda since the very beginning.  Iran has been secretly supplying and pulling the strings for Sunni terrorist groups for nearly 3 decades.

True enough. I'm in a training class right now and this is one of the topics we've covered.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 13, 2007, 07:53:13 PM,00.html


Bin Laden's Eurofighters

By Yassin Musharbash
242 jihadists, 31 attacks, 28 networks. After examining militant Islamism in Europe, researchers have found that self-recruitment is on the rise among terrorist leader Osama bin Laden's Eurofighters, and that there is no such thing as a standard terrorist.
Dutch researchers Edwin Bakker and Teije Hidde Donker had an ambitious goal in mind when they wrote: "We must find out who the jihadists are, where they come from and what they look like." Although they were not able to answer that question in its entirety, their study, "Jihadi Terrorists in Europe," does offer plenty of fascinating results.
They researched the stories of 242 people who, between 2001 and 2006, were organized in 28 networks, planned 31 attacks and, in some cases, executed or allegedly executed these attacks. (Some are still considered presumed terrorists because their cases are still pending.) The list includes little known plots, such as the attempt to attack the Spanish Supreme Court in 2004, as well as prominent terrorist attacks, including the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004 and the 2005 London bus and subway bombings.

Photo Gallery: Bin Laden's Eurofighters

Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (5 Photos)

One of the most important findings of the Dutch study is that there are no standard jihadists. According to the researchers, the 28 networks they identified differ considerably from one another. In some cases, authorities were dealing with individual attackers, whereas more than 30 people were involved in the 2004 bombings of trains in Madrid. The data also cover a wide range when it comes to the attackers' ages. The youngest was 16 and the oldest 59, which makes the average age of 27.3 years not especially meaningful.
Homogeneous cells
Internally, however, the cells are surprisingly homogeneous. Pakistanis generally get together with Pakistanis, Moroccans with Moroccans and -- as in the case of -- Lebanese with Lebanese. Most jihadists are men. Only five women appear in the study.
There are also few differences when it comes to goals and methods. Transportation systems were by far the most common targets, and in many cases explosives were the weapons of choice. The choice of specific targets was consistently perfidious: the plans were directed exclusively against civilian facilities or civilians themselves. Of the 242 jihadists, 11 were suicide bombers -- and they were the ones who committed the most devastating attacks.
Great Britain and the Netherlands have proven to be at the greatest risk during the period studied, with 12 of the networks operating in Great Britain, seven in the Netherlands, four in France and three each in Spain and Belgium.
Searching for a profile
By far the most interesting aspect of Bakker's and Hidde Donker's study is their analysis of the origins and radicalization of the attackers and presumed terrorists.
A total of 29 nationalities are represented, but there are clear clusters. The 55 Algerians in the study make up almost one-fourth of the entire sample. Together with other North Africans, they account for more than half of those studied. They were most likely to be active in those countries where many of their countrymen had settled: France, Spain and Belgium.
The second largest group consisted of 24 attackers of Pakistani ethnic origin whose attacks were planned primarily for Great Britain.
The Dutch data are even more meaningful when compared with a study by US researcher Marc Sagemann, who presented a similar analysis of international terrorists with ties to al-Qaida in 2004. The Dutch researchers also provided such a comparison, and it clearly points out that the European jihadists are already part of a different generation than those in Sagemann's sample.
His jihadists were mainly Arabs, especially Saudis and Egyptians, who went abroad. Seventy percent of them became radicalized outside the country in which they had previously lived. The situation is reversed among al-Qaida's Eurofighters: More than 80 percent of them found their way to armed jihad in the country in which they lived.
Radicalization with friends and family
These numbers indicate that the impact of Afghan training camps on radicalization has since been largely offset.
Bakker and Hidde Donker summarize the issue of radicalization as follows: Their group of jihadists differs "fundamentally from the global mujaheddin." This conclusion is also supported in other ways-- by the realization, for example, that the jihadists who became active in Europe "radicalized with little outside interference, ...often together with friends and family members."
What this boils down to is that these Euro-terrorists are recruiting themselves. The Internet plays an important role in this process. Many of the jihadists featured in the study obtained al-Qaida propaganda via the Internet, especially in the last few months leading up to their attacks.
This reinforces a fear security officials have long had: The radicalization phase is becoming shorter and shorter.
Another difference between the Dutch study and Sagemann's results is also disconcerting: 58 jihadists were noticed by the police before their planned attacks -- almost one-fourth of the sample and far more than in Sagemann's study. Small-time criminals are apparently finding their way into al-Qaida in Europe more often today than in the past.
A higher proportion of converts than in the Sagemann study (a total of 14, including 13 former Christians and one former Hindu) also confirms that there are more detours on the road to jihadism than there were in the past.
New generation of European jihadists is a fact
Despite all the interesting details, a profile cannot be derived from the data. The types of attackers are too diverse. Perhaps the most useful fact for the purpose of profiling is that so many terrorism suspects were minor criminals in the past.
The authors of the study believe that they have confirmed that "homegrown terrorism" is the new megatrend among Europe's jihadists. However, the debate among terrorism experts is currently moving away from this term again, now that investigations of the July 2005 London bombings revealed connections to Pakistan and possibly the central leadership of al-Qaida. These ties contradict the conclusion that the attackers acted entirely on their own.
But the real value of the study is likely to lie elsewhere: in the simple analysis of what has already happened. For example, the light the study sheds on the trends among active terrorists in selecting targets in Europe is helpful in prevention, as is the empirically backed conclusion that there is a correlation between propaganda on the Internet and rapid radicalization.
Most of all, what the study shows is that most attackers who commit acts of terror in Europe first developed into jihadists within European societies, and in most cases completely without any prior battlefield experience and without having attended terrorist training camps.
The "new generation" of jihadists in Europe is not the writing on the wall, but reality.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 17, 2007, 06:00:00 AM
Hezbollah's German Helpers
April 17, 2007

Hezbollah arrived in the European Union back in the 1980s, along with refugees from the civil war in Lebanon. Despite its deadly track record and a 2005 European Parliament resolution recommending the banning of the Iranian-funded group, it is still legal on the Continent. France, Spain, Belgium and Sweden prevent the EU from jointly designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

Holding currently both the E.U. and G-8 presidencies, Berlin would be in a strong position to head the fight against an organization dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the replacement of Lebanon's fragile democracy with a Tehran-backed Islamic state. So far, however, Germany has squandered this unique opportunity to push for a Hezbollah ban. Berlin's passivity is consistent with its tolerant approach toward the "Party of God" over the past two decades.

While under the watchful eye of German law enforcement and intelligence, Hezbollah enjoys significant operational freedom. In the late 1990s, for example, it was able to recruit in Germany Steven Smyrek, a German convert to Islam, and train him in Lebanon as a suicide bomber. He was luckily arrested at Tel Aviv airport before he could blow up Israeli civilians.

German security services believe that about 900 Hezbollah core activists are in the country and regularly meet in 30 cultural community centers and mosques. These activists financially support Hezbollah in Lebanon through fund-raising organizations, such as the "Orphans Project Lebanon Association." This harmless-sounding charity belongs to the Lebanese "al-Shahid (the Martyr) Association," which is part of the Hezbollah network that supports the families of militia fighters and suicide bombers.

According to a German government report from February, the attitude of Hezbollah supporters in Germany "is characterized by a far-reaching, unlimited acceptance of the ideology and policy (of Hezbollah)." Berlin is also aware that representatives of Hezbollah's "foreign affairs office" in Lebanon regularly travel to Germany to give orders to their followers.

* * *
So why does the German government tolerate these activities?

First, the Hezbollah leadership in Beirut recognizes the value of a German safe haven. It demands that Hezbollah followers carefully obey German law, which Berlin claims they do "to a large extent." Experience from attacks in the U.S., Britain and elsewhere suggest, though, that terrorists follow the law up and until the point they decide to strike.

Second, too many Germany policymakers uncritically accept the idea that there is supposedly a political Hezbollah -- an Islamist but legitimate movement independent of those Hezbollah terrorists who have murdered hundreds of people around the world. To believe that fairy tale, they even ignore Hezbollah's own words. As Mohammed Fannish, member of the "political bureau" of Hezbollah and former Lebanese energy minister put it in 2002: "I can state that there is no separating between Hezbollah's military and political arms."

Hezbollah's leadership, the Shurah Council, controls the totality of its activities -- social, political and what it calls "military." Funding for Hezbollah is fungible: Money collected in Germany supposedly for social and political causes frees up funds for terrorist attacks.

In ignoring the threat from Hezbollah, the German government puts hope above experience. While it tries to spare German citizens from the wrath of Hezbollah, it plays down the danger of a group that seeks to destroy both Lebanese democracy and the Jewish state. In the end, this approach also compromises the safety of German citizens. On July 31, 2006, two Lebanese students, Yussuf Mohammed El Hajdib and Jihad Hamad, placed bombs hidden in suitcases on two regional trains in Germany, but they failed to go off. Germany's federal law enforcement agency concluded that a successful explosion would have resulted in a tragedy on par with the London subway attacks of July 2005. The two suspects said they wanted to take revenge for the Danish cartoons of the prophet Mohammed.

Just four month earlier, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah repeatedly urged Muslims on Hezbollah's TV-station al-Manar "to take a decisive stand" in the cartoon controversy. He said that he is certain that, "...not only millions, but hundreds of millions of Muslims are ready and willing to sacrifice their lives in order to defend the honor of their Prophet. And you are among them." The German federal prosecutor is still investigating the organizational affiliations of the two Lebanese terror suspects.

What is well established already is that al-Manar broadcasts into Germany (and the rest of Europe), the Middle East and North Africa. While eight out of 10 satellite providers (including four European) have dropped al-Manar, ARABSAT, majority-owned by the Saudi government, and Nilesat, owned by the Egyptian government, continue these broadcasts. Hezbollah TV's deadly mix of racial hatred, anti-Semitism, glorification of terrorism and incitement to violence are popular among Arabic-speaking youth in Europe. Young Muslims in Berlin recently asked in a German TV show to explain their hatred of the U.S. and Jews cited al-Manar as one of their primary sources of information.

In the past, the German government has shown strong resolve when it saw a threat to German security. It banned the Hamas "charity" al-Aqsa as well as the radical Sunni Islamist Hizb-ut Tahrir group. And it joined the EU in designating the PKK, the radical Kurdish group, as a terrorist organization.

Would branding the "Party of God" a terrorist group make any difference? Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah himself gave the answer in March 2005 when he told Arab media that European blacklisting would "destroy Hezbollah. The sources of our funding will dry up and the sources of moral, political and material support will be destroyed."

With so much power comes great responsibility to act.

Mr. Ritzmann, a former member of the Berlin State Parliament, is a senior fellow at the Brussels-based European Foundation for Democracy. Mr. Dubowitz is chief operating officer of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and director of its Coalition Against Terrorist Media project.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on April 17, 2007, 08:53:17 PM

Published on The Brussels Journal (
“All Women Should Wear A Veil”

By Filip van Laenen
Created 2007-04-15 16:36
According to Mostafa Chendid of the Danish Islamic Society (Islamisk Trossamfund), not only Muslim women but other women too should wear a veil. Why? Because five up to ten percent of all men cannot control themselves when they see a woman without a veil.

Mostafa Chendid is considered to be the successor of Ahmad Abu Laban, one of the imams who was involved in the affair around the notorious Danish cartoons. Ahmad Abu Laban was one of the leaders of the delegation that traveled around the Middle East and that had added three drawings to the original cartoons in its report to «give a clearer picture of the climate against Muslims in Denmark». Mostafa Chendid is doing well to become just as famous as his predecessor, and the interview that he recently gave to the Danish weekly newspaper Weekendavisen certainly isn't going to reduce the controversy around his person.

Earlier he had already succeeded to draw attention to himself by saying, on International Women's Day, to Jyllands-Posten (that's right: the newspaper with the cartoons) that not only Muslim women, but all other women too, should wear a veil. Of course, this resulted in a lot of reactions, and as a matter of fact his remarks in Jyllands-Posten were the direct reason for the interview with Weekendavisen, where he repeated them once more and commented on them. He said for example that wearing the veil is a woman's duty to God, because that is what the Koran says. However, that doesn't mean that he thinks that a woman with a veil is a better person than a woman without a veil.

According to him the veil also serves as a signal: women with a veil are «not for sale». Moreover, the veil protects against rapes, he says: in the US for example, every half minute a woman is raped, and according to him that is because women continuously tempt men by going onto the streets without a veil. Maybe not all men have a problem to control themselves when they see a woman without a veil, and perhaps there is only a problem with five to ten per cent of the men, but he says that is nevertheless enough for all women to wear the veil.

When asked whether men shouldn't cover themselves too, so they do not seduce women either, the imam basically evaded the question. Perhaps the journalist should have gone even further and asked if it wouldn't be much simpler if the men would stay inside and weren't allowed to go out unless accompanied by their wife or a female family member. After all, it's the men that are the problem, not the women. To me it seems rather bizarre that women should walk around with a veil because men can't control themselves. No doubt, it there wouldn't have been a prophet but a prophetess, Mostafa Chendid never would have set a step outside his door! Maybe it would have been better for Islam's image too if he wouldn't do that anyway.

Source URL:

Title: Sir Slaman Rushdie
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 23, 2007, 04:38:29 AM
Given that the response is world-wide I suppose that this post could go in any of a number of threads, but I decided to put it here.


Sir Salman Rushdie
June 23, 2007; Page A10

Another Friday in Peshawar, Quetta and Karachi -- and as if on cue, the hoarse, bearded and pyromaniacal pour out of the mosques into the streets armed with Union Jacks and effigies of Queen Elizabeth II, Tony Blair and the newly knighted Sir Salman Rushdie.

Having protested Danish cartoons and popish detours into Byzantine history to the point of exhaustion, the proverbial Muslim street is once again seething. Pakistan's minister of religious affairs said Mr. Rushdie's award justified suicide bombings, while a group of traders in Islamabad banded together to place a $140,000 bounty on his head. Fathi Sorour, the speaker of Egypt's parliament, declared that, "Honoring someone who has offended the Muslim religion is a bigger error than the publication of caricatures attacking Prophet Muhammad." Malaysian protesters besieged the British high commission (embassy) in Kuala Lumpur chanting, "Destroy Britain" and "Crush Salman Rushdie." With the irony perhaps lost in translation, Iran, whose president thinks nothing of threatening to wipe Israel off the map, condemned the award and called it a clear sign of (that mysterious new ailment) "Islamophobia."

For many of us, however, her majesty's conferral is a welcome example of something that has grown exceedingly rare: British backbone. After years of kowtowing to every fundamentalist demand imaginable -- from accommodating the burqa in schools and colleges to re-orienting prison toilets to face away from Mecca -- the British seem to be saying enough is enough. Nobody expects Mr. Rushdie to be awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the Collar of the Nile or Iran's Islamic Republic Medal, but in Britain, as elsewhere in the civilized world, great novelists are honored for their work. A pinched view of the human condition or poorly imagined characters may harm your prospects. Blasphemy does not.

In the larger struggle against Islamism -- the ideology that demands that every aspect of human life be ordered by the seventh-century Arabian precepts enshrined in Shariah law -- the Rushdie affair carries totemic significance. In 1989 the late Ayatollah Khomeini declared a price on Mr. Rushdie's head for the crime of apostasy, after reading about his mockery of the prophet Mohammed in "The Satanic Verses." At the time, few could have predicted that this was merely the first act of a drama that's still unfolding.

Eighteen years after the ayatollah's fatwa, since lifted, but thanks to freelance fanaticism, never quite extinguished, the Bombay-born Mr. Rushdie has managed to lead a full life. He has turned out eight novels and essay collections, married twice (most recently the model and actress Padma Lakshmi), mentored a generation of young Indians writing in English, and spoken out against obscurantism and religious bigotry of every stripe. He has also witnessed -- mirrored in his own predicament -- the consequences of a Europe too paralyzed by deathwish multiculturalism and moral relativism to recognize the danger it faces. It has become a continent where an Islamist stabs a film director in broad daylight in Amsterdam, where bombs go off in Madrid commuter trains and London buses, where writers, directors and cartoonists suddenly find themselves bound by sensitivities imported not merely from alien lands but from another age altogether.

No Western country has done more to accommodate Islamists than Britain, and none better shows the folly of this course. Successive governments feted organizations such as the Muslim Council of Britain and the Muslim Public Affairs Committee, and welcomed as refugees a stable of jihadist clerics, including the Syrian-born Omar Bakri Muhammad and the hook-handed Abu Hamza al-Masri. Rather than moderate Muslim passions, this climate of permissiveness gave us Richard Reid the shoe bomber, Daniel Pearl's murderer, Omar Saeed Sheikh, the quartet behind the 2005 London bombings and the plotters who ensured that we must now worry about carrying moisturizing lotion and baby formula each time we board an airplane. A recent poll by Policy Exchange, a London think tank, shows that 28% of British Muslims would rather live under Shariah than under British law.

But at last it looks like the pendulum has begun to swing the other way. Mr. Rushdie's elevation signals an intention to draw a line between respecting Islam and allowing a small minority of Islamists to impose their hairtrigger hysteria on secular Muslims and non-Muslims. It highlights two of the core values of Western civilization conspicuously absent in most of the Muslim world: freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry. It squarely rejects the notion that the fossilized norms of Mecca and Mashhad hold sway over Manchester and Middlesex, and beyond them, over Malmo and Minneapolis. Above all, it honors a brave man who has come to symbolize our turbulent times. A little old-fashioned British spine has never been more welcome.

Mr. Dhume is a fellow at the Asia Society in Washington, D.C. "My Friend the Fanatic," his book about the rise of radical Islam in Indonesia, will be published next year.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 16, 2007, 06:07:38 AM
The forces of pre-emptive Dhimmitude on the march again:


Backlash Overdue

Surrender: Scotland's National Health Services employees have been told
not to eat at their desks next month so they won't offend fasting Muslims. We regret to report this is not an isolated case of Euro cave-in.

In an e-mail "to all senior managers, giving guidance on religious
tolerance," the Scotsman said Monday, the NHS Equality and Diversity
Officer — a title that alone tells a story — has asked that staff members
refrain from eating at their desks, forgo working lunches and make sure
that food trolleys are not left in areas where Muslims work.

Why? It will soon be Ramadan, an Islamic observance beginning in
September during which Muslims fast for 30 days.

We have a hard time imagining the NHS or any other European government
agency carving out special dispensations for Christians who don't eat meat
on Fridays or fast during Lent.

What about prayer time for Christians in this nominal Christian nation?
Muslims, whose feelings are being protected as if they are an endangered
species, have been granted breaks to pray.

Despite appearances to the contrary, sensible people can still be found in

"Frankly, this advice, well meaning as it may be, is total nonsense," Bill
Aitken, speaking for the Scottish Conservative Justice Party, told the
Scotsman. "This is the sort of thing that can stir up resentments rather
than result in good relations."

That is exactly what the forces of diversity, tolerance and political
correctness, so busy feeling morally superior, don't understand.

As we said, this is not an isolated case. While the Scottish NHS grovels
before Islam, across the North Sea in Belgium the mayor of Brussels is
refusing to let a group demonstrate on Sept. 11 — remember that date? —
against the introduction of Sharia laws in Europe.

This is not Nazis marching on Skokie, Ill., but Europeans from Great Britain,
Germany and Denmark who are alarmed by the Islamization of their
homelands. They want to take their protest through the streets of
Brussels to the European Parliament, where they will stop and honor the
9/11 victims with a moment of silence.

Clearly, they are being singled out.

The Brussels Journal, a blog of European journalists and writers, reports
that Brussels receives 500 and 600 protest applications a year and "with
very few exceptions permission is always granted. In the past five years
only six applications were turned down."

Mayor Freddy Thielemans, however, is saying no; he fears there will be
violence between marchers and local Muslims, which isn't exactly a
confirmation that Islam is the "religion of peace."

There might be more to the story, though. The Brussels Journal says
Thielemans "is an atheist who is fond of Muslims, not because he respects
religious people, but because he hates Christians."

He even publicly celebrated the news of Pope John Paul II's death, the
Journal reports.

But Brussels' socialist mayor doesn't have the last word. He can be
overruled by the Belgian Council of State. For the sake of free speech, the
right to assemble and Europe's future, we hope he is.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on August 18, 2007, 05:24:00 PM

Brutally honest commentary on islam in europe.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 26, 2007, 10:41:23 PM
From the desk of Paul Belien on Thu, 2007-08-23 11:38
The Arab-European League (AEL), a pro-Hezbollah organization of Arab immigrants in Belgium and the Netherlands, is rallying its members to march in Brussels on 11 September “against Islamophobia and racism in Europe.” The AEL demonstration is a response to the request by the Danish-British-German organization Stop the Islamisation of Europe (SIOE) for permission to demonstrate on 9/11 in front of the European Union’s buildings in Brussels against the introduction of Sharia laws in Europe.

Two weeks ago the SIOE demonstration was banned by Freddy Thielemans, the mayor of Brussels. According to Mr Thielemans the SIOE demonstration is a criminal offence because it “incite to discrimination and hatred, which we usually call racism and xenophobia. [This] is forbidden by a considerable number of international treaties and is punished by our penal laws and by the European legislation.”
SIOE has initiated an appeal against the mayor’s ban before the Belgian Council of State. The CoS is expected to issue its verdict next week. Last week Mayor Thielemans gave permission for a demonstration in Brussels on 9 September by United for Truth (UfT), a group which claims that the terror attacks of 9/11/2001 on the WTC towers in NY and on the Pentagon were organized by the American government.
On its website UfT writes that the Brussels authorities, before giving permission for the UfT demonstration, checked that the demonstration would not address religious topics. “The biggest issue was if there was any possible conflict [of our demonstration] with religion. As we just base ourselves on facts and political issues, we have no intention to discriminate or promote any religion.”

Yesterday the Arab-European League issued a press release emphasizing that its own demonstration on 11 September, which so far has not received the mayor’s permission (Thielemans is waiting for the advice of the police), will not criticize any religion. “The AEL respects everyone’s religious convictions, culture and language […]. The demand for respect for every religious conviction is the central theme [of the demonstration].” The AEL says that freedom of expression is an absolute right, stressing that the organization did not ask for the SIOE demo to be forbidden. “However, the right to have one’s religious convictions, culture and language respected is an equally absolute right.”
The AEL was founded in Belgium in 2000. Its founder, Lebanese-born Hezbollah-member Dyab Abu Jahjah, has called the 9/11/2001 attacks “sweet revenge.” Following the Danish cartoon affair the AEL, advocating unrestricted freedom of speech, published anti-Semitic cartoons which deny the Holocaust. Though such denial is illegal in Belgium, the Belgian authorities failed to take any action. The AEL also demands that Arabic be recognized as an official language in Belgium.

The organization says it stands for three basic demands. “Bilingual education for Arab-speaking kids, hiring quotas that protect Muslims, and the right to keep our cultural customs.” According to Jahjah “Assimilation is cultural rape. It means renouncing your identity, becoming like the others.” In 2002 an AEL demonstration in Antwerp led to street riots and anti-Semitic violence. The AEL wants “the Jewish community in Antwerp to cease its support of, and distance itself
(ANSAmed) - LECCO, AUGUST 21 - A Muslim immigrant triggered a northern villagés ire today by trying to wall up a local statue of the Madonna. The immigrant recently moved in to a new home in the village of Casatenovo near Lecco but was unhappy with the Madonna perched on an alcove outside his lodgings. Armed with a trowel and a bucket of cement, the immigrant moved in to action today, seeking to entomb the statue. The Madonna was rescued at the last minute by a group of angry villagers, who took her away saying they would find an alternative site. But local Mayor Antonio Colombo said the Madonna should be returned to her original resting place. He also threatened to take action against the immigrant, whose actions he described as "arbitrary and uncivilised". "Despicable and intolerant gestures of this sort must not be allowed to undermine our efforts to create a harmonious society based on mutual respect for different idea, traditions and religious convictions," Colombo said.
2007-08-21 18:04
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 07, 2007, 07:53:23 AM
Hardline takeover of British mosques From The TimesSeptember 7, 2007

Hardline takeover of British mosques

Andrew Norfolk
Almost half of Britain’s mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect whose leading preacher loathes Western values and has called on Muslims to “shed blood” for Allah, an investigation by The Times has found.

Riyadh ul Haq, who supports armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus, is in line to become the spiritual leader of the Deobandi sect in Britain. The ultra-conservative movement, which gave birth to the Taleban in Afghanistan, now runs more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques, according to a police report seen by The Times.

The Times investigation casts serious doubts on government statements that foreign preachers are to blame for spreading the creed of radical Islam in Britain’s mosques and its policy of enouraging the recruitment of more “home-grown” preachers.

Mr ul Haq, 36, was educated and trained at an Islamic seminary in Britain and is part of a new generation of British imams who share a similar radical agenda. He heaps scorn on any Muslims who say they are “proud to be British” and argues that friendship with a Jew or a Christian makes “a mockery of Allah’s religion”.

Speech: Infinite Justice
Riyadh ul Haq sermon on 'Jewish Fundamentalism' in full
Speech: The Globalised Suffering of the Muslims
Speech: On Our Responsibilities as Muslims
Speech: Imitating the Disbelievers
Related Links
Homegrown cleric who loathes the British
Movement fostered by fear of ‘imperial’ rule
Riyadh ul Haq sermon on 'Jewish Fundamentalism' in full
Seventeen of Britain’s 26 Islamic seminaries are run by Deobandis and they produce 80 per cent of home-trained Muslim clerics. Many had their studies funded by local education authority grants. The sect, which has significant representation on the Muslim Council of Britain, is at its strongest in the towns and cities of the Midlands and northern England.

Figures supplied to The Times by the Lancashire Council of Mosques reveal that 59 of the 75 mosques in five towns – Blackburn, Bolton, Preston, Oldham and Burnley – are Deobandi-run.

It is not suggested that all British Muslims who worship at Deobandi mosques subscribe to the isolationist message preached by Mr ul Haq, and he himself suggests Muslims should only “shed blood” overseas.

But while some Deobandi preachers have a more cohesive approach to interfaith relations, Islamic theologians say that such bridge-building efforts do not represent mainstream Deobandi thinking in Britain.

The Times has gained access to numerous talks and sermons delivered in recent years by Mr ul Haq and other graduates of Britain’s most influential Deobandi seminary near Bury, Greater Manchester.

Intended for a Muslim-only audience, they reveal a deep-rooted hatred of Western society, admiration for the Taleban and a passionate zeal for martyrdom “in the way of Allah”.

The seminary outlaws art, television, music and chess, demands “entire concealment” for women and views football as “a cancer that has infected our youth”.

Mahmood Chandia, a Bury graduate who is now a university lecturer, claims in one sermon that music is a way in which Jews spread “the Satanic web” to corrupt young Muslims.

“Nearly every university in England has a department which is called the music department, and in others, where the Satanic influence is more, they call it the Royal College of Music,” he says.

Another former Bury student, Bradford-based Sheikh Ahmed Ali, hails the 9/11 attacks on America because they acted as a wake-up call to young Muslims. This, he says, taught them that they will “never be accepted” in Britain and has led them to “return to Islam: sisters are wearing hijab . . . the lion is waking up”.

Mr ul Haq, the most high-profile of the new generation of Deobandis, runs an Islamic academy in Leicester and is the former imam at the Birmingham Central Mosque. Revered by many young Muslims, he draws on his extensive knowledge of the Koran and the life and sayings of the prophet Muhammed to justify his hostility to the kuffar, or non-Muslims.

One sermon warns believers to protect their faith by distancing themselves from the “evil influence” of their non-Muslim British neighbours.

“We are in a very dangerous position here. We live amongst the kuffar, we work with them, we associate with them, we mix with them and we begin to pick up their habits.”

In another talk, delivered a few weeks before 9/11, he praises Muslims who have gained martyrdom in battle and laments that today “no one dare utter the J word”. “The J word has become taboo . .. The J word is jihad in the way of Allah.”

The Times has made repeated attempts to get Mr ul Haq to comment on the content of his sermons. However, he declined to respond.

A commentator on religious radicalism in Pakistan, where Deobandis wield significant political influence, told The Times that “blind ignorance” on the part of the Government in Britain had allowed the Deobandis to become the dominant voice of Islam in Britain’s mosques.

Khaled Ahmed said: “The UK has been ruined by the puritanism of the Deobandis. You’ve allowed the takeover of the mosques. You can’t run multiculturalism like that, because that’s a way of destroying yourself. In Britain, the Deobandi message has become even more extreme than it is in Pakistan. It’s mind-boggling.”

In some mosques the sect has wrested control from followers of the more moderate majority, the Barelwi movement.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities said: “We have a detailed strategy to ensure imams properly represent and connect with mainstream moderate opinion and promote shared values like tolerance and respect for the rule of law. We have never said the challenge from extremism is simply restricted to those coming from overseas.”

Have your say

The writing has been on the wall for some time but the government are illiterate when it comes to Islam!

D Shaw, Derby, England

Bye bye, Britain - it's only what you deserve. Thank you for being an amazing parent to so much of the New World, for giving such a great example to the entire world, but your sleepiness at the wheel is disgraceful. I hope you win this one, god knows - but I worry anxiously that it's too late.

I'm a left-leaning voter, but the head-in-the-sand attitude of the left for so many years now is baffling to me.

Jason Bo Green, Toronto, Canada

So ul Haq's seminary outlaws art, television, music and chess and would do the same for football, evidently. Judging by the picture though, Allah permits car ownership and driving.
Title: Switzerland
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 07, 2007, 10:16:30 AM

Switzerland: Europe's heart of darkness?
Switzerland is known as a haven of peace and neutrality. But today it is home to a new extremism that has alarmed the United Nations. Proposals for draconian new laws that target the country's immigrants have been condemned as unjust and racist. A poster campaign, the work of its leading political party, is decried as xenophobic. Has Switzerland become Europe's heart of darkness? By Paul Vallely
Published: 07 September 2007
At first sight, the poster looks like an innocent children's cartoon. Three white sheep stand beside a black sheep. The drawing makes it looks as though the animals are smiling. But then you notice that the three white beasts are standing on the Swiss flag. One of the white sheep is kicking the black one off the flag, with a crafty flick of its back legs.

The poster is, according to the United Nations, the sinister symbol of the rise of a new racism and xenophobia in the heart of one of the world's oldest independent democracies.

A worrying new extremism is on the rise. For the poster – which bears the slogan "For More Security" – is not the work of a fringe neo-Nazi group. It has been conceived – and plastered on to billboards, into newspapers and posted to every home in a direct mailshot – by the Swiss People's Party (the Schweizerische Volkspartei or SVP) which has the largest number of seats in the Swiss parliament and is a member of the country's coalition government.

With a general election due next month, it has launched a twofold campaign which has caused the UN's special rapporteur on racism to ask for an official explanation from the government. The party has launched a campaign to raise the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum to reintroduce into the penal code a measure to allow judges to deport foreigners who commit serious crimes once they have served their jail sentence.

But far more dramatically, it has announced its intention to lay before parliament a law allowing the entire family of a criminal under the age of 18 to be deported as soon as sentence is passed.

It will be the first such law in Europe since the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft – kin liability – whereby relatives of criminals were held responsible for their crimes and punished equally.

The proposal will be a test case not just for Switzerland but for the whole of Europe, where a division between liberal multiculturalism and a conservative isolationism is opening up in political discourse in many countries, the UK included.

SWISS TRAINS being the acme of punctuality, the appointment was very precise. I was to meet Dr Ulrich Schlüer – one of the men behind the draconian proposal – in the restaurant at the main railway station in Zürich at 7.10pm. As I made my way through the concourse, I wondered what Dr Schlüer made of this station of hyper-efficiency and cleanliness that has a smiling Somali girl selling pickled herring sandwiches, a north African man sweeping the floor, and a black nanny speaking in broken English to her young Swiss charge. The Swiss People's Party's attitude to foreigners is, shall we say, ambivalent.

A quarter of Switzerland's workers – one in four, like the black sheep in the poster – are now foreign immigrants to this peaceful, prosperous and stable economy with low unemployment and a per capita GDP larger than that of other Western economies. Zürich has, for the past two years, been named as the city with the best quality of life in the world.

What did the nanny think of the sheep poster, I asked her. "I'm a guest in this country," she replied. "It's best I don't say."

Dr Schlüer is a small affable man. But if he speaks softly he wields a big stick. The statistics are clear, he said, foreigners are four times more likely to commit crimes than Swiss nationals. "In a suburb of Zürich, a group of youths between 14 and 18 recently raped a 13-year-old girl," he said. "It turned out that all of them were already under investigation for some previous offence. They were all foreigners from the Balkans or Turkey. Their parents said these boys are out of control. We say: 'That's not acceptable. It's your job to control them and if you can't do that you'll have to leave'. It's a punishment everyone understands."

It is far from the party's only controversial idea. Dr Schlüer has launched a campaign for a referendum to ban the building of Muslim minarets. In 2004, the party successfully campaigned for tighter immigration laws using the image of black hands reaching into a pot filled with Swiss passports. And its leading figure, the Justice Minister, Christoph Blocher, has said he wants to soften anti-racism laws because they prevent freedom of speech.

Political opponents say it is all posturing ahead of next month's general election. Though deportation has been dropped from the penal code, it is still in force in administrative law, says Daniel Jositsch, professor of penal law at Zurich University. "At the end of the day, nothing has changed, the criminal is still at the airport and on the plane."

With astute tactics, the SVP referendum restricts itself to symbolic restitution. Its plan to deport entire families has been put forward in parliament where it has little chance of being passed. Still the publicity dividend is the same. And it is all so worrying to human rights campaigners that the UN special rapporteur on racism, Doudou Diène, warned earlier this year that a "racist and xenophobic dynamic" which used to be the province of the far right is now becoming a regular part of the democratic system in Switzerland.

Dr Schlüer shrugged. "He's from Senegal where they have a lot of problems of their own which need to be solved. I don't know why he comes here instead of getting on with that."

Such remarks only confirm the opinions of his opponents. Mario Fehr is a Social Democrat MP for the Zürich area. He says: "Deporting people who have committed no crime is not just unjust and inhumane, it's stupid. Three quarters of the Swiss people think that foreigners who work here are helping the economy. We have a lot of qualified workers – IT specialists, doctors, dentists." To get rid of foreigners, which opponents suspect is the SVP's real agenda, "would be an economic disaster".

Dr Schlüer insists the SVP is not against all foreigners. "Until war broke out in the Balkans, we had some good workers who came from Yugoslavia. But after the fighting there was huge influx of people we had a lot of problems with. The abuse of social security is a key problem. It's estimated to cost £750m a year. More than 50 per cent of it is by foreigners."

There is no disguising his suspicion of Islam. He has alarmed many of Switzerland's Muslims (some 4.3 per cent of the 7.5 million population) with his campaign to ban the minaret. "We're not against mosques but the minaret is not mentioned in the Koran or other important Islamic texts. It just symbolises a place where Islamic law is established." And Islamic law, he says, is incompatible with Switzerland's legal system.

To date there are only two mosques in the country with minarets but planners are turning down applications for more, after opinion polls showed almost half the population favours a ban. What is at stake here in Switzerland is not merely a dislike of foreigners or a distrust of Islam but something far more fundamental. It is a clash that goes to the heart of an identity crisis which is there throughout Europe and the US. It is about how we live in a world that has changed radically since the end of the Cold War with the growth of a globalised economy, increased immigration flows, the rise of Islam as an international force and the terrorism of 9/11. Switzerland only illustrates it more graphically than elsewhere.

Switzerland is so stark an example because of the complex web of influences that find their expression in Ulrich Schlüer and his party colleagues.

He is fiercely proud of his nation's independence, which can be traced back to a defensive alliance of cantons in 1291. He is a staunch defender of its policy of armed neutrality, under which Switzerland has no standing army but all young men are trained and on standby; they call it the porcupine approach – with millions of individuals ready to stiffen like spines if the nation is threatened.

Linked to that is its system of direct democracy where many key decisions on tax, education, health and other key areas are taken at local level.

"How direct democracy functions is a very sensitive issue in Switzerland," he says, explaining why he has long opposed joining the EU. "To the average German, the transfer of power from Berlin to Brussels didn't really affect their daily lives. The transfer of power from the commune to Brussels would seriously change things for the ordinary Swiss citizen."

Switzerland has the toughest naturalisation rules in Europe. To apply, you must live in the country legally for at least 12 years, pay taxes, and have no criminal record. The application can still be turned down by your local commune which meets to ask "Can you speak German? Do you work? Are you integrated with Swiss people?"

It can also ask, as one commune did of 23-year-old Fatma Karademir – who was born in Switzerland but who under Swiss law is Turkish like her parents – if she knew the words of the Swiss national anthem, if she could imagine marrying a Swiss boy and who she would support if the Swiss football team played Turkey. "Those kinds of questions are outside the law," says Mario Fehr. "But in some more remote villages you have a problem if you're from ex-Yugoslavia."

The federal government in Berne wants to take the decision out of the hands of local communities, one of which only gave the vote to women as recently as 1990. But the government's proposals have twice been defeated in referendums.

The big unspoken fact here is how a citizen is to be defined. "When a Swiss woman who has emigrated to Canada has a baby, that child automatically gets citizenship," Dr Schlüer says. But in what sense is a boy born in Canada, who may be brought up with an entirely different world view and set of values, more Swiss than someone like Fatma Karademir who has never lived anywhere but Switzerland?

The truth is that at the heart of the Swiss People's Party's vision is a visceral notion of kinship, breeding and blood that liberals would like to think sits very much at odds with the received wisdom of most of the Western world. It is what lies behind the SVP's fear of even moderate Islam. It has warned that because of their higher birth rates Muslims would eventually become a majority in Switzerland if the citizenship rules were eased. It is what lies behind his fierce support for the militia system.

To those who say that Germany, France, Italy and Austria are nowadays unlikely to invade, he invokes again the shadow of militant Islam. "The character of war is changing. There could be riots or eruptions in a town anywhere in Switzerland. There could be terrorism in a financial centre."

The race issue goes wider than politics in a tiny nation. "I'm broadly optimistic that the tide is moving in our direction both here and in other countries across Europe, said Dr Schlüer. "I feel more supported than criticised from outside."

The drama which is being played out in such direct politically incorrect language in Switzerland is one which has repercussions all across Europe, and wider.

Neutrality and nationality

* Switzerland has four national languages – German, Italian, French and Romansh. Most Swiss residents speak German as their first language.

* Switzerland's population has grown from 1.7 million in 1815 to 7.5 million in 2006. The population has risen by 750,000 since 1990.

* Swiss nationality law demands that candidates for Swiss naturalisation spend a minimum of years of permanent, legal residence in Switzerland, and gain fluency in one of the national languages.

* More than 20 per cent of the Swiss population, and 25 per cent of its workforce, is non-naturalised.

* At the end of 2006, 5,888 people were interned in Swiss prisons. 31 per cent were Swiss citizens – 69 per cent were foreigners or asylum-seekers.

* The number of unauthorised migrant workers currently employed is estimated at 100,000.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 08, 2007, 04:01:13 AM
I saw the posters referenced in this article everywhere I went while in Switzerland last week.
NY Times

Published: October 8, 2007
SCHWERZENBACH, Switzerland, Oct. 4 — The posters taped on the walls at a political rally here capture the rawness of Switzerland’s national electoral campaign: three white sheep stand on the Swiss flag as one of them kicks a single black sheep away.

A poster at a rally for the Swiss People’s Party showed a white sheep kicking out a black one.
“To Create Security,” the poster reads.

The poster is not the creation of a fringe movement, but of the most powerful party in Switzerland’s federal Parliament and a member of the coalition government, an extreme right-wing party called the Swiss People’s Party, or SVP. It has been distributed in a mass mailing to Swiss households, reproduced in newspapers and magazines and hung as huge billboards across the country.

As voters prepare to go to the polls in a general election on Oct. 21, the poster — and the party’s underlying message — have polarized a country that prides itself on peaceful consensus in politics, neutrality in foreign policy and tolerance in human relations.

Suddenly the campaign has turned into a nationwide debate over the place of immigrants in one of the world’s oldest democracies, and over what it means to be Swiss.

“The poster is disgusting, unacceptable,” Micheline Calmy-Rey, the current president of Switzerland under a one-year rotation system, said in an interview. “It stigmatizes others and plays on the fear factor, and in that sense it’s dangerous. The campaign does not correspond to Switzerland’s multicultural openness to the world. And I am asking all Swiss who do not agree with its message to have the courage to speak out.”

Interior Minister Pascal Couchepin, of the Liberal Democratic Party, has even suggested that the SVP’s worship of Christoph Blocher, the billionaire who is the party’s driving force and the current justice minister, is reminiscent of that of Italian fascists for Mussolini.

[On Saturday, a march of several thousand SVP supporters in Bern ended in clashes between hundreds of rock-throwing counterdemonstrators and riot police officers, who used tear gas to disperse them. The opponents of the rally, organized by a new group called the Black Sheep Committee, had tried to prevent the demonstrators from marching to Parliament.]

The message of the party resonates loudly among voters who have seen this country of 7.5 million become a haven for foreigners, including political refugees from places like Kosovo and Rwanda. Polls indicate that the right-wing party is poised to win more seats than any other party in Parliament in the election, as it did in national elections in 2003, when its populist language gave it nearly 27 percent of the vote.

“Our political enemies think the poster is racist, but it just gives a simple message,” Bruno Walliser, a local chimney sweep running for Parliament on the party ticket, said at the rally, held on a Schwerzenbach farm outside Zurich. “The black sheep is not any black sheep that doesn’t fit into the family. It’s the foreign criminal who doesn’t belong here, the one that doesn’t obey Swiss law. We don’t want him.”

More than 20 percent of Swiss inhabitants are foreign nationals, and the SVP argues that a disproportionate number are lawbreakers. Many drug dealers are foreign, and according to federal statistics, about 70 percent of the prison population is non-Swiss.

As part of its platform, the SVP party has begun a campaign seeking the 100,000 signatures necessary to force a referendum to let judges deport foreigners after they serve prison sentences for serious crimes. The measure also calls for the deportation of the entire family if the convicted criminal is a minor.

Human rights advocates warn that the initiative is reminiscent of the Nazi practice of Sippenhaft, or kin liability, under which relatives of criminals were held responsible and punished for their crimes.

The party’s political campaign has a much broader agenda than simply fighting crime. Its subliminal message is that the influx of foreigners has somehow polluted Swiss society, straining the social welfare system and threatening the very identity of the country.

Unlike the situation in France, where the far-right National Front leader Jean-Marie Le Pen campaigned for president in the spring alongside black and ethnic Arab supporters, the SVP has taken a much cruder us-against-them approach.


In a short three-part campaign film, “Heaven or Hell,” the party’s message is clear. In the first segment, young men inject heroin, steal handbags from women, kick and beat up schoolboys, wield knives and carry off a young woman. The second segment shows Muslims living in Switzerland — women in head scarves; men sitting, not working. The third segment shows “heavenly” Switzerland: men in suits rushing to work, logos of Switzerland’s multinational corporations, harvesting on farms, experiments in laboratories, scenes of lakes, mountains, churches and goats. “The choice is clear: my home, our security,” the film states.

The film was withdrawn from the party’s Web site after the men who acted in it sued, arguing they were unaware of its purpose. But over beer and bratwurst at the Schwerzenbach political rally, Mr. Walliser screened it for the audience, saying, “I’m taking the liberty to show it anyway.”

For Nelly Schneider, a 49-year-old secretary, the party’s approach is “a little bit crass,” but appealing nevertheless. “These foreigners abuse the system,” she said after Mr. Walliser’s presentation. “They don’t speak any German. They go to prostitution and do drugs and drive fancy cars and work on the black market. They don’t want to work.”

As most of the rest of Europe has moved toward unity, Switzerland has fiercely guarded its independence, staying out of the 27-country European Union and maintaining its status as a tax haven for the wealthy. It has perhaps the longest and most arduous process to become a citizen in all of Europe: candidates typically must wait 12 years before being considered.

Three years ago the SVP blocked a move to liberalize the citizenship process, using the image of dark-skinned hands snatching at Swiss passports. And though the specter of terrorism has not been a driving issue, some posters in southern Switzerland at the time showed a mock Swiss passport held by Osama bin Laden.

Foreigners, who make up a quarter of the Swiss work force, complain that it is harder to get a job or rent an apartment without a Swiss passport and that they endure everyday harassment that Swiss citizens do not.

James Philippe, a 28-year-old Haitian who has lived in Switzerland for 14 years and works for Streetchurch, a Protestant storefront community organization, and as a hip-hop dance instructor, said he is regularly stopped by the police and required to show his papers and submit to body searches. He speaks German, French, Creole and English, but has yet to receive a Swiss passport.

“The police treat me like I’m somehow not human,” he said at the Streetchurch headquarters in a working-class neighborhood of Zurich. “Then I open my mouth and speak good Swiss German, and they’re always shocked.

“We come here. We want to learn. We clean their streets and do all the work they don’t want to do. If they kick us out, are they going to do all that work themselves? We need them, but they need us too.”

SVP officials insist that their campaign is not racist, just anticrime. “Every statistic shows that the participation of foreigners in crime is quite high,” said Ulrich Schlüer, an SVP Parliament deputy who has also led an initiative to ban minarets in Switzerland. “We cannot accept this. We are the only party that addresses this problem.”

But the SVP campaign has begun to have a ripple effect, shaking the image of Switzerland as a place of prosperity, tranquillity and stability — particularly for doing business. On Thursday, a coalition of business, union and church leaders in Basel criticized the SVP for what they called its extremism, saying, “Those who discriminate against foreigners hurt the economy and threaten jobs in Switzerland.”

“In the past,” said Daniele Jenni, a lawyer and the founder of the Black Sheep Committee who is running for Parliament, “people were reluctant to attack the party out of fear that it might only strengthen it. Now people are beginning to feel liberated. They no longer automatically accept the role of the rabbit doing nothing, just waiting for the snake to bite.”

Title: Holland, Belgium
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 23, 2007, 01:20:05 PM
Europe’s no-go zones or SUAs (“sensitive urban areas”) are multiplying. These are areas where the police no longer dares to venture and where Islamists hold sway. Every night since the beginning of last week, immigrant youths have been torching cars and clashing with police in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district. The incidents started on Oct. 14 when a policewoman shot dead Bilal Bajaka, a 22-year old ethnic Moroccan, whilst he was stabbing her and a colleague with a knife. The officers were stabbed in the breast, face, neck and back. Surgeons could only narrowly save their lives.
Since the incident, Slotervaart has seen rioting almost every night. The Amsterdam Moroccans are “shocked” because one of them has been killed by an infidel woman. According to his family, Bilal Bajaka was mentally deranged and had a suicide obsession. Ahmed Marcouch, the Moroccan-born Socialist mayor of Slotervaart, criticized the Dutch authorities for failing to provide adequate health care for Bajaka’s mental problems.
Bilal Bajaka was, however, a personal friend of Mohammed Bouyeri, the Jihadist who ritually slaughtered the Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh in 2004. Bilal’s attack on the two police officers came exactly two years after the arrest of his brother, Abdullah Bajaka, the leader of an alleged plot to blow up an El-Al Boeing at Amsterdam airport. Bilal’s family background is not at all deprived. One of his sisters is a medical doctor, another sister is a Dutch judge.
For ten days now, the situation in Amsterdam’s immigrant neighbourhoods has been tense. Senior police officers compare the current situation in Amsterdam to the 2005 Ramadan riots in Paris. Media outside the Netherlands, however, hardly mention the riots, which aim to drive the police from Slotervaart and turn the neighborhood into a new no-go area – yet another pocket of Eurabia on Europe’s soil.
Similar events are currently taking place in Brussels, the capital of neighbouring Belgium and of the EU. Last Sunday, demonstrating Turkish youths ransacked an Armenian restaurant in the Sint-Joost-ten-Node borough. According to the owner the police was present at the scene but did not interfere while his establishment was being demolished. The Armenian had to flee for his life.
Another man who had to run for his life was the Belgian journalist Mehmet Koksal, an ethnic Turk. He was attacked around 11 pm on Sunday evening by a group of some twenty Turkish youths in front of the American embassy in Brussels, a few yards from the Belgian parliament building. The Parliament and the US Embassy are less than one kilometer from Sint-Joost-ten-Node. Koksal fled to a nearby police car, but a female police officer refused to let him into the car, whereupon the youths savagely beat him up. Fearing that they were about to lynch him, the police officer changed her attitude and allowed the journalist to seek refuge in the police car.
Koksal told the press today that he is not going to press charges against the police for failing to help him. “The police woman was more afraid than I was and ultimately the police came to my rescue,” he said.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 25, 2007, 02:46:40 AM
Its the NYTimes, so the flavoring is to be expected, but a very interesting piece nonetheless.  As the date of the piece indicates, I've been meaning to get around to posting this one for quite some time.

NY Times
Where Every Generation Is First-Generation
Published: May 27, 2007
Last June, Seyran Ates, a lawyer, was waiting for a U-Bahn train in Berlin's
Mockernbrucke subway station with a client for whom she had secured a
divorce when the client's husband stormed onto the platform. He began
beating up his ex-wife. Then he turned on Ates. Ates recalls seeing a number
of men standing around, watching it all happen, as she danced from side to
side with her attaché case, trying to fend off his heavy punches and kicks.
It was not the first time she had been attacked in the line of duty.

A Turk of partly Kurdish descent, Ates arrived with her parents in the West
Berlin neighborhood of Wedding in the late 1960s, when she was 6. Her
parents were loving, but it was a traditional kind of love that involved
much scolding, grounding and disciplinary slapping. School was Ates's only
escape from the house, and she excelled at it. She knew she wanted to be a
lawyer. Just before her 18th birthday, as her mother and aunt were beginning
to make plans to marry her off, she ran away. This flight was not a simple
abandonment of her family, to whom Ates remains close. Nor was it an
abandonment of her ancestral culture. True, Ates has built her career in law
around a German - and to many Turks, idiosyncratic and hostile - conception
of women's rights. Yet she speaks to her young daughter in Turkish because,
she says, "I want her to understand why I cry when I hear my favorite
Turkish songs."
Ates (pronounced AH-tesh) went to Kreuzberg, a run-down, part-Turkish,
part-hippie neighborhood backed up against the Berlin Wall. By the early
1980s she was working part time as a counselor in a women's center while she
finished her studies. In September 1984, a Turkish nationalist, his exact
motives unclear even today, burst in. Mumbling that "this won't take long,"
he pulled out a gun and fired a bullet into Ates's neck. He then shot the
client Ates was counseling, mortally wounding her. Ates's 2003
autobiography, "Journey Into the Fire," centered on that incident, on her
long, touch-and-go recovery from it and on the preoccupation to which she
has devoted her intellectual and professional energies ever since. Namely,
the inability of women of Turkish background to claim the rights to which
they are entitled as German residents and even as German citizens.

Ates's preoccupation is now Germany's. Since last fall, the Islamkonferenz,
a 30-member panel set up by Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, has
devoted much of its time and energy to the way ethnic minorities meet, mate
and marry - particularly the almost three million German residents of
Turkish descent, more than one-third of whom have German citizenship. The
panel, intended to create a "German Islam," differs from analogous
government bodies set up in France and Italy. In those countries, religious
hierarchs and political activists have dominated. Emerging government
structures have been staffed by people who view religion sympathetically.
The Islamkonferenz, by contrast, includes a wide variety of voices,
religious and not. There is the largely Arab and conservative Central Muslim
Council. There is the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (known by
its Turkish acronym, Ditib), a 25-year-old body established in Germany by
the Turkish government to aid with mosque-building, burials and other
religious arrangements. But there are also 10 independent members appointed
without regard to their religious views or affiliations. That is how Ates
wound up pronouncing on some of the most stubborn problems that have arisen
from the mass immigration that began decades ago.

Marriage is not just an aspect of the immigration problem in Germany; to a
growing extent, it is the immigration problem. Starting in the 1960s,
millions of Turkish "guest workers" were imported to provide manpower for
the German economic boom. The guest-worker program was ended in 1973, the
year of the first oil crisis, but large-scale immigration from Turkey has
scarcely abated since. For years, political asylum was relatively easy for
Turks to obtain, owing to political assassinations, military coups and the
violent Kurdish nationalist movement in eastern Anatolia. But since the
Balkan wars of the 1990s, Germany, like most European countries, has
steadily tightened its criteria for political asylum.


Page 2 of 7)

This leaves open only one avenue for non-European men and women who want to
enter Germany legally: marriage to someone with legal residency in the
country. Fortunately for would-be immigrants, young ethnic Turks in Germany
have a strong tendency to marry people from the home country. Exact
statistics are hard to come by, but it is possible that as many as 50
percent of Turks (a word that in common parlance often includes even those
with German citizenship) seek their spouses abroad, according to Schäuble,
the interior minister. For most of the past decade, according to the
ministry, between 21,000 and 27,000 people a year have successfully applied
at German consulates in Turkey to form families in Germany. (Just under
two-thirds of the newcomers are women.) That means roughly half a million
spouses since the mid-1980s, which in turn means hundreds of thousands of
new families in which the children's first language is as likely to be
Turkish as German.

Binational marriage alarms many Germans for two reasons. First, it allows
the Turkish community to grow fast at a time when support for immigration is
low. The Turkish population in Germany multiplies not once in a life cycle
but twice - at childbirth and at marriage. Second, such marriages retard
assimilation even for those Turks long established in Germany. You
frequently hear stories from schoolteachers about a child of guest workers
who was a star pupil three decades ago but whose own children, although born
in Germany, struggle to learn German in grade school. After half a century
of immigration, every new generation of Turks is still, to a large extent, a
first generation.

Turkish marriages are seldom Western-style love matches. They are often
arranged by parents. A 2003 study by the Federal Ministry of Family found
that a quarter of Turkish women in Germany hadn't even known their partners
before they married. The rural Anatolian practice of marrying relatives,
usually first cousins, is frequent. It accounts, according to the Center for
Turkey Studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen, for between a sixth and
a quarter of binational pairings. These marriages bring certain Anatolian
problems into the heart of Germany. Domestic violence is high. The causes of
wife-beating among families of immigrant background can be debated, but not
the numbers. Gulgun Teyhani, who works at a battered-women's shelter in
Duisburg, reckoned that of the 86 women her house took in last year, 60 had
a migrant background, and 51 of them spoke Turkish. Last year, the Federal
Criminal Investigation Agency found that in the preceding five years, 45
"honor killings" were carried out by Turkish or Kurdish families in Germany
against women deemed to have "strayed," generally by dating Europeans or
adopting Western fashions.

It probably doesn't take more than a few such incidents to intimidate young
Turkish women who watch the news or read the papers. Seyran Ates admits that
even divorce lawyers feel this way. "It is a dangerous line of work," she
says. "The men are often aggressive. Their idea is, I'm taking their women
away from them."

Watch Out!

The tragedy of imported brides, Necla Kelek writes, is that they "will live
in Germany but never arrive there." Like Ates, Kelek is a Turkish-German
woman with intense passions on either side of the hyphen. She is another
independent member of the Islamkonferenz. Kelek was born in Istanbul and
came to Germany as a young girl in the 1960s. She, too, climbed into the
middle of mainstream German society through the school system. She earned a
doctorate in sociology but has since turned to a more literary kind of
writing. Her best-selling book, "The Foreign Bride," is a memoir - although
it might be better described as a polemic - about Turkish women imported as
wives. It relies on Kelek's own family anecdotes, on dozens of interviews
conducted in mosques in Hamburg and Lower Saxony and on government studies.
It is in large part a result of her books that some Germans who once viewed
Turkish marriage practices as none of their business now see it as a
pressing crisis.


3 of 7

The German reading public has a powerful appetite for what might be called
noble-savage memoirs - books that span the genres between ethnology, erotica
and bildungsroman. Corinne Hofmann's "White Masai" series, which describes
her romantic life with an East African tribesman, has sold millions of
copies. Even given such a standing fascination, there is something
extraordinary about the appeal, over the last half-decade, of
autobiographies by Muslim women who have either triumphed over or been
beaten down by traditionalist understandings of the family. Although Ates's
and Kelek's books stand out, there are literally dozens of other, lesser
books - with titles like "Choking on Your Lies," "No One Asked My
 Permission" and so on - covering entire dinner-table-size displays in

Just why Germans are consuming these books in such numbers is unclear. This
has always been a culture with an insatiable interest in other cultures, as
the role of Germans in founding the modern social sciences and the thick
concentration of museums in the center of Berlin both attest. It may also be
that Germans have so deeply internalized the ethics of repentance for World
War II that they lack the confidence, or the inclination, to make sweeping
and critical value judgments about other cultures. They now require
non-Germans or semi-Germans or new Germans to say such things. "I have a
special role in this debate," Kelek says over dinner in the East Berlin
neighborhood where she lives. "It is to say, 'Watch out!' "

Few deny that Kelek has put her finger on a genuine problem. A 2002 Berlin
Senate report (cited in her book) documented hundreds of complaints of
forced marriage. But there is controversy over what "forced" means. In
Turkish culture, people tend to discuss liberty in terms of the family
rather than in terms of the individual. If you look at things this way, then
Turkish-style betrothals are just the kind of consultation you would expect
in a close family. After all, they don't involve matchmakers or
extrafamilial institutions. But if you consider individuals first, as
Germans tend to, the intense involvement of parents in the child's marriage
decision looks like a severe constraint on personal freedom - particularly
in a structure as patriarchal as the traditional Turkish family. Kelek
embraces this German way of looking at things. "For me there is no essential
difference between arranged marriage and forced marriage," she writes. "The
outcome is the same."

Many Turks call this a simplistic view. It blurs the distinction between
parental persuasion and heartless coercion, they say. Almost all Turks would
grant that, at some point, threats of ostracism or violence would constitute
unacceptable force. But Kelek, who is a staunch, and to some ears strident,
defender of European values, is impatient with what she sees as
multiculturalist cant. (She is given to tossing off remarks like "Europeans
built America, not Indians," as she did over dinner in Berlin last winter.)

Like Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the Netherlands, Kelek has been accused of
"Enlightenment fundamentalism," a tendency to defend secular values too
dogmatically. Last year, a group of 60 "migration researchers" wrote an open
letter to the weekly paper Die Zeit attacking Kelek's writing as
"unserious" - an odd criticism to level at a memoirist, even one trained in
sociology. Others say she has made Islam too central to her explanation of
violence against women.

Marriage among Turks has become a cause célèbre partly because of Turks'
resistance to German ways. But Turks' acceptance of German ways,
particularly by this first generation of Turkish-German feminist writers and
intellectuals, plays a role too. "I think a lot of Germans are positively
embarrassed by how patriotic these women are," writes Jorg Lau, an admirer
of both Kelek and Ates who often writes about Muslim issues for Die Zeit.
For the first time, negative verdicts on the Turkish model of relations
between the sexes are coming out of the Turkish community itself.

Title: Part Two- Turks in Germany
Post by: Crafty_Dog on October 25, 2007, 02:49:23 AM
Parallel Societies

(Page 4 of 7)

The topic of marriage comes up often among Turks in places like Duisburg. It
is not a side issue. Of the roughly 25,000 foreigners who immigrate to
Germany every year to marry, about a thousand go to Duisburg, and the great
majority of those are Turks. The city's Marxloh neighborhood is the
Continental capital of Turkish wedding caterers and bridal shops.

Duisburg, where the Rhine and the Ruhr meet, and where mining and industry
link up to the biggest inland port in Europe, is a kind of European
Pittsburgh. In decades past, tens of thousands of Turks came to work in the
city's three big steel plants, which together employed 64,000 people in the
'70s, and in its archipelago of coal mines. But today there are only 20,000
industrial jobs left in the whole city. Duisburg's population, 608,000 in
the 1970s, has fallen to under half a million. The older German-born natives
(who had jobs) die, their children (who want jobs) move and the absolute
number of Turks living there continues to grow. According to the mayor's
office, there are 41,900 Turks in Duisburg, and another 24,000 of Turkish
background who have acquired German citizenship. Together they account for
more than half of Duisburg's minority population - and for much of the city's
dynamism as well. In Marxloh, where half of the 18,000 residents are
immigrants or children of immigrants, the largest mosque in Germany is
nearing completion. At the same time, the local Catholic bishop has
announced he must reduce the number of parishes in Duisburg from 32 to 4.
The Evangelical Church of Germany, a Protestant umbrella organization,
recently published a controversial document in which it laid out some ground
rules for turning Christian houses of worship into Muslim ones. Duisburg is
changing from a "typical" postwar German city into a heavily - and, in
parts, predominantly - Turkish one, through a kind of distillation.

In the neighborhood of Hochfeld, which has lost one-third of its population
in the past three decades, this distillation is at its extreme. Rauf Ceylan,
a sociologist whose parents settled as guest workers nearby in Wanheim, has
spent years studying the coffeehouses and mosques that are the central
community institutions for men. What Ceylan has found is a parallel society
growing increasingly elaborate and increasingly entrenched. He calls
Hochfeld an "ethnic colony," rather than just a "ghetto" or "community."
That is, Hochfeld is more than a place where a homesick Turk can find a
little corner of Turkey, the way a Japanese immigrant might gravitate to a
sushi restaurant in New Hampshire. It is turning into a fully articulated
Turkish society, where a Turk has the institutions to lead any kind of
Turkish life he chooses. And the life that most Hochfeld residents choose is
becoming steadily more traditional. The first generation of guest workers
were not particularly traditionalist, Ceylan says. They were mostly single
men, with the easy-come, easy-go lifestyle that being single implies. But
once they acquired wives from Turkey and formed families, their role changed
from hired worker to paterfamilias, and their priorities changed, too. They
built institutions that mimicked those of the villages they hailed from.

Many Germans held out hope that younger generations, those born here, would
have different priorities. Exposed to German society through television and
schools, they would lose interest in the ways of coffeehouse and mosque. The
old assumption that living in the middle of Western prosperity creates an
almost automatic loyalty has been shaken in recent years. German residents,
of course, played a leading role in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Said
Bahaji, a German citizen of Moroccan descent who served in the German Army,
provided important logistical support for the Hamburg-based cell led by the
Egyptian Mohamed Atta. The Lebanese-born 9/11 terrorist Ziad Jarrah did part
of the planning in Duisburg, and had a romantic involvement with a seemingly
well-assimilated Turkish-German woman who studied dentistry nearby in

The way immigrants marry is a key factor in the way they assimilate, or don't.
In 2000, the German Youth Institute reported that 53 percent of Turkish
women ages 16 to 29 would not consider marrying a German "under any
circumstances." Indeed, the big gap that separates young Turks from German
youth culture is an important theme of "Head-On," Fatih Akin's
Turkish-German film of 2005. Perhaps Turks' preference for Turkish mates
reflects, in some cases, the desire for a religious life. But a survey taken
in the late 1990s found similar discomfort on the part of Germans, for whom
religious considerations are presumably less of a factor. Fifteen percent of
western Germans and just 7 percent of eastern ones said it would be
"pleasant" (angenehm) to have a Turkish relative. Majorities in both places
agreed it would be "unpleasant."


Page 5 of 7)

Where such attitudes prevail, self-segregation is inevitable, mystifying
those immigrants most inclined to assimilate. "There is a big change that
comes at puberty, a divergence of interests," says Osman Apaydin, who runs a
development program around the corner from the wedding shops in Marxloh.
Sitting in his office in February, he described how his grown daughter,
modern-minded, open to the world, much more comfortable speaking German than
Turkish, who went to majority-German schools, now finds herself unmarried,
with an increasingly Turkish circle of friends. To hear Apaydin describe it,
the difficulty of modern Turkish women in finding husbands resembles the
predicament of highly educated black women in the United States.

Where traditional young women start families and assimilated ones have
trouble finding their social footing, the next generation is brought up -
almost by definition - by those who are least assimilated themselves. You
can blame Turkish attitudes if you want, but they arise from a certain
objective truth: The closer one gets to German culture, the farther one gets
from family. There are a lot of ways to measure this. In North
Rhine-Westphalia, Germany's most populous state and the one where Duisburg
is located, 80 percent of Turks ages 25 to 34 are married; their average
marriage age is 21 for women and 24 for men. Among non-Turks, only 32
percent of 25- to 34-year-olds are married; the average marriage age is 29
for women and 32 for men. Germans have one of the lowest fertility rates in
the history of the world - 1.36 children per woman, according to 2004
figures. While it is hard to find precise figures for Turks in Germany, the
rate is widely agreed to be higher. The rate in Turkey itself is almost
twice as high, at 2.4 children per woman. If a good chance of childlessness
and middle-aged solitude is the price of assimilation, it is for many Turks
an exorbitant one. According to a study done by the Center for Turkey
Studies in Essen, young Turkish women and men brought up in Germany view
their fellow Turkish-Germans of the opposite sex as "distant from their own
culture, or 'degenerate.' "

You seldom meet young Turkish women of marriage age who describe themselves
as either unambiguously traditional or unambiguously modern. Take Yasemin
Yadigaroglu, for instance. A tight, traditional head scarf covers every last
strand of her hair. But there is something bold and dashing about her, as
well as conservative. At 26, she leads a campaign supported by the Duisburg
city government to dissuade Turks from marrying their cousins. A German
citizen born in Duisburg, she studied social science at the University of

Unlike Kelek, Yadigaroglu is an observant Muslim. She says that cousin
marriage is "a misrepresentation of Islam." Yet despite her religious bent,
Yadigaroglu's preoccupations and even conclusions about the family overlap
with Kelek's. Yadigaroglu claims that marriage between cousins retards
assimilation, that it contributes to parallel societies like the ones Ceylan
describes in Hochfeld and that it is responsible for birth defects. In an
academic paper, she even hints at a feminist critique of the traditional
Turkish family. "Through marriage to a cousin," she writes, "a new role
orientation gets established within the family. The aunt and uncle become
in-laws. The new daughter-in-law sinks to the lowest level of the family
hierarchy, in marked contrast to her previous role as niece."

One Friday afternoon just before evening prayers, I traveled to
Wanheimerort, a dockside area just south of Hochfeld, to see four young
women between 17 and 20 who meet there every week. All were born in Turkey
but have spent much of their lives in Wanheimerort. At least two are German
citizens. Esra is studying mathematics at a university nearby, Fatma and
Meltem are on their way there and Guler studies dental hygiene. Esra, at
least, spoke terrific English but wouldn't use it, perhaps out of
consideration for the several non-English speakers in the room. The Ditib
mosque they attend is among the more liberal in the area, but all the girls
except Fatma were wearing head scarves. I thought of Yadigaroglu, with her
mix of tradition and eagerness to assimilate and decided to ask whether -
given their career tracks - any of them might consider themselves feminists,
if only in an unconventional way. Their answers were: Nein, nein, nein and
nein. "Women think this word makes them more and more free," one said


Page 6 of 7)

Young men I met were often more sour and defensive in such discussions. It
was as if they wanted to be clear about just who was rejecting whom in this
battle between their egos and the wider society's values. In the Duisburg
neighborhood of Meiderich, I visited a German-literature class at the local
high school and asked a room full of 18-year-olds to talk about marriage.
Three-quarters had a Turkish background. One, Husayn, spoke of how he had
already been betrothed to a cousin at a family celebration in Bielefeld and
was looking forward to standing on his own two feet. Several said that
brothers and sisters had married cousins from Turkey, yet each one of them
presented that as a special case, an exception.

But one student, a sharp-tongued fellow named Yavuz, had noticed the erosion
of the Turkish family model in Germany. It struck him as a catastrophe.
"Father and son are no longer father and son," he complained. "They're
buddies to one another. Your father becomes someone to go out and have a
beer with." And Turks' tendency to marry their cousins did not look so bad,
Yavuz said, with the air of one repeating something heard over a dinner
table, when you consider that "one out of six Germans commits incest."

I had heard similar things elsewhere in Germany. In the Comenius Garden in
Neukolln, a particularly tough part of Berlin, Murat, Ali and Hakan, all in
their late teens, were passing a freezing cold afternoon chatting and making
up rap verses. Ali, whose family comes from the Black Sea port of Rize, is
the son of a local Neukölln imam. He is training to be a plumber but is not
employed yet. He is betrothed to a "friend" in Turkey. The person who
introduced me to Ali said Ali's other friends had spoken of the woman as his
cousin. So I started by asking him why he had looked for his wife in Turkey.
"German girls are Schlampen," he replied. They're sluts.

These may be dangerous attitudes. They may also be just the ordinary
sour-grapes insecurities that are the lot of immigrants' children at all
times and all places. Turks often complain that Germans see only the
repressive side to Turkish traditions and not the protective side.

Even Seyran Ates sometimes sounds uncertain that German ideals are
sufficient to protect women. At the end of last summer, two months after she
was attacked on the Mockernbrucke subway platform, she gave up her law
practice. She now says she would be willing to continue work in a law firm,
provided it was large enough to guarantee her security. People have
organized events for her and proclaimed their solidarity. Her alma mater,
the Free University of Berlin, awarded her a prize for defense of human
rights last March. "Socially, there has been a lot of support," she says.
But the way the incident itself occurred, particularly the way men looked on
while she and her client were assaulted - that clearly still upsets her.

"It brought me to despair," she said over tea. "It showed a lack of civic

But would it have been any different in Turkey if a man had begun to beat up
a woman like that on a subway platform?

"Oh, yes," she said calmly. "They'd have lynched him."

The Same Pillow

Wolfgang Schauble, Germany's interior minister, is in an awkward position. A
European interior minister is usually referred to as his country's "top
 cop." That was the job description the last time Schauble held the post,
under Helmut Kohl, between 1989 and 1991. But since he returned to the
ministry in the autumn of 2005, as the highest-ranking Christian Democrat
(behind Chancellor Angela Merkel) in a new coalition government, Schauble
has devoted much of his effort to the Islamkonferenz. At times he seems less
a top cop than a top marriage counselor.

Seated near his desk at the top of an office tower north of Berlin's
Tiergarten in February, Schauble admitted that the tendency of Turks to
bring spouses from abroad is a "main reason why integration isn't improving
with the passing generations." He agrees with Kelek and Ates that what he
calls the "freedom-constraining effects of the family" can stand between a
woman from a non-German culture and the rights to which she is entitled as a
German resident. But as a churchgoing Protestant, he is disinclined to
fiddle with marriage itself. "You have to distinguish between arranged
marriages and forced marriages," he told me. "Forced marriages are illegal.
They're assaults on human rights. They don't meet the minimum demands of a
free society. But arranged marriage - that's a complicated area. There have
always been cases where people have chosen not to meet as just man and woman
but with the intercession of some kind of third party."


Page 7 of 7)

So Schauble seems to be trying to influence behaviors that he says are
neither illegal nor, in most cases, even wrong. He has been pragmatic. When
he started the Islamkonferenz last September, he praised Islam for
reinforcing aspects of German tradition that Germans themselves had
neglected: "the importance of family, respect for elders, a consciousness
and pride in one's own history, culture, religion, tradition and the
day-to-day life of one's faith." Yet he has also spoken favorably about a
controversial video that the government of the Netherlands has been showing
to prospective immigrants. It is supposed to acclimate them to the relative
tolerance of Western societies. Images of women at a topless beach and of
two men kissing are meant to squelch any expectation that those who inhabit
traditionalist cultures can bring those cultures with them to Holland. But
isn't this inconsistent? Don't the social benefits that Schäuble praises
come from a traditional moralism - about, for instance, baring ones breasts
in public - that the video repudiates? "Breasts," Schauble replied, "are not
the main theme."

Certain countries in Europe have placed sharp restrictions on those who
marry foreigners. The Netherlands is one of them. In Denmark, citizens under
the age of 24 are not even allowed to reside in the country with their
non-E.U. spouses. Germany is unlikely to try anything so restrictive. But in
March, the German cabinet approved a reform of immigration laws that would
raise the minimum age of foreign-born spouses to 18. (Studies show that the
lower the age of marriage, the greater the tendency to have an arranged

Schauble also intends to require a minimum basic language proficiency for a
spouse before he or she comes to Germany. "Let's say a young woman, from
some remote part of Turkey, is brought together with her husband while he is
on summer vacation," Schauble suggested. "If she doesn't know a single word
of German when she comes - well, she has little chance to escape the total
control of his family. If she knows a little bit of German, her chances are
better." Long a pet enthusiasm of Schauble's, the idea was taken up by the
incoming French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, during the French campaign this
spring. Schäuble insists that when he says "a little bit" of the native
language, he means a bare minimum, the kind of German you can learn from a
few weeks of listening to audiotapes.

Nonetheless, this little bit means a big change. For perhaps the first time
since the war, German institutions and public opinion are taking a stand in
favor of German culture as they understand it, and implicitly against the
culture of a foreign minority. After a decade in which the Social Democratic
government of Gerhard Schroder focused on the qualifications for German
citizenship (since 1999, all children born in Germany, of whatever
parentage, are eligible for it), the Merkel coalition, following Schäuble,
is stressing the content of citizenship. Germany is beginning to insist on
citizens' responsibilities as well as citizens' rights.

"We are facing the same problems, whether we are practicing Muslims or not,"
Oguz Ucuncu told me one night in Cologne, over a Turkish barbecue in the
heavily immigrant neighborhood of Mulheim. Ucuncu, a quick-witted and
decidedly modern spokesman for the conservative Turkish Muslim group Milli
Gorus, serves on one of the committees of the Islamkonferenz. He pointed out
that Internet "flirt exchanges" and "singles exchanges" are increasingly
popular in Germany. What are those, he asked, if not high-tech means of
"arranging" marriages? (Not to mention considerably less binding romantic
encounters.) What of those native Germans who marry abroad, he asked,
especially the thousands who have married women from East Asia? Shouldn't
they, too, stand accused of wishing to "secede" from Western European
feminism, just as those Turks who marry in Turkey stand accused? "The first
point of any government program now," Ucuncu said, "should be to promote
solidity of family. The idea we should promote is: May you sleep on the same
pillow to the end of your life. This is a Muslim value we should not give
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 05, 2007, 05:30:37 PM

UK: Children involved in terrorism

LONDON, England (CNN) -- The head of Britain's intelligence services has warned that children as young as 15 are becoming involved in terrorist-related activity.

Jonathan Evans, the chief of MI5, also said that at least 2,000 people are living in Britain who pose a threat to security because of the country's support for al Qaeda-inspired terrorism.

"As I speak, terrorists are methodically and intentionally targeting young people and children in this country. They are radicalising, indoctrinating and grooming young, vulnerable people to carry out acts of terrorism," he told a gathering of newspaper editors in Manchester.

Evans said the figure of 2,000 -- an increase of 400 since November 2006 -- only included those the intelligence services knew about and that the actual number could be double.

He said there had been 200 terrorist convictions in Britain since the September 11 attacks.

The MI5 head added that over recent years much of the command and inspiration for attack planning in the UK had come from al Qaeda's remaining core leadership in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

However, he said in the last 12 months terrorist plots on British soil were increasingly been inspired by al Qaeda cadres in other countries, including in Iraq and East Africa.

"There is no doubt now that al Qaeda in Iraq aspires to promote terrorist attacks outside Iraq. There is no doubt that there is training activity and terrorist planning in East Africa -- particularly in Somalia -- which is focused on the UK," he told the Society of Editors meeting.

According to Evans, there had been "no decrease" in the number of Russian covert intelligence officers operating in Britain since the end of the Cold War.

He said that resources that could be devoted to counter-terrorism were instead being used to protect Britain against spying by Russia, China and others.

"A number of countries continue to devote considerable time and energy trying to steal our sensitive technology on civilian and military projects, and trying to obtain political and economic intelligence at our expense," he said.
Title: Islam in UK: Wants to go home for free
Post by: Crafty_Dog on November 18, 2007, 04:41:48 AM
Illegal immigrant demands to be flown home
Illegal immigrant demands to be flown home because Britons are 'rude and unfriendly'
Last updated at 11:13am on 16th November 2007

An illegal immigrant has demanded to be flown home after saying he was fed up with British people - because they are "rude and unfriendly".

Speaking today, Mokhtar Tabet, 30 - who has been given a home, food and free travel around London - claims his local council has breached his human rights by moving him to a place he does not like.
He was refused asylum in 2004 and is set to be deported.

He said: "The council evicted me from my home in September and moved me to Streatham, which I don't like.

"The new place is small, and the kitchen closes at 9pm, so I can't have anything to eat late at night. They have taken away my human rights."

Croydon Council says it has bent over backwards to help Tabet, who fled Algeria in 2002.

A spokesman said: "Mr Tabet was accommodated in Norbury Crescent, with Croydon Council paying his rent, council tax and utility bills.

"In July, his landlord gave him two months' notice to quit the premises, and the council offered him a flat in Anerley Road, which he refused citing its poor state of repair.

"The necessary repairs were carried out and he again refused it.

"He was told that refusal would amount to him making himself intentionally homeless and he would be placed in hostel-style accommodation. He agreed to this."

Mr Tabet is entitled to return to Algeria at his own expense and admits that he "does not like it here".

But he refuses to do so and says Britain will have to pay for his travel if it wants him to leave.

He moaned: "I miss Algeria. The English people are not helpful, they are so unfriendly and rude.
"I thought I had made friends in Croydon, but when I ask them for money they don't give me it, so I know they can't be my friends."

Mr Tabet fled Algeria in 2002 after being arrested for refusing to give up his home so the army could monitor terrorist activity in his town.

Released after 30 days' solitary confinement he fled to Britain, illegally entering the country on a flight from Tunisia, and sought asylum.

He now receives £32 a week in vouchers from Croydon Council to buy food with while he awaits deportation.

Unsatisfied at this, he griped: "Croydon Council only gives me food vouchers, they won't give me cash. I want the money.
"I have nothing to buy new clothes with, I have to go to a refugee centre. But if there's not anything nice there, you leave with nothing.

"I want the council to give me a bigger flat and money instead of vouchers."

Mr Tabet suffers from diabetes, a retina disease and kidney failure and believes he should be allowed to stay in the country so he can continue to get free NHS care.

He said: "The Home Office said I could afford the medicine back home, but I can't, I don't have a job."

The council insists he has no grounds for complaint. The spokesman explained: "He is supported by the council by way of vouchers, in accordance with the law."

Mr Tabet admits that since he was refused asylum he has "stayed and no one has said anything about it".

But a spokesman from the Border and Immigration Agency insisted he can expect to be deported. He said: "The period between an individual being refused asylum and their removal will vary from case to case depending on individual circumstances. He is being processed through our returning scheme.
"Individuals are free to apply for a new passport and return voluntarily at any time. It's a case of if he wants to return on his own dollar or ours."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 07, 2007, 07:02:22 PM
Imam's daughter in hiding after her conversion to Christianity sparked death threats

The daughter of a British imam is living under police protection after receiving death threats from her father for converting to Christianity.

The 31-year-old, whose father is the leader of a mosque in Lancashire, has moved house an astonishing 45 times after relatives pledged to hunt her down and kill her.

The British-born university graduate, who uses the pseudonym Hannah for her own safety, said she renounced the Muslim faith to escape being forced into an arranged marriage when she was 16.

She has been in hiding for more than a decade but called in police only a few months ago after receiving a text message from her brother.

In it, he said he would not be held responsible for his actions if she failed to return to Islam.

Officers have agreed to offer her protection in case of an attempt on her life.

Last night the woman said: "I'm determined to live my life the way I want to because I should have that freedom in this country.

"If you make the choice to come to this country, as my parents did from Pakistan, you have to abide by the laws of this country and that means respecting the freedoms of other people.

Scroll down for more... {R}

"I know the Koran says anyone who goes away from Islam should be killed as an apostate, so in some ways my family are following the Koran. They are following Islam to the word.

"But I do not think every Muslim would act on that.

"My situation is frightening, but I'm not going to let it frighten me to the extent I can't live my life.

"I pretty much feel like I've lost my family and that's very hard.

"Some days I feel very low and what my father might do preys on my mind. But I regularly change my phone number to avoid him catching up with me.'

Hannah was born in Lancashire to Pakistani parents who raised her and her siblings as strict Sunni Muslims.

She prayed and read the Koran, wore traditional Muslim clothes and was sent to a madrassa, a religious Muslim school.

She ran away from home at 16 after overhearing her father organising her arranged marriage.

Hannah was taken in by a religious education teacher and decided to convert to the Christian faith.

Although unhappy, her parents tolerated their daughter's dismissal-of Islam as a "teenage phase".

But when she opted to get baptised, while studying at Manchester University, her family were incensed and the death threats began.

Her father arrived at her home with 40 men and threatened to kill her for betraying Islam.

"I saw my uncle and around 40 men storming up the street clutching axes, hammers, knives and bits of wood," she said.

"My dad was shouting through the letter box, "I'm going to kill you", while the others smashed on the window and beat the door.

"They were shouting, 'We're going to kill you' and 'Traitor'.

"It was terrifying. I was convinced I was going to either die, but suddenly after about ten minutes the noise stopped and the men suddenly went away."

Since then Hannah, who gives talks to churches on Islam, has been on the run from her family, often being forced to flee her home with only a few minutes' notice.

After receiving the latest text threat from her brother, in June, she finally went to the police.

No one has been arrested or charged in connection with the death threats, but officers have put her on an "at risk" register and have given her a panic number to call if she fears for her own safety.

Yesterday Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, told delegates at the launch of a religious charity that Muslims in Britain who wished to change faiths were living in fear of their lives because of Islamic hostility to conversion.

A study this year found that 36 per cent of British Muslims between 16 and 24 believe those who convert to another religion should be punished by death.

In July an Iranian immigrant to Britain, who converted to Christianity, was saved from deportation after it emerged she would be stoned to death in her own country.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 13, 2007, 08:42:40 AM

Fenerbahce To Ask Uefa For Three Points From Inter Match

A Turkish lawyer has filed a complaint to Uefa after Inter wore a shirt with an offensive symbol, at least to Islamic culture, in their recent match against Fenerbahce.

A Turkish lawyer who's an expert on European law, Baris Kaska, is asking Uefa to cancel the three points Inter earned in their win against Fenerbahce in the recent Champions League match.

The Nerazzurri had beaten the Turkish champions 3-0 at home to qualify for the next round of the Champions League.

The reason for the appeal is unusual: the celebratory shirt for Inter's centenary worn by the team that night, and on several other occasions this season, offended many people in Turkey.

The shirt's scheme saw a big red cross on a white background, a symbol of the city of Milan, and reminded many of an emblem of the order of the Templars, which is considered offensive in Islamic culture.

Inter consciously did not wear their 'centenary shirt' in their first match against Fenerbahce in Istanbul, but at home, they did not think it was necessary to do the same.

However, the very sensitive Turkish media reacted bitterly and that led to the official appeal filed by Kaska, who announced this decision during an interview to Barcelona daily La Vanguardia.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 18, 2007, 10:43:52 AM
This could fit on any of a number of threads, but because the discs in question were being sold in the UK, I post it here:
Title: 1 out of 16 in Germany
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 20, 2007, 06:02:18 PM,1518,524739,00.html

Interior Ministry Warns of Radicalization of Muslims
A new study commissioned by Germany's Interior Ministry warns of a growing threat from the radicalization of Muslims in the country. Six percent of Muslims in Germany support violence in the name of Islam, the authors write.

Muslims protest in Dusseldorf against the Danish Muhammad cartoons in this Feb. 2006 photo. The Interior Ministry has warned that exclusion of Muslims from mainstream German society is leading to radicalization.
A new study released by Germany's Interior Ministry has added new fuel to the debate about integration of Muslims in Germany, with the report warning about the danger of radicalization of Muslims.

According to the study, which was published Tuesday, around 40 percent of Muslims surveyed had a "fundamentalist orientation," which the authors defined as a strongly religious worldview and moral values.

However, the authors concluded that the vast majority of Muslims in Germany reject religiously motivated terrorism and violence: Some 92 percent of respondents agreed with the statement that terrorist acts in the name of Islam were a serious sin and an insult to Allah.

But the authors saw a potential threat in a small minority with Islamist leanings: Around 6 percent of those surveyed were classified as having "violent tendencies," while 14 percent of respondents had "anti-democratic" tendencies.

Around 12 percent of the Muslims in Germany identified with a religious-moral critique of the West and supported corporal punishment and the death penalty. The report also concluded that religious beliefs are becoming increasingly important for young people.

The study, which was carried out by Katrin Brettfeld and Peter Wetzels from the Institute for Criminology at the University of Hamburg, was commissioned by the Interior Ministry in an attempt to finding out the extent to which the Muslim community in Germany provides a breeding ground for extremist groups and potential terrorists. The authors interviewed 1,750 Muslims living in Germany for the study. Of that number, around 40 percent had German citizenship.

'Fundamental Religious Orientation'

In the introduction to the report, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble writes that the study leads to the "worrying conclusion that a serious potential for Islamist radicalization has developed in Germany." According to Schäuble, the lack of integration of immigrants into German society is leading to a "fundamental religious orientation."

The survey found that more than half of the respondents felt themselves excluded from German society and felt they were treated as foreigners. Around 20 percent had experienced some form of racism within the last 12 months.

Reacting to the study, Christine Haderthauer, general secretary of the conservative Bavarian party the Christian Social Union, said that her party "has always warned against the dangers of parallel societies. Our fears have been confirmed in a shocking manner." She said that Germany needs "an offensive to promote religious tolerance among young Muslims."

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 However social anthropologist Werner Schiffauer urged caution when interpreting the results. He told the daily newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau that "anti-democratic attitudes were equally common among Muslims and Germans (sic)," adding that it could not be concluded that Islam encourages anti-democratic tendencies. Leaders of groups representing the Turkish community and Muslims in Germany also urged caution in interpreting the results.

In concluding that 6 percent of Muslims in Germany have violent tendencies, the study appears to contradict to some extent the findings of Germany's domestic intelligence agency, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which monitors Islamist activity in the country. According to its 2006 report, there are currently around 32,000 Islamists in Germany who pose a potential security threat. That figure represents slightly more than 1 percent of the around 3 million Muslims who live in the country.

The Interior Ministry under Schäuble has sparked a series of controversies in recent months. Schäuble was the subject of heated criticism in July of this year when he appeared to suggest in a SPIEGEL interview (more...) that the targeted killing of terrorists might have to be considered. Schäuble's opponents have condemned him for attempting to constantly stretch the limits of what is acceptable under Germany's constitution in the fight against terror.

Other controversial positions Schäuble has promoted recently include taking terrorists into preventive custody, deploying the German army in domestic operations and searching suspects' computers online without their knowledge.

Title: We will outfcuk you say Khamenei spokesman
Post by: Crafty_Dog on December 21, 2007, 05:30:51 PM
Iran: Europe will become a Muslim continent, says Khamenei's spokesman

Tehran, 21 Dec. (AKI) - Europe will eventually become a Muslim continent, according to a representative of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

"In a dozen years, Europe will be an Islamic continent," said Rasul Jalilzadeh on Friday as he was speaking to the basiji, a voluntary organisation in the capital Tehran.

"The Islamisation of the European continent is imminent and this step favours the arrival of the Mahdi," he said, referring to the 12th imam of Shiite Islam.

Shiites believe that the Imam Mahdi, who disppeared as an adolescent, will return to bring an end to chaos and bring universal justice.

Rasul Jalilzadeh believes that "the Islamisation of Europe is one of the consequences of the Islamic revolution in Iran" in that "the messages and values that this revolution has transmitted to the Europeans, to convince them "to abandon their current faiths and convert to Shiite Islam."
Title: No go zones for non-Muslims
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 06, 2008, 08:37:59 AM
Bishop warns of no-go zones for non-Muslims
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last Updated: 12:39am GMT 06/01/2008

Islamic extremists have created "no-go" areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter, one of the Church of England's most senior bishops warns today.

The Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester and the Church's only Asian bishop, says that people of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology.

Bishop Nazir-Ali warns that attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character

Writing in The Sunday Telegraph, he compares the threat to the use of intimidation by the far-Right, and says that it is becoming increasingly difficult for Christianity to be the nation's public religion in a multifaith, multicultural society.

His comments come as a poll of the General Synod - the Church's parliament - shows that its senior leaders, including bishops, also believe that Britain is being damaged by large-scale immigration.

Bishop Nazir-Ali, who was born in Pakistan, gives warning that attempts are being made to give Britain an increasingly Islamic character by introducing the call to prayer and wider use of sharia law, a legal system based on the Koran.

In an attack on the Government's response to immigration and the influx of "people of other faiths to these shores", he blames its "novel philosophy of multiculturalism" for allowing society to become deeply divided, and accuses ministers of lacking a "moral and spiritual vision".

Echoing Trevor Phillips, the chairman of the Commission for Equalities and Human Rights, who has said that the country is "sleepwalking into segregation", the bishop argues that multiculturalism has led to deep divisions.

David Davis, the shadow home secretary, has accused Muslims of promoting a kind of "voluntary apartheid" by shutting themselves in closed societies and demanding immunity from criticism.

In the Synod survey, to be published this week, bishops, senior clergy and influential churchgoers said that an increasingly multi-faith society threatens the country's Christian heritage and blamed the divisions on the Government's failure to integrate immigrants into their communities.

It found that more than one in three believe that a mass influx of people of other faiths is diluting the Christian nature of Britain and only a quarter feel that they have been integrated into society.

The overwhelming majority - 80 per cent - said that the Government has not upheld the place of religion in public life and up to 63 per cent fear that the Church will be disestablished within a generation, breaking a bond that has existed between the Church and State since the Reformation.

Calls for disestablishment have grown following research showing that attendance at Mass has overtaken the number of worshippers at Church of England Sunday services.

Bishop Nazir-Ali, whose father converted from Islam to Catholicism, was criticised by Ibrahim Mogra, of the Muslim Council of Britain. He said: "It's irresponsible for a man of his position to make these comments.
"He should accept that Britain is a multicultural society in which we are free to follow our religion at the same time as being extremely proud to be British. We wouldn't allow 'no-go' areas to happen. I smell extreme intolerance when people criticise multiculturalism without proper evidence of what has gone wrong."

Religious membership in Britain:
click to enlarge

But the Bishop's concerns are shared by other members of the General Synod.
The Rt Rev Nicholas Reade, the Bishop of Blackburn, which has a large Muslim community, said that it was increasingly difficult for Christians to share their faith in areas where there was a high proportion of immigrants of other faiths.

He believes that increasing pressure will be put on the Government to begin the process of disestablishment and end the preferential status given to the Church of England. "The writing is on the wall," he said.
Gordon Brown relinquished Downing Street's involvement in appointing bishops in one of his first facts as Prime Minister - a move viewed by some as a significant step towards disestablishment.

Last night, Mr Davis said: "Bishop Nazir-Ali has drawn attention to a deeply serious problem. The Government's confused and counter-productive approach risks creating a number of closed societies instead of one open, cohesive one. It generates the risk of encouraging radicalisation and creating home-grown terrorism."


Can anyone help explain the role of the Church of England and its connection with the British government?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 10, 2008, 09:30:51 PM
Head banker leaves job over Muslim gaffe

Ill-advised quip

By OUT-LAW.COM → More by this author
Published Tuesday 8th January 2008 10:22 GMT
Find out how your peers are dealing with Virtualization
A senior banking industry figure has left his job after making a joke about Muslims which reportedly stunned colleagues and was the subject of complaints. Marc Howells of Barclaycard Europe has left his post.
Howells was discussing quarterly figures with staff when he is reported as saying: "The results were like Muslims – some were good, some were Shi'ite".

The remark was reported to senior management and a complaint was made. It is understood that Howells has left in what has been called 'redundancy under compromise'. He was the head of Barclaycard in Europe.
Barclaycard will not comment directly on Howells and his leaving of the company, but company sources told the Daily Telegraph newspaper: "Once word got round and a complaint was made he was toast. Part of the deal was that the circumstances of his departure must never be disclosed. But there was no chance of that once his Shi'ite joke started doing the rounds."
"We have nothing to add on this particular case," said a Barclaycard statement. "Everybody who works here gets guidance of what is right and what is wrong. We have a robust approach to equality and diversity and do not tolerate discrimination."
Title: OBL's son moving to UK?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 14, 2008, 03:23:26 PM
Bin Laden's son applies to move to U.K. with wife - Daily Mail RIA Novosti
Monday January 14, 2008
Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden's son has applied for a visa to the United Kingdom where he intends to live with his British wife, the Daily Mail reported.
Omar Bin Laden, 26, and his wife Jane Felix-Browne, 52, say they have been interviewed at the British Embassy in Cairo. The embassy has declined to comment on the issue.
The British woman, who changed her name to Zaina Al Sabah Bin Laden after her marriage to Omar, has been married six times and has three sons and five grandchildren, according to the tabloid.
If the couple's application is accepted, they will move to Jane's $1.1 million home in Cheshire, near Manchester.
The Daily mail quoted her as saying: "The embassy staff are all very friendly and they are doing all the checks. It could take a while for the visa to come through but there's no reason in law why Omar and I should not be able to live in the U.K. together."
The son of the world's most wanted terrorist has divorced his first wife, the mother of his two-year-old son, and is currently waiting for confirmation of the divorce to come through from Saudi Arabia, so that he can prove the British woman is his only spouse.
"We have been told there will not be a problem as long as we can provide the original documents from his divorce from his first wife. And that should be done in a week," Mrs Bin Laden said.
A British marriage visa would allow Omar to live in the country for two years, after which he would be able to apply for Indefinite Leave to Remain.
The couple say they are "peace activists", and are organizing a horse ride from Cairo to Morocco.
Omar Bin Laden told the Mail on Sunday: "Associates of my father forced the cancellation of the Dakar Rally [across north-west Africa], but they won't stop me from riding. We want people to join us on the trek - Jews, Arabs, Christians, Muslims, it doesn't matter where people are from."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on January 22, 2008, 11:00:43 AM
English mosques are so extremist they'd be closed down in Baghdad, says IRAQ'S deputy prime minister

Certain English mosques are more radical than those found in Iraq and would be "illegal" in the war-torn country according to the Iraqi deputy prime minister.  The shocking remarks, made by Dr Barham Salih, related to mosques he visited in Blackburn and have angered Muslim leaders.  Dr Salih visited the east Lancashire town in 2005 as a guest of Jack Straw and made his remarks at a dinner party in Baghdad in November.

Shadow culture minister Tobias Ellwood, who attended the dinner, claimed the Iraqi politician said: "I am not surprised that you British are facing so many problems with extremists after what I saw in those mosques in Blackburn.  What I saw would not be allowed here in Iraq - it would be illegal."

The 41-year-old MP made the claims during a Westminster debate on terrorism.

He said: "I know Jack Straw well, but my eyebrows raise when you have a very senior Iraqi leader make comments like that.  I do not believe these comments can be dismissed out of hand. I was absolutely shocked.  He went inside the mosques, and said literature he saw would be illegal. He was quite clear.  The comments are only directed at a very small proportion of mosques in the UK - the vast majority of Muslims wouldn't want to be labelled."

Salim Mulla, chairman of the Lancashire Council of Mosques, reacted furiously to the comments. He said Dr Salih spoke positively about what he had seen in the town when they spoke during his visit.

He said: "We are going out of our way to bring the community together. Nobody is working harder than us at breaking down barriers.  For Dr Salih to make these sort of comments is not very helpful at all.  I don't know where he's coming from. He was very co-operative when he visited, and took lots of photographs. How many incidents have we had in Blackburn? He is talking a load of rubbish."

Dr Salih, a Sunni Muslim, was elected in January 2005 to Iraq's first democratically held elections in 50 years.  During his visit, in the run-up to the 2005 general election, he told voters to support Jack Straw, then Foreign Secretary, and not to turn against him because of the war in Iraq.  Salim Mulla said he could not recall which mosques, Dr Salih visited.
Title: Sacked for uncovering crucifix
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 02, 2008, 04:25:41 PM
Porter sacked by hospital after he asks for 'multi-faith' prayer room crucifix be made visible

A hospital porter has been sacked after a row over a crucifix being covered up in a prayer room used by Muslims.

Joseph Protano, 54, was suspended four days after the incident last month at a children's hospital - and has since been dismissed.

The row centres on a prayer room available to staff and visitors of all faiths, which contains a statue of the Virgin Mary and a crucifix.

Mr Protano, a Roman Catholic who has worked two years at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital, Pendlebury, entered the room when three Muslims were using it - two patients and a doctor.

An argument broke out after he asked them to remove a cloth covering the crucifix and statue and to turn a picture of the Virgin Mary face up.

He has now been dismissed for gross misconduct but he intends to appeal.

Police quizzed him for four hours last month, on suspicion of religiously aggravated assault, but he was released without charge.

He denies the allegations and must wait to see if police take any action.

He said he was unable to comment on his sacking as the police probe and his plans to appeal were ongoing.

But a friend said: "He was very shocked at the decision. He thinks he has been treated terribly.

"He loves his job and doesn't do it for the money - until recently, his employers were paying just £5.88 an hour.

"They are saying he should not have gone into the prayer room and it is alleged he used racist language, which he totally refutes.

"His pay has been stopped, even though he intends to appeal, and he has had to sign on for benefits."

The friend said Mr Protano went into the prayer room about six times a day to check that the statue and crucifix were not left covered because he felt could be upsetting for visiting Christian parents to find them covered up.

The case has angered many hospital staff, who think he has been treated unfairly.

Police said a file had been passed to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision over any further action.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on February 02, 2008, 07:57:39 PM
**"America Alone" continues to be proven accurate. It's wonderful how well "multiculti" is working out. Keep in mind that under sharia law, no non-muslim is ever justified in self-defense and any muslim has the right to rob, rape, enslave and murder any non-muslim.**

SPIEGEL ONLINE - February 1, 2008, 10:32 AM

Immigrants Protest Death of Moroccan Teenager in Cologne

By Barbara Schmid and Andreas Ulrich
Following the violent death of a Moroccan teenager in Cologne, hundreds of immigrants have taken to the streets in nightly demonstrations to protest what they see as evidence of their second-class status in Germany. Police warn the city could be ready to explode.

Ikhlas Abbis
Members of the immigrant community have been protesting the death of a teenager in Cologne.

The owner of an electronics shop on Cologne's Kalker Hauptstrasse had rolled down the shutters on the windows in case there was unrest. Now they have photos of a 17-year-old Moroccan boy taped to them. The teenager, whose name was Salih, was killed in front of the shop two weeks ago.
The sidewalk is a sea of candles as hundreds of people chant: "Salih! Salih! We want justice!" They feel that Salih was one of them -- a youth from an immigrant family.

For the police, the case is clear cut. According to their version of events, Salih allegedly wanted to mug a 20-year-old German man, who tried to defend himself. But he panicked and pulled out a pocketknife that he plunged into Salih's heart with an unlucky stab. Prosecutors said it was a clear case of self-defense, and there are witnesses. But none of that matters any longer.

Every night last week, up to 300 protestors gathered at the spot where Salih died to demand "justice" instead of letting his killer walk free. They are protesting against "racism in Germany" -- but since it appears clear that this case involves self-defense, it's obviously about more than just the unfortunate Salih. It's more about how immigrants and their children feel they are currently being treated in Germany.


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The incident has struck a chord with those who feel disenfranchised from German society -- those without a proper education or vocational training, those without a future. The frustration is palpable. "We're sitting on a powder keg," warns former police commissioner Winrich Granitzka, who is also head of the Christian Democratic group in Cologne's city council. "There's the danger we could see a situation like in the suburbs of Paris."
Cologne certainly isn't Paris and the district of Kalk can't be compared with the high-rise suburban ghettoes surrounding the French capital. But Kalk, which used to be home to a chemical plant, is certainly depressing. The only bright spot is the large and colorful new shopping center, which stands out from its gray surroundings.

Immigrants and people with at least one non-German parent make up 54.7 percent of Kalk's population. The amount of young people between 15 and 18 living there is above average; education levels, on the other hand, are below average. Some 90 percent of people without a job in the area count as long-term unemployed.

"It seems to me as if they only send losers here," says Kemal Düzardic, a 22-year-old friend of the dead teenager. He and the others gather near the photos and candles even in the cold and the rain. One question weighs heavily on their minds. What if a German had died and the killer had been one of them?

A mere eight hours after the incident happened, the police announced it had been a case of self-defense and no charges would be pressed. The statement was "somewhat unfortunately formulated," admits Cologne police officer Catherine Maus in hindsight.

The "unfortunate" wording came at a particularly unfortunate time. "We have too many criminal foreigners," Roland Koch, the conservative governor of the state of Hesse, said in late December. In his re-election campaign, which many observers considered xenophobic, Koch made clear he thought immigrants should assimilate and shouldn't expect Germans to accommodate their cultural practices.

Of course, many of the Kalk youths who were born and raised within sight of Cologne's towering cathedral and speak the local German dialect don't consider themselves "foreigners." But Koch's populist attacks still resonated throughout the immigrant community.

"Stop this Racist," was the headline in the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet, accompanied by a caricature of the Christian Democrat politician with an extra-long nose. The Social Democrats, the left-wing Left party, the Greens and even a few Christian Democrats distanced themselves from Koch. Only the mass circulation newspaper Bild took his side and delighted in featuring new stories about "foreign" repeat offenders with long criminal records on an almost daily basis.

But the people with immigrant backgrounds in Kalk read Bild too. "What's with this crap?" says one irritated young man. "We grew up here, we aren't criminals. So why are we treated differently than other Germans?"

'We Feel like Second-Class Citizens'

For more than 40 years, the German mainstream tried to assert that Germany wasn't a "country of immigration." That attitude has had repercussions. Around 72 percent of Germany's 1.7 million Turks -- the largest group of foreigners living in the country -- don't have proper vocational qualifications. Some 40 percent of young people from immigrant families neither study nor pursue a traineeship after they leave school. They do odd jobs or hang around -- and they make up a disproportionate amount of violent offenders.

"The city of Cologne does a lot for integration," says police director Michael Temme, who has been keeping a careful eye on how his officers have been policing the demonstrations. But he admits there are "hot spots" in the city, including in Kalk. And so every evening he finds himself wondering if this will be the night when a spark finally ignites the powder keg, if this will be the night when shop windows get shattered and cars go up in flames.

"We feel like second-class citizens," says a middle-aged Moroccan man. "It will never stop, maybe it will even get worse," adds a young man. A group of intimidating-looking youths chant: "Salih, Salih!" They want a different kind of justice. It sounds more like a call for revenge.

"Something needs to happen to shake up Germany," says Social Democratic parliamentarian Lale Akgün, quoting a phrase made famous by former President Roman Herzog. "We need, at long last, social policies that are based on acceptance, and we need a fundamental reform of both education and social policy," she says. Germans need foreigners and foreigners need Germans, she says.


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It's an opinion shared by demographers and labor market experts. If people aren't given the opportunity to get vocational skills and qualifications, there will be "mass unemployment with a simultaneous dearth of skilled labor," according to the Institute for Employment Research (IAB).
A study commissioned by the Bertelsmann Foundation has calculated that a lack of integration of immigrants in Germany has already cost the country €16 billion. Many immigrants are unemployed, earn less and pay smaller amounts of tax and social security contributions.

The protesters in Cologne's Kalk district know this and that's what makes the situation so explosive. There's a feeling of not getting a fair chance and of being disenfranchised.

Around a fifth of foreign children see themselves as being "strongly discriminated against" or "individually disadvantaged," according to a survey by the Germany Youth Institute (DJI) in Munich. More than half feel they are neither respected nor treated equally. "Those are strong opinions that they have formed based on their own experiences," says DJI researcher Jan Skrobanek.

"We're not welcome here," says 14-year-old Fatima from Kalk. She ostentatiously pulls down her headscarf to cover her face as she stands in front of Salih's photo. "After elementary school we all get shoved into the Hauptschule," she says, referring to the lowest level of Germany's three-tier high school system. "None of us go to Realschule (apprenticeship-track high school), only Germans go there," she says. Her three older siblings couldn't find a traineeship after finishing high school. Fatima doesn't believe her luck will be any better.

Experts agree that youth crime in Germany isn't an ethnic problem, but rather a social one. Immigrant children from middle-class families and those that do well in school generally aren't troublemakers. Those that manage to find an apprenticeship or a job have a "significantly smaller feeling of being disadvantaged," according to youth researcher Skrobanek.

"We have to do everything we can to lower the high proportion of 40 percent of young immigrants without vocational qualifications," Maria Böhmer, the German government's commissioner for integration affairs, announced recently.

The federal government wants to spend €350 million over the next three years to work toward that goal. An employer will receive a subsidy of at least €4,000 if they give an apprenticeship to an applicant that has already unsuccessfully applied for one. It's a beginning.

"But immigrants have to do their part as well," insists Social Democrat Lale Akgün. "They have to give up their attitude of rejection and join society."

In a survey carried out by the Center for Turkish Studies in Essen, one-third of immigrant parents admitted that they would have problems with a German son-in-law. Hence, not much can be expected from the older generation -- which makes the future prospects of the children that much worse.


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"Many children experience an inconsistency in the way that they are raised which they find very challenging," says Haci-Halil Uslucan from the University of Magdeburg. At home they might be raised in a patriarchal fashion that puts an emphasis on obedience, while at school they are taught self-responsibility, individual choice and equality. "This disconnect is extremely difficult to deal with," says Uslucan.
Anyone interested in establishing equal opportunities and preventing young immigrants from drifting into criminality has to start promoting language development and education as early as kindergarten, says economist and criminologist Horst Entorf.

Salih, the dead teen from Kalk, had never had any run-ins with the police. "He wanted to get his high school diploma," says his 23-year-old brother Abdallah, who is studying electronics. Abdallah was part of the street protests last week. But the more radical protesters made him uneasy.

A few days ago, the Moroccan consul general visited Abdallah and his parents. He explained to them that the police investigation had been carried out conscientiously. But Abdallah still wonders whether a foreigner would have been released so quickly.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on February 03, 2008, 06:54:13 AM

Asian PCs 'blocking crackdown on honour killings'
By MILES GOSLETT and DANIEL BOFFEY - More by this author »
Last updated at 13:56pm on 3rd February 2008
 Comments (15)

Some Asians in the police and in Government jobs have been accused of blocking the crackdown against so-called honour killings.
It is alleged they are not only failing to help desperate women trying to flee abuse and arranged marriages but are actively encouraging punishment for those they believe are breaking traditional taboos.

Terrified victims who seek official help are even being tracked down by a network of Asian men working in Government departments and social services, according to a study written by the think-tank Social Cohesion.

One woman was found by her family after she signed on at a Jobcentre where a member of the Asian community was working.

Scroll down for more

The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family

The report also claims some Asian police officers actually return women to their abusive families or refuse to act against men enforcing 'traditional' roles.

Meanwhile, non-Asian officials and police officers are scared of acting against families who abuse their relatives for fear of being branded as racist, the report says.

The study follows the horrific case of 20-year-old Banaz Mahmod, from Mitcham, South London, whose body was found in a suitcase after she was raped and strangled with a bootlace by hitmen hired by her family.

She was killed for falling in love with a man the family disapproved of – despite unsuccessfully asking police for help five times.

In one plea she recorded a video message that helped convict her father and uncle of her murder.

Controversially, the report accuses one of the Government's closest advisers on Muslim matters, the Muslim Council of Britain, of hampering attempts to criminalise forced marriage.

It said: "The MCB has sought to block legislation aimed at ending honour-based violence. Almost all women's groups interviewed for this report say that the MCB has done little or nothing to end honour-based violence...

"In many northern towns...South Asian women are often afraid to seek help because they know that Asians working in local government believe that women who break traditional taboos deserve to be punished."

Report contributor Nazir Afzal, of the Crown Prosecution Service, added: "Domestic violence is not an issue the Muslim Council of Britain wants to know about."

David Davies, the Tory MP for Monmouth who is on the Home Affairs Select committee investigating forced marriages and domestic violence, said: "Thousands of girls are being taken to Pakistan every year for marriage, although it is best described as abduction and rape."

James Brandon, one of the report's authors, said: "It is estimated that ten women a year in Britain die through honour killings and honour violence. The Government must change the way it approaches this problem."

The MCB said: "Our position has always been clear: so-called honour killings are murder. They are severe criminal offences which we condemn."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 03, 2008, 08:31:23 AM
Does anyone have any other info on the subject of this piece?  I'd like to have more than one source/one point of view on this:

Can of Worms: Mufti Wants Moratorium on French Law Separating Church and State

From the desk of Tiberge on Fri, 2008-02-01 13:06
The mufti of the Paris mosque, Dalil Boubakeur, has dropped what amounts to a political and religious bomb. He proposes a moratorium on the French law of 1905 separating Church and State, because not enough mosques are being built in France.
Besides his position as mufti, he is the president of the CFCM (French Council of the Muslim Faith), an association officially established in 2003 thanks to the efforts of Minister of the Interior Nicolas Sarkozy.

Questioned by Le Monde, Mr. Boubakeur set forth the idea of a “moratorium of 10 to 20 years” on the 1905 law, which forbids all public funding of places of worship, so that Islam can “catch up” on its needs. “The associations that administer houses of worship need to be given air to breathe,” he says.
This has to be one of the most daring statements made yet by a Muslim leader in France. There are at least 1500 mosques and prayer rooms in France, 75 in Paris alone.
Dalil Boubakeur’s proposal to suspend the 1905 law has incensed France’s radical secularists, the advocates of “laïcité,” who see in his words a predictable maneuver, welcomed by the State and Churches alike, for the purpose of restoring the power of religion to all spheres of French life.

Militants of “laïcité” are convinced that Nicolas Sarkozy intends, through modifications to the existing law, to impose his view of the equality of all religions onto the French people, instead of maintaining the strict separation that has been enforced until recently when Islam came into the picture.

The blog Riposte Laïque writes:
Sarkozy, through his speeches in Rome and then in Ryadh rolled out the red carpet to the Churches, and someone had to go into the breach. This role fell to the freedom-destroying mufti of the Paris mosque, since Islam is the spear-head of this offensive.

Their fear, despite what they say about Islam, is of the return of Christianity, especially Catholicism, to the decision-making process of the government, as the following statements attest:
Furthermore, in Europe, 20 countries out of 25 are signatories of concordats with the Catholic Church. Now they want all of France to be aligned with those countries.

Riposte Laïque calls for a massive protest, first at the local level, then a march towards Paris. Among the organizations cited as participants in this protest are the Grand Orient of France (Freemasons) and the Ligue de l'Enseignement (League of Teachers).

Sarkozy has (knowingly?) opened a can of worms with his initiatives on religion. But the essential problem remains Islam. The advocates of “laïcité” seem to forget that there can be no separation of Church and State in Islam and that if Islam is going to be given privileges, it automatically means the end of the law of 1905. Sarkozy is banking on the fallacious notion of “equality” of religions and is throwing all religions together in the same arena to find a way of co-existing.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 03, 2008, 07:23:36 PM
Second post on this.  The quality and accuracy of this source is unknown to me, but the subject matter seems important.

Dalil Boubakeur's proposal to suspend the 1905 law separating Church and State has incensed the advocates of "laïcité" who see in his words a predictable maneuver, welcomed by the State and Churches alike, for the purpose of restoring the power of religion to all spheres of French life.

The following excerpts are taken from a long text posted at Riposte Laïque, a website of militants of "laïcité". Essentially, a coalition of left-leaning groups and individuals, they have the virtue of wanting to preserve intact the 1905 law separating Church and State. It isn't clear if they understand the true nature of Islam and its refusal of such a separation. What is clear is their intense hostility towards religion, and their firm belief that Nicolas Sarkozy intends, through modifications to the existing law, to impose his view of the equality of all religions onto the French people, instead of maintaining the strict separation that has been enforced until recently when Islam came into the picture.

(...) Why should Boubakeur have any qualms (about suspending the law)? Sarkozy, through his speeches in Rome and then in Ryadh rolled out the red carpet to the Churches, and someone had to go into the breach. This role fell to the freedom-destroying mufti of the Paris mosque, since Islam is the spear-head of this offensive.

(...) The ministers visit him (Boubakeur) during Ramadan, an obscurantist practice if ever there was one, to break the fast. They invite him to the television studios where, all the while claiming to favor "laïcité", he whimpers about discrimination towards Muslims. Sarkozy takes him along in his baggage when he goes to Algiers. There, Boubakeur listens enthralled to the French president who, in an incredible speech, denounces Islamophobia and anti-Semitism in the same breath.

As thanks for these good and loyal favors, Boubakeur plays the game expected of him by the powers-that-be and the Churches: he demands the end of the law of 1905.

Note: They come close to saying that it is a conspiracy by the government and the religions - i.e. a pre-planned plot to pave the way for the abolition of the law.

Their fear, despite what they say about Islam, is of the return of Christianity, especially Catholicism, to the decision-making process of the government, as the following statements attest:

In Europe through Article 15-1 of the new Treaty of Lisbon, which replaces the former Article 1-52, they want to render unavoidable the consultation of the Catholic Church before any political policy is adopted.

Furthermore, in Europe, 20 countries out of 25 are signatories of concordats with the Catholic Church. Now they want all of France to be aligned with those countries.

Note: I cannot comment on the above. I have not read the Treaty, nor am I familiar with the concordats.

But Catholicism is not their only fear:

(...) The Turkish Islamists who still intend to enter Europe feel that the moment has come. They are trying to end the ban on the Islamic veil, instituted by Mustapha Kemal, at the University.

The Protestants, among whom the Evangelicals are today in the majority, are patiently waiting for the French State to "tinker" with the law of 1905 that forbids the construction of houses of worship, in order to benefit from these derogations.

Movements such as the Church of Scientology, Jehovah's Witnesses, Raelians, and others are eager for these revisions so that they may be recognized fully as religions, and take advantage of the subsidies, fiscal exemptions and other privileges which are today forbidden by Article 2 of this accursed law.

In short, the stage is set, the scenario is soon to be played out.

Note: I know nothing about Raelians. I doubt that they pose a threat comparable to Islam.

The article goes on to call for a massive protest, first at the local level, then a march towards Paris. Among the organizations cited as participants in this protest are the Grand Orient of France (Freemasons) and the Ligue de l'Enseignement (League of Teachers):

Today is not the time to be timorous with those who prepared the way for Sarkozy and the concept of "open laïcité." Nor must we be divided in our ranks, whatever divergences may exist,

(...) We are convinced that the potential for mobilization by the French people around the concept of "laïcité" is intact. The citizens of this country are much more attached to the separation of the religious from the political than the elite is willing to believe.

Note: Sarkozy has (knowingly?) opened a can of worms with his initiatives on religion. But the essential problem remains Islam. The advocates of "laïcité" seem to forget that there can be no separation of Church and State in Islam and that if Islam is going to be given privileges, it automatically means the end of the law of 1905. Sarkozy, the Great Egalitarian, is banking on the fallacious notion of "equality" of religions and is throwing all religions together in the same arena to find a way of co-existing. His specific plans to modify the 1905 law will be the topic of future posts.

The image is of Liberty Leading the People, a famous painting from 1830 by Eugène Delacroix.

Labels: Christianity, Dalil Boubakeur, Islam, Laïcité, Religion
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 07, 2008, 07:28:36 AM
The Coming Dhimmitude:



Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'

Posted on 02/07/2008 6:03:54 AM PST by Sub-Driver

Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable' The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams says the adoption of Islamic Sharia law in the UK is "unavoidable".
Dr Williams told BBC Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.
Dr Williams argues that adopting some aspects of Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.
For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.
He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".
In an exclusive interview with BBC correspondent Christopher Landau, ahead of a lecture to lawyers in London later on Monday, Dr Williams argues this relies on Sharia law being better understood. At the moment, he says "sensational reporting of opinion polls" clouds the issue.
He stresses that "nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that's sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states; states; the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women as well".
But Dr Williams says the argument that "there's one law for everybody... I think that's a bit of a danger".
"There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law." Dr Williams adds: "What we don't want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people's religious consciences."
Title: UK Sharia
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 08, 2008, 04:51:07 PM
Last updated at 16:32pm on 8th February 2008  Comments (16)
Sharia law "courts" are already dealing with crime on the streets of London, it emerged today.

The revelation came after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, called for an "accommodation" with parts of the Islamic legal code in a speech which attracted widespread condemnation.

The Archbishop said parts of civil law could be dealt with under the sharia system but already some communities have gone much further - and it was revealed today that a teenage stabbing case among the Somali community in Woolwich had been dealt with by a sharia "trial".
Youth worker Aydarus Yusuf, 29, who was involved in setting up the hearing, said a group of Somali youths were arrested by police on suspicion of stabbing another Somali teenager.

The victim's family told officers the matter would be settled out of court and the suspects were released on bail.
A hearing was convened and elders ordered the assailants to compensate the victim.

"All their uncles and their fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf. "So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing."

An Islamic Council in Leyton also revealed that it had dealt with more than 7,000 divorces while sharia courts in the capital have settled hundreds of financial disputes.

Today's revelations came as controversy raged over Dr Williams's call for parts of sharia law to be adopted in Britain.

His comments were condemned by Downing Street, the Tories and the chairman of the Government's Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
They were described as a "recipe for chaos" by Culture Secretary Andy Burnham.

Along with the Islamic Council in Leyton, there are reports of at least two other sharia courts sitting in London.
There are also courts in a number of other areas of the country with high Muslim populations, including Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, Birmingham and Rotherham, South Yorkshire.

Most are understood to concentrate on divorce cases - although such judgments are not recognised in British law - as well as financial disputes. Suhaib Hasan, a spokesman for the Islamic Sharia Council in Leyton, which was set up in 1982, said that he and his colleagues dealt with more than 200 cases a year, ranging from inheritance to marriage and divorce.

"From the beginning, people have wanted our services. More and more come back to us. Each month we deal with 20 cases," he said.

On its website, the Islamic Sharia Council warns those who use its services that the divorces it grants cannot invalidate a union under British civil law and advises that a separate civil divorce should be obtained. As well as giving advice on legal matters, such as inheritance, the website also gives general guidance on Muslim practices including the need for beards and the need for women to cover themselves in public.

It also covers issues such as whether women should train as doctors. It supports this as a "lesser evil", but suggests that training should take place at an all-female college and that future treatment should be given to "women only".
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 09, 2008, 04:01:05 AM
Sharia law row: Archbishop is in shock as he faces demands to quit

The Archbishop of Canterbury was facing demands to quit last night as the row over sharia law intensified. Leading bishops publicly contradicted Dr Rowan Williams's call for Islamic law to be brought into the British legal system.  With the Church of England plunged into crisis, senior figures were said to be discussing the archbishop's future.

One member of the church's "Cabinet", the Archbishop's Council, was reported as saying: "There have been a lot of calls for him to resign. I don't suppose he will take any notice, but, yes, he should resign."

Officials at Lambeth Palace told the BBC Dr Williams was in a "state of shock" and "completely overwhelmed" by the scale of the row.  It was said that he could not believe the fury of the reaction. The most damaging attack came from the Pakistan-born Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Michael Nazir-Ali.  He said it would be "simply impossible" to bring sharia law into British law "without fundamentally affecting its integrity".  Sharia "would be in tension with the English legal tradition on questions like monogamy, provisions for divorce, the rights of women, custody of children, laws of inheritance and of evidence. This is not to mention the relation of freedom of belief and of expression to provisions for blasphemy and apostasy."

The church's second most senior leader, Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu, refused to discuss the matter. But he has said sharia law "would never happen" in Britain.  Politicians joined the chorus of condemnation, with Downing Street saying British law should be based on British values. Tory and LibDem leaders also voiced strong criticism.

Even prominent Muslims were rounding on Dr Williams. Shahid Malik, Labour MP for Dewsbury, said: "I haven't experienced any clamour or fervent desire for sharia law in this country. "If there are people who prefer sharia law there are always countries where they could go and live." Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Bar, rejected the idea that British law forces Muslims to choose between their religion and their society. He said: "This will alienate people from other communities because they will think it is what Muslims want - and it is not."

The Muslim Council of Britain came to Dr Williams's aid, however, describing his comments in a lecture to lawyers and a BBC interview as "thoughtful".

But Oxford University Islamic scholar Professor Tariq Ramadan admitted: "These kinds of statements just feed the fears of fellow citizens. I really think we, as Muslims, need to come up with something that we abide by the common law and within these latitudes there are possibilities for us to be faithful to Islamic principles."

The archbishop is likely to come under heavy fire next week at a meeting of the Church's General Synod.  Liberal and feminist critics have been appalled by the thought of sharia law while evangelical opponents believe Dr Williams has failed to defend Christianity.

The archbishop was already battling intractable difficulties within the church over gay rights, a row which began nearly five years ago and has brought him criticism from all sides. Later this year he has to face a conference of hundreds of bishops from around the world which threatens further bitter division.  Dr Williams's opponents on the conservative evangelical wing - who resent his liberal beliefs on issues such as gay rights - were suggesting last night that the archbishop is finished.

The Reverend Paul Dawson of the Reform group of around 500 clergy said: "We are very sad that he does not seem to be able to articulate a clear Christian vision for Britain. It is true to say that there is a lot of dissatisfaction."

Dr Williams defended himself in a Lambeth Palace statement saying he had been trying to "tease out" the issue.  The archbishop had said it could help build a better and more cohesive society if Muslims were able to choose to have marital disputes or financial matters, for example, dealt with in a sharia court. The adoption of some elements of sharia law "seems unavoidable".

But the statement insisted: "The archbishop made no proposals for sharia, and certainly did not call for its introduction as some kind of parallel jurisdiction to the civil law." 

Even fellow bishops, however, think this is precisely what Dr Williams did say.

Bishop of Southwark Tom Butler, a liberal who would normally be expected to defend Dr Williams, said the archbishop had been entering a minefield and added: "It will take a great deal of thought and work before I think it is a good idea."

He was more blunt in a circular to clergy in his diocese, saying he had yet to be convinced of the feasibility of incorporating any non-Christian religious law into the English legal system.
Title: Turk PM opposes assimilation in Germany
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 12, 2008, 09:09:57 AM
(ANSAmed) - BERLIN, FEBRUARY 11 - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan added yesterday fuel to the fire of the polemics recently sparked off in Germany on the integration of the Turkish immigrants in the country, warning the German Turkish community against an excessive adaptation to the national culture. "Assimilation is a crime against humanity", Erdogan said in Cologne, during his visit in Germany, in front of an audience of 16,000 people, the majority of whom Turkish immigrants. Erdogan's proposal to open schools of Turkish language in Germany also to favour the integration of the Turkish immigrants in the country was strongly criticised recently by the German political world. Leader of conservative party CSU, Erwin Huber, said that if the proposal were launched, it would be a poison for integration and would lead to the creation of ghettos, as well as to the establishment of a mini-Turkey in Germany. Yesterday Erdogan said that it is important to learn German, however he underlined that the Turkish language could not be neglected, in order to protect the Turkish students from the challenge to maintain their identity and their culture. (ANSAmed).
Title: Whoops! "The Acceptable face of modern Islam"?
Post by: Crafty_Dog on February 26, 2008, 11:43:47 AM
'Osama bin London' groomed 21/7 bombers

By Duncan Gardham, Security Correspondent
Last Updated: 4:40pm GMT 26/02/2008

The missed opportunities in relation to the July 21 bombers can be disclosed today following the conviction of one of the most senior terrorist recruiters in Britain - a man who called himself "Osama bin London".

Street preacher Mohammed Hamid - who once told young Muslims the 52 deaths in the July 7 attacks on London were "not even breakfast to me" - groomed the would-be suicide bombers under the noses of watching police, security services and even the BBC.

Hamid, 50, who is believed to have met senior al-Qa'eda figures in Afghanistan, organised a series of training camps in the New Forest, the Lake District, and Scotland and paintballing sessions in Berkshire and Kent to train his followers.

He also held regular Friday prayer meetings at his home in Clapton, East London, where he would urge Muslims to attack non-believers.

All four of the failed suicide bombers of July 21 attended his meetings and Hamid ran an Islamic bookstall on Oxford Street with Muktar Ibrahim, the leader of the July 21 gang.

He was spoken to by police on three other occasions before July 2005 at his Oxford Street stall and on eight separate occasions afterwards - but was not arrested until September 2006, more than a year after the July attacks, after an undercover policeman infiltrated his group.

The 50-year-old was found guilty of organising terrorist training camps and encouraging Muslims to murder non-believers at the end of a four-month trial at Woolwich Crown Court.

Police first observed the July 21 bombers being put through their paces in the Lake District at one of Hamid's camps on May 2, 2004 - more than a year before they launched their failed attacks on London's transport system.

Following a tip off, a Cumbrian officer out fell running came across a group of 20 Asian men training in Great Langdale as Hamid barked orders.

Special Branch was called in to photograph the group and close-up surveillance pictures showed all four of the men who went on to attack London on July 21 the following year.

Hamid's home in Hackney, East London was subsequently put under surveillance and four weeks later, on May 29, he was seen collecting another group together to return to Great Langdale.

Once again the fell-running officer located them in the Lake District and this time the surveillance was left to Cumbrian police who saw the group "holding branches or sticks as though they were carrying rifles".

The case was handed over to MI5 but their agents brought the wrong camera equipment when they turned up in August 2004 because they were not expecting the group to be there again. They shot just 11 minutes of footage across three days, however the film once again included Muktar Ibrahim.

One former Royal Marine Commando watched the group as they performed press-ups, sit-ups, an anti-ambush drill and "leopard crawling," moving low and flat along the ground.

But the three-man surveillance team seemed to take a relaxed approach to the operation, at one point signing off on the camera: "And what a lovely view it is."

Also there were Hamid's co-accused Kibley da Costa, 24, Mohammed Al-Figari, 42, and Kader Ahmed, 20. They have been found guilty of attending terror camps in the New Forest and at a Berkshire paintballing centre.

Hamid was also joined in his teachings by Atilla Ahmet, 43, the self-styled emir of the gang, who admitted three charges of soliciting murder at the start of the trial.

Ahmet was Abu Hamza's right-hand man at Finsbury Park Mosque and took control of his notorious Supporters of Shariah group after his arrest in 2004.

During Hamid's trial, the court heard how he and Muktar Ibrahim set up a stall selling Islamic literature outside Debenhams department store in Oxford Street and how, in October 2004, both men were arrested following a disturbance at the stall.

Police called to reports of three men blocking the pavement with a trestle table stacked with religious books found they refused to move and started to abuse the black and Asian officers when they were threatened with arrest.

The officers had to call for assistance and as Hamid was handcuffed and dragged to the police van he told the officers: "I've got a bomb and I'm going to blow you all up."

At the police station Hamid gave his name as Osama bin London and was only identified after a fingerprint check which showed up his extensive criminal record for theft and burglary. Ibrahim ran from police and was only stopped when a member of the public tripped him up. However, he failed to turn up at Horseferry Road Magistrates Court because he had travelled to Pakistan where it is thought he learned how to make the bombs for July 21.

Perhaps the ultimate irony came courtesy of a BBC documentary called "Don't Panic I'm Islamic" broadcast in June 2005. Hamid was recruited from his stall on Oxford Street to represent the acceptable face of modern Islam.

He was filmed, along with co-accused Mohammed al-Figari and 14 other men at a paintball centre in Tonbridge, Kent where they were seen ducking behind oil barrels and shooting at cut out figures before lining up to pray at the end of the day.

The documentary was shot in February 2005 at the Delta Force centre because it was convenient for the TV crew but Hamid's group returned four days before the July 7 attacks, this time bringing with them Ramzi Mohammed and Hussain Osman, who went on to launch failed attacks on July 21.

The producer returned to talk to Hamid as the July 21 gang were on the run and said he admitted knowing them and was "agitated, concerned, and worried", but the producer claimed her bosses took the decision not to notify the police.

Hamid exchanged 155 calls and text messages with the four July 21 bombers, including one message sent to Hussain Osman on the evening of July 7, in which he used the alias Al-Quran and wrote: "Assalam bro, we fear no-one except ALLAH, we will not change our ways, we are proud to be a Muslim an we will not hide. 8pm Friday at my place, be there food and talk, AL-QURAN."

He also sent Mohammed and Osman a text on the night of July 21 and attempted to ring both of them the following day.

Co-accused Kader Ahmed and Kibley da Costa also made attempts to contact the men in the two days after the attacks.

Hamid, assisted by Ahmet, was said to be a "recruiter, groomer and corrupter of young Muslims."

Both men talked of shedding blood to implement sharia [Islamic law] and suggested Parliament as a target, with Ahmet saying: "The House of Parliament, the big people, the MPs, the police, the army, the city slickers are all halal [permitted]."

MI5 put a recording device in Hamid's home in September 2005 and in April 2006 an undercover officer managed to join the group after approaching Hamid at his stall in Oxford Street.

The officer, codenamed Dawood, joined Hamid at his home for his Friday meetings and went with the group on camping weekends in the New Forest and an Islamic school in Sussex.

At a meeting at his house on June 16 2006, he told his followers they were "Soldiers of Allah" who were "fighting for sharia".

"The whole aspect is for you to get shahada [martyred] for you to be shaheed [martyr]," he added.

Hamid and Kibley da Costa, 24, of West Norwood, south east London, were also found guilty of providing training for terrorism. Mohammed al-Figari, 42, of Tottenham, north London, and Kader Ahmed, 20, of Plaistow, east London, were found guilty of receiving terrorist training.

Two further members of the gang, Mohammed Kyriacou, 19, and Yassin Mutegombwa, 23, admitted attending terrorist training camps, it can be reported today after restrictions were lifted.

Property manager Mousa Brown, 41, was cleared of providing and receiving weapons training and has been freed from custody.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on March 09, 2008, 03:53:22 PM'working%20as%20Al%20Qaeda%20Spies'/

Last updated at 22:37pm on 09.03.08
 Add your view

Warning: Terror moles reportedly work in the Met

Four police officers in Britain's top force are reportedly under close secret service surveillance after being identified as Al Qaeda spies, it emerged today.
MI5 are said to have homed in on the the "sleeper" agents passing secrets from Scotland Yard to the terror group only in recent weeks.
The suspected spies are believed to have used methods similar to those employed by the IRA in the 1970s as they infiltrated the police and the Army in Northern Ireland.

Bombed: Police began searching for spies after July 7 attacks

All four are understood to be Asians living in London and are feared to have links both with Islamic extremists in Britain and worldwide terror groups - including al-Qaeda training camps in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
MI5 chiefs reportedly believe the suspected moles have been planted as sleepers - agents under deep cover - to keep al-Qaeda informed of anti-terror raids planned by London's Metropolitan Police.
They are said to fear the four could have already accessed sensitive information about secret operations to root out terror cells planning further attacks in the UK.
Scotland Yard refused to discuss allegations that a sleeper cell of al Qaida spies is being kept under secret service surveillance after infiltrating the Metropolitan Police.
According to the News of the World, in the past few weeks MI5 agents have identified four officers suspected of passing secrets from the force.
All four are allegedly Asians living in London and are feared to have links with Islamic extremists in Britain and worldwide terrorist organisations.
MI5 bosses reportedly fear the moles may have been planted to keep al Qaida informed of anti-terror raids, and may have already accessed sensitive information about ongoing operations.
Secret service agents are said to be monitoring the suspects, who work at different London police stations. A Yard spokesman said: "All police officers and police staff, upon joining the Metropolitan Police Service and during their careers undergo a range of security checks.
"These are robust and vary accordingly to the type and sensitivity of the individual postings.
"We take matters of security very seriously and if any issues arise about individuals, they may be subject to further assessment.
"This could lead to restrictions being put in place relating to where an individual may work within the organisation or could lead to their dismissal."
"If there are people within the police force feeding information to terror groups this needs to be stopped.
"Since the names came to light there has been a non-stop effort to find out everything about their backgrounds."
The officers' names apparently emerged during a low-profile investigation into police force infiltration which has been going on since the July 2005 London bombings.
Last year MI5 believed there were up to eight police staff—uniform and civilians with links to extremist groups.
Now agents, helped by anti-terror police, are understood to be watching the four suspects - who work at different police stations around London - around the clock while searching for the vital evidence needed to make arrests.
The officers' every move at work is being monitored along with their phone calls, it was claimed.
Homeland security agents are reportedly sifting through their bank account transactions.
MI5 experts are also understood to be building a family tree for each one and trying to put together a picture of their links to their home countries.
Their names are being cross-referred with lists of men who have been to terror training camps in Pakistan or Afghanistan.
What is clear is that the infiltration methods used by the officers under suspicion bear hallmarks of the IRA in the past.
The police source said: "The IRA tried to infiltrate and they succeeded to a certain extent.
"By just slipping under the radar it takes suspicion away from you.
"If you are a young Pakistani of English origin and you feel you want to do something for the cause of Islam, what better way than to join the enemy and attack from within?"
MI5 believes other sleeper cells are trying to infiltrate public services across Britain in order to gain vital intelligence.
Even exiled cleric Omar Bakri has revealed how Islamic extremists were working at the heart of the NHS and other vital services.
Failed asylum seeker Omar Altimimi was jailed for nine years last July for keeping manuals on detonating car bombs.
Before his conviction he had applied to work as a cleaner for Greater Manchester police.
Numbers of officers from ethnic minorities have risen since the Met was accused of being institutionally racist in the Stephen Lawrence public inquiry report.
MP Patrick Mercer, Tory terrorism advisor, said: "This discovery by MI5 comes as no surprise to me.
"Recruiting ethnic people into key public sector organisations - in place to protect us - is a risk.
"Our vetting procedures have to be toughened before it's too late."
Title: Islam in Spain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 16, 2008, 08:15:10 AM
Its the NY Times, so the tone of the piece is what you would expect.  Still some worthy point to be gleaned.

LLEIDA, Spain — As prayer time approached on a chilly Friday afternoon and men drifted toward the mosque on North Street, Hocine Kouitene hauled open its huge steel doors.

As places of worship go, the crudely converted garage leaves much to be desired, said Mr. Kouitene, vice president of the Islamic Association for Union and Cooperation in Lleida, a prosperous medieval town in northeastern Spain surrounded by fruit farms that are a magnet for immigrant workers. Freezing in winter and stifling in summer, the prayer hall is so cramped that the congregation, swollen to 1,000 from 50 over the past five years, sometimes spills onto the street.

“It’s just not the same to pray in a garage as it is to pray in a proper mosque,” said Mr. Kouitene, an imposing Algerian in a long, black coat and white head scarf. “We want a place where we can pray comfortably, without bothering anybody.”

Although Spain is peppered with the remnants of ancient mosques, most Muslims gather in dingy apartments, warehouses and garages like the one on North Street, pressed into service as prayer halls to accommodate a ballooning population.

The mosque shortage stems partly from the lack of resources common to any relatively poor, rapidly growing immigrant group. But in several places, Muslims trying to build mosques have also met resistance from communities wary of an alien culture or fearful they will foster violent radicals.

Distrust sharpened after a group of Islamists bombed commuter trains in Madrid in March 2004, killing 191 people, and in several cities, local governments, cowed by angry opposition from non-Muslims, have blocked Muslim groups from acquiring land for mosques.

The result, Muslim leaders say, is that some Muslims feel anchorless and marginalized.

“A proper mosque would act as a focus, a reference point for Islam here,” said Mohammed Halhoul, spokesman for the Catalan Islamic Council. A quarter of Spain’s Muslims live in Catalonia, the northeastern region that is home to Lleida, but the area has no real mosques.

“I feel like a Catalan,” Mr. Halhoul said, “except when it comes to the question of the mosque.”

Muslims ruled much of Spain for centuries, but after they were ultimately vanquished in the 1400s, their mosques were either left to ruin or converted into churches. Since then, fewer than a dozen new mosques have been built to serve Spain’s Muslim population, which has grown in the past 10 years to about one million from about 50,000 as immigrants have poured into the country.

That rise has coincided with a decline in church attendance in overwhelmingly Catholic Spain, giving new echo to an old rivalry between the two religions. It was the Catholic king and queen, Ferdinand and Isabella, who defeated the last Moorish ruler in Spain in 1492 and oversaw the expulsion of Jews and Muslims. Now, as churches struggle to draw a dwindling flock, Muslim prayer halls are overflowing.

“The reality of this country has changed much faster than that of other countries,” Ángel Ros, Lleida’s mayor, said in an interview. “A process that took 30 years in Italy or France has taken 10 years in Spain.”

Lleida is a case in point: a city whose 13th-century cathedral looms from a fortified hilltop over plains that produce half of Spain’s pears and apples, it has drawn a flood of immigrants. They now make up nearly a fifth of the city’s 125,000 residents, compared with 4 percent in 2000. A quarter of them are from Muslim countries. Friday, the Muslim day of prayer, has replaced Saturday as a day off in addition to Sunday on many local farms.

The North Street prayer hall faced opposition from the outset. Marta Roigé, head of the local neighborhood association, said residents tried to block it five years ago by renting the garage themselves, but backed down after the landlord started a bidding war. They have since sued the local council to close it down on the basis that it is a health and safety hazard.


“The tension has grown as the numbers have grown,” Ms. Roigé said. “They’ve set up shops, butchers, long-distance call centers and restaurants.” These businesses, catering to Muslim immigrants, line the surrounding streets.

Skip to next paragraph
The New York Times
The immigrant population has soared recently in Lleida.
She added: “They are radicals, fundamentalists. They don’t want to integrate.”

Muslim leaders, however, say the lack of proper mosques is one barrier to integration. And Spanish authorities and Muslim leaders say the potential for extremism would be easier to monitor at fewer, larger mosques than at the 600 or so prayer halls scattered throughout the country.

Some Muslim leaders believe the tide is starting to turn in their bid to return minarets to Spanish skylines. Following a pact between the Islamic Association and Lleida’s town hall in December, the city may become the first in Catalonia to build a mosque.

The association secured a 50-year lease on a plot of government land on the edge of town, and Mr. Kouitene says the group hopes to break ground next year if it can raise the money.

Several other Muslim communities are on the verge of similar breakthroughs. In the southern city of Seville, Muslims are close to obtaining a plot of land for a mosque after years of bitter local resistance; in 2005 protesters dumped a pig’s head on a plot originally chosen.

Meanwhile, the ruling coalition in Catalonia submitted a bill in the regional parliament in December that would oblige local governments to set aside land for mosques and other places of worship. Representatives of Muslim organizations hope it will inspire a similar national law.

“People are realizing the world has changed and they can’t look the other way,” said Mohammed Chaib, a member of the Catalan parliament and the only Muslim lawmaker in Spain.

Some Catholic clerics see things differently. Cardinal Luis Martínez Sistach, archbishop of Barcelona, opposes the bill, which would entitle all religious groups to land on an equal basis. He argues that Catholicism requires different rules.

“A church, a synagogue or a mosque are not the same thing,” he said, according to the conservative Spanish newspaper ABC. The bill, he said, “impinges on our ability to exercise a fundamental right, that of religious liberty.”

While no law on religious land use exists, the wealthy Catholic Church faces no difficulty acquiring land, experts in law and religion say.

Álex Seglers, an expert on church-state relations, is skeptical that the bill will be effective. The bill is vague and gives local governments too much discretion over what land it provides to which group, he says.

For the worshipers at North Street, the next big hurdle is money. Spain’s secular state cannot finance religious buildings, though it has a special arrangement to subsidize the Catholic Church.

“We have a saying in our religion,” Mr. Kouitene said. “Anywhere there are even a few Muslims, you must build a mosque for joint prayer. Otherwise, the devil rules in that place.”

Mayor Ros, for one, welcomes the building.

“We used to have a dominant religion, and now we have many religions and we have to find a way of respecting that fact,” he said. “Churches were the great public works of the Middle Ages and of the Renaissance. Now I see a day when every large city in Spain will have a mosque.”
Title: "Asian youths" beat up priest
Post by: Crafty_Dog on March 16, 2008, 05:45:38 PM
March 16, 2008

Asian youths in 'faith hate' attack on priest

Kevin Dowling

An Anglican priest is in hospital after he was beaten up and insulted in what appears to be a “faith hate” assault by Asian youths.

Canon Michael Ainsworth, 57, was kicked and punched in the head and left with deep cuts, bruising and two black eyes in the grounds of his historic church in east London after he asked three Asian youths there to be quiet.

The attack at the 18th-century St George in the East Church in Stepney follows a number of apparently anti-Christian attacks in recent months in the same area.

Alan Green, area dean for Tower Hamlets, said: “It was a nasty cowardly attack. There were several groups in the churchyard and two from one group attacked him and the other group came and helped him back to the house.

“He was kicked and punched in the head as he lay on the ground, I believe that what was shouted was ‘you ********** priest’ before they attacked him.”

A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “The suspects are Asian . . . and the incident is being investigated as an alleged faith hate crime.”

The church had previously been targeted when a brick smashed a window during a service. Allan Ramanoop, a member of the parochial church council, said: “On one occasion, youths shouted: ‘This should not be a church, this should be a mosque, you should not be here’.

“The youths are anti-Christian. It’s terrible what they have done to Canon Ainsworth. We’ve never had violence like that before.”
A parishioner raised the alarm after the attack on March 5, but the youths had fled by the time police arrived.

The church was consecrated in 1729 and designed by Nicholas Hawksmoor, a pupil of Sir Christopher Wren. It was severely damaged during the blitz but rebuilt in the 1960s.

Ainsworth was discharged from hospital but has now gone back in. Yesterday, he was visited in St Bartholomew’s hospital by his wife Jan, who is also a priest as well as being the Church of England’s chief education officer.

She said her husband was concerned publicity about the attack could fuel inter-faith tensions. “He does not want the level of fuss and attention. I think he feels it’s quite difficult in the local area.”
The Met recorded an upsurge in attacks against Muslims after the July 2005 bombings in London. There are also numerous attacks against Jews but, according to police statistics, relatively few Christians are attacked because of their faith.
Title: Get off the bus
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 01, 2008, 09:24:20 AM
 When you read the Sun story below make sure you click on the link to view the pictures.
A MUSLIM bus driver told stunned passengers to get off so he could PRAY.
Published: 29 Mar 2008
The white Islamic convert rolled out his prayer mat in the aisle and knelt on the floor facing Mecca. Passengers watched in amazement as he held out his palms towards the sky, bowed his head and began to chant.
One, who filmed the man on his mobile phone, said: “He was clearly praying and chanting in Arabic.
“We thought it was a wind-up at first, like Jeremy Beadle.”
The 21-year-old plumber added: “He looked English and had a London accent. He looked like a Muslim convert, with a big, bushy beard.
“Eventually everyone started complaining. One woman said, ‘What the hell are you doing? I’m going to be late for work’.”
After a few minutes the driver calmly got up, opened the doors and asked everyone back on board.
But they saw a rucksack lying on the floor of the red single-decker and feared he might be a fanatic. So they all refused.
The passenger added: “One chap said, ‘I’m not getting on there now’.
“An elderly couple also looked really confused and worried.
“After seeing that no-one wanted to get on he drove off and we all waited until the next bus came about 20 minutes later. I was left totally stunned. It made me not want to get on a bus again.”
The bizarre event unfolded on the number 81 in Langley, Berkshire, at around 1.30pm on Thursday.
The passenger said he rang the bus firm to complain but claimed it did not believe him.
He said: “They asked me, ‘Are you sure?’. Then they said they would get back to me, but they weren’t taking me seriously at all.”
Yesterday the driver, who said his name was Hrun, told The Sun: “I asked everyone to get off because I needed to pray. I was running late and had not had time.
“I pray five times a day as a Muslim — but I don’t normally ask people to get off the bus to do it.”
Muslims pray at pre-dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset and evening.
A spokesperson for bus company London United said: “We are aware of a reported incident involving our route 81.
“We are currently undertaking a full investigation into the matter.”
Title: The Heathrow Plot Trial
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 10, 2008, 02:57:47 AM

The Heathrow Plot Trial: Retrospection and Implications
April 9, 2008
Graphic for Terrorism Intelligence Report

By Fred Burton and Scott Stewart

The trial of eight men accused of participating in a 2006 plot to bomb a series of airline flights began April 3 in London. The men are charged with conspiracy to commit murder and preparing acts of terrorism in connection with the plot, which allegedly called for using liquid explosives to bring down at least seven planes flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to cities in the United States and Canada.

The trial is expected to last several months, but several interesting facts already have emerged regarding the plot and the people accused of participating in it. Although a considerable amount of media attention has been focused on the revelation that two Air Canada flights (one to Montreal and one to Toronto) were among the first seven flights targeted — the others were United Airlines flights to Washington, Chicago and San Francisco, and American Airlines flights to Chicago and New York — perhaps the most interesting revelation has been the alleged role of Mohammed Gulzar.

Gulzar reportedly flew into the United Kingdom in July 2006 using a fraudulent identity. His means of travel and his role in the conspiracy suggest he was an operational commander who had been sent from abroad to assist the grassroots plotters with their attack plans. The involvement of an operational commander sent by the al Qaeda core leadership and charged with working with grassroots operatives to orchestrate an attack is what we consider the al Qaeda 1.0 operational model.

When combined with other indicators, Gulzar’s role and travel pattern seem to confirm the involvement of the al Qaeda core leadership in the plot. The participation of the core organization sheds new light on the behavior of the core al Qaeda leaders in 2006, and gives us some insight into plots they might still be planning.
Recurrent Themes

As we noted after the Heathrow plot came to light, the scheme shared several themes with other thwarted or successful al Qaeda plots, including the choice of aircraft as targets, the notion of multiple, simultaneous strikes and the use of modular improvised explosive devices, which would have been smuggled aboard the aircraft in carry-on luggage. Moreover, whoever was involved in planning the operation shared al Qaeda’s penchant for “thinking big.”

As originally conceived, al Qaeda’s 2001 “planes operation” was to involve the simultaneous hijackings of 10 aircraft departing from both the East and West Coasts of the United States. Nine of the aircraft were to be either blown up in-flight or slammed into targeted buildings. The 10th plane was to be landed at a U.S. airport and, after all the adult male passengers were killed, a speech was to be delivered outlining al Qaeda’s grievances with the United States. Al Qaeda’s apex leaders — Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atef — eventually agreed to a scaled-down version of the planes operation involving four aircraft, which was carried out Sept. 11, 2001.

The West Coast portion of the plan was spun off as a separate operation that was to have occurred in October 2001, but which reportedly was postponed several times for various reasons. This operation, also known as the Library Tower Plot, was compromised and disrupted in 2002.

These themes also were evidenced in the plot to bomb American Airlines Flight 63 in December 2001. In that plan, Richard Reid successfully smuggled his “shoe bomb” aboard the aircraft. The attempt failed only because Reid tried to light the bomb’s fuse in the passenger cabin (rather than a more secluded area, such as a restroom) and was stopped by a flight attendant and passengers.

The 2006 Heathrow plot, however, bears the strongest resemblance to Operation Bojinka, which Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with his nephew Abdel Basit, helped to plan and finance while living in Manila, the Philippines, in the mid-1990s. The tactical similarities include the targeting of multiple U.S.-flagged aircraft traveling to the United States, the use of modular explosive devices — which were to be assembled in-flight after operatives accessed their carry-on baggage — and the use of liquid explosives.

The scope of the Heathrow plot also highlights another theme common in al Qaeda plots: a tendency to think big. This theme, which was reflected in the original planes operation and in Bojinka, was also the undoing of al Qaeda attacks such as the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the Millennium Bomb Plot and an attempted strike against the USS The Sullivans off the coast of Yemen in January 2000. Indeed, the scope of the Heathrow plot and the need to include many people in its execution is likely what opened the door for a British government informant to penetrate the group and learn of the plans.
Mohammed Gulzar

A close look at the details emerging from the trial of Gulzar and the seven other suspects also reveals other recurring themes, including the use of document fraud. Gulzar entered the United Kingdom on July 18, 2006, using a fraudulent South African passport in the name of Altaf Ravat. He reportedly was traveling with his new wife and, in order to secure a visa, alleged that he was on his honeymoon. The pair even spent a couple of days in Mauritius after leaving South Africa in order to make the honeymoon cover appear more convincing. As a British citizen, Gulzar had the right to a British passport and thus could have traveled to the United Kingdom using his own identity. The only reason to commit document fraud was to conceal his identity.

As seen in past cases involving operational commanders such as Basit and Ahmed Ressam, it is fairly common for operational commanders to commit passport fraud. In fact, recovered al Qaeda operation manuals encourage using fraudulent documents to hide one’s identity, enter a country illegally or continue to stay in a country after a legitimate visa has expired. Basit had more than a dozen aliases that we know of, including the well-known fraudulent Iraqi passport in the name of Ramzi Yousef — the name by which many people still mistakenly refer to him. Gulzar’s use of South Africa as a source of fraudulent documents and a transit point to Europe also exemplifies a trend we have been watching for some time now.
When British police arrested Gulzar on Aug. 9, 2006, he told them his name was Altaf Ravat and produced his South African documents. It was only after running fingerprint checks that they determined — two days after his arrest — that he really was a British citizen named Mohammed Gulzar. When questioned by police, Gulzar admitted he was not on his honeymoon, though he then said he was a missionary with the Tablighi Jamaat and was in the United Kingdom on a proselytizing mission.

As seen in past attacks — the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, the East Africa embassy bombings and others that followed the al Qaeda 1.0 operational model — the operational planner does not intend to be killed or captured. He flees and lives to fight another day. In operations in which an operative plans to be killed, such as 9/11 and the July 7, 2005 London attacks, there is no need for him to hide his true identity. Gulzar’s use of a fraudulent identity suggests he intended to flee after the attack. This theory is supported by the fact that British authorities recovered a number of videotapes containing the wills and suicide declarations of various members of the alleged cell, but they did not recover such a video featuring Gulzar.
Fitting the Pieces Together

Hindsight is a wonderful thing and when we use it to plug the 2006 Heathrow plot into the big picture of al Qaeda behavior during that time, we can begin to make some assumptions as to the extent of the core leadership’s involvement.

According to court testimony, the British government began to monitor many of the men allegedly involved in the plot shortly after the July 7, 2005 London attacks. It also has been reported that, like Mohammed Siddique Khan, several of the men involved in the 2006 plot had traveled to Pakistan and received training at jihadist camps. It also appears that Gulzar was sent by the core al Qaeda leadership to London in July 2006 to supervise the execution of this plot. Judging from past cases, Gulzar’s preparation for the travel to London likely began several months prior to his actual arrival in the United Kingdom. Also judging from past cases, a plan of this magnitude, involving so many aircraft, almost certainly would have to have been approved by the al Qaeda apex leadership. The leadership probably also provided the funding for the operation, including the more than $271,000 in cash the group reportedly paid for the flat they purchased in London, where the improvised explosive mixtures were to be manufactured.

If those assumptions are indeed true, then this plot may very well be one of the operations Osama bin Laden was referencing in his Jan. 19, 2006, message when he said, “The delay in similar operations happening in America has not been because of failure to break through your security measures. The operations are under preparation and you will see them in your homes the minute they are through (with preparations), with God’s permission.”

The preparations for this attack also had picked up momentum by mid-2006 when the al Qaeda core leadership was undertaking what we referred to at the time as a media blitz. Indeed, just as the traffic from this blitz was beginning to slow down, As-Sahab released a video titled, “Will of the Knights of the London Raid (Part 2),” which contained the last will of London bomber Shehzad Tanweer. This video was released one day before the anniversary of the July 7 attacks and 12 days before Gulzar arrived in the United Kingdom.

Nine days after Gulzar’s arrival, and two weeks before the arrests were made, As-Sahab released a video featuring al-Zawahiri. The backdrop featured three large photographs: one of Mohammed Atef (al Qaeda’s senior military chief who was killed in Afghanistan in late 2001), one of 9/11 operational commander Mohammed Atta and one of the burning World Trade Center towers.

In the video, al-Zawahiri discussed a lecture Atef gave in 2000 to al Qaeda trainees about Palestine. According to his recounting, Atta — who was among the trainees — asked, “What is the way to defeat the attack on Palestine?” Al-Zawahiri supplied his own answer in the video, saying the nation that produced the 19 “who shook America” is “capable of producing double that number.”

It could be a coincidence that a large plot involving aircraft — nearly twice as many as were hijacked on 9/11 — was thwarted only two weeks after this video surfaced. But we are not big believers in coincidence — nor do we believe there are obvious (or even hidden) messages in every al Qaeda message. However, to our minds the July 27 tape was a clear message meant to be viewed in retrospect — that al Qaeda was behind the Heathrow airline plot.
The Continuing Fixation

More than anything, the current trial is a reminder of three things. First, had the first wave of attacks successfully taken down the planes, it would have been very difficult to determine how the explosive devices had been smuggled aboard the aircraft. This means it is entirely possible the same tactic would have been used in subsequent waves of attacks.

Second, for some reason in 2006 the al Qaeda leadership’s eagerness for a spectacular attack appears to have trumped their perceived need for moderation. It was the moderation of people like Mohammed Atef that reined in the enthusiasm of the group’s idealists (men such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) and caused them to scale down the 2001 planes operation to less than half its original size — a measure that improved operational security and assisted in the 9/11 plot’s eventual success.

Finally, al Qaeda remains fixated on aircraft as targets and, in spite of changes in security procedures since 9/11, aircraft remain vulnerable to attack.
Title: Children told they are dogs during mosque visit
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 10, 2008, 06:56:55 PM
Second post of the day:

Children Told they are Dogs during Mosque Visit

THE HAGUE, 09/04/08 - A primary school in Amsterdam wished to provide its pupils with an understanding for other cultures. But during a visit to a mosque, the children were told they were dogs.

With a view to developing understanding and respect for other cultures among children, primary school De Horizon regularly organises outings to various religious organisations. The chairman of the El Mouchidine mosque told the children from group 7 (aged 10) and their chaperones however that non-Muslims are dogs.

In a letter to the children's parents, the school expresses its regret at the incident: "We are shocked that during the guided tour, the mosque's chairman told the children and chaperoning parents that non believers were dogs. We consider this statement as unacceptable since we allow our children to partake in this project to develop respect for freedom of religious choice".

In the meantime, the school's management has addressed the mosque on the undesirable behaviour of the chairman. Both parties will say nothing further on the matter. "We will resolve the matter amongst ourselves and I have no inclination whatsoever to discuss the matter with the media", as newspaper De Telegraaf quoted the school's spokesperson Mariet ten Berge. "We have been to the mosque before and it always went well".

Angry parents had sent the letter on to De Telegraaf but were reportedly rapped on the knuckles by the school's management. "The school wishes to play this down. That is precisely the problem", as one mother commented.
Title: Brit pre-emptive dhimmitude
Post by: Crafty_Dog on April 22, 2008, 06:59:37 AM

In 2006 Church of England officials contemplated giving Saint George the boot from his perch as Patron Saint of England because he was too offensive for modern day Muslims.

Now, British officials have cancelled an annual St. George's Day Parade in Bradford in fear that Muslims will riot. Many of the youngsters had already made flags of St George to carry in the parade on April 23, which was designed to boost community cohesion. 

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on May 08, 2008, 08:18:08 PM
German Court Rules Muslim Girl Can't Skip Swimming Lessons

Thursday , May 08, 2008

A German court on Wednesday ruled that a Muslim student cannot skip co-ed swimming lessons because her religion prohibits form-fitting clothes that do not cover her body, The Local reported.

The 12-year-old girl’s parents sued a school in the northern city of Remscheid after it refused to let the girl skip the lessons. The court sided with the school, saying that the state’s responsibility to educate the girl outweighed an infringement on her religious freedom.

Last year the girl’s parents rejected an offer from the school saying she could swim in leggings and a T-shirt. They argued that her body still would be visible through wet clothes, The Local reported.

The court concluded that because the swim lessons take place in water, there would be very little time that her body would be seen.
The parents’ attorney said the family will appeal the decision.

Click here to read more on this story from The Local.

German Court Rules Christian Girl Can't Skip Sharia Law Thursdays

Thursday , May 08, 2012
A German court on Wednesday ruled that a Christian student cannot skip Sharia Law Thursdays where all of the female students must dress in Burkas and pray towards Mecco 5 times a day in an effort to teach all non-muslim children religious diversity and tolerance, despite the fact her religion prohitbs worshipping false gods, The Local reported.

The 12-year-old girl’s parents sued a school in the northern city of Remscheid after it refused to let the girl skip the lessons. The court sided with the school, saying that the state’s responsibility to educate the girl outweighed an infringement on her religious freedom.

Muslim students, of course, still do not have to learn about Christianity or Judaism, because those religions are offensive to muslims, and they could burn in Allah's Fires if they should emulate Infidels.

(Requesting URL on this one)
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on June 01, 2008, 07:19:41 PM

British cop warns Christians: Leafletting in Muslim areas is a “hate crime”

Well, no. Not yet, anyway.

The preachers, both ministers in Birmingham, were handing out leaflets on Alum Rock Road in February when they started talking to four Asian youths.

A police community support officer (PCSO) interrupted the conversation and began questioning the ministers about their beliefs.

They said when the officer realised they were American, although both have lived in Britain for many years, he launched a tirade against President Bush and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan…

“He said we were in a Muslim area and were not allowed to spread our Christian message. He said we were committing a hate crime by telling the youths to leave Islam and said that he was going to take us to the police station.”…

West Midlands Police, who refused to apologise, said the incident had been “fully investigated” and the officer would be given training in understanding hate crime and communication.

Funny how British cops keep “misunderstanding” hate crimes laws. I have some legal training myself and after reading this story from April, I’d say the cop here has a pretty firm handle on where the law is headed. Spend some time with that last link and see how far down the road they already are. In America, as far as I know, hate crimes constitutionally can only be charged in connection with another criminal offense. You can’t be charged with hate; you can be charged with assault and have your sentence enhanced if they prove the assault was motivated by hate. Thoughtcrime + actual crime = hate crime, in other words. In the U.K., it sounds like they’re flirting with knocking out that pesky “actual crime” element and just going the whole nine Orwellian yards.

Exit quotation, per the cop: “You have been warned. If you come back here and get beaten up, well you have been warned.” They’re being silenced for their own safety, you see, and if that “logic” sounds distressingly familiar, well, it should. (Bonus nuance: As longtime HA readers know, the cop’s worries about this sort of thing being especially unwelcome in Birmingham are not necessarily unfounded.)
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 03, 2008, 04:41:55 PM
Islamic extremists to get therapy not jail in Government's new 'anti-radicalisation' plan

Last updated at 3:53 PM on 03rd June 2008

Islamic extremists could receive counselling instead of criminal charges under new Government plans to 'deradicalise' religious fanatics issued today.

The move is part of a £12.5m Home Office plan which give councils guidance about how to prevent extremism spreading.

People who fall under the influence of violent organisations will not automatically face prosecution under the new plan.

Instead it will concentrate on a national 'deradicalisation' programme that will try to persuade extremists to change their views through therapy and counselling from community groups.

The scheme will seek to reverse the process of indoctrination carried out by al Qaida-related extremists, using unnamed 'specialised techniques'.

Community groups and councils in England and Wales will get cash from a £12.5m fund to implement the new measures.
Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said: 'The national security challenges we face demand fresh approaches.

'A key element of our strategy aims to stop people getting involved in extremist violence.

'We are investing at local level to build resilient communities, which are equipped to confront violent extremism and support the most vulnerable individuals.'

However the plan came in for criticism for being pointless.

Shadow home secretary David Davis said of today's publication: 'This is pointless when the Government is fuelling the problem it is seeking to solve with its draconian approach to 42 days.'

Ms Smith is facing a battle with MPs to extend the time police can hold terror suspects without charge from 28 days to 42 days.

The 72-page plan also said councils should make sure they have systems to remove funding or other support from inappropriate groups.

Councils should ask police to vet anyone involved in projects that receive government anti-radicalisation funding, it urged.

However local groups that challenge the messages of violent extremists should be supported, it went on.

If a group is found to be promoting violent extremism, local agencies and the police should consider disrupting or removing funding, and deny access to public facilities, the document added.

The measures on 'de-radicalisation' are based on examples overseas and on a scheme in Leicester which 'aims to encourage young people to feel more valued and to eradicate myths and assumptions which lead to young people becoming alienated and disempowered'.

Communities Secretary Hazel Blears said: 'Preventing violent extremism is about supporting local people to build resilient communities where extremists and their messages of hate cannot take root.

'Nationally and locally there is a growing alliance against violent extremism. A majority of individuals and organisations are working together to prevent radicalisation and extremism in a small minority of communities.

'We are putting funding where it is needed and today's new guidance sets out our clear expectations around what local authorities and their partners should achieve.

'Local leadership is vital and it is those people that know their communities best - community leaders, local authorities, police and schools - who, with support from government, provide the key to tackling this issue.

'Whilst no-one pretends it is easy we are already seeing some fantastic work including projects working with some of the most vulnerable young people, work to strengthen governance in mosques and the capacity of imams and Muslim women beginning to take a stronger role.'

A Home Office spokesman said the maps referred to in today's strategy document were already being drawn up.

They would not focus only on Muslim extremism but 'anywhere prone to extremist talk and violent behaviour,' he said.

'This is not an anti-Muslim document,' he said. 'It will cover denominations of all faiths.'
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 09, 2008, 04:38:20 PM
 Brit Secretary, says sidelining of Christianity is 'common sense'


Hazel Blears, Communities Secretary, says sidelining of Christianity is 'common sense'

By George Pitcher and Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last updated: 1:17 PM BST 09/06/2008

It is "common sense" for Christianity to be sidelined at the expense of Islam, a Government minister claimed on Sunday.

Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary, defended Labour’s policy on religion after a report backed by the Church of England claimed that Muslims receive a disproportionate amount of attention.

She said it was right that more money and effort was spent on Islam than Christianity because of the threat from extremism and home-grown terrorism.

Ms Blears told BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme: “That’s just common sense. If we’ve got an issue where we have to build resilience of young Muslim men and women to withstand an extremist message.”

She added: “We live in a secular democracy. That’s a precious thing. We don’t live in a theocracy, but we’ve always accepted that hundreds of thousands of people are motivated by faith. We live in a secular democracy but we want to recognise the role of faith.”

The Church of England bishop responsible for the report, the Rt Rev Stephen Lowe, Bishop for Urban Life and Faith, said afterwards: “She said we live in a secular democracy. That comes as news to me – we have an established Church, but the Government can’t deal with Christianity.”

As The Daily Telegraph reported on Saturday, the landmark report commissioned by the Church and written by academics at the Von Hugel Institute accuses ministers of paying only “lip service” to Christianity and marginalising the Anglican and Roman Catholic churches, while focusing “intently” on Islam.

However Malaysia’s Prime Minister warned yesterday that Muslim extremism in Britain will grow unless the Government and society learn to understand Islam.

Abdullah Badawi claimed that the legacy of Britain’s imperial past has hampered its ability to appreciate its Islamic population.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the prime minister urged Gordon Brown to allow the country’s Muslims to live under Islamic law, but also said that they must prove their worth to society.

Mr Abdullah argues that the Government must do more to ensure Muslims do not feel discriminated against if it is to tackle the rise of radicalism.

“The failure to understand Muslims is driving a divide between the communities,” he said.

“Gordon Brown must encourage a better understanding because Britain must appreciate its Muslims.”

Mr Abdullah argued that Britain needs to come to terms with being home to immigrants from countries that it used to rule over.

“The British Empire expanded in Asia, everywhere, throughout the Muslim land, through the land of Hindus and the land of Buddhists.

“When they were ruling it was different because they wanted it to be peaceful and to keep it peaceful they had to use diplomacy.”

He said that Muslims in Britain were more likely to be radicalised because they feel ignored rather than due to religious reasons.

“Is it because of poverty, social unrest, deprivation, feeling discriminated against, thinking people don’t care much because of the colour of their skin?”

Mr Abdullah, who was talking on the eve of a landmark summit of world leaders, echoed the calls of the Archbishop of Canterbury earlier this year for Muslims to be able to live under sharia.

The Malaysian Prime Minister also acknowledged that Muslims must also play their part in proving their value as immigrants.

“If they want to be respected then they must do something for the community,” he said.

“They must not be a liability. They have to be an asset.”

Story from Telegraph News:
Title: Virginity restored
Post by: Crafty_Dog on June 11, 2008, 03:10:37 PM
For Muslim women in Europe, a medical road back to virginity


For Muslim women in Europe, a medical road back to virginity
By Elaine Sciolino and Souad Mekhennet Published: June 10, 2008

PARIS: The surgery in the private clinic off the Champs-Élysées involved one semicircular cut, 10 self-dissolving stitches and a discounted fee of $2,900.
But for the patient, a 23-year-old French student of Moroccan descent from Montpellier, the 30-minute procedure represented the key to a new life: the illusion of virginity.
Like an increasing number of other Muslim women in Europe, she had a "hymenoplasty," a restoration of her hymen, the thin vaginal membrane that normally breaks during the first act of intercourse.
"In my culture, not to be a virgin is to be dirt," said the student, perched on a hospital bed as she awaited surgery Thursday. "Right now, virginity is more important to me than life."
As Europe's Muslim population grows, many young Muslim women find themselves caught between the freedoms that European society affords and the deep-rooted traditions of their parents' and grandparents' generations.
Gynecologists report that in the past few years, more Muslim women are asking for certificates of virginity before marriage.

That trend in turn has created a demand among cosmetic surgeons for hymen replacements, which, if done properly, they say, will not be detected and will produce tell-tale vaginal bleeding on the wedding night. The service is widely advertised on the Internet; there are medical tourism packages to countries like Tunisia where the procedure is less expensive.
"If you're a Muslim woman growing up in more open societies in Europe, you can easily end up having sex before marriage," said Hicham Mouallem, a doctor in London who performs the surgery. "So if you're looking to marry a Muslim and don't want to have problems, you'll try to recapture your virginity."

There are no reliable statistics on how many women undergo the procedure because it is mostly done in private clinics and in most cases is not covered by tax-financed insurance plans.
But the subject of hymen repair is becoming so talked about that it has become the subject of a film comedy that opens in Italy this week. "Women's Hearts," as its title is translated in English, tells the story of a Moroccan-born woman living in Italy who takes a road trip to Casablanca for the operation.
"We realized that what we thought was a sporadic practice was actually pretty common," said Davide Sordella, the director. "These women can live in Italy, adopt our mentality and wear jeans. But in the moments that matter, they don't always have the strength to go against their culture."

The issue has been particularly charged in France, where there has been a renewed and fierce debate about a prejudice that was supposed to have been buried with the country's sexual revolution 40 years ago: the importance of a woman's virginity.
The furor followed the revelation two weeks ago that a court in the northern city of Lille had annulled the 2006 marriage of two French Muslims after the groom discovered his bride was not the virgin she had claimed to be.
The domestic saga has gripped the nation. The bridegroom, an unidentified engineer in his 30s, left the nuptial bed and announced to the still-partying wedding guests that his bride had lied about her past. She was delivered that night to her parents' doorstep.
The next day, he asked a lawyer to annul the marriage. The bride, then a nursing student in her 20s, confessed the truth to the court and agreed to an annulment.
In its ruling, there was no mention of religion. Rather, it cited breach of contract, concluding that he had married her after "she was presented to him as single and chaste."
In secular, republican France, the case touches on several sensitive subjects: the intrusion of religion into daily life, the grounds for dissolution of a marriage and the equality of the sexes.
There were calls in Parliament this week for the resignation of Rachida Dati, the minister of justice, after she upheld the ruling. Dati, who is a Muslim, backed down and ordered an appeal.
Some feminists, lawyers and doctors warned that the court's acceptance of the centrality of virginity in marriage would encourage more French women from Arab and African Muslim backgrounds to have their hymens rebuilt. But there is much debate over whether the procedure is an act of liberation or repression.
"The judgment was a betrayal of France's Muslim women," said Elizabeth Badinter, a feminist writer. "It sends these women a message of despair by saying that virginity is important in the eyes of the law. More women are going to say to themselves: 'My God, I'm not going to take that risk. I'll recreate my virginity."'
The plight of the rejected bride persuaded the Montpellier student to go ahead with the surgery.
She insisted that she had never had intercourse and said that she had discovered her hymen was torn only when she tried to obtain a certificate of virginity to present to her boyfriend and his family.
She said she had bled after an accident on a horse when she was 10.
The trauma of realizing that she could not prove her virginity was so intense, she said, that she quietly took out a loan to pay for the procedure.
"All of a sudden, virginity is important in France," she said. "I realized that I could be seen like that woman everyone is talking about on television."

Surgeons who perform the procedure said they were empowering their patients by giving them a viable future and preventing them from being abused - or even killed - by their fathers or brothers.

"Who am I to judge?" asked Marc Abecassis, the plastic surgeon who restored the Montpellier student's hymen. "I have colleagues in the United States whose patients do this as a Valentine's present to their husbands. What I do is different. This is not for amusement. My patients don't have a choice if they want to find serenity - and husbands."
A specialist in what he calls "intimate" surgery, including penile enhancement, Abecassis says he performs two to four hymen restorations a week.
The French College of Gynecologists and Obstetricians opposes the hymen procedure on moral, cultural and health grounds.
"We had a revolution in France to win equality; we had a sexual revolution in 1968 when women fought for contraception and abortion," said Jacques Lansac, the association's president. "Attaching so much importance to the hymen is regression, submission to the intolerance of the past."
But the stories of the women who have had the surgery capture the complexity and raw emotion behind their decision.
One 32-year-old Macedonian-born Muslim said that she had chosen the surgery to avoid being punished by her father after her relationship with her boyfriend of eight years ended.
"I was afraid that my father would take me to a doctor and see whether I was still a virgin," said the woman, who owns a small business and lives on her own in Frankfurt. "He told me, 'I will forgive everything, but not if you have thrown dirt on my honor.' I wasn't afraid he would kill me, but I was sure he would have beaten me."

In other cases, the woman and her partner together decide on the surgery. A 26-year-old French woman of Moroccan descent said she lost her virginity four years ago when she fell in love with the man she was now planning to marry. She and her fiancé decided to share the cost of her $3,400 hymen replacement surgery in Paris.
His extended family in Morocco is very conservative, she said, and required that a gynecologist - and family friend - in Morocco examine her for proof of virginity before their wedding.
"It doesn't matter for my fiancé that I am not a virgin, but it would pose a huge problem for his family," she said. "They know that you can pour blood on the sheets on the wedding night, so I have to have better proof."
Meanwhile, the lives of the young French couple whose marriage was annulled are on hold. The Justice Ministry has asked the Lille prosecutor for an appeal, arguing that the court decision "provoked a heated social debate" that "touched all citizens of our country and especially women." At the Islamic Center of Roubaix, the suburb of Lille where the marriage took place, there is sympathy for the woman.
"The man is the biggest of all the donkeys," said Abdelkibir Errami, the center's vice president. "Even if the woman was no longer a virgin, he had no right to expose her honor. This is not what Islam teaches. It teaches forgiveness."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on June 11, 2008, 03:31:52 PM
At the Islamic Center of Roubaix, the suburb of Lille where the marriage took place, there is sympathy for the woman.
"The man is the biggest of all the donkeys," said Abdelkibir Errami, the center's vice president. "Even if the woman was no longer a virgin, he had no right to expose her honor. This is not what Islam teaches. It teaches forgiveness."

**This is why you see muslims oppose honor killings with such fervor around the world, right?**

/a cricket chirps in the distance/
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on June 13, 2008, 04:43:23 PM
**Two questions: How do you say "right of return" en espanol? When do we stop posting this in "Islam in europe" and post articles like this in "Islam in Islamic countries"?**

- Pajamas Media - -

Spain, the Once and Future Muslim Province
June 9, 2008 - by Aaron Hanscom

It’s a miracle Matthew Yglesias made it out of Spain alive in 2006. The young blogger described the dangers he confronted on his Spanish vacation in a [1] piece he wrote for the American Prospect shortly after his return to America:

The modern city [of Toledo] features a large traffic circle just outside the medieval town walls known as the glorieta de la reconquista in honor of this distinction. But today in a new ironic twist, it is from that very plaza where the Mullahs issue their fatwas that the craven Spanish government, having chosen the path of appeasement, invariably follows. Toledo’s women, who only in the recent past enjoyed basic legal equality with men albeit in the context of a culture that was highly traditionalistic by American standards, now fear to walk the streets unveiled. Spain’s historic wine industry groans under the crushing yoke of the Islamists’ informal power, the riojas of the past but a fading memory.

Yglesias was obviously writing with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The joke, of course, was on conservative pundits in America, who had predicted devastating consequences in the wake of the March 11 Madrid bombings and the subsequent electoral victory of Socialist José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero. “Appeasement,” it turned out, hadn’t enabled Muslims to reconquer Granada and avenge the Moors’ loss of Al-Andalus in 1492 following more than 700 years of Islamic rule. Spain, Yglesias argued, had instead become a paragon of liberalism, with positions on gay marriage and women’s rights that America “should be so lucky as to have.” Two years after Zapatero fulfilled a campaign promise and pulled Spanish troops from Iraq, Spaniards were living in a socialist utopia — not under sharia law.

Although Muslim extremists surely appreciate some of Zapatero’s policies — he granted the largest [2] blanket amnesty in Spanish history to nearly one million undocumented immigrants and thought it wise to [3] negotiate with the Basque terrorist group ETA — their idea of paradise is quite different from those of Spain’s “[4] accidental prime minister.” Critics such as Matthew Yglesias seem unaware that jihadists will not rest until the caliphate is reestablished on the Iberian Peninsula because they feel compelled to reconquer any country or territory that has at one time been under the domain of Islam. Spain is the most important of these lands because it was the largest Christian territory conquered in Europe and it represented the summit of Islamic civilization. The loss of Al-Andalus was therefore the most important loss ever suffered by the Ummah (the community of Muslims). Thus, freeing Spain from an illegal and illegitimate occupation by infidels would prove that all other Islamist goals can be achieved.

Nostalgia for an idealized Al-Andalus is being passed on to the next generation. Gustavo de Aristegui, the foreign affairs spokesman for the conservative Popular Party, explains in his book [5] The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus that, in schools throughout the Muslim world, maps are used with Spain and Portugal colored green because they are still considered part of dar al-Islam, or the House of Islam. The HAMAS children’s magazine Al-Fateh published a [6] piece in 2006 from the point of view of Asbilia or — as the infidels call it — Seville: “I yearn that you, my beloved, will call me to return, together with the rest of the lost cities of the lost orchard [Andalus] to the hands of the Muslims so that joy and happiness will fill my land, and you will visit me because I am the bride of the country of Andalus.”

Unfortunately, it’s not only terrorists in the making who are being told to reclaim Spain. Osama bin Laden has made many references to “the tragedy of Al-Andalus,” and Ayman Al Zawahiri, Al-Qaeda’s number two man, never misses an opportunity to mention the “lost paradise.” He’s not pining for a Mediterranean vacation and the sandy beaches of Marbella, though. Last year he [7] exhorted Islamists in North Africa “to once again feel the soil of Al Ándalus beneath your feet.” In case that wasn’t clear enough, he later released a videotape in which he says that “the reconquest of Al-Andalus is a responsibility” of all Muslims.

Many are doing their best to live up to that responsibility. More than 300 Islamist suspects have been arrested in counterterrorism operations in Spain since the Madrid bombings. Most recently, twelve Pakistanis were [8] arrested in January for allegedly planning suicide bombings in Barcelona’s subways. Meanwhile, rhetoric about the reconquest of Ceuta and Melilla (Spanish enclaves on the North African coast) is common among jihadists. For example, Zawahiri responded to the arrests of 11 individuals for planning to stage terrorist attacks in Ceuta by referring to Ceuta and Melilla as “occupied cities.” No wonder former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer once warned that if by any chance Israel were to fall and be defeated, the next in line would definitely be Spain.

Some Spanish politicians often seem eager to move Spain up to the front of that line. Zapatero, who has [9] said that “sexual equality is a lot more effective against terrorism than military strength,” appointed a pregnant woman as defense minister in April. According to PJM’s [10] Jose Guardia, this move was meant to symbolize Spain’s new role as a soft power. At least the primer minister isn’t prepared to start giving away land. Representatives of the Cordoba and Seville City Councils signed a document in 2004 that states that Ceuta and Melilla are occupied territories that need to be returned to their legitimate owners. In 2007 the small left-wing party, Izquierda Unida, backed a call for [11] preferential citizenship for descendants of Spanish Muslims expelled from Spain in the seventeenth century. Such a policy would be less disturbing if there wasn’t already an active “foot in the threshold” strategy being employed by irredentist Muslims. Aristegui explains that the “purchase of land, houses and commercial properties in some of the most emblematic cities of the former Al-Andalus…[is]the first step towards dominating the city, the region and eventually, all Al-Andalus.”

It’s worth remembering that the terrorist cell responsible for the Madrid bombings called itself “[12] the brigade situated in Al-Andalus.” Since March 11, 2004, Spanish security forces have successfully broken up plots to blow up such locations as Real Madrid’s soccer stadium and Madrid’s Audiencia Nacional — the highest criminal court where Islamic cases are investigated. But, as former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar has [13] noted: “Islamic terror is not just a criminal activity. It’s something more. To win over terror we will need much more than just intelligence or police actions. We will need more than defensive measures.” Of course, Spaniards made clear that they prefer appeasement to this uncomfortable truth when they voted Aznar’s party out of power in 2004.

So could Spain could once again fall under Islamic rule? I asked this question to Aristegui in a 2006 [14] interview. “I don’t think so, but the fight will become more difficult and extensive because Spanish society today is not willing or ready to accept the threat we face,” he told me. In other words, Spain might not always remain an ideal vacation destination — even for Matthew Yglesias.

Article printed from Pajamas Media:

URL to article:

URLs in this post:
[1] piece:
[2] blanket amnesty:
[3] negotiate:
[4] accidental prime minister:
[5] The Jihad in Spain: The obsession to reconquer Al-Ándalus:,1094,2900001086733,00.html?codigo=2900001086733
[6] piece:
[7] exhorted:
[8] arrested:
[9] said:,9171,901040927-699350,00.html
[10] Jose Guardia:
[11] preferential citizenship:
[12] the brigade situated in Al-Andalus.:
[13] noted:
[14] interview:
Title: Puppy offends
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 01, 2008, 09:04:18 AM
Muslims outraged at police advert featuring cute puppy sitting in policeman's hat

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:15 PM on 01st July 2008

A postcard featuring a cute puppy sitting in a policeman's hat advertising a Scottish police force's new telephone number has sparked outrage from Muslims.

Tayside Police's new non-emergency phone number has prompted complaints from members of the Islamic community.

The choice of image on the Tayside Police cards - a black dog sitting in a police officer's hat - has now been raised with Chief Constable John Vine.

The advert has upset Muslims because dogs are considered ritually unclean and has sparked such anger that some shopkeepers in Dundee have refused to display the advert.

Dundee councillor Mohammed Asif said: 'My concern was that it's not welcomed by all communities, with the dog on the cards.

'It was probably a waste of resources going to these communities.

'They (the police) should have understood. Since then, the police have explained that it was an oversight on their part, and that if they'd seen it was going to cause upset they wouldn't have done it.'

Councillor Asif, who is a member of the Tayside Joint Police Board, said that the force had a diversity adviser and was generally very aware of such issues.

He raised the matter with Mr Vine at a meeting of the board.

The chief constable said he was unaware of the concerns and that the force had not sought to cause any upset but added he would look into the matter.

Councillor Asif said: 'People who have shops just won't put up the postcard. But the police have said to me that it was simply an oversight and they did not seek to offend or upset.'

Cards featuring police dog-in-training Rebel have been distributed to communities throughout the area to advertise the single number point of contact for non-emergency calls to the police.

Rebel has proved a popular recruit for Tayside Police after coming through the very first Lothian and Borders Police dog-breeding programme in February.

One of seven German Shepherd pups born in early December, he has now completed his course of inoculations, and is free to venture out onto the streets of Tayside.

A spokesman for Tayside Police said: 'Trainee police dog Rebel has proved extremely popular with children and adults since being introduced to the public, aged six weeks old, as Tayside Police's newest canine recruit.

'His incredible world-wide popularity - he has attracted record visitor numbers to our website - led us to believe Rebel could play a starring role in the promotion of our non-emergency number.

'We did not seek advice from the force's diversity adviser prior to publishing and distributing the postcards. That was an oversight and we apologise for any offence caused.'

Find this story at
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on July 01, 2008, 10:03:35 AM
The correct response was "If ye dinna like tha wee doggie, gah fock yuirself".
Title: Sharia OK in UK says top judge
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 03, 2008, 03:22:33 PM
Sharia law SHOULD be used in Britain, says UK's top judge

By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 8:07 PM on 03rd July 2008

The most senior judge in England tonight gave his blessing to the use of sharia law to resolve disputes among Muslims.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips said that Islamic legal principles could be employed to deal with family and marital arguments and to regulate finance.

He declared: 'It is possible in this country for those who are entering into a contractual agreement to agree that the agreement shall be governed by a law other than English law.'

In his speech in an East London mosque Lord Phillips signalled approval of sharia principles as a means of settling disputes so long as no punishments that conflict with the established law are involved, and as long as divorces are made to comply with the civil law.

But his remarks - which give the green light from the highest judicial office to the informal sharia courts already operated by numerous mosques - provoked a storm of criticism.

Lawyers warned that family and marital disputes settled by sharia could leave women or vulnerable people at a serious disadvantage.

Tories said that equality under the law must be respected and warned that outcomes incompatible with English law should never be enforceable.

Lord Phillips spoke five months after Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams surrounded himself in controversy with a lecture in which he suggested Islamic law could have official status and that it could govern marital law, financial transactions and arbitration in disputes.

The Lord Chief Justice said today of the Archbishop's views: 'It was not very radical to advocate embracing sharia law in the context of family disputes.'

He added that there was 'widespread misunderstanding as to the nature of sharia law'.

Lord Phillips said: 'Those who in this country are in dispute as to their respective rights are free to subject that dispute to the mediation of a chosen person, or to agree that the dispute shall be resolved by a chosen arbitrator.

'There is no reason why principles of sharia law or any other religious code should not be the basis for mediation or other forms of alternative dispute resolution.'

Lord Phillips said that any sanctions must be 'drawn from the laws of England and Wales'. Severe physical punishment - he mentioned stoning, flogging or the cutting off of hands - was 'out of the question' in Britain, he said.

'So far as aspects of matrimonial law are concerned, there is a limited precedent for English law to recognise aspects of religious laws, although when it comes to divorce this can only be effected in accordance with the civil law of this country,' he said

The signal of approval for voluntary sharia tribunals brought protests from lawyers who fear that in some Islamic communities women do not have a full and equal say and that they could be disadvantaged in supposedly voluntary sharia arrangements.

Barrister and human rights specialist John Cooper said: 'There should be one law by which everyone is held to account.

'I have considerable concerns that well-crafted and carefully designed laws in this country, drawn up to protect both parties including the weak and vulnerable party in matrimonial break-ups could be compromised.

'I have concerns over a system of law that may cause one party to be disadvantaged.'

Resolution, the organisation of family law solicitors, said people should govern their lives in accordance with religious principles 'provided that those beliefs and traditions do not contradict the fundamental principle of equality on which this country’s laws are based.'

Spokesman Teresa Richardson said religious law 'must be used to find solutions which are consistent with the basic principles of family law in this country and people must always have redress to the civil courts where they so choose.'

Robert Whelan of the Civitas think tank said: 'Everybody is governed by English law and it is not possible to sign away your legal rights.

That is why guarantees on consumer products always have to tell customers their statutory rights are not affected.

'There is not much doubt that in traditional Islamic communities women do not enjoy the freedoms that women in this country have had for 100 years or more.

'It is very easy to put pressure on young women in a male-dominated household.

'The English law stands to protect people from intimidation in such circumstances.'

Tories warned that principles of equality under the law must be respected.

Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve said: 'The Lord Chief Justice correctly points out that there is a tradition in this country of allowing mediation to take place subject to other legal principles as long as it is voluntary and not subject to coercion, and with outcomes which are not fundamentally incompatible with our own legal principles.

'Any that are incompatible cannot and should never be enforceable.

'One of the key aspects of our free society in Britain is equality under our own laws. It is important that this should be understood and respected by all in our country.'

A spokesman for Jack Straw's Ministry of Justice said: 'English law, which is based on our shared values of equality and a respect for the rule of law, takes precedence over any other legal system.

'The Government has no intention of changing this position. Alongside this it is possible for other dispute resolution systems on matters of civil law to be accommodated, so long as they are not in conflict with the laws of England and Wales and are abided by on a voluntary basis.'


* Sharia law is based on the Koran, on associated teaching about the life of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the judgements of Islamic clerics and lawyers down the centuries.
* It is in essence a set of religious principles by which Muslims are required to live. Sharia is interpreted and enforced differently in different countries across the Islamic world.
* Islamic law is often regarded as having four parts: how Muslims should worship; commerce; crime and punishment; and marriage and divorce.
* Sharia says forbidden behaviour, like drinking alcohol and taking drugs, or adultery, should be punished. Islamic scholars say the Koran sets down punishments such as lashes or stoning for adultery.
* Sharia law also permits behaviour not allowed by English law, for examply polygamy, which in some jurisdictions says men may have up to four wives.
* In Britain, sharia courts are often operated by mosques. Muslim families come to sharia courts for justice and agree to be bound by their rulings.
* They have no formal legal status.
* There are around 1.6 million British Muslims, most of whom are of Pakistani origin. The strongest Muslim communities are in London, especially in the East London borough of Tower Hamlets where Lord Phillips spoke yesterday, Birmingham, Yorkshire and Lancashire.
* Orthodox Jews operate Beth Din courts which are subordinate to the civil law and which decide issues among 180,000 people according to ancient Jewish law. They are regulated by the Chief Rabbi. A divorcing Jewish couple first divorce in the civil courts, then come to the Beth Din tribunals for religious judgement.
* The only religious courts in England with full and official legal status are the consistory courts and tribunals which decide disputes and disciplinary matters in the Church of England.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on July 03, 2008, 03:56:08 PM
Anyone still want to argue this is "nothing to worry about"?
Title: 2d terror suspect released in Britain
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2008, 08:26:12 AM
2nd Terror Suspect Released in Britain
NY" Times
Published: July 4, 2008
LONDON — A 45-year-old Algerian described by American prosecutors as the mastermind of an abortive plot to bomb Los Angeles International Airport during millennium celebrations in 1999 has been released on tight bail conditions after seven years in British jails, court officials said Thursday.

The release of the unnamed Algerian is the second time in a little more than two weeks that a suspect named by prosecutors as having close ties to Osama bin Laden, but not charged, has been let out on bail in Britain pending a final court ruling on government deportation proceedings.

In June, a 47-year-old Palestinian with Jordanian citizenship, described as having had a major ideological influence within Al Qaeda’s European ranks, was released after seven years in jail. That suspect, known by the alias Abu Qatada, was placed under house arrest for 22 hours a day.

British officials said the bail conditions for the Algerian would be similar. In addition to being allowed to leave his home for only two hours a day, mainly for mosque visits, Abu Qatada is required to wear electronic monitoring devices, and barred from having guests, access to the Internet or a mobile phone. He is also forbidden to receive guests or to meet with people outside his home.

In some instances, terrorist suspects held in Britain without being charged have the right not to be named publicly. In the Algerian’s case, this has meant that he has been identified by court officials only by a code name, “U.”

But American prosecutors previously identified him in court papers by an alias, Abu Doha. British newspapers have said he was born in Algeria in 1963 and captured in 2001 at Heathrow Airport in London while trying to board a flight to Saudi Arabia with a false passport.

The release of the two men has highlighted the problems the British authorities face as they try to curb what they have acknowledged as a large and growing Islamist terrorist underground in Britain. Despite volumes of intelligence information implicating the Algerian and Abu Qatada amassed by British and American investigators, and by the authorities in their own countries, British officials say that attempts to build indictments against them have been frustrated by a lack of detailed evidence that would stand up in court.

The other option, seeking to deport the two men to their homelands, has been blocked by British judges on the grounds that the men may be subjected to torture at home, or to prosecution based on evidence obtained by torture, in violation of Europe’s human rights charter.

In both cases, appeal court judges also ruled that their rights were being violated by indefinite detention, and ordered their release.

In a ruling last year, the Special Immigration Appeals Commission in Britain described the Algerian suspect as having had “direct links” with Mr. bin Laden and of having held a “senior position” at a Qaeda camp for Islamic extremists in Afghanistan in the late 1990s. In their bid to deport the Algerian, the British authorities described him as the leader of an abortive plot to attack a Christmas market in the French city of Strasbourg in 2000, in addition to the role he is alleged to have played in the planned Los Angeles attack.

The protections afforded the Algerian and Abu Qatada, including the decision to release them while lawyers battle the government over their deportation, have caused growing dismay on both sides of the Atlantic. Bush administration officials have pressed Britain to adopt tighter antiterrorism laws that reduce the courts’ discretion in terrorism cases, and opinion polls have shown increasing concern among British voters about the scope of the terrorism threat.

The frustration was mirrored in a commentary published after Abu Qatada’s release in The Sun, the hell-raising tabloid that is Britain’s most widely sold newspaper.

“Poor old Osama bin Laden, scuttling around the war-torn Afghan mountains to avoid death or capture,” the newspaper said. “But hope is on the horizon for the world’s most wanted terrorist. There’s one place on Earth where he would be perfectly safe. Britain. Here, we throw nobody out. Bin Laden has every chance of ending his days among peace and plenty.”

British newspapers have chronicled the steep costs of years of court proceedings against those suspected of being terrorist leaders, and what British commentators have described as overly generous welfare payments to them and their families. After Abu Qatada was released, the newspapers said, he was granted a $300-a-week disability payment because a bad back made it impossible for him to work, even though the release order prevented him from seeking employment.

Officials have estimated the cost of maintaining surveillance on Abu Qatada in the four-bedroom Edwardian house in west London where he is confined with his wife and five children at $2 million a year. Welfare payments to his family amount to an additional $90,000 a year, according to news accounts. Similar figures have been calculated for the family of a man with the alias of Abu Hamza al-Masri, a 51-year-old Egyptian-born cleric with steel prosthetics for hands who once ran the main Qaeda Web site in Britain, now serving a seven-year prison term for incitement to murder.

The Hamza case is cited by British officials as one in which the legal system here has effectively stifled an Islamic extremist leader. The British government has agreed to his extradition to the United States, where he faces a possible life sentence on charges that involve being part of a global conspiracy to wage holy war against the United States, and trying to set up a Qaeda training camp in Oregon.

Last month, the Court of Appeal in London upheld the extradition order, and officials have said he could be flown to the United States within a month unless the country’s highest court, the Law Lords, agrees to review the appeal court ruling.
Title: Schoolboys punished for refusing to kneel to Allah
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 04, 2008, 02:55:26 PM
Second post of the day:

Schoolboys punished with detention for refusing to kneel in class and pray to Allah

By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 11:30 AM on 04th July 2008

Two schoolboys were given detention after refusing to kneel down and 'pray to Allah' during a religious education lesson.

Parents were outraged that the two boys from year seven (11 to 12-year-olds) were punished for not wanting to take part in the practical demonstration of how Allah is worshipped. They said forcing their children to take part in the exercise at Alsager High School, near Stoke-on-Trent - which included wearing Muslim headgear - was a breach of their human rights.

One parent, Sharon Luinen, said: "This isn't right, it's taking things too far.  I understand that they have to learn about other religions. I can live with that but it is taking it a step too far to be punished because they wouldn't join in Muslim prayer.  Making them pray to Allah, who isn't who they worship, is wrong and what got me is that they were told they were being disrespectful.  I don't want this to look as if I have a problem with the school because I am generally very happy with it."

Another parent Karen Williams said: "I am absolutely furious my daughter was made to take part in it and I don't find it acceptable. I haven't got a problem with them teaching my child other religions and a small amount of information doesn't do any harm.  But not only did they have to pray, the teacher had gone into the class and made them watch a short film and then said 'we are now going out to pray to Allah'.

"Then two boys got detention and all the other children missed their refreshment break because of the teacher. Not only was it forced upon them, my daughter was told off for not doing it right. They'd never done it before and they were supposed to do it in another language."

"My child has been forced to pray to Allah in a school lesson." The grandfather of one of the pupils in the class said: "It's absolutely disgusting, there's no other way of putting it. My daughter and a lot of other mothers are furious about their children being made to kneel on the floor and pray to Islam. If they didn't do it they were given detention. I am not racist, I've been friendly with an Indian for 30 years. I've also been to a Muslim wedding where it was explained to me that alcohol would not be served and I respected that.  But if Muslims were asked to go to church on Sunday and take Holy Communion there would be war."

Parents said that their children were made to bend down on their knees on prayer mats which the RE teacher had got out of her cupboard and they were also told to wear Islamic headgear during the lesson on Tuesday afternoon.

Deputy headmaster Keith Plant said: "It's difficult to know at the moment whether this was part of the curriculum or not. I am not an RE teacher, I am an English teacher. At the moment it is our enterprise week and many of our members of staff are away. The particular member of staff you need to speak to isn't around. I think that it is a shame that so many parents have got in touch with the Press before coming to me.  I have spoken to the teacher and she has articulately given me her version of events, but that is all I can give you at the moment."

A statement from Cheshire County Council on behalf of the school read: "The headteacher David Black contacted this authority immediately complaints were received. Enquiries are being made into the circumstances as a matter of urgency and all parents will be informed accordingly.  Educating children in the beliefs of different faith is part of the diversity curriculum on the basis that knowledge is essential to understanding. We accept that such teaching is to be conducted with some sense of sensitivity."

Find this story at

Title: Citizenship lessons for young Brit Muslims
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 18, 2008, 09:09:19 PM
Young Brit Muslims to get citizenship lessons in bid to combat extremism

Lee Glendinning, Friday July 18, 2008

Young Muslims will be given British citizenship lessons when they attend mosque schools, as part of a range of new measures outlined by the government to combat extremism.

The plans, contained in a report published today, Preventing Violent Extremism: Next Steps for Communities, were put together after discussions with representatives of Muslim communities in an attempt to prevent the marginalisation of young people.

A central focus will be to show that adhering to the Islamic faith can co-exist with being British.

Trials of the new citizenship lessons will begin in several cities at the start of the new term in September, where they will be taught alongside traditional lessons about the Qu'ran.

Cambridge University has been commissioned to create an independent board of about 20 academic and theological experts to examine issues relating to Islam in a modern context.

They will be expected to compile a report on Islamic beliefs in relation to life in modern Britain over the coming academic year.

The communities secretary, Hazel Blears, announced the plans as part of a new package to prevent radicalisation which includes a renewed focus on community leadership.

"We have made significant progress working with communities to build an alliance against violent extremists,'' she said.

"We have a responsibility to ensure our young people are equipped with the skills they need to stand up to violent extremists and help them understand how their faith is compatible with wider shared values,'' she said.

Officials said mosque teachers in London, Leicester, Birmingham, Oldham, Rochdale, and Bradford would be trained in using the new materials over the summer.

The secretary of state for children, schools and families, Ed Balls said: "Extremists of every persuasion tend to paint the world as black and white, accentuating division and difference, and exploiting fears based on ignorance or prejudice.

"Education can be a powerful tool in tackling this. Giving young people the opportunity to learn about different cultures and faiths, and - crucially - to gain an understanding of the values we share, will also help to build mutual respect and tolerance from an early age and create an environment where extremism cannot flourish."

Sheikh Ibrahim Mogra, an imam who is a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the creation of the group had been driven by Muslims rather than the government.

"We felt we needed something of this nature to help create a better structured approach to how we are educating our children,'' he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We feel our children need to be taught that they can be proud Muslims and proud young British people.

"Anything that helps to make our communities stronger should be welcomed - provided that it's not used to isolate, control or change what a community is."
Title: Denmark
Post by: Crafty_Dog on July 19, 2008, 03:55:56 PM
Some folks in Denmark are getting upset

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on July 27, 2008, 07:47:53 AM,-say-third-of-Muslim-students.html

Killing for religion is justified, say third of Muslim students
A third of Muslim students in Britain believe killing someone in the name of religion is justified, a new poll claims.
By Patrick Sawer
Last Updated: 1:00AM BST 27 Jul 2008

The survey found that extreme Islamist ideology has a profound influence on a significant minority of Muslims on campuses across the country.
The findings will concern police chiefs, the security services and ministers, who are struggling with radicalisation among Muslim communities.
The YouGov poll was conducted for the Right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion, at 12 universities, including Imperial College and Kings College London. It also found:
40 per cent support the introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims
a third back the notion of a worldwide Islamic caliphate (state) based on sharia law
40 per feel it is unacceptable for Muslim men and women to mix freely
24 per cent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah
a quarter have little or no respect for homosexuals.
Although 53 per cent said that killing in the name of religion was never justified, compared with 94 per cent of non-Muslims, 32 per cent said that it was. Of these, 4 per cent said killing could be justified to "promote or preserve" religion, while 28 per cent said it was acceptable if that religion were under attack.
There was also sympathy for the view that Muslim soldiers in the Armed Forces should be allowed to opt out of operations in Muslim countries, with 57 per cent agreeing.
The report's authors found that Islamic societies on campus, operating under the umbrella of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, exert a strong influence on many of Britain's 90,000 Muslim students. A quarter of them belong to Islamic societies and their views are often more extreme.
While three-fifths of society members said that killing in the name of religion was acceptable, an equal number of non-member Muslims said it was never justified. The security services have identified Islamist activism at universities acts as a possible "gateway" to violent extremism. Several terrorists and sympathisers began their extremist careers on campuses.
The authors of the report, "Islam on Campus", lay much of the blame for extremism among Muslim students on the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which seeks to build a worldwide Islamic state.
YouGov polled 600 Muslim students and 800 non-Muslim students at universities with a high number of Muslims.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: HUSS on July 28, 2008, 05:19:01 AM
Italy Declares State of Emergency over Illegal Immigration Invasion

We can all see that the Western world is being overrun by illegals from the 3rd world. But most of our countries leaders just do not have the guts to do anything about it. Except for one, our friends in Italy. Our countries are being financially drained by illegals, entire neighbourhoods being taken over and many of them are trying to impose an ideology on us that is completely opposite from life as we know it. Now the government of Italy which has bulldozed a Mosque site, closed a major Mosque, and deported dozens of Egyptians, has declared a state of emergency because of illegal immigration. Our countries are like a life raft to some coming from the 3rd world, but even life rafts sink if overcrowded.

Italy Declares State of Emergency over Illegal Immigration Invasion ⋅ July 26, 2008

Britain is not the only country which is being subjected to a Third World immigration invasion - almost every other Western European country is struggling under the same burden. Italy is however, unusual in one respect - it now actually has a government with enough guts to tackle the issue head-on.

Yesterday, the Italian government declared a “national state of emergency” over illegal immigration. A Cabinet statement said that the Government had to confront a “persistent and exceptional influx” of non-EU citizens and it had approved a proposal from Roberto Maroni, the Interior Minister, to declare a state of emergency “throughout the national territory”.

The state of emergency was earlier in effect only for the southern provinces of Sicily, Puglia and Calabria. Italy’s long shoreline and proximity to Africa make it a popular entry point into Europe for thousands of Africans who make hazardous journeys in flimsy boats each year.

Mario Morcone, a senior official at the Interior Ministry, said that the decision had been prompted by the continuing arrival of illegal immigrants in ramshackle boats run by people-smugglers at the tiny Italian island of Lampedusa, just off the North African coast. Many such boats capsize and their passengers drown.

Mr Morcone said that 9,342 immigrants had arrived between the start of the year and the end of June - double the figure for the previous year - and there were at present more than 1,000 at the overcrowded refugee camp in Lampedusa. Some are repatriated but many are sent to immigrant camps on the Italian mainland.

Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister, won final parliamentary approval this week for a security package under which illegal immigrants convicted of crimes will face jail sentences a third longer than those for Italians.

Italy has also started a controversial census of Roma which involved the fingerprinting and photographing of all adults and children over 14 years old. Roma - sometimes referred to as gypsies - are often blamed in Italy for the rising crime rate across the country.

Minister Maroni said that fingerprinting Roma gypsy children would ensure that those parents who sent their children out to beg instead of school could be traced and punished.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: HUSS on July 28, 2008, 05:23:06 AM
July 26, 2008
Here are two posts that aptly describe the "enhancement" to Western European countries, in particular Norway, and their indigenous populations that the so called "diversity", multiculturalism and rampant immigration has brought. Aided and abeted by moronic politicians and law enforcement who fear political correctness over actual violence. One has to wonder if the backlash has begun -- but interesting enough - the fighting that appears to have started is between immigrant groups - particularly muslims.


OSLO, July 25 (Reuters) - Twenty-three people were wounded when a gang of 40-50 men armed with steel bars and machetes attacked residents at a refugee centre in Norway late on Thursday, officials said on Friday.

No one was seriously wounded, but 10 were sent to hospital and 13 treated at a local clinic, hospital officials said.

An official at the centre in Oestfold south of Oslo said the attackers were Chechens and the victims Kurds. Police declined to confirm or deny that and said they had made no arrests so far.

"There was an attack from outside the asylum centre by people who don't live here, Chechens, 40 to 50 men armed with steel bars and other weapons," Ole Morten Lyng, an official at the centre, told NRK public radio news.

"There also seem to have been knives involved," Lyng said. "They went into the rooms and pulled out Kurds and beat them up."

A police officer said some of the attackers had machetes.

Lyng told Norwegian news agency NTB that the conflict stemmed from a minor dispute between Kurds and Chechens at the centre that got blown out of proportion. (Reporting by John Acher; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

Meanwhile, Norway is Sinking into a Sea of Flames
by Dymphna

Fjordman sends along some of the dystopian stories emanating from Northern Europe...

First, a link to Bruce Bawer’s site. He’s talking about Dagbladet’s report on the alarming number of tourist buses being set afire in Oslo (from July 18):

Dagbladet reports that in the last two weeks, eighteen tourist buses in Oslo have been set upon by thieves and vandals.


Official reactions to this latest development only serve to underscore where the roots of the problem lie. You can almost see the spokesman for the Agency for Road and Transport shrugging and yawning as he tells Dagbladet that, well, this sort of this happens every summer, and hey, don’t worry, there’s more and more tourist buses coming to Norway. And the cops? They say that they “can’t see any connection among the events of recent weeks.” A police spokesman told Dagbladet that they hadn’t put the case materials together yet - they’ll get around to that on, oh, Monday.

No, Oslo isn’t Rome or Paris. But not long ago, it was at least a safe, clean city. It’s now rapidly declining into a maelstrom of chaos, crime, and filth under politicians who’ve essentially handed it over to armies of Nigerian prostitutes, gypsy beggars, and Muslim gangsters; who ordered street work that should have been wrapped up months ago but that continues to keep much of the downtown area looking like Berlin in 1946; and who blithely hike subsidies to groups like the Islamic Council while letting the police and military go chronically underfunded.

Well, of course. Who wants to pay a decent wage to those nasty men who protect others when the Islamic Council, peace be unto them, needs funding so desperately?

And the cops? They simply suffer from the same virulent indifference as their superiors. It’s a top-down disease.

Mr. Bawer suggests that tourists re-route to Copenhagen instead.

Aftenposten has more details (in English) on this pastime of tourist bus burning. Here’s one Spanish tour driver’s experience:

“My company sends buses all over Europe, but we’ve never experienced anything like this,” bus driver Jorge Muniz Paredes to newspaper Aften. “If I talked about this on Spanish television, people would think I was in Africa.”

Paredes recently found his bus burning near the new Opera House on Oslo’s waterfront. The bus, used to carry Spanish tourists on sightseeing trips in Oslo, was in top condition, he said.

He’s convinced vandals are behind the fire on his bus. Two days earlier, the bus’ windshield had been smashed.


Three Spanish tour bus companies have filed a complaint with Norwegian tourism promoters in Madrid, who in turn have contacted both the Norwegian embassy in Spain and the Spanish embassy in Norway.

Some tour operators are considering dropping Oslo from their tour itineraries. “Oslo’s not a particularly pretty city, like Rome or Paris,” said Paredes. “The only reason we come is because it’s the capital of Norway. The vandalism makes the destination insecure and if this continues, we’ll stop coming.”

Oh, well. Plenty more tourists to take their place, right?

But here is the most interesting story from Fjordman’s selection. It lays bare the core of the problem. Olso burns while government strangles its citizens on procedural policies. The pervasive cynicism is heart-breaking.
- - - - - - - - -
Read carefully with attention to what the authorities themselves consider important:

An awkward power struggle has broken out among foreign and local beggars in Oslo, ironically over their street sales of a magazine whose very title calls for more equality in the capital.

Norwegian beggars are getting competition from foreign beggars, and conflicts are breaking out.

The conflict is over who should be allowed to peddle the magazine, which sells for NOK 50. Its sellers can keep half of the proceeds.

The magazine, called “=Oslo” (equal Oslo), was started up to help provide an income source to those who otherwise would beg for spare change on the streets of the capital. Many of its original sellers were Norwegian drug addicts.

Now, however, new groups of foreign beggars want to sell the magazine as well, reported newspaper Dagsavisen earlier this week. The magazine won’t let them, saying the sellers should be Norwegian and must be able to speak Norwegian.

That’s led to protests, and state authorities are investigating whether “=Oslo” is violating anti-discrimination laws. “If we find that ‘=Oslo’ has broken the law, they’ll have to find a new solution for the foreigners,” said Ingeborg Grimsmo, Norway’s acting discrimination ombud.

Why would a magazine originate with the intention of having “beggars” sell their product? It’s insane. Remember when Rudy Giuliani began cleaning up New York City by removing the beggars who were washing car windshields in city traffic?

The problem with “beggars” is that keeping civic order is an on-going problem. Mayor Giuliani solved it in his time, but the squeegee men are making a comeback in The Big Apple and their appearance scares people because of what it represents - erosion of public space. These depredations don’t stay “cured”; they demand vigilance and creative thinking. Neither is in great supply in Norway.

Here’s another problem where the authorities cynically leave in a bind those who would help the hungry:

Thorny issues also have broken out within an Oslo organization that serves the poor and offers them free food (Fattighuset). It has refused to give food to the foreign beggars, claiming that the foreigners try to sell the food on the street.

“We can’t have that,” said Johanna Engen, a board member at Fattighuset, arguing that it defies the purpose of the aid and can threaten donations.

The anti-discrimination authority is investigating whether Fattighuset can legally only give food to poor Norwegians and not poor foreigners. “There are important principles at stake,” Grimsmo said, arguing that the foreigners are becoming “more and more” stigmatized in Norway.

People get “stigmatized” when they consistently operate outside the mores of local culture. Perhaps these “foreigners” of unnamed ethnicity come from a place where ripping off charitable organizations is all in a day’s work.

Fattighuset is absolutely right: letting this go on would threaten donations. But the “anti-discrimination authority” is not concerned with outcomes; it lives for procedures. And by its lights, procedures take precedence over virtue.

When a government - be it local, state, or federal - has that much power over charitable endeavors and it uses that dominance with Kafkaesque indifference, then the government is acting with evil. Indifferent evil, but evil nonetheless.

Fjordman called it a maelstrom of chaos. His powers of perception are acute.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on August 02, 2008, 01:23:01 PM

British Muslims 'fighting with Taliban in Afghanistan'
British Muslims are helping the Taliban in their war against UK soldiers in southern Afghanistan, according to the former commander of Britain's forces in Afghanistan.
By Con Coughlin, Duncan Gardham and Thomas Harding
Last Updated: 12:25PM BST 02 Aug 2008

Brig. Ed Butler: 'There are British passport holders who live in the U.K. who are being found in places like Kandahar' Photo: HEATHCLIFF O'MALLEY
Brig. Ed Butler, who spent six months commanding British forces in Afghanistan, also revealed fears that militant Islamic groups in south-east Asia are supporting terrorist plots in the UK.
The brigadier, a former head of the SAS, spoke exclusively to the Daily Telegraph in the week when the British death toll in Afghanistan reached 114, with 17 fatalities in the last two months.
UK forces have uncovered evidence that British Muslims are actively supporting the Taliban and al-Qa'eda in attacks on coalition forces in southern Afghanistan, Brig Butler said.
He said: "There are British passport holders who live in the U.K. who are being found in places like Kandahar."
Earlier this year, it was revealed that RAF Nimrod spyplanes monitoring Taliban radio signals in Afghanistan had heard militants speaking with Yorkshire and Midlands accents.
Privately, British officers in Afghanistan estimate that several thousand Taliban fighters have been killed since 2006, among them people from outside the country.
One officer said: "While my troops have not actually found British passports on enemy dead there has been a suspicion that with the high number of Taliban casualties they have needed to recruit a lot of foreign fighters and some of these are likely to be of British-Muslim descent."
Disturbingly, Brig Butler suggested the traffic between Britain and Afghanistan may flow in both directions, with some British Muslims returning from the region and posing a domestic security threat.
Brig Butler, 46, said he had seen evidence that terror groups based in southern Afghanistan were plotting with Muslim extremists in Britain to carry out terror attacks in the UK.
"There is a link between Kandahar and urban conurbations in the UK," said Brig. Butler. "This is something the military understands but the British public does not."
Western intelligence agencies are increasingly concerned that Afghanistan and its lawless border with Pakistan are now home to many training camps used by Jihadi groups to prepare radicals for attacks in the West.
A Whitehall source confirmed that the security services are aware of some radicalized British Muslims returning to the UK from Afghanstan.
The source said: "There are very small numbers of British citizens traveling out there, being trained up and then returning to the UK."
With al-Qaeda widely seen to be losing ground in Iraq, counter-terrorism officials say that Afghanistan is emerging as the focus for radicalised Western Muslims wanting to fight Western forces.
Earlier this year, Nigel Inkster, a former deputy head of MI6, warned that Taliban groups over the border in Pakistan have "dispatched terrorists to a number of locations including Spain and the United Kingdom."
Brig Butler, widely regarded as one of the best British officers of his generation, announced his decision to retire from the Army earlier this year.
He had been a candidate for the job of Director, Special Forces, overseeing the SAS, the SBS and the Special Reconnaissance Regiment.
Despite claims that his premature retirement was in protest at the government's underfunding of the Armed Forces, Brig Butler insisted his decision to step down had been prompted by the desire to spend more time with his family.
"I reached the conclusion that I did not want to leave my family any more for an extended period. Life is too short. There is no point having a family if you are not going to see them," he said.
Brig Butler commanded British forces when they began their current mission in southern Afghanistan two years ago and is credited with being the architect of the British Army's strategy for defeating the Taliban.
But he said that from the outset British commanders knew the Taliban "would be up for a fight, but we were surprised at how ferocious that fight turned out to be."
When British forces deployed to Helmand province in 2006, Brig Butler warned the government that there was a strong possibility that British soldiers would end up killing Muslims who held British passports and were fighting with the Taliban and al-Qa'eda.
He is currently Commander of Joint Force Operations based at Northwood, near London, and will formally leave the Army next year.
British commanders and diplomats have warned that the West faces a "long haul" in Afghanistan and may have to retain a military presence there for decades to come.
Brig Butler believes the continued presence of radical British Muslims in southern Afghanistan is one of the reasons British forces must remain in the region, despite the heavy number of battlefield fatalities.
"This is a highly significant mission," he said. "If we do not win against the protagonists of the September 11 attacks then those who are against us will take great succour from it."
It is vital for British forces to remain in Afghanistan "for as long as it takes" to prevent a repeat of the July 7 bombings in London in 2005, which killed 52 people, he said.
Several British Muslims were detained in Afghanistan during the 2001 U.S.-led military operation to overthrow the Taliban, and were held at Guantanamo Bay as enemy combatants.
All were later released and say they had no involvement in anti-coalition activity.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on August 02, 2008, 02:48:30 PM
Germany’s Intifada   
By Stephen Brown | Friday, August 01, 2008
First it was France, and now Germany.
German authorities are reporting that, within their cities, areas now exist where police fear to tread. In many German urban areas drug dealing, theft, brawls, and assaults on police officers are the order of the day. The problem is becoming so severe police scarcely dare enter some quarters except in strength, while in others they concentrate on their own safety first.     
But this is old news to French law enforcement officials. The 2005 riots woke France up to the fact that an anti-civilization had arisen in the “banlieues” (housing projects), which surround major French cities. Populated mainly by immigrants from North and West Africa, many with a Muslim background, they are known as places of anger and aggression towards anyone who represents “official” France.
French police are sometimes attacked with Molotov cocktails when they enter such areas. Firemen and ambulance attendants are not treated much better. Police even had difficulty protecting a French president, Jacques Chirac, and his interior minister when they went campaigning in a banlieue. The two high-ranking politicians were also met with Molotovs and had to retreat.
In all, the French housing projects have the look of scarred battlefields with burnt out cars littering the landscape. The extent of France’s lawlessness problem manifested itself last month when 592 cars were torched in France in the two nights surrounding Bastille Day, July 14 and 15, 150 in the Paris region alone. To make matters worse, Islamic fundamentalists have attracted many of the banlieus’ unemployed, uneducated and frustrated young men to their cause. These fundamentalists, it is suspected, were the ones directing the 2005 disturbances and their recurrence in 2007.
In Germany, the problem neighbourhoods are often located within the city and not on the outskirts. Like in France, though, urban anti-societies have arisen, but in Germany they consist mainly of Turkish and Arab immigrants, many from Lebanon. In their districts, German laws and values now have little, if any, validity, while their culture of lawlessness does.
Police complain that when they conduct routine checks in these neighbourhoods, they are met with angry crowds and often risk assault. Even when a policeman is carrying out a simple duty, like inspecting someone’s identification, out of nowhere suddenly appear 20 to 30 men, yelling wildly, who push and shove him. They assemble quickly after having been contacted by cell phone.
While confrontations occur over nothing, violence can occur when the stakes are higher. When Berlin police arrested three drug-dealing Arabs in Kreuzberg, for example, a district where Turks and Arabs form the majority, they were immediately swarmed by two dozen men who tried to free the suspected criminals by force. Only the quick arrival of reinforcements saved the day. It is also in Kreuzberg that the first car burnings in Germany took place.
For the last ten years Berlin has been the leading German city for such “resistance-to-police” incidents. Overall, Germany’s police union records an average of 26,000 such occurrences a year, an increase of 60 per cent from the 1980s. Berlin accounts for about 3,000 of this total. In Germany’s capital, a union official said, there exists “an alarm level red” concerning violence against police.
“We have been registering for years a loss of police authority and a rapid sinking of a lack of restraint,” said Eberhard Schonberg, the police union’s head.
But what is even more disturbing to law enforcement officials is the increase in violent crime among minors, especially those with a foreign background. Germany was shocked this year when two youths, one Turkish and the other Greek, nearly beat a 76-year-old retired school principal to death in Munich last December. The pensioner had admonished them for smoking on a commuter train. The two criminals kicked and yelled “s**t German” at the man’s prostrate form after having knocked him down.
There is also an overrepresentation of immigrant youth in crime statistics. A survey of schools in western German cities showed that ten per cent of the Turkish students were repeat offenders, who had committed more than five violent offences. The same survey showed 8.3 per cent of students from the former Yugoslavia were in the same category along with 5.9 per cent from the former Soviet Union. Native-born Germans, who also included those from migrant backgrounds with German citizenship, made up only 2.9 per cent of such delinquents.   
And while German teenagers are more often the victims of youth crime, immigrant youth brutality very often occurs between different ethnic groups. Violence between Turks and Arabs at one high school in Berlin, for example, became so bad the principal asked the city to close her school. This incident then led other principals across Germany to request the same for their schools.
But even immigrant children as young as eight are committing illegal acts. Police report of an Arab neighborhood in Duisburg, a city in the Rhineland, where such youthful miscreants “kick old ladies, demand sexual intercourse from women, throw water-filled balloons against business windows and deliberately cross streets at red lights to create traffic jams.” Their aim, police say, is to generate fear among outsiders.
The overall purpose of such disturbing behavior and anti-police incidents is to turn these immigrant neighbourhoods into lawless mini-states, where their tribal and religious customs and rules predominate, and criminals can act freely. In scuffles and confrontations German police are often told, in threat and obscenity-filled language, to go away and that these streets belong to the ethnic group that lives there.
As everyone knows, a competent and effective police force is necessary to protect the law-abiding citizen, guarantee his rights and carry out one of the main functions of the state: law and order. But increasingly in some European urban areas, a police uniform has come to mean nothing. And countries like Germany do not act now to reverse this, their cities will become as burnt out and eviscerated as the carcasses of cars France knows only too well.

Stephen Brown is a contributing editor at He has a graduate degree in Russian and Eastern European history. Email him at
Title: While Europe Slept
Post by: Crafty_Dog on August 05, 2008, 08:21:20 AM
Moved here from a post elsewhere by GM:

A must read! I'm sorry I put off reading it for so long.
Title: Holland
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 11, 2008, 08:11:09 AM
his religion prohibited him from rising for other people


Amsterdam - All Dutch attorneys, including Muslims, should rise when a judge enters a court room, Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told Dutch parliament on Tuesday. Hirsch Ballin said the Dutch Council for Jurisprudence felt that rising for a judge is "the common way to show respect for the court and legal authority."
The minister was responding to a question posed by legislator Henk Kamp (Liberals), who inquired about a news report which said a Rotterdam court had made an agreement with a Muslim attorney that he could remain seated when a judge enters the courtroom.
Mohammed Enait, who was sworn in as an attorney last month, said his religion prohibited him from rising for other people. Enait has remained seated as the judge entered.
Last week the Rotterdam court decided that although the : behavioral code requires attorneys to rise when a judge enters the court, exceptions could be made "in extraordinary situations" such as that of Enait.
Hirsch Ballin told parliament that the Dutch Council for Jurisprudence would inform all involved parties of its position that no exceptions could be made.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 15, 2008, 09:07:05 AM

ISLAMIC law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.
The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.
Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.
It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network’s headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said he had taken advantage of a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.
Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.
Siddiqi said: “We realised that under the Arbitration Act we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals. This method is called alternative dispute resolution, which for Muslims is what the sharia courts are.”
The disclosure that Muslim courts have legal powers in Britain comes seven months after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was pilloried for suggesting that the establishment of sharia in the future “seems unavoidable” in Britain.
In July, the head of the judiciary, the lord chief justice, Lord Phillips, further stoked controversy when he said that sharia could be used to settle marital and financial disputes.
In fact, Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.
It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.
Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of “smaller” criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them. “All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases,” said Siddiqi, chairman of the governing council of the tribunal.
Jewish Beth Din courts operate under the same provision in the Arbitration Act and resolve civil cases, ranging from divorce to business disputes. They have existed in Britain for more than 100 years, and previously operated under a precursor to the act.
Politicians and church leaders expressed concerns that this could mark the beginnings of a “parallel legal system” based on sharia for some British Muslims.
Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so.”
Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: “I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state.”
There are concerns that women who agree to go to tribunal courts are getting worse deals because Islamic law favours men.
Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.
The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.
In the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.
In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.
Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.
Inayat Bunglawala, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said: “The MCB supports these tribunals. If the Jewish courts are allowed to flourish, so must the sharia ones.”
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 15, 2008, 10:42:01 AM
What's all the fuss about?

I don't know about criminal matters, but what's wrong with divorce, inheritance and other civil matters being decided by binding arbitration if  BOTH parties agree to arbitration?  We have a similar system here in America; frankly the Courts here encourage binding arbitration. 
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 12:52:23 PM

It's just another step towards the death of europe.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 15, 2008, 01:14:38 PM
GM, I don't understand.  As I mentioned, here in the U.S. many divorces, inheritances, and other civil matters are often resolved through binding arbitration.  The parties are free to chose any particular arbitrator and there are benefits to both parties.  And of course, BOTH parties must waive their right to trial and submit to to binding arbitration; it's actually very fair; faster and more efficient than going to court. The system overall works quite well and is supported and encouraged by the Court System here in America.  It is my understanding that the same is being offered in England; why is this same and successful alternative to litigation "just another step towards the death of europe."? 
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 01:30:36 PM

It's another step closer to sharia law becoming the law in europe. That is the demand and the ultimate goal of the "stealth jihad" from so-called "moderates".
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 15, 2008, 01:50:47 PM
Your conclusion seems rather pessimistic and baseless; going from alternative voluntary arbitration (one including myself would argue that voluntary alternative arbitration is a superb and efficient alternative accommodation beneficial to all parties) system to "becoming the law in Europe."  Arbitration has existed for may years.  And Arbitrators (here in the US as well) may be chosen for any reason, including on a religious basis as long as BOTH parties agree.  It's a fair system for everyone and frees up the court. 
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 01:51:18 PM


'Have more babies and Muslims can take over the UK' hate fanatic says, as warning comes that 'next 9/11 will be in UK'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:55 PM on 13th September 2008

Muslim hate fanatics plan to take over Britain by having more babies and forcing a population explosion, it has been revealed.

The swollen Muslim population would be enough to conquer Britain from inside, they claim.

Fanatics told a meeting of young Muslims on the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocity, that it would then be easy to impose Sharia law on the population, the Sun newspaper reported.

Speaking at a meeting in London, Anjem Choudary, right-hand man of exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, said: "It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside."

Preachers: Ajum Choudhary (left) chairs the meeting with banned Muslim cleric Omar Backri's webcast on the wall behind

He added: "We do not integrate into Christianity. We will ensure that one day you will integrate into the Sharia Islamic law."

His comments were made as voice of hate Bakri warned that the next 9/11 would take place in the UK.

Speaking via video link the exiled cleric said Osama bin Laden had taught the Americans a ‘lesson’ seven years ago, but the ‘crusaders’ had not learned.

Anjem Choudary: Have more babies and conquer from the inside

Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed: The next 9/11 will be in the UK

He said the next ‘9/11 will take place in Britain, the next 7/7 [London bombings] could take place locally’.

Bakri told a 100-strong audience of supporters in Walthamstow, east London this week that he believed the British government was trying to assassinate him and claimed to have foiled a bomb plot.

Technical difficulties meant much of his speech was inaudible, but his appearance was greeted by cheers of ‘faith’ and ‘god is great’ at the community centre.

Bakri’s right-hand man, Anjem Choudary, led the proceedings in person, under the auspices of a group called Association for Islamic Research.

The most incendiary speech was delivered by Saiful Islam, who lauded Bin Laden and al Qaeda for their ‘courage’ in retaliating against the ‘dictatorship and oppression’ of the West.

Horror: Al Muhajiroun warned the UK would be next for a 9/11-magnitude attack

He said: ‘The blame of 9/11 belongs to no one but the American government. They are the terrorists.

'Sheikh Osama warned America numerous times, it was because of their own arrogance, because they thought they are a superpower and nobody could match them, that Sheikh Osama taught them a lesson - a lesson they still haven’t learned.’

Mr Islam, who is linked to an organisation called Salafi Youth for Islamic Propagation, warned that unless British and American troops were withdrawn from ‘Muslim lands’ they would be to blame for the consequences, saying the West would ‘never achieve security until our own [Muslim] lands achieve security’.

‘Wake up. Withdraw. Listen to the warnings. Muslims will stand side to side, not just al Qaeda. The actions of the British and Americans have given prominence to al Qaeda.

'All of us have a part to play in stopping the violence or the next 9/11 will take place in Britain, the next 7/7 could take place locally,’ he added.

Mr Choudary was the last speaker and was more guarded in his address to the young Muslim men that made up most of the audience.

 'Lesson': The wreckage of a London bus after a bomb attack on July 7, 2005

But he criticised the Government for persecuting ‘innocent Muslims’, naming Bakri, Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada and Omar Brooks along with the defendants in the airliner bomb plot trial.

He said: ‘They [the Government] say they are civilised. But they don’t act very civilised. They jailed Sheikh Abu Qatada in Belmarsh prison. Is that the way you treat your guests?’

Mr Choudary then referred to Bakri’s notorious aim of flying the ‘flag of Sharia’ over Downing Street, claiming that this would happen by 2020 as 500 people a day were converting to Islam and laughing that Muslim families in places like Whitechapel and Bethnal Green in east London were having ‘10 or 12 children each’.

He ranted against mainstream bodies like the Muslim Council of Britain, who condemned 9/11 and 7/7, accusing them of ‘selling their souls to the devil’.

Find this story at
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 01:59:10 PM
Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'
Dr Williams says Muslims should have a choice in legal disputes
Dr Williams interview

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

'Sensational reporting'

In an exclusive interview with BBC correspondent Christopher Landau, ahead of a lecture to lawyers in London on Monday, Dr Williams argues this relies on Sharia law being better understood.

At the moment, he says "sensational reporting of opinion polls" clouds the issue.

An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger
Dr Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
He stresses that "nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that's sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states; the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women as well".

But Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts - I think that's a bit of a danger".

"There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law."

'Other loyalties'

Dr Williams added: "What we don't want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people's religious consciences."

HAVE YOUR SAY There is, and should only be, one law which covers all people and to suggest it can be otherwise is to seriously damage our rights Patricia London, UK

"We don't either want a situation where, because there's no way of legally monitoring what communities do... people do what they like in private in such a way that that becomes another way of intensifying oppression inside a community."

The issue of whether Catholic adoption agencies would be forced to accept gay parents under equality laws showed the potential for legal confusion, he said.

"That principle that there is only one law for everybody is an important pillar of our social identity as a western democracy," he said.

"But I think it is a misunderstanding to suppose that means people don't have other affiliations, other loyalties which shape and dictate how they behave in society and that the law needs to take some account of that."

'Custom and community'

Dr Williams noted that Orthodox Jewish courts already operated, and that the law accommodated the anti-abortion views of some Christians.

"The whole idea that there are perfectly proper ways the law of the land pays respect to custom and community, that's already there," he said.

People may legally devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.

Muslim Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din which already exist in the UK come into this category.

The country's main Beth Din at Finchley in north London oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes.

Dr Williams's comments are likely to fuel the debate over multiculturalism in the UK.

Last month, the Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, said some places in the UK were no-go areas for non-Muslims.

Dr Williams said it was "not at all the case that we have absolute social exclusion".

Story from BBC NEWS:
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 02:19:14 PM

'We want to offer sharia law to Britain'
By Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last Updated: 10:25PM BST 18 Apr 2008

Dr Suhaib Hasan is pushing for personal sharia law to be integrated into the British legal system
Islamic courts meet every week in the UK to rule on divorces and financial disputes. Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones report on demands by senior Muslims that sharia be given legal authority
Amnah is a modern British Muslim. She is dressed in a denim skirt and her head is covered in a hijab. Poised and self-assured, she has come to meet Dr Suhaib Hasan, a silver-bearded sheikh who sits behind his desk, surrounded by religious books.
The origins and obligations of sharia law
"But why would I have to observe the waiting period?" she asks him. "What are the reasons?" There is an urgency to her questions.
"These reasons don't apply to me, that's what I'm very confused about. If you could give me the reasons why I have to wait three months, then I'll understand."
Amnah is going through a divorce and is baffled at being told that she must wait for three months to remarry, considering that she hasn't seen her estranged husband for two years.
She twists her sock-clad toes into the carpet, grasping one hand with the other in her lap, and fixes Dr Hasan with an intense look. He meets this with a simple reply: "These rulings are all in the Koran. The rulings are made for all."
Amnah has little choice but to comply: Dr Hasan is a judge, and this is a sharia court - in east London. It sits, innocuously, at the end of a row of terrace houses in Leyton: a converted corner shop, with blinds on the windows, office- style partitions and a makeshift reception area.
It is one of dozens of sharia courts - also known as councils - that have been set up in mosques, Islamic centres and even schools across Britain. The number of British Muslims using the courts is increasing.
To many in the West, talk of sharia law conjures up images of the floggings, stonings, amputations and beheadings carried out in hardline Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, the form practised in Britain is more mundane, focusing mainly on marriage, divorce and financial disputes.
The judgments of the courts have no basis in British law, and are therefore technically illegitimate - they are binding only in that those involved agree to comply. For British Muslims who are keen to follow Islam, this poses a dilemma. An Islamic marriage is not recognised by British law, and therefore many couples will have two ceremonies - civil for the state, and Islamic for their faith.
If they wish to divorce, they must then seek both a civil and an Islamic divorce.
Dr Hasan, who has been presiding over sharia courts in Britain for more than 25 years, argues that British law would benefit from integrating aspects of Islamic personal law into the civil system, so that divorces could be rubber-stamped in the same way, for example, that Jewish couples who go to the Beth Din court have their divorce recognised in secular courts.
He points out that the Islamic Sharia Council, of which he is the general secretary, is flooded with work. It hears about 50 divorce cases every month, and responds to as many as 10 requests every day by email and phone for a fatwa - a religious verdict on a religious matter.
Dr Hasan, who is also a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain on issues of sharia law, says there is great misunderstanding of the issue in the West.
"Whenever people associate the word 'sharia' with Muslims, they think it is flogging and stoning to death and cutting off the hand," he says with a smile.
He makes the distinction between the aspects of law that sharia covers: worship, penal law, and personal law. Muslim leaders in Britain are interested only in integrating personal law, he says.
"Penal law is the duty of the Muslim state - it is not in the hands of any public institution like us to handle it. Only a Muslim government that believes in Islam is going to implement it. So there is no question of asking for penal law to be introduced here in the UK - that is out of the question."
Despite this, Dr Hasan is open in supporting the severe punishments meted out in countries where sharia law governs the country.
"Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society.
"This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

In a documentary to be screened on Channel 4 next month, entitled Divorce: Sharia Style, Dr Hasan goes further, advocating a sharia system for Britain. "If sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief's hand is cut off nobody is going to steal," he says.
"Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all.
"We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don't accept it they'll need more and more prisons."

These sentiments, and the vast cultural gulf they expose, alarm many in the West and go to the heart of the debate about the level of integration among Muslims living in Britain and their acceptance of British values.
Dr Hasan's cause is not helped by the fact that, last December, he was named by the Policy Exchange think tank as being linked to a mosque, the Al-Tawhid in Leyton, east London, which was accused of propagating extremist literature - although the evidence for this has since been challenged.
Many are uncomfortable with the idea of linking sharia to civil law in Britain. In The Sunday Telegraph earlier this month, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, wrote: "Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character on certain areas?… There is pressure already to relate aspects of the sharia to civil law in Britain. To some extent this is already true of arrangements for sharia-compliant banking but have the far-reaching implications of this been fully considered?"
There are also issues around the Islamic approach to equality and human rights that make integration with British law problematic and contentious.
Sharia judges in this country deal mainly with divorce - khula. In Islamic law, a husband can divorce his wife in the presence of two witnesses without having to go through an official system.
He can even merely utter the word "talaq" - meaning "to release" - to gain a divorce, whether or not the wife accepts it. She has no such right and must go through the processes of sharia, entreating judges to grant her divorce.
"The introduction of sharia law in Britain raises complex questions, as some of its basic tenets are incompatible with the fundamental principles of our liberal democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," says Baroness Cox, a leading human rights campaigner.

"There is no equality before the law between men and women and between Muslims and non-Muslims; and there is no freedom to choose and change religion."
Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain's inter-faith committee, admits that to non-Muslims some laws may seem harsh on women. Those who are married to a man with a number of wives can be treated badly, for instance. But he insists that sharia is an equitable system.
"It may mean that a woman married under Islamic law has no legal rights, but the husband is required to pay for everything in marriage and in the case of a divorce all the woman's belongings are hers to keep."
In fact, Sheikh Mogra argues that sharia in Britain would give rights to women. "A Muslim man can take a second wife under sharia law and treat her as he wants, knowing that she has no legal rights in Britain. It means that she is regarded as no more than a mistress and he can walk out on her when he wants."
Critics warn, however, that in giving even parts of sharia law official status, Britain would be associating itself with a system that in many ways was intolerable according to Western values.
Professor John Marks, author of The West, Islam and Islamism, points out that apostates from Islam can suffer severe punishment, even honour killings.
"There are more violent cases that are being related to people who choose to convert from Islam," he says.
A survey by Policy Exchange found that 36 per cent of young British Muslims believed that a Muslim who converted to another religion should be "punished by death".

"This clearly goes against the laws of our country. If they come to live in this country they should live by our laws," says Prof Marks.
Haras Rafiq, the executive director of the Sufi Muslim Council, points out that Muslims are anyway divided on the correct interpretation of sharia law. He is particularly critical of those who support the strict penal law.
"Things like stoning are being used as a deterrent, but this is reinterpreting the Koran in a rigid and extreme way that misses the spirit of what is being said."
Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of some form of recognition of sharia in Britain is that it would help to regulate a system that operates beyond the law.
The Government has expressed concern about imams who may be using the Koran to justify fatwas that clash with British law.
Leaders of four major British Muslim groups published a government-backed report in 2006 that accepted that many imams were not qualified to give guidance to alienated young people.
They agreed to set up a watchdog aimed at tackling extremism and monitoring mosques, but Yunes Teinaz, a former adviser to the London Central Mosque, warns that one of the greatest problems is the imams who arrive in Britain unable to speak English, and with no regard for British law.
"The absence of anyone regulating the mosques and sharia courts means that they can act as a law unto themselves, issuing fatwas that breach people's human rights because they have no knowledge of the law," he says. "They can take people's money despite having no proper qualifications, but worse they can harm the communities that they are in."
Zareen Roohi Ahmed, the chief executive of the British Muslim Forum - one of the four groups on the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body - concedes that sharia courts in Britain are still poorly organised.
"They need development - the government should be supporting them to deliver their service more effectively," she says.
"If sharia courts can be supported to be more professionally run and to have female involvement as well on the decision-making panels, then I think they can work quite effectively and meet the needs of Muslims."
She suggests that existing systems need to be supported and a wider range of scholars and academics involved to put more thought into making the rules and regulations applicable to today's society.
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, points out that during British rule in India, Muslim personal law was allowed to operate and sees no reason why it wouldn't work now.
"Sharia encompasses all aspects of Muslim life including personal law," he says. "In tolerant, inclusive societies all faith groups enjoy some acceptance of their religious rules in matters of their personal life.
"I am sure some day our society here will also be more at ease with its Muslim community and see the benefit of allowing such rights to those who prefer this."
Back in the court in Leyton, the plight of Amnah is typical of the challenges facing Muslim women in Britain who are seeking to abide by the traditional Islamic teaching, but find themselves victims of the system as a result.
The husband she seeks to divorce is untraceable, but she married him in a purely Islamic ceremony so now she must fight to gain her freedom.
She met him on an Islamic matrimonial website, then discovered that he wasn't everything he had claimed to be.
"I found out he was stealing money from me," she says, adding that her husband had lied about having a job and a visa for the UK.
"So how come you married such a person who is not of your standard?" Dr Hasan asks quietly, leafing through the notes of her case.
"I made a mistake," Amnah says, simply. "Basically this man lied to me from the beginning until the end. Not only did he fool me, he fooled my family."
Despite Amnah's protestations and questioning, Dr Hasan goes on to explain that the methods and rules set out in the Koran are for very practical reasons.
A recently divorced wife must wait three months to remarry to give enough time for her ex-husband to know that she is not carrying his child. "This is for all," he says.
"There is no exception to this rule, in the sharia there is no exception, you have to accept it."
He takes down a copy of the Koran from a shelf and points to the chapter and verse that spells out the lengths of iddat - the waiting period - in detailed terms.
There are different lengths for widows, for wives whose husbands have authorised the divorce and for wives whose husbands have not. There is even a rule for pre-pubescent girls.
For Amnah, it is clear that the answer has thrown up further problems for her. "Another quick question," she says. "Because I'm going through a divorce now, is it right for me to have found someone or should I have waited?"
The man may not, Dr Hasan replies, clearly state his wish to marry her - he may subtly make his intentions known, as in "once you are free from marriage, remember me", but no, not propose. That is not allowed in the Koran.
Amnah thanks him with deference, and leaves. Coming through this religious court is the only way she will be truly at liberty to remarry but, for now, she must wait.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 15, 2008, 02:57:05 PM
Dr. Williams as you quoted, "noted that orthodox Jewish Courts already operate."  And, "people may legally devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed upon third party as long as both sides agree to the process."

And in the U.S. people as well may choose any agreed upon third party including religious as long as both sides agree to the process.  Truly, the courts here support and actually insist upon mediation in most civil matters hoping that a voluntary agreement can be reached before the matter needs to go to trial.  And many individuals, for various reasons, prefer binding arbitration.

And to clarify and confirm, in your most recent post Dr. Hasan states that, "Muslim leaders in Britain are interested only in integrating personal law (civil law); Penal Law (criminal law) is the duty of the State."  Anotherwords, he is saying that criminal matters belong to the Court system, but Civil Matters, if both sides agree, belong to binding Arbitration.

It sounds like voluntary ("both sides agree to the process") (civil matters) arbitration to me.  Nothing wrong with that.  Good and fair for everyone.  And if you don't like it, i.e. you don't agree to the process, hire a attorney and take it to court; it is your choice.  And your legal bill.  To oppose it seems like a racial reaction against Muslims to me; if not Muslims, we would all say to all that binding arbitration in civil matters is just common sense for everyone as long as all parties voluntarily agree to join in the  system.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 04:04:44 PM
To oppose it seems like a racial reaction against Muslims to me; if not Muslims, we would all say to all that binding arbitration in civil matters is just common sense for everyone as long as all parties voluntarily agree to join in the  system.

Islam isn't a race, it's a religion. Although to be more accurate, it's a totalitarian and imperialist political movement fused with theology. You seem to want to ignore the first article I posted where the conquest of the UK is celebrated.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 15, 2008, 09:22:18 PM
I understand Islam isn't a race, it is a religion, but then again so is being a Jew, it's a religion not a race, or is it...?  Sort of like the Palestinian  issue; the term often seems interchangeable. 

As far ignoring your first article, that wasn't the question on the table; my original response was directed at Crafty's article posted this morning regarding Islamic Law.  It was a legal issue addressing the matter of voluntary yet binding arbitration (I am in favor) rather than a tirade on the evils of Muslim influence.  Let's keep to the subject.  That being said, I think you and perhaps many people seem to forget that many practicing Muslims are law abiding and peaceful; simply wishing to worship their God and live in harmony, make a few dollars for their family and be happy; yet follow their teachings.  As do Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, and even American Indians as well as a multitude of other religions.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 09:31:18 PM
A certain percentage directly engage in jihad, many others directly or indirectly support jihad against the unbelievers and under sharia law, submissive jews and christians are only allowed to live as second class citizens and those that convert from islam or are polytheists face death. Aside from the brutal oppression, it's wonderful.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 15, 2008, 09:52:11 PM
**What of the other 67%?**

Members of Britain's growing Muslim population are working to repair an image tattered by homegrown radicals - and to find a place in mainstream society.

By John Thorne | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor

Hunched in black robes over his microphone, Sheikh Omar Bakri suddenly heaves himself upright in rhetorical climax and pounds the table. "Embrace capitalism or Christianity, you go to hellfire!" he bellows. The crowd of men seated before him nod in agreement as Sheikh Bakri warns against misplaced sympathy for Western society.
"Don't think that because [the unbelievers] give us income support we should have less hate," he continues. "Because we hate not for our sakes, but for the sake of Allah."


With successful raids, British chip away at terror threat

His point made, Bakri sinks into his chair and indulges in a bit of Islamist bravado by cracking a dark joke about stabbing people in the guts. A low murmur of laughter passes through the men, while at the back of the room their wives, wrapped in chadors, remain still and silent as columns. A few children scamper in the aisles.
Hard-line Islamists like Bakri have become the bête noire for Britons who question whether the growing ranks of Muslims here want to integrate more fully into society. This anxiety, felt throughout Europe, has intensified after weeks of headlines played up the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by an Islamic extremist.

It's an anxiety felt acutely by Britain's 1.8 million Muslims. They are one of the country's fastest-growing, poorest, and least educated minorities. But many are struggling to repair a reputation tattered by home-grown radicals like Bakri and find a place in mainstream society. And despite setbacks to their image, they are making progress.

• Muslim leaders supported a government initiative to filter out extremists by imposing an English test on foreign imams seeking work permits.

• Mosques are transforming themselves into community hubs in an attempt to dampen the mistrust and alienation that observers say can cause some young Muslims to turn to radicalism in the first place.

• Many mosques now host regular interfaith discussions, organize after-school youth groups, and have worked with local police to foster goodwill.

• Muslims voted in record numbers at this summer's European elections, defying both radical imams' and some non-Muslims' view that Islam and democracy don't mix.

"The Muslim community has to stand up and be counted as a British Muslim community," Khurshid Ahmed, spokesman for Muslim issues at the Commission for Racial Equality, told the BBC.

Many Muslims seem to agree. A recent poll commissioned by The Guardian newspaper showed that 33 percent of Muslims wanted more integration into mainstream British culture.

"The generation that's grown up here calls itself British and Muslim," says Imam Yunus Dudhwala, "and I don't think that's a contradiction."

But the same poll showed that 26 percent of British Muslims felt integration has gone too far.

"We have pockets who ... feel that even integration is a threat to their way of life," explains Ibrahim Mogra, head of the Muslim Council of Britain's Imams and Mosques Committee.

Indeed, Muslim parents often worry - with some justification - that their kids will pick up un-Islamic behavior from their English peers.

"Muslim girls aren't supposed to smoke and drink and hang about out on the street like boys," says Ima, a Muslim woman out shopping for a new sari in her Muslim neighborhood.

But when she slips into a side-street for a quick cigarette, she confirms fears that mainstream British culture will corrupt traditional Islamic values.

At the same time, moderate Muslims worry that the British media's focus on the few bad apples creates a false, sinister image of all Muslims.

"The reality [of extremism] is that there is almost nothing there," insists Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, the country's foremost Muslim lobby group. "The rhetoric about the Great Satan and the Islamic superstate can seem daunting. But it's just rhetoric."

Yet a handful of British Muslims have turned such rhetoric into action.

• In 2001, Richard Reid, a British convert to Islam, boarded an American Airlines flight with shoes packed full of explosives. (Crew members restrained him before he could set them off.)

• In 2003, two British Muslims blew themselves up in a Tel Aviv bar, killing three and wounding 55.

• British-born mujahideen were found fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

• Last spring, British police foiled a massive bombing plot by Muslims targeted inside Britain.

• And three British Muslims are alleged to have joined the radical insurgency of Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

Although some blame the media, many Muslims - especially younger ones - complain that their community lacks unity and strong leadership.

"I don't think there are inspiring spokespeople for mainstream Islam, and that's a major problem," says Wasif, who runs a graphic design business.

Above all, moderates say, mainstream Muslims must confront the extremism that has taken root in Britain.

"Much of the Muslim leadership has not only denied the problem, it has maligned and ostracized those who have attempted to address it," stormed Fareena Alam, the managing editor of the Muslim magazine Q-News, in a column for The Observer newspaper last April.

Muslim leaders are beginning to respond. Mosques have adopted a policy of vetting would-be imams and blackballing radicals like Bakri, who are forced to preach in hired halls.

Affirming British identity is what mainstream Muslims claim they must do if they are to capture the limelight from the extremist minority and shake off the stigma of terrorism.

But for integration efforts to bear fruit, the British public will have to take notice. "Non-Muslims need to have an open mind," says Bilal, an Islamic studies student, "and we need to be better examples."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2008, 05:51:25 AM
I postd the article in question without comment of my own.  JDN correctly summarizes the case for the sharia arbirtration panels/courts.  The logic is impeccable.  Unfortunately it is not clear that things are that simple and GM does a good job I think of fleshing out why. 

We live in interesting times.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 12:07:04 PM

Sharia law is now legally binding
Monday, September 15, 2008

It’s been described by one commentator as an example of Great Britain ‘surrendering’ itself and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was criticised for saying it will happen, but whatever the reaction, Islamic law now officially operates in the UK.

Whereas before rulings by sharia courts in Britain could only be enforced if all parties in a Muslim civil case agreed to abide by them, now what the courts say will be legally binding, backed by county courts or the High Court.

The five sharia courts are Birmingham, Bradford, London and Manchester with others planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh. They will be run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal whose Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi said: "We realised that under the Arbitration Act [1996] we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals."

Muslim tribunal courts have been running since August 2007, hearing cases of divorce, domestic violence and much more. Jewish Beth Din courts have been in the UK for over 100 years.

However, Siddiqi admitted that the courts can favour men, with several cases of domestic violence ending with husbands receiving little punishment other than being made to take an anger management course. In every case, the women later withdrew their claims.

Tory shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve was amazed that sharia law had been made legally binding. "If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so."

And Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 12:16:49 PM
A question of honour: Police say 17,000 women are victims every year

Ministers are stepping up the fight against so-called 'honour' crime and forced marriages. Detectives say official statistics are 'merely the tip of the iceberg' of this phenomenon. Brian Brady investigates

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Up to 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to "honour" related violence, including murder, every year, according to police chiefs.

And official figures on forced marriages are the tip of the iceberg, says the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honour" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest.

The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years.

The Home Office is drawing up an action plan to tackle honour-based violence which "aims to improve the response of police and other agencies" and "ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward with the knowledge that they will receive the help and support they need". And a Civil Protection Bill coming into effect later this year will give courts greater guidance on dealing with forced marriages.

Commander Steve Allen, head of ACPO's honour-based violence unit, says the true toll of people falling victim to brutal ancient customs is "massively unreported" and far worse than is traditionally accepted. "We work on a figure which suggests it is about 500 cases shared between us and the Forced Marriage Unit per year," he said: "If the generally accepted statistic is that a victim will suffer 35 experiences of domestic violence before they report, then I suspect if you multiplied our reporting by 35 times you may be somewhere near where people's experience is at." His disturbing assessment, made to a committee of MPs last week, comes amid a series of gruesome murders and attacks on British women at the hands of their relatives.

Marilyn Mornington, a district judge and chair of the Domestic Violence Working Group, warned that fears of retribution, and the authorities' failure to understand the problem completely, meant the vast majority of victims were still too scared to come forward for help. In evidence to the home affairs committee, which is investigating the problem, she said: "We need a national strategy to identify the large number of pupils, particularly girls, missing from school registers who have been taken off the register and are said to be home schooled, which leads to these issues. Airport staff and other staff need to be trained to recognise girls who are being taken out of the country.

"We are bringing three girls a week back from Islamabad as victims of forced marriage. We know that is the tip of the iceberg, but that is the failure end. It has to be part of education within the communities and the children themselves."

Women who have been taken overseas to be married against their will are now being rescued on an almost daily basis. The Government's Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) handled approximately 400 cases last year – 167 of them leading to young Britons being helped back to the UK to escape unwanted partners overseas. And it is not just women who are affected. Home Office figures show that 15 per cent of cases involve men and boys.

In an attempt to crack down on the crimes being committed in the name of honour, police are to introduce a new training package that will give all officers instructions on handling honour cases. In addition, detectives are believed to be conducting a "cold case" style review of previous suicides amid suspicions that cases of honour killings are more common than previously thought.

Almost all victims of the most extreme crimes are women, killed in half of cases by their own husbands. Sometimes murders are carried out by other male relatives, or even hired killers. The fear that many thousands are left to endure honour violence alone may be supported by the disturbing details of the incidence of suicide within the British Asian community. Women aged 16 to 24 from Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi backgrounds are three times more likely to kill themselves than the national average for women of their age.

A report published last week by the Centre for Social Cohesion found that many women felt unable to defy their families and therefore "suffer violence, abuse, depression, anxiety and other psychological problems that can lead to self-harm, schizophrenia and suicide". James Brandon, co-author of Crimes of the Community: Honour-based Violence in the UK, said: "The Government is still not taking honour crime seriously. Until this happens, the ideas of honour which perpetuate this violence will continue to be passed on through generations. Religious leaders, local authorities and central government must work together to end such abuses of human rights."

The human cost of honour crime was vividly captured in a haunting video message from murdered Banaz Mahmood, who revealed how her own father had tried to kill her after she abandoned her arranged marriage and fell in love with another man. In the grainy message she told how he plied her with brandy – the first time she had ever drunk alcohol – pulled the curtains and asked her to turn around.

The 19-year-old fled, but less than a month after making the grainy video on a mobile phone, Banaz was dead. Her naked body was found buried in a yard in Birmingham in 2006, more than 100 miles from her London home. She had been raped and tortured by men hired by her uncle to kill her. Mahmood's father, uncle and one of her killers were sentenced to a total of 60 years in jail for the murder.

And the fatal potential of honour disputes was laid bare last month when a coroner said he was convinced that a Muslim teenager who feared she was being forced into an arranged marriage by her parents had suffered a "vile murder." Ian Smith said the concept of an arranged marriage was "central" to the circumstances leading up to the death of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed, whose decomposed body was discovered on the banks of the River Kent at Sedgwick, Cumbria, four years ago. After running away from home in February 2003, Shafilea told housing officers: "My parents are going to send me to Pakistan and I'll be married to someone and left there." The tragic story of the bright teenager who wanted to go to university and study law is far from the only example of the anguish suffered by British teenagers in recent years.

Toafiq Wahab, British consul in Dhaka, Bangladesh, recalls a "rescue mission" to recover a 17-year-old who called his office from Sylhet. "We had to track her down and 36 hours from taking that call, we had turned up at her house with an armed police escort," he said. "The house was filled with over 20 of her relations, most of whom were from Britain and stunned to see me. They obviously did not want her to leave. We simply asked her if she wanted to leave and go back to the UK in the presence of all her family and she agreed. I then spoke to the family and explained what we were doing and tried to make them understand. In the end, we had to get the police to assist in helping us to leave."

Former Bradford policeman Philip Balmforth, who works with vulnerable Asian women, said he saw 395 cases of forced marriage in the city last year. "I had a case of a 14-year-old girl at school," he recalled. "The teacher tells me that the girl claims to have been married. So I went along to the school with a Muslim colleague. We saw the girl. We asked her a few questions and we were not sure. Then the girl said: 'If you don't believe me I have the video at home.'"

In Bradford alone, a total of 250 girls aged between 13 and 16 were taken off the school rolls last year because they failed to return from trips abroad. Campaigners suspect many were victims of forced marriages.

"If contacted by concerned young British men and women in the UK, the FMU provides free and confidential advice on the potential dangers of being forced into marriage overseas and precautions to take to help avoid this happening," said a Foreign Office spokesperson last night. "If we learn that a British national overseas is being forced into marriage, or has already been forced into marriage, we look at various means of consular assistance ranging from action through the courts to rescue missions."

"The FMU can also help to arrange accommodation for victims for when they return to the UK and can refer victims to counselling and supports groups, legal centres, and so on.

"When it is necessary, the FMU and our embassies and high commissions work closely with the police and judiciary overseas in order to organise emergency rescue and repatriation missions."

Britain's hidden scandal

The kidnap victim

In June 2000 Narina Anwar, 29, and her two sisters claim they were tricked by their parents into going on a family holiday to a remote village in Pakistan, where they were held captive for five months in an attempt to force them to marry three illiterate villagers. The sisters fled to Lahore and contacted the British High Commission, which persuaded their parents to hand over their children's passports so they could return home.

The 'slave'

Gina Singh, 28, sued her former mother-in-law for £35,000 in 2006 after she was forced to work 17 hours a day around the house. Ms Singh, from Nottingham, was forbidden to leave the house on her own after an arranged marriage in 2002.

The runaway wife

In 1983, Zana Muhsen and her sister Nadia, from Birmingham, were pushed by their father to visit Yemen and forced to marry. Zana, now 35, escaped eight years later. Her father had sold her for a few thousand dollars. The experience is recounted in her book, 'Sold'.

The murder victim

Surjit Athwal disappeared with Bachan Athwal, her mother-in-law, after a family wedding in India in 1998. Her body was never found. Bachan later boasted that she arranged for her son, Sukhdave, to murder Surjit after finding out that she was having an affair.

The attempted suicide

Shafilea Ahmed was the victim of a suspected honour killing. The 17-year-old's body was found months after she had returned from a trip to Pakistan in 2003. On the trip she drank bleach. The coroner said he saw it as a 'desperate measure' to avoid a forced marriage.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 12:21:06 PM

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 16, 2008, 03:26:27 PM

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!

"Woo hoo!" maybe, but NO WHERE in you link or anywhere else for that matter does British Law condone or provide the "force of law"
allowing domestic violence.  It's simply not true! It's a fabrication without basis for fact.  Apparently you don't like Muslims, any Muslims,
but like Christians, Hindu's, Jews, et al there are good ones and bad ones.  Did you ever notice there is a lot of domestic violence here
in America among so called, "Christians"?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 05:04:29 PM
YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.


Book 004, Number 2127:
Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi' (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 05:07:54 PM

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!

"Woo hoo!" maybe, but NO WHERE in you link or anywhere else for that matter does British Law condone or provide the "force of law"
allowing domestic violence.  It's simply not true! It's a fabrication without basis for fact.  Apparently you don't like Muslims, any Muslims,

**I don't like Islam's theology of violence.**

but like Christians, Hindu's, Jews, et al there are good ones and bad ones.  Did you ever notice there is a lot of domestic violence here
in America among so called, "Christians"?

**If you'd bother to actually read up on islamic theology, you'd see that wife-beating is mandated by "allah".*
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 16, 2008, 06:54:29 PM

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!

"Woo hoo!" maybe, but NO WHERE in you link or anywhere else for that matter does British Law condone or provide the "force of law"
allowing domestic violence.  It's simply not true! It's a fabrication without basis for fact.  Apparently you don't like Muslims, any Muslims,

**I don't like Islam's theology of violence.**

but like Christians, Hindu's, Jews, et al there are good ones and bad ones.  Did you ever notice there is a lot of domestic violence here
in America among so called, "Christians"?

**If you'd bother to actually read up on islamic theology, you'd see that wife-beating is mandated by "allah".*

Whether wife beating, murder, incest, or rape is "mandated by allah" or Christianity is irrelevant to my post.   The SUBJECT on the table
is that you said, "domestic violence, now with the FORCE OF BRITISH LAW".  And I said that is hogwash!  it simply is not true.  Now I can
talk about baseball games, my love for the Packers and USC and go on and on (all equally as relevant to English Law as your post),
but the SUBJECT of my post was objecting to your stating that British Law condones or approves domestic violence. 
Please stick to the subject rather than ranting on irrelevant issues to this discussion.

My point is simply that you are wrong, British Law DOES NOT support or condone domestic violence in any way; period.
I am not addressing the issue of women's rights in Islamic theology or any other theology; it is irrelevant to this simple legal debate.

IF you have specific English Laws or rulings that truly and specifically condones and supports Islamic or any other domestic violence, please post it and I will
stand corrected.  If not, you should stand corrected; it is very simple. But please, no more rants and tirades about the evils of Islam;
they are not relevant to this simple legal question nor does it answer, provide new legal information, or even address the question on the table.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 08:18:44 PM
Sharia law condones domestic violence, given that it's the husband inflicting violence on the wife. Now that sharia law is creeping into the UK's legal system, you'll see the system empower abusers via the sharia courts, just as sharia courts do around the globe.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 16, 2008, 08:31:47 PM
Soooo bottom line, I am right; ABSOLUTELY NO British Law condones or allows domestic violence?
Soooo what you said is totally and absolutely wrong and in error.......

Good!!!  Just wanted to clear that up......

As for "sharia law creeping into the UK's legal system", I thought it was already agreed;
it pertains to Civil Matters only, i.e. VOLUNTARY ARBITRATION. That's good!  We do the SAME thing in America!
NOTHING pertains to criminal matters.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 08:46:07 PM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 2050
September 12, 2008   No. 2050

Lebanese Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri: Britain's Problem – 'Its Law Is Not the Law Sent Down by Allah'; Terrorism by Mujahideen is 'Blessed'; 'Within 20 Years, British Society Will Have A Muslim Majority'
Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Islamist sheikh Omar Bakri, which aired on OTV on August 22, 2008.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit .

"The Problem With Britain Is that Its Law Is Not the Law Sent Down by Allah"

Sheikh Omar Bakri: "This is true Salafism: Pure and complete religious preaching, and we only brandish our weapons against those who fight us. If we are fought and prevented from calling people to join Islam, a right that everybody has... You call this 'freedom of expression,' but I call it a religious duty to preach for the sake of Allah. If I am prevented from performing this duty, I must either defend myself or emigrate. They prevented me from doing this in Britain, so I emigrated to Lebanon."

Interviewer: "What is your problem with the British? We all know that you left before they decided you would not be allowed to return, and revoked your British citizenship, even though your family still has citizenship."

Bakri: "The problem with Britain is that its law is not the law sent down by Allah. This country says that it implements democracy, freedom of expression, personal liberties, and the right to own property, but when I expressed my belief by preaching to Islam - there was an impressive response in the universities, and George and Michael became Omar and Abd Al-Rahman, and Jane became Hadija...

"Within 20 Years, British Society Will Have A Muslim Majority"

"When they saw that Islam was spreading in British universities at an unprecedented rate, and that the non-Muslims - the Hindus, the Christians and the Jews - were accepting Islam at an average rate of 21 people a day, it began to endanger their society. Within 20 years, British society will have a Muslim majority. Of course, this cannot be allowed by this secular regime, which wants to strip society of any religious values connected to Allah.


"In cases of self-defense, there are victims, who are not intentionally targeted. They are killed by mistake, as collateral damage, not intentionally... When America bombs Sudan, Somalia, and Iraq, and sows destruction, the Muslims have the right to retaliate, and then there might be victims.


"Why do people say that Islam is being distorted today, when these are jihad operations against an enemy occupying Muslim lands? What's the difference between America in Iraq and Israel in Palestine?"

Interviewer: "There is a difference between fighting an American or Israeli soldier, who is occupying my land..."

Bakri: "When the American soldier takes off his uniform and wears pajamas, it becomes forbidden to fight him?"

"There Are Two Types of Terrorism, Blessed and Deplorable - [The Mujahideen's] Terrorism is Blessed"

Interviewer: "Was there a military base in the Twin Towers, which were destroyed?"

Bakri: "It was not just the Twin Towers, but also the U.S. Department of Defense... The 9/11 operation is a matter subject to personal judgment. Some people were against, and others supported it…"

Interviewer: "When explosives are placed on trains and in coffee shops... If I am under occupation, and I carry out attacks against it, that's one thing..."

Bakri: "You can call such operations terrorist operations par excellence. But today, America represents the camp of Western terrorism, and there is another camp of terrorism within Islam. But there are two types of terrorism: Blessed and deplorable. The same is true with regard to violence. Violence can either take lives or save lives. In both cases, it is violence. America's violence is meant to take lives, and so its terrorism is deplorable, whereas the violence the mujahideen use for defense and retaliation is meant to protect lives and defend honor. Their terrorism is blessed. Not all terrorism is deplorable.


"The problem with Hizbullah is that it believes in resistance for the sake of the land. We believe that fighting for the sake of land..."

Interviewer: "... is forbidden, because fighting should be for the sake of Allah."

Bakri: "I was created from mud, I fight for the mud of Shaba', and I will be buried in mud - my entire history is muddy... I fight for the sake of God who lives and does not die. I fight to glorify the word of Allah. If in Lebanon, they would fight to glorify the word of Allah, I'd say: Fine, let them fight for Shaba', liberate it, and instate the law of Allah. But if all they want is to liberate the Shaba' Farms, and then instate what is known here as the 'Lebanese law' - I do not accept this."

Interviewer: "You are talking about Lebanon as if you do not belong here."

Though I Was Given British Citizenship, "I Refused to Swear That I Would Obey the Queen or the Laws - I Obey Only Allah and His Messenger"

Bakri: "I belong to Islam. I did not belong to Britain when I lived there. I was a Muslim living in Britain, now I am a Muslim living in Lebanon, and tomorrow I will be a Muslim living in Iraq. God only knows, I may be a Muslim in prison."

Interviewer: "So why did you take British citizenship?"

Bakri: "I didn't take it. They gave it to me."

Interviewer: "So why didn't you reject it?"

Bakri: "I did not carry their ID. I did not have a British passport. I used a Lebanese passport to get back here."

Male guest: "They took it away from him."

Interviewer: "Why didn't he reject it beforehand?"

Bakri: "They took away my right to become a citizen. They didn't give me a passport because I refused to pledge allegiance to the queen. My wife and children got passports because they were born there. I refused to swear that I would obey the queen or the laws. I obey only Allah and His Messenger."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 08:53:03 PM
Omar Bakri can see it, why can't you? You should fly to Beirut so you can lecture him on his anti-islamic beliefs.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 16, 2008, 08:56:13 PM

JDN's linear logic seems correct to me and his point fairly made.


Although it is sure to make many of us uncomfortable, GM's point about Islam seems reasonably made to me as well.  Because Islam seeks theocracy, to treat it as simply another religion raises profound problems because as best as I can tell many of its tenets are inherently seditious to core Western political principles such as (to put it in American terms) pursuit of happiness, freedom of choice, freedom of speech, equality of the sexes in front of the law and separation of church and state.  I can readily understand GM's concern at any expansion of Sharia.  Is there anything in what he says that you can acknowledge?

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 09:01:37 PM


The mission of Women Against Shariah is to prevent and outlaw the imposition of shariah law in the United States for both Muslim and American women as either a parallel legal system or a replacement for existing laws. Additionally, we hope to empower women worldwide to resist shariah.

It is our position that shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements.

In our efforts to stem the encroachment of shariah in the West, we are focusing on the following objectives:

Education of the American public about the inherent human rights violations and the attempt to undermine or replace U.S. law and American statutes with Islamic shariah

Publicizing of important issues related to sharia requirements such as honor killings, forced marriages, child marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation, violence against women, etc.

Alerting policy makers and legislators to potential human rights and equal rights violations and working toward the development of possible remedies and legal actions

Building coalitions with like-minded organizations to develop policy initiatives and interventions for victims of shariah.
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2008

UK: Forced Marriage Victims Betrayed by Doctors
Doctors and Job Centre workers are breaching confidentiality rules and passing on vital information to families, allowing them to trace and punish Asian women who are attempting to escape coerced marriages and "honour"-based domestic violence.

Commander Steve Allen, who is the spokesman on forced marriages for Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), revealed that some doctors have informed girls' families that they have asked for the contraceptive pill, placing them at risk from fathers or brothers who believe this means the family's honour has been besmirched.

Cmdr Allen also told The Sunday Telegraph that Job Centre workers have accessed the National Insurance details of women who flee violent husbands, tracing where they collect benefits and passing the details on to their families so they can be found and forced back to their marital home.

In one case the family of an 18-year-old Pakistani woman attempted to kidnap her from a south London Job Centre after being tipped off by a member of staff. The plot was only foiled because her boyfriend intervened.

Cmdr Allen, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "GPs will tell fathers their daughter has seen them and is on the pill. That can get a girl killed. Public sector employees will pass on to a family member an individual's National Insurance number knowing it can be used to trace their new whereabouts around the country.

"There is collusion by certain public servants and people in a position of authority, such as doctors, which supports these offences. It means many victims don't have the faith or the trust to be able to report their situation."

Cmdr Allen revealed the problem is compounded by some police offices treating women fleeing a forced marriage as 'teenage runaways' and returning them to their families – unwittingly placing them in danger. This has led to a breakdown of trust in some areas, with young Asian girls scared to tell the police of their plight for fear their families will be told.

He also said that in some Asian communities women do not trust the police because they suspect local officers will inform their families if they attempt to flee a forced marriage. ACPO is now taking urgent steps to address the problem by increased training for officers in how to deal with cases.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 09:19:06 PM
**"The water feels fine", said the frog.**

First sharia-compliant insurance firm launched
Jul 27, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — Britain's first sharia-compliant insurance company was launched Monday, offering motoring policies in line with the Islamic legal code.

Salaam Halal insurance uses Takaful principles, whereby the risk is spread between all policy holders. In contrast, conventional insurance policies shift the risk from the policy holder to the insurance firm.
People taking out a policy with Salaam Halal pay contributions into a pool, with that money then put into sharia-compliant investments -- avoiding companies that are involved in alcohol or pay interest.
The central pool of funds is used to pay any claims that arise, and at the end of the year, if the pool is over-funded, the excess will be distributed back to policyholders through a discount on their next premium.
The policies are aimed at Britain's 1.6 million Muslims, who constitute 2.7 percent of the total population, according to the 2001 census.
"The launch of Salaam insurance -- the first independent, fully sharia-compliant Takaful operator available in this country -- is a significant step for the growth of Islamic finance in the UK," said Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih, the chairman of Salaam insurance.
The group, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, an independent watchdog, hopes to launch home insurance policies later this year.
Their call centres in Britain can take calls in English, Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati or Urdu.
In 2004, Britain authorised a 100 percent Islamic bank, the Islamic Bank of Britain. And the traditional bank Lloyds TSB last year launched Islamic finance products targeted at businesses, and offered sharia-compliant bank accounts.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 09:32:53 PM

Sharia law already enforced in 10 courts
By Gordon Rayner and Duncan Gardham
Last Updated: 2:24AM GMT 09 Feb 2008

The extent to which sharia law already operates in Britain was the subject of concern yesterday after it emerged that at least 10 Islamic "courts" are sitting across the country.
The existence of the courts, in towns and cities including London and Birmingham, heightened anxiety following the Archbishop of Canterbury's remarks that the introduction of some elements of Islamic law was "unavoidable".
The majority of cases heard in the courts involve divorce or financial disputes, but one reported case involved a gang of Somali youths who were allowed to go free after paying compensation to a teenager they had stabbed.
Extremists were said to have used the spread of sharia courts to justify calls for Islamic law to be adopted "wholesale" for Muslims living in Britain.
Anjem Choudary, a solicitor and former senior figure in the banned organisation Al-Muhajiroun, said: "Some element of family law or social and economic law will not work. It has to be adopted wholesale. It will not happen tomorrow but it is inevitable because sharia is superior and better for mankind."
Despite grave warnings from lawyers about the dangers of a dual legal system, criminal cases are already being dealt with by some of the unofficial courts.
In 2006 an Islamic Council sitting in Woolwich, south-east London, heard the case of the Somali gang, who had been accused of stabbing another Somali teenager and were reportedly arrested by the police.
Aydarus Yusuf, a youth worker, told Radio 4's Law in Action programme that the suspects were released on bail after the victim's family said the matter would be dealt with by the Islamic community. "All their uncles and fathers were there," said Mr Yusuf.
"So they all put something towards that and apologised for the wrongdoing." The Metropolitan Police said it was unaware of the case, but admitted that officers sometimes did not proceed with assault cases if the victim decided not to press charges.
Mr Yusuf told the programme that he felt more bound by sharia law than by the laws of his adopted country.
"Us Somalis, wherever we are in the world, we have our own law,'' he said. "It's not sharia, it's not religious, it's just a cultural thing.''
He said sharia's great strength was that those who appeared before religious courts would avoid re-offending so as not to bring shame on their families. The first sharia court in the UK started in Birmingham in 1982, and others have followed in London, Rotherham and Dewsbury, West Yorks.
Although their rulings are not recognised by English law, participants often agree to abide by the court's decision in the same way that Jewish civil disputes are often settled in their own court, the Beth Din.
Divorces must still be ratified by civil law courts. **Not anymore.**
Omar Bakri Mohammed, the former leader of Al-Muhajiroun, who is banned from entering the UK, said: "If sharia law were introduced it would have all kinds of benefits. It would get rid of drinking, night clubs, casual sex, homosexuality, prostitution, gambling and usury."
David Pannick QC, a leading human rights barrister, said that if criminal law and marriages were dealt with by sharia courts
"it would lead to the breakdown of society, if some groups could just ignore laws that applied to others".
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 16, 2008, 09:54:12 PM

JDN's linear logic seems correct to me and his point fairly made.


Although it is sure to make many of us uncomfortable, GM's point about Islam seems reasonably made to me as well.  Because Islam seeks theocracy, to treat it as simply another religion raises profound problems because as best as I can tell many of its tenets are inherently seditious to core Western political principles such as (to put it in American terms) pursuit of happiness, freedom of choice, freedom of speech, equality of the sexes in front of the law and separation of church and state.  I can readily understand GM's concern at any expansion of Sharia.  Is there anything in what he says that you can acknowledge?


Marc, i am not defending Islam's treatment of women; I unequivocally do not approve.  But then I do not approve of truly terrible treatment of women in Africa, some places in Asia, and also,
I find appalling the amount of domestic violence in this country.  No one is immune.  For example, among those sworn to protect us, domestic violence among police officers is 2 to 4 times the national average and many incidents do not even get reported.  I was raised that you simply do not/ever strike a woman; period.

However, as you indirectly pointed out, that is not the question/argument on the table.  My point, my only point, my logic is that there is absolutely no English Law that promotes domestic violence.  You agreed with my logic. GM said to the contrary and being unable to back it up; is wrong.  All his discourses on the evils of Islam do not change English Law; while interesting, it is not germane to the discussion.  I find it odd that after your post, GM again insisted upon posting additional tirades about the evils of Islam.  We have already had this discussion; Civil Matters can be taken care of by voluntary arbitration utilizing sharia law, jewish law, or any other voluntarily agreed upon third party.  But only British Law pertains to criminal matters.  Yes, people can work out deals; as we do here.  I hit you; you hit me.  Our lawyers meet; we voluntarily mutually agree to resolve this matter; I say sorry, I pay you a few dollars and the "criminal" aspect is dropped.  Probably better for everyone.   And as GM's new post states, like in the US these ruling are not recognized by British Law but are largely ignored if the parties reach an agreement.   My main point?  This is becoming redundant, but no where in this post or any other post of his does GM point out any English Law that permit's or condones domestic violence.  Better for him to admit a mistake and move on.  His other points are interesting and deserve attention, but the subject on the table is English Law and domestic violence.  It is all rather simple and straightforward I would say.  NO BRITISH LAW CONDONES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 09:58:53 PM
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 10:21:36 PM,1518,474629,00.html

Paving the Way for a Muslim Parallel Society

A recent ruling in Germany by a judge who cited the Koran underscores the dilemma the country faces in reconciling Western values with a growing immigrant population. A disturbing number of rulings are helping to create a parallel Muslim world in Germany that is welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.

She didn't know it, nor did she even expect it. She had good intentions. Perhaps it was a mistake. In fact, it was most certainly a mistake. The best thing to do would be to wipe the slate clean.

Last week, in the middle of the storm, Christa Datz-Winter, a judge on Frankfurt's family court, was speechless. But Bernhard Olp, a spokesman for the city's municipal court, was quick to jump in. Olp reported that the judge had been under emotional stress stemming from a murder that had been committed in her office 10 years ago, and that she was now planning to take a break to recuperate. He also mentioned that she was "outraged" -- not about herself or her scandalous ruling, but over the reactions the case has triggered.

   Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (8 Photos)
The reactions were so fierce that one could have been forgiven for mistakenly thinking that Germany's Muslims had won the headscarf dispute and the controversy over the Mohammed cartoons in a single day and, in one fell swoop, had taken a substantial bite out of the legal foundations of Western civilization.

The ensuing media furor came from both sides of the political spectrum. The left-leaning daily Die Tageszeitung ran a story on the case titled: "In the Name of the People: Beating Allowed," while the right-wing tabloid Bild called it "An Outrageous Case!" The same unanimity across party lines prevailed in the political realm. "Unbearable," was conservative Bavarian Interior Minister Günther Beckstein's ruling, while Lale Akgün, a member of parliament of Turkish origin and the Social Democratic Party's representative on Islamic issues, commented that the Frankfurt judge's ruling was "worse than some backyard decision by an Islamist imam." Even the deputy head of the Green Party's parliamentary group, Hans-Christian Ströbele, noted that a German judge is obligated to uphold German law.

The original purpose of the case was not to carry the clash of cultures into the courtroom. Instead, the case brought before Frankfurt's family court was that of a 26-year-old German woman of Moroccan origin who was terrified of her violent Moroccan husband, a man who had continued to threaten her despite having been ordered to stay away by the authorities. He had beaten his wife and he had allegedly threatened to kill her.
But German law requires a one-year separation before a divorce can be completed -- and exceptions for an expedited process are only granted in extreme situations. When the woman's attorney, Barbara Becker-Rojczyk, filed a petition for an expedited divorce, Judge Christa Datz-Winter suddenly became inflexible. According to the judge, there was no evidence of "an unreasonable hardship" that would make it necessary to dissolve the marriage immediately. Instead, the judge argued, the woman should have "expected" that her husband, who had grown up in a country influenced by Islamic tradition, would exercise the "right to use corporal punishment" his religion grants him.

The judge even went so far as to quote the Koran in the grounds for her decision. In Sura 4, verse 34, she wrote, the Koran contains "both the husband's right to use corporal punishment against a disobedient wife and the establishment of the husband's superiority over the wife."

A disturbing pattern of rulings

Put plainly, the judge argued that a woman who marries a Muslim should know what she's getting herself into. In Germany, no less. Leading German feminist Alice Schwarzer argued that this was tantamount to a "softening of our legal system" that is "by no means a coincidence." Germany's only minister of integration at the state level, Armin Laschet, a member of the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from the state of North Rhine Westphalia, sees the Frankfurt ruling as the "last link, for the time being, in a chain of horrific rulings handed down by German courts" -- rulings in which, for example, so-called honor killings have been treated as manslaughter and not murder.

This, says Berlin family attorney and prominent women's rights activist Seyran Ates, is part of the reason one should "be almost thankful that (judge Datz-Winter) made such a clear reference to the Koran. All she did was bring to the surface an undercurrent that already exists in our courts." Out of a sense of misguided tolerance, says Ates, judges treat the values of Muslim subcultures as a mitigating circumstance and, in doing so, are helping pave the way for a gradual encroachment of fundamentalist Islam in Germany's parallel Muslim world. It's an issue Ates often runs up against in her cases. "In Frankfurt," she says, "someone expressly openly for the first time what many are already thinking."
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 16, 2008, 10:34:51 PM

Counterterrorism Blog

The Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic law in Europe

By Lorenzo Vidino

Over the last few days various contributors to the CT Blog have debated the real aims of the Muslim Brotherhood, especially in the West. Another indication of what the Ikhwan really want came just a few days ago from Sweden, where the country’s largest Muslim organization, the Brotherhood-linked Sveriges Muslimska Förbund (SMF), published a serious of demands addressed to all Swedish political parties (note the text-in Swedish only- “we demand,” not “we ask” or “we suggest”). Among its many demands, SMF stated Swedish Muslims should be given time off work for Friday prayers and Islamic holidays and that imams should approve all divorces between Muslim couples. Basically, SMF is asking for a partial introduction of sharia law in Sweden and the creation of a separate legal system for Swedish Muslim, something politicians from all sides of the Swedish political spectrum and moderate Muslim organizations have immediately condemned as completely unacceptable.

The Swedish case is hardly unique, but mirrors the demand of Brotherhood-linked organizations throughout Europe. For example, in Germany, the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland (IGD), the country’s largest Muslim organization, has stated in its official publication Al Islam (here, page 48): “In the long run, Muslims cannot be satisfied with the acceptance of German family, estate, and trial law. … Muslims should aim at an agreement between the Muslims and the German state with the goal of a separate jurisdiction for Muslims.” In Great Britain, the UK Islamic Mission, has the stated goal of conducting a “continuous campaign for the establishment of Muslim family laws,” and to “establish Islamic social order in the United Kingdom in order to seek the pleasure of Allah.”

The Ikhwan organizations of Europe follow the teachings of Sheik Yusuf al Qaradawi, who outlined the methods that these organizations should follow in order to achieve their goal of establishing sharia in Europe in his book Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase. In spite of the European Brothers’ pro-integration public declarations, Qaradawi urges them: “Try to have your small society within the larger society…Try to have your own ‘Muslim ghetto.’” Qaradawi clearly sees the role that the Ikhwan organizations would play in creating these separated Muslim communities, running the mosques, schools, and civic organizations that will shape the daily life of the desired “Non-territorial Islamic States in Europe,” as Reuven Paz calls them. Qaradawi also suggests that sharia law should govern the relations among inhabitants of these Muslim islands, affirming that Muslim minorities “should also have amongst them their own ulema and men of religion to answer their questions when they ask them, guide them when they lose the way and reconcile them when they differ among themselves.”

Unlike the Salafis, the Brothers use a cunning double-talk when dealing with Western elites, advocating integration and dialogue. Yet the plans of the two movements, two different faces of the same coin, are eerily similar. Abu Qatada, al Qaeda’s “ambassador” to Europe was clear about the mujaheddins’ goal: “Muslims’ target is the West. We will split Rome open. The destruction must be carried out by sword. Those who will destroy Rome are already preparing the swords. Rome will not be conquered with the word but with the force of arms.” This is how Qaradawi sees the same issue: “Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice…I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology.” Different methods, but same goal. Are we sure the U.S. government should use the Brothers as partners in the dialogue with the Muslim world?

By Lorenzo Vidino on April 30, 2006 10:25 PM
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 06:04:13 AM
Britain’s Sharia Courts   
By Kathy Shaidle | Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Muslim Sharia courts have been operating throughout England for more than a year. This startling fact came as news to not a few UK residents when the Sunday Times broke the story last week. Officially called “arbitration tribunals,” these courts already have ruled on over 100 cases, including divorces, financial disputes and domestic violence cases – even though the latter is a criminal and not a civil matter. As such, they represent a worrying advance for Islamic law into the heart of Europe.

According to the Times, the rulings of these courts are now legally binding. Previously, their judgments could not be enforced unless all parties involved agreed to abide by them. As of August 2007, however, “[r]ulings issued by a network of five Sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.” To match their growing authority, the courts themselves are proliferating: Two more Sharia courts are planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Those who monitor the spread of radical Islam throughout the Western world were quick to take note. Robert Spencer warned, “Britain will come to regret this, but whether or not it will before it's too late is an open question.” Author Melanie Philips, while cautioning against undue alarmism, observed that, “Sharia law is not compatible with English law or the principles of equality and human rights that it embodies. The result – regardless of the fact that this is not, as the Sunday Times claimed, anything new – is that Britain is allowing the development of a de facto parallel legal system in Britain, thus destroying our society's cardinal principle of one law for all.”

How did it come to this? Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs these courts, told the Times that he and other Sharia supporters were simply exploiting a legal loophole: “We realized that under the Arbitration Act [1996] we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals.” Indeed, Jewish Beth Din courts have operated in UK for more than a century. “If the Jewish courts are allowed to flourish,” insisted Inayat Bunglawala of the Muslim Council of Britain, “so must the Sharia ones.”

This plausible-sounding defense is in fact specious. As Robert Spencer points out, “Jewish courts do not rule on the basis of a law that Jews are laboring to impose upon the whole of British society. Sharia courts are.” Therein lies a crucial distinction, and one that Sharia advocates fail to mention.

Sheikh Siddiqi and Bunglawala may have been inspired on by the example of some Canadian Muslims. Back in 2004, Muslims in the province of Ontario also used the existence of long-standing provincial Catholic and Jewish arbitration tribunals to campaign for the establishment of Sharia courts. When some expressed concern, Sharia supporters accused their critics of “Islamophobia” and paranoia. Undaunted, one intrepid reporter took the time to visit the website of the pro-Sharia Canadian Society of Muslims. What he found there was chilling.

“As Canadian Muslims, you have a clear choice,” wrote the group’s president Syed Mumtaz Ali. “Do you want to govern yourself by the personal law of your own religion or do you prefer governance by secular Canadian family law? If you choose the latter, then you cannot claim that you believe in Islam as a religion and a complete code of life actualized by a prophet who you believe to be a mercy to all.” The punishment for apostasy under Sharia law is death.

Eventually, Ontario’s Liberal Premier Dalton McGinty responded to the controversy – which included anti-Sharia protests in London, Amsterdam, Paris and Dusseldorf, and local protests by Canadian Muslim feminists -- with a decidedly un-Solomonic gesture: he shut down all religious tribunals, even though Catholic and Jewish arbitration had operated without controversy for generations.

(Interestingly, two vocal Canadian Sharia law proponents, Syed Soharwardy and Mohammed Elmasry, went on to sue publisher Ezra Levant and author Mark Steyn, respectively, for “Islamophobia” using Canada’s Sharia-like Human Rights Tribunals. As well, Elmasry recently endorsed the socialist New Democratic Party (NDP) in the upcoming federal election. It was a former NDP attorney general who first proposed bringing Sharia to Ontario.)

The “Labor government has colluded with extremist Muslims” before, wrote A. Millar in the Brussels Journal, “Ken Livingstone, the former Left-wing Mayor of London, has openly embraced Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a man who believes that wives can be beaten into submission, that homosexuals should be executed, and pregnant Israeli women should be murdered.”

Earlier this year, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams shrugged that the formal adoption of Sharia law “seemed unavoidable” given Britain’s ever-growing Muslim immigrant population. Shortly thereafter, Lord Chief Justice Lord Phillips endorsed the use Islamic courts to deal with family, marital and financial disputes. Thus was the path for the mainstreaming of Sharia cleared by left-leaning members of Britain’s political and religious establishment.

Among the many troubling issues raised by this new parallel Muslim justice system is the fact that Sharia law doesn’t not recognize the equality of men and women. Sheik Siddiqi admitted as much to the Sunday Times when he conceded that “the courts can favor men.” The Times reported that already, “in the six cases of domestic violence, Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.” Each woman subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police, who then called off their criminal investigations. For his part, Siddiqi viewed these outcomes as a triumph because “marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.” Similarly, in a recent inheritance dispute heard before a UK Sharia court, a Muslim father’s estate was split unevenly, in compliance with Sharia law: each son received twice as much as each daughter.

Violent crimes, too, have fallen under the purview of Sharia courts. Last month, the Evening Standard revealed that “a teenage stabbing case among the Somali community in Woolwich had been dealt with by a Sharia ‘trial’” instead of by the secular justice system. Incredibly, after the victims told police that “the matter would be settled out of court,” officers released the suspects in the violent attack on bail.

Perhaps most disturbing of all is Patrick Sookhdeo’s assertion in his book, Faith, Power and Territory: A Handbook of British Islam, that the “Sharia Council of the Darul Uloom London even appears to assume the possibility of child marriages, as there are instructions on its website for how to deal with the divorce of a girl who has not yet reached puberty.”

Surveying these developments, it seems that Britain has failed to heed the warnings of a 2005 study on “Islam and World Domination” by the U.K.’s Institute for the Study of Islam and Christianity, which monitors the advance of Sharia in England. Back then, said the ISIC, Sharia was “already practiced unofficially.” The institute warned that, “Muslims find it difficult to assume minority status in a majority non-Muslim society. More than other minority communities, they constantly, sometimes subconsciously, strive to redress the balance and assume an expanding and dominant position in their host countries.”

That conclusion may have been dismissed as unfounded speculation in 2005. But with Sharia courts growing in stature, the verdict is decidedly in.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 07:25:03 AM
Finally we agree.  You were wrong.  British Law does not condone domestic violence.  And I hope it never does.

"Yet" it may change one day; bring the subject up again if you wish; however for the present, unless laws are legally changed in England such violence is not legally condoned.  As a side note, all of your articles you continue to quote pertain to Civil Law; not Criminal. It is my understanding that you are in Law Enforcement so you clearly know the difference.  Civil Law does allow voluntary binding arbitration; frankly it is encouraged. And, Civil Law permits a greater deal of latitude by the Judge.  Even in America for example, Family Law is very subjective changing from Judge to Judge and from region, i.e. California to let's say down South. Good or bad, I don't know, but it seems to work just fine.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 07:30:32 AM
According to the last article I posted above, the sharia courts have already addressed domestic violence cases. Just wait and see what happens.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2008, 08:34:27 AM

Now that GM has acknowledged your point, is there anything in what he has posted that you wish to acknowledge?

"Marc, i am not defending Islam's treatment of women; I unequivocally do not approve.  But then I do not approve of truly terrible treatment of women in Africa, some places in Asia, and also, I find appalling the amount of domestic violence in this country.  No one is immune.  For example, among those sworn to protect us, domestic violence among police officers is 2 to 4 times the national average and many incidents do not even get reported.  I was raised that you simply do not/ever strike a woman; period."

Two points here:

1) In the comparisons you mention, violence against women is not specifically called for/permitted by God.

2)  There is GM's larger point wherein these sharia courts are specifically part of a larger cause to establish Sharia and Islam for all. 
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Body-by-Guinness on September 17, 2008, 08:43:09 AM
Reason had a piece about this yesterday. I've taken the liberty of bolding a germane point:

Sharia Invades Britain, Cultural Relativists Quietly Pack Their Bags
Mike Riggs | September 16, 2008, 3:19pm

First, the big news:

Islamic law has been officially adopted in Britain, with sharia courts given powers to rule on Muslim civil cases.

The government has quietly sanctioned the powers for sharia judges to rule on cases ranging from divorce and financial disputes to those involving domestic violence.

Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court....

Under the act, the sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals. The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

Next, some thoughtful analysis from the students at the GW Patriot blog:

[T]he act in question--sanctioning Muslim Sharia courts to serve as officially-recognized arbiters in British civil cases--shouldn't be so repugnant to thinking people. As liberals (and, in global terms, all of us here at the Patriot are liberal), we ought only to worry whether these courts are really as "voluntary" as they claim to be, which are similar to the Beth Din courts that decide civil cases between consenting Jews. We might find Sharia law itself repugnant, but the degree of cultural relativism inherent in liberal political institutions is there for a good reason. If we don't like it, we don't have to consent.

It's an open question just how voluntary these sorts of arrangements really can be. The possibility that participation in these courts could be coerced is there, which is worrisome enough to justify significant state oversight. That is not sufficient reason, though, to dismantle the courts entirely. We have to swallow our principles here and admit that--since we allow people to make self-harming decisions elsewhere all the time--it would make sense only to a xenophobe to stop at sanctioning a Sharia arbitration court.

Critics should examine not just the voluntary aspect of sharia, but also its fairness. How many Muslim women will be coerced by their fathers and husbands into submitting to sharia instead of taking their chances with the British court system? And how many of them, as a result of this cultural insulation, will end up being punished for—or as a result of—their gender? Anecdotal evidence suggests quite a few women will end up worse off under sharia:

There are concerns that women who agree to go to tribunal courts are getting worse deals because Islamic law favours men.

Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

Almost as disturbing as the people who advocate for sharia on principle are the people who ask why the Jews get special treatment and the Muslims don't. Where are the advocates for dissolving both Beth Din and Sharia?

Bruce Bawer saw this coming, and said as much three years ago in reason.

Addendum: The astute Jesse Walker brought this H&R post to my attention, as well as this defense of alternative forms of arbitration. Despite his seductive intellectual prowess, I maintain my disdain for sharia.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 08:48:57 AM
GM: As established over and over ad nauseam, Sharia Courts are CIVIL COURTS; that is the basis and foundation for this whole discussion.  Given that they are Civil Courts, yet not really even a "Court", but rather a VOLUNTARY (both parties must agree) binding place of arbitration, it has no basis or relevancy to the criminal system or English Criminal Law.  In your example above "the women withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the Police, who then called off the criminal investigation."  In similar matters, it's the SAME in America; no complaint, usually no investigation or charge.  Yet IF the women had chosen to pursue CRIMINAL CHARGES, the Police would have finished their investigation and the Prosecutor, both here and in England, would bring CRIMINAL charges IF appropriate.  Their decision to bring charges and the severity of the punishment thereafter, if appropriate, would have NOTHING to do with the decision of the Sharia Court or any other Voluntary Arbitration or Civil Proceeding.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 09:23:48 AM
GM: As established over and over ad nauseam, Sharia Courts are CIVIL COURTS; that is the basis and foundation for this whole discussion.  Given that they are Civil Courts, yet not really even a "Court", but rather a VOLUNTARY (both parties must agree) binding place of arbitration, it has no basis or relevancy to the criminal system or English Criminal Law.  In your example above "the women withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the Police, who then called off the criminal investigation."  In similar matters, it's the SAME in America; no complaint, usually no investigation or charge.  Yet IF the women had chosen to pursue CRIMINAL CHARGES, the Police would have finished their investigation and the Prosecutor, both here and in England, would bring CRIMINAL charges IF appropriate.  Their decision to bring charges and the severity of the punishment thereafter, if appropriate, would have NOTHING to do with the decision of the Sharia Court or any other Voluntary Arbitration or Civil Proceeding.

It varies from state to state, I can tell you that my state has very strict laws regarding domestic violence. The state, not the victim pursues charges related to domestic violence. My state statute requires that any time a peace officer finds there is probable cause to believe that dv has occurred, he/she SHALL make a custodial arrest. Failure to do so is official misconduct. If a peace officer in my state were convicted of official misconduct, kiss your career in law enforcement bye-bye.

So, what's the endgame? If it's just civil arbitration, why push sharia courts?

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2008, 10:40:06 AM
Once again I acknowledge the logic of your point and once again I invite you to address the underlying question about sharia being the camel's nose inside the tent for something seditious.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 10:55:55 AM
It's the slow motion, semi-peaceful conquest of europe. Already, there are places in western europe where jews must hide their jewishness and non-muslim women must wear the hijab just to walk through their neighborhoods in peace. Just wait to see what the future brings.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:08:32 AM
Jewish Life in an Increasingly Muslim Europe
by Daniel Pipes
Sat, 31 Jan 2004
updated Sun, 27 Jul 2008

In a caustic piece last month titled "A French Lesson for Tom Harkin," I noted that due to the hostility coming from the Muslim population of France, nearly half of the country's sizeable Jewish population is considering emigration. In this space, I shall provide occasional updates, in reverse chronological order, on the reasons why Jews of Europe, having survived the Holocaust, again worry about their future.


"The 19th arrondissement of Paris has become a war zone between Jews and North Africans": Tiberge writes in the Brussels Journal about the most recent flare-up of Parisian violence on June 21: "A 17-year old Jewish boy suffered several broken ribs and skull fractures during a violent assault by Mulsim youths. The boy was hospitalized in an unconscious state at Cochin Hospital where he is currently being kept in an artificial coma. The boy, who was wearing a kippa, was walking on Rue Petit, in the 19th, when he came upon a group of 30 young persons of African origin who insulted him before beating him. Five minors were arrested, said a police source, but they have not been identified by witnesses. According to the police, the assault must be put into the context of "brawls" between groups of young Jews and North Africans. One such brawl is said to have occurred just before the beating." (June 24, 2008)

"Jews fleeing Paris suburbs for ‘ghettos' where life is safer": Devorah Lauter writes for JTA that in a period of just three years, roughly half the Jewish families in Villepinte, working-class suburb north of Paris, 150 out of 300, have left due to anti-Semitism, fleeing to other suburbs, Paris neighborhoods considered safer for Jews, or out of France entirely. Symbolic of this flight, Villepinte's 40-year-old synagogue, already torched in 1991 and 2001, might close because it often lacks a minyan. "By the next generation there will be practically no more Jews in the northern Paris periphery," says Maurice Robert Fellous, the president of the Jewish community in Noisy-le-Sec, a northern Paris suburb. More broadly, more than 16,000 Jews, or roughly two-thirds of the mostly Sephardic Jews who once lived in the Seine-Saint-Denis region have left due to the surge of anti-Semitism in the period 2000-05.

As the Jews move tighter together, observes University of Paris sociologist Shmuel Trigano, a self-ghettoization is taking place. "It is a general shift, not a passing crisis. The Jewish community is becoming a ghetto. It is no longer a community of choice but a community of necessity. In a democracy that shouldn't happen."

Many Sephardic families compare this migration and their families' escape from North Africa in the 1960s. "They chased us from Algeria and they followed us here," Robert Sebbane, 81, of Creteil. In 2000, "we were shocked because we didn't think this would happen here." (March 12, 2008)

Dov Hikind, New York State Assemblyman.
American politician urges special refugee status to European Jews: Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents Boro Park in the New York State Assembly, characterized anti-Semitic incidents in Europe as "staggering," said anti-Semitism has made life intolerable for Jews in England, France, Germany, and Belgium, and called on President George W. Bush to grant Western European Jews special refugee status. (Dec. 4, 2007)

French woman attacked for wearing Star of David: An unnamed French woman, 22, reported that two youths of Middle Eastern origin snatched her Star of David necklace at an underground train station in Marseille, lifted her shirt, drew a swastika on her stomach, and then fled. (Apr. 26, 2007)

Belgian Jewish group attacked by Turks: Sixty or so teenage Hasidic Jews from Antwerp, out on a trip, were attacked on Nov. 30 in the town of Beringen. The MSM ignored the incident for three days. The blog "Islam in Europe" has stitched together this account:

The incident started when a group of Orthodox Jewish kids ages 13-15 came with several adult escorts to the town in order to spend the weekend. The kids had spent the day having fun and had come to Beringen to sleep over at a youth hostel [in a largely Muslim neighborhood, adds the JTA]. Once the kids stepped out of the buses, they were immediately attacked by a group of Turks who threw stones at them and yelled anti-Semitic slurs. The Jewish kids took cover in an inner corridor of the youth hostel. The Turks threw stones and concrete blocks, breaking dozens of windows in various buildings. Glass and stone fragments littered the floor and beds.

The police showed up but the violence continued for about another hour. Even after police managed to get things under control, the Turkish youth kept hanging round the building. The police informed the organizers of the trip that they could not guarantee the safety of the children and at that the organizers decided to cut short the trip and the group returned to Antwerp [accompanied to the highway by a police escort, adds the JTA]. Ten people were arrested later on, among them six minors and four adults.

(Dec. 5, 2006)

Norwegian Jews warned to lie low: After a man wearing a yarmulke was assaulted on an Oslo street on July 22, the Jewish communal body in Norway, called the Mosaic Religious Community, issued an advisory urging Jews to be discreet. "We have encouraged our members to avoid speaking Hebrew loudly on the street," Anne Sender told the newspaper Vårt Land. To Norwegian Broadcasting she suggested that men reconsider wearing a yarmulke. Despire these warnings, Sender stressed that "the situation for Jews in Norway is better than it has been for a long time." (July 20, 2006)

Murder of a Parisian Jew: Ilam Halimi, 23, was a mobile-telephone store clerk who was lured by an Iranian woman, then abducted, tortured, and murdered by a Muslim gang over a 24-day period. (February 2006)

Denmark's "Jewish" cookies.
Denmark's offensive Jewish cookies: It's a small thing in the greater scheme of things, but indicative of three trends. First, Danish Muslims are refusing to buy or eat a cinnamon and hazelnut confection known as the "Jewish cookie" because they don't like the name, reports Yigal Romm in the European Jewish Press. Second, Ole Poulsen, the head of something called the "public food consumer department" noted that this boycott could effect sales, in which case, "we would be obliged to do something about it," i.e., change the product name. Third, noting that the "Jewish cookies" are popular in the pre-Christmas period and have nothing specifically Jewish about them, Denmark's chief rabbi, Bent Lexner, is easy with a change in name. "There is nothing Jewish in it and I wouldn't mind another name," though he does add that "it would be better to educate Muslims to respect the culture of the majority in Denmark, if they want the majority to respect their culture."

Comment: What Poulsen and Lexner both seem to miss here is the consequences of giving way to rank Muslim antisemitism. Winning this small cookie victory inevitably will lead to a push on larger issues. (Dec. 6, 2005)

Former chief rabbi: European Jewish history nearing its end. Israel's former chief rabbi, Meir Lau, yesterday predicted that European Jewish history is nearing its end for the slightly more than one million Jews now living in Europe. He warned that antisemitism is on the rise in nearly every European country and quoted survey data released in recent days indicating that 62 percent of Germans are tired of hearing about the Holocaust. "I see the end of the Diaspora of Jews in Europe. I call on the government to prepare for a new phase in the spiritual and physical absorption of European Jewry before they consider emigrating to the United States or Australia." (Dec. 3, 2004)

Denial of Antisemitism: It's horrible enough that Moshe Yitzchak Naeh, 26, a Hasidic Jew, synagogue sexton, and the father of four, was shot in the head and killed while walking down the street in Antwerp early in the morning on Nov. 18. The fact that Naeh was carrying a considerable sum of money (€1,400) which was not stolen, plus that he had no known criminal connections and was walking near a predominantly Muslim area all pointed to the crime being anti-Jewish in nature. That, however, is not what the Belgian authorities have concluded. "There are no signs that racism was involved," stated Dominique Reyniers, a spokeswoman for the Antwerp prosecutor's office. (Nov. 20, 2004)

French Government Re-authorizes a Terrorist Television Station: France's Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA) reached an agreement on Nov. 19 to permit Hizbollah's al-Manar TV to continue broadcasting throughout Europe using the French satellite operator Eutelsat. (The United States and Britain classify Hizbollah as a terrorist group.) This decision followed an attempt by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) to have al-Manar's local operations shut down due to its drama "The Diaspora," depicting a Zionist plot to dominate the world. CSA called the "Diaspora" program "intolerable" but permitted al-Manar to go on operating if it agreed to a list of commitments to unbiased journalism. Al-Manar readily agreed to the list but also said it foresaw no changes following the agreement. CRIF president Roger Cuikerman responded to this agreement that "We French citizens are under attack as Jews by this television. The Republic should protect all its citizens and not give in to external pressures." (Nov. 20, 2004) Dec. 13, 2004 update: France's highest administrative court, the Council of State, today banned al-Manar from Eutelsat, a French satellite service, thereby becoming the first country partially to ban the station (it continues to be broadast on GlobeCast, another French satellite). Dec. 16, 2004 update: The New York Sun ascribes this decision to the efforts of Natan Sharansky.

Moving to Israel: The New York Times reports that "The Jewish Agency, the quasi-governmental body responsible for settling immigrants, reported a doubling in the number of French Jews who arrived last year and in 2002, to more than 2,000 each year, compared with about 1,000 a year in the previous three years. By contrast, worldwide immigration to Israel has sharply declined during the Arab-Israeli violence." (July 4, 2004)

Only Jewish student: Today's International Herald Tribune recounts how the only Jewish student in a French public school outside Paris with a large Muslim minority stopped eating and had nightmares due to the incessant insults and attacks against her, until she and her mother moved to the south of France, where the 13-year-old enrolled in a new school. (Feb. 10, 2004)

"Teacher told to drop Star of David": That's the headline in Norway's Aftenposten. Curiously, the teacher in question, Inge Telhaug is not a Jew but wears a 16-millimeter (0.6-inch) Magen David around his neck, usually under a T-shirt, as a religious symbol: "I see it as the oldest religious symbol we have in our culture, because without Judaism there would be no Christianity." But he was informed by Kjell Gislefoss, principal of the Kristiansand Adult Education Center, where he teaches immigrants about the Norwegian language and culture, that wearing the star could be deemed a provocation towards the many Muslim students at the school. "The Star of David would be a symbol for one side in what is perhaps the world's most inflamed conflict at the moment. Many [students] have a traumatic past that they have escaped and then we feel that if they are going to learn Norwegian then they can't sit and at the same time be reminded of the things they have traveled from." Telhaug refuses to acquiesce and has hired a lawyer. Heidi Hauge Uldal, head of the Education Association in Kristiansand, deemed the school's decision "unacceptable." (Feb. 5, 2004)

Death Chants: During a Belgium-Israel football game on January 28, 2004, reports Le Soir (Brussels), Muslim fans pulled out Hamas and Hezbollah flags, then cried out "Jews to the gas chamber!" "Death to Jews!" and "Strangle the Jews!" To make matters worse, a Belgian soccer player named Mustapha Toukouki, is said to have encouraged these chants. (Jan. 31, 2004)

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:22:34 AM
Sexual Amputation and Silence   
By Jamie Glazov | Thursday, December 02, 2004
The mutilation of Muslim girls’ genitals is on a steady rise throughout Europe.

Young girls born in Europe to immigrant Muslim families, mostly from Africa, are being assaulted with female genital mutilation (FGM).

No one, save a handful of courageous activists, is doing anything about it.
The recently reported that Waris Dirie, the Somalia-born supermodel and best-selling author, who has campaigned to stop female genital mutilation (which disfigured her at age five in her homeland), has stated that approximately one out of every three African families in Europe is secretly perpetrating this crime against their daughters. Germany, the Netherlands and Austria are the main scenes of this barbarity -- where approximately 8,000 girls have been assaulted.
European authorities, with the exception of those in France, are benignly standing by, operating according to the progressive Party Line that disallows any criticism of Third World cultures in general -- and Islamic culture in particular. Police officers, social workers, teachers, doctors and nurses operate under the social obligation not to report this crime.
This sexual lobotomy of women is usually performed on girls at the age of seven or eight, right before their menstrual periods begin. The impulse behind this savagery is clear: the hatred of women and the terrifying fear of their sexuality. Demonizing female sexual desire and pleasure -- and annihilating it -- becomes the priority. To successfully achieve female genital mutilation, therefore, the mutilators have to legitimize and institutionalize it. As a result, they socially construct the pathological ideology that a girl’s genital area is “dirty” and, therefore, unacceptable. In Egypt, an uncircumcised girl is considered nigsa (unclean). The way she becomes non-nigsa is to have her clitoris sliced off. In Sudan, the term used for getting rid of the clitoris is tahur -- which means “cleansing” or “purification.”

Africa and Arabia are the regions where misogynists carry out the highest number of these “purifications.” Muslims serve as the principal religious group that bestows this cleansing gift unto women. In Egypt, 97 percent of girls are circumcised. Nawal el Saadawi, a leading Egyptian feminist and author, describes in her autobiography, The Hidden Face of Eve, how, at the age of six, this monstrosity was violently perpetrated against her -- while her mother stood by and smiled proudly.

While Egyptian girls’ clitorises are amputated (clitoridectomy), in countries like Sudan the purifiers are not so kind: all the women’s external genital organs are completely removed. In a crime against humanity called infibulation, the clitoris, the two major outer lips (labia majora) and the two minor inner lips (labia minora) are amputated.

Many of the “purified” victims lose their lives during this torture – which is often inflicted with broken glass. Most victims suffer from severe and chronic infections and pain for the rest of their lives. With serious and disabling lifelong consequences, the mutilation robs women of their equilibrium forever. It deprives them from enjoying the fullness of their sexuality and the completeness of their lives.

More than a hundred and thirty million women living today have been victimized by this horrifying crime, and more than two million girls are assaulted by it each year. In other words, we are talking about 6,000 girls every day -- 6,000 girls today.

In terms of sexual pleasure, we know that approximately 75 percent of women cannot achieve orgasm without clitoral stimulation. In other words, the possibility of orgasm has been obliterated for all of these millions of victims. And since the psychic, mental and physical health of women cannot be complete without sexual pleasure, it means that all of these millions of women as beings are mutilated.

Female genital mutilation is a holocaust.

But because most of the victims of this holocaust are women behind the Islamic Curtain, the world turns a blind eye. Since the Left moulds the West’s boundaries of permitted discourse, criticism of cultures -- and especially adversary cultures -- is taboo, unless, of course, it is criticism of American culture, then everything is fair game. Thus, harsh judgement of American culture is not only permissible but highly promoted, while the slightest criticism of Third World cultures represents a violation of the progressive Party Line.

To add to this tragedy: whenever the genital mutilation holocaust is raised, the first chorus that comes from the Muslim community is that this genocide is not rooted in Islam and predates Islam. Well then, why are Muslim girls this genocide's greatest victims? And why do so many Muslims spend more of their time and energy arguing that female genital mutilation is non-Islamic than campaigning to stop this “un-Islamic” barbaric practise from violating their women and defaming their religion?

The answer is simple: female genital mutilation produces the oxygen that Islamic fundamentalism needs to breathe. It helps militant Islam keep intact the foundation on which its life depends: the subjugation and enslavement of women under a rigid system of gender apartheid.

Thus, Islamic clerics and educators do everything in their power to keep this mutilation in place. No wonder the Eqyptian government’s efforts to protect little girls’ sacred body parts are crushed every time. Any hint of opposition to mutilation is consistently met with furious resistance from Islamic clerics, who fervently emphasize that female genital mutilation is Allah’s will and point to the Prophet’s sanctioning of female circumcision in the hadiths to prove it. Umdat al-Salik, e4.3, therefore, a manual of Shafi'i Islamic law, which is endorsed by Al-Azhar University of Cairo, Egypt (the oldest and most prestigious university in the Islamic world), states that circumcision is obligatory for both men and women.

The prominent Egyptian Sheikh Mustafa Al-Azhari is one of the heroes of the pro-mutilation movement. He has led the way by insisting, among other things, that the attempt to stop female genital mutilation is a Western conspiracy designed to spread promiscuity among Muslims. For him, the Egyptian media’s attempt to stop female circumcision is a “crime.” Surgical specialist at Al-Azhar University, Dr. Muhammad Rif'at Al-Bawwab, meanwhile, puts it more simply: the pleasure that women derive from the clitoris is simply just unnatural and abnormal -- and leads to moral degradation.

In terms of the free West, Muslim girls in Europe are not the only tortured victims of mutilation. The savage practise is also perpetrated right here on our continent. And what are North American Muslim leaders and clerics doing about it? What are we doing about it?
Many of our own political leaders and authorities are not doing anything about this silent holocaust  because protecting Muslim girls from this sexual genocide would mean criticizing Islamic culture, which would mean the unimaginable: violating the liberal sacred cow of multiculturalism. The Left feels too good about itself and its tolerant ways to get off track by protecting innocent young girls’ genitals from mutilation.
Once again, therefore, the Left has succeeded in continuing its dark tradition of sacrificing human blood on the altar of utopian ideals. The 100 million human corpses socialism engendered in the 20th century were, apparently, not enough.
And so, one heart-wrenching and disquieting question remains: when the next Muslim girl, perhaps right next door to us, is forcibly held down and her genital area is attacked with a piece of broken glass, who will hear her cries?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 12:54:37 PM
Once again I acknowledge the logic of your point and once again I invite you to address the underlying question about sharia being the camel's nose inside the tent for something seditious.

Sooo rather than "Crafty" am I to call you Solomon?    :-D

GM: As established over and over ad nauseam, Sharia Courts are CIVIL COURTS; that is the basis and foundation for this whole discussion.  Given that they are Civil Courts, yet not really even a "Court", but rather a VOLUNTARY (both parties must agree) binding place of arbitration, it has no basis or relevancy to the criminal system or English Criminal Law.  In your example above "the women withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the Police, who then called off the criminal investigation."  In similar matters, it's the SAME in America; no complaint, usually no investigation or charge.  Yet IF the women had chosen to pursue CRIMINAL CHARGES, the Police would have finished their investigation and the Prosecutor, both here and in England, would bring CRIMINAL charges IF appropriate.  Their decision to bring charges and the severity of the punishment thereafter, if appropriate, would have NOTHING to do with the decision of the Sharia Court or any other Voluntary Arbitration or Civil Proceeding.

It varies from state to state, I can tell you that my state has very strict laws regarding domestic violence. The state, not the victim pursues charges related to domestic violence. My state statute requires that any time a peace officer finds there is probable cause to believe that dv has occurred, he/she SHALL make a custodial arrest. Failure to do so is official misconduct. If a peace officer in my state were convicted of official misconduct, kiss your career in law enforcement bye-bye.

So, what's the endgame? If it's just civil arbitration, why push sharia courts?

Yes, I understand that here in the US, many states, CA included, are prone to arrest someone (the male) in matters of domestic violence.  I don't necessarily agree and unfairly (perhaps on another forum?) the man is usually arrested regardless of fault.  Actually, statistics show that men and women are equally at fault and often, the woman starts the physical violence. 

That being said, even though one is arrested, a complaint must still be filed by the aggrieved party otherwise there is no case and resulting in the matter being quickly dismissed; the DA rarely will press charges.  It is the similar in English Law; no complaint; case usually dismissed.

As for the "endgame", well perhaps it is an endgame and in 10-20 years they may push for criminal matters too.  However, I doubt if they will succeed.  English Law has been around for a long time and while Voluntary Binding Arbitration seems new, arbitration in general has also been around for a long time.  They can and do work together.  However, while I vociferously argued against your "criminal" law point, one should not negate the influence of Civil Matters on society.  Further, while the cornerstone of arbitration is "voluntary" participation, you could I think argue persuasively that women in Muslim society are often "coerced" in to agreeing to "voluntary" binding arbitration.  An end game that truly does subvert the legal process. 

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2008, 02:34:32 PM
Unfortunately, that end game is facilitated by the integrity of your position.  Big Bummer that!  Any thoughts on this?


The piece you post is powerful. Before spreading it around, I find myself wondering about these numbers:

"More than a hundred and thirty million women living today have been victimized by this horrifying crime, and more than two million girls are assaulted by it each year. In other words, we are talking about 6,000 girls every day -- 6,000 girls today."

Lets see.  1.3 billion Muslims= 675,000,000 women.

130/675= approximately 20%.  If we screen out girls too young for the amputation, the percentage is even higher. 

This number seems questionably high to me.  My understanding is that the clitorectomies tend to take place in Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt, Yemen-- not through out the Muslim world-- though the larger point of the neuroses about women remains.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 02:45:00 PM
**Here is the WHO's numbers. I notice they don't want to use the "I" word in their fact sheet. I saw another stat that had 97% of all Egyptian women were mutilated.**

Female genital mutilation

key facts

Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons.
An estimated 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are currently living with the consequences of FGM.
In Africa, about three million girls are at risk for FGM annually.
The procedure has no health benefits for girls and women.
Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
It is mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15 years.
FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve partial or total removal of the external female genitalia, or other injury to the female genital organs for non-medical reasons.

The practice is mostly carried out by traditional circumcisers, who often play other central roles in communities, such as attending childbirths. Increasingly, however, FGM is being performed by medically trained personnel.

FGM is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women. It reflects deep-rooted inequality between the sexes, and constitutes an extreme form of discrimination against women. It is nearly always carried out on minors and is a violation of the rights of children. The practice also violates a person's rights to health, security and physical integrity, the right to be free from torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and the right to life when the procedure results in death.


Female genital mutilation is classified into four major types:

Clitoridectomy: partial or total removal of the clitoris (a small, sensitive and erectile part of the female genitals) and, rarely, the prepuce (the fold of skin surrounding the clitoris) as well.
Excision: partial or total removal of the clitoris and the labia minora, with or without excision of the labia majora (the labia are "the lips" that surround the vagina).
Infibulation: narrowing of the vaginal opening through the creation of a covering seal. The seal is formed by cutting and repositioning the inner, and sometimes outer, labia, with or without removal of the clitoris.
Other: all other harmful procedures to the female genitalia for non-medical purposes, e.g. pricking, piercing, incising, scraping and cauterizing the genital area.
Read more about types of procedures [pdf 3.35Mb]

Health consequences

FGM has no health benefits, and it harms girls and women in many ways. It involves removing and damaging healthy and normal female genital tissue, and interferes with the natural functions of girls' and women's bodies.

Immediate complications can include severe pain, shock, haemorrhage (bleeding), tetanus or sepsis (bacterial infection), urine retention, open sores in the genital region and injury to nearby genital tissue.

Long-term consequences can include:

recurrent bladder and urinary tract infections;
the need for later surgeries. For example, the FGM procedure that seals or narrows a vaginal opening (type 3 above) is surgically changed to allow for sexual intercourse and childbirth, and sometimes stitched close again afterwards;
an increased risk of childbirth complications and newborn deaths.
Who is at risk?

Procedures are mostly carried out on young girls sometime between infancy and age 15, and occasionally on adult women. In Africa, about three million girls are at risk for FGM annually.

Between 100 to 140 million girls and women worldwide are living with the consequences of FGM. In Africa, about 92 million girls age 10 years and above are estimated to have undergone FGM.

The practice is most common in the western, eastern, and north-eastern regions of Africa, in some countries in Asia and the Middle East, and among certain immigrant communities in North America and Europe.


The causes of female genital mutilation include a mix of cultural, religious and social factors within families and communities.

Where FGM is a social convention, the social pressure to conform to what others do and have been doing is a strong motivation to perpetuate the practice.
FGM is often considered a necessary part of raising a girl properly, and a way to prepare her for adulthood and marriage.
FGM is often motivated by beliefs about what is considered proper sexual behaviour, linking procedures to premarital virginity and marital fidelity. FGM is believed by some to reduce a woman's libido and help her resist "illicit" sexual acts. When a vaginal opening is covered or narrowed (type 3 above), for example, a woman is physically hindered from premarital sex. Afterwards, a painful procedure is needed to reopen the closure to enable sexual intercourse.
FGM is associated with cultural ideals of femininity and modesty, which include the notion that girls are “clean” and "beautiful" after removal of body parts that are considered "male" or "unclean".
Though no religious scripts prescribe the practice, practitioners often believe the practice has religious support.
Religious leaders take varying positions with regard to FGM: some promote it, some consider it irrelevant to religion, and others contribute to its elimination.
Local structures of power and authority, such as community leaders, religious leaders, circumcisers, and even some medical personnel can contribute to upholding the practice.
In most societies, FGM is considered a cultural tradition, which is often used as an argument for its continuation.
In some societies, recent adoption of the practice is linked to copying the traditions of neighbouring groups. Sometimes it has started as part of a wider religious or traditional revival movement.
In some societies, FGM is being practised by new groups when they move into areas where the local population practice FGM.
International response

In 1997, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a joint statement with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) against the practice of FGM. A new statement, with wider United Nations support, was then issued in February 2008 to support increased advocacy for the abandonment of FGM.

The 2008 statement documents new evidence collected over the past decade about the practice. It highlights the increased recognition of the human rights and legal dimensions of the problem and provides current data on the frequency and scope of FGM. It also summarizes research about why FGM continues, how to stop it, and its damaging effects on the health of women, girls and newborn babies.

Since 1997, great efforts have been made to counteract FGM, through research, work within communities, and changes in public policy. Progress at both international and local levels includes:

wider international involvement to stop FGM;
the development of international monitoring bodies and resolutions that condemn the practice;
revised legal frameworks and growing political support to end FGM; and
in some countries, decreasing practice of FGM, and an increasing number of women and men in practising communities who declare their support to end it.
Research shows that, if practising communities themselves decide to abandon FGM, the practice can be eliminated very rapidly.

WHO response

WHO efforts to eliminate female genital mutilation focus on:

advocacy: developing publications and advocacy tools for international, regional and local efforts to end FGM within a generation;
research: generating knowledge about the causes and consequences of the practice, how to eliminate it, and how to care for those who have experienced FGM;
guidance for health systems: developing training materials and guidelines for health professionals to help them treat and counsel women who have undergone procedures.
WHO is particularly concerned about the increasing trend for medically trained personnel to perform FGM. WHO strongly urges health professionals not to perform such procedures.

For more information contact:

WHO Media centre
Telephone: +41 22 791 2222
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: rachelg on September 17, 2008, 07:27:03 PM

This doesn't  quite belong   belong her but it relates.  Unfortunately some woman get a raw deal under  Jewish law as well though nothing compared to Islam (no gender mutilation and honor killing :cry:)

A man must give his wife a get a writ of divorce and if he doesn't she can't remarry under Jewish Law.  If she remarries  under civil law without getting a Jewish divorce her children are considered illegitimate  until the 10th generation  and only allowed to marry others like them  or converts.  If a man remarries this is not true.

Men have been know to extort money and unfavorable custody rights. Also some Rabbis have sent women back to  their husbands even in cases of domestic violence

I certainly would not want to be denied the right to marry and to G-d forbid divorce under Jewish Law but it is  a difficult situation.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 08:20:11 PM
Actually Rachel, I think it is quite relevant; in many societies "women get the raw deal" not just under Islam.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 08:45:43 PM
[quote author=Crafty_Dog link=topic=977.msg21143#msg21143 date=1221687272


The piece you post is powerful. Before spreading it around, I find myself wondering about these numbers:

"More than a hundred and thirty million women living today have been victimized by this horrifying crime, and more than two million girls are assaulted by it each year. In other words, we are talking about 6,000 girls every day -- 6,000 girls today."

Lets see.  1.3 billion Muslims= 675,000,000 women.

130/675= approximately 20%.  If we screen out girls too young for the amputation, the percentage is even higher. 

This number seems questionably high to me.  My understanding is that the clitorectomies tend to take place in Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt, Yemen-- not through out the Muslim world-- though the larger point of the neuroses about women remains.

Crafty, you are right to question these numbers.  FMG is primarily an African problem; few examples exist anywhere else in the Middle East.  And according to UNICEF it is not an Islamic problem, but one of poverty and ignorance.  UNICEF found "no evidence of FMG in the middle east".  While I always doubt absolute numbers, the tradition predates Islam and primarily is centered in Africa; I am not saying examples do not exist, but the problem is not prevalent (rarely exists?) in the US or Europe among Muslims or even in the Middle East.  Yet FMG is a terrible problem.  But ignorance and tradition is the problem.  IF you have AIDS, but sleep with a virgin in Africa, you are cured??? hmmm No, you just simply spread the AIDS problem....  It's not Islam's fault, but simply ignorance.  Sometimes I think on this forum we blame Islam for every little problem in society today; better to look around us or simply just look in the mirror. 

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 17, 2008, 09:33:14 PM
You had me, until this:

"Sometimes I think on this forum we blame Islam for every little problem in society today". 

Examples please?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 09:58:50 PM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1483
March 1, 2007   No. 1483

Al-Azhar University Scholars Argue over the Legitimacy of Female Circumcision Practiced in Egypt on Al-Arabiya TV
The following are excerpts from a TV debate between Egyptian Al-Azhar University scholars Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayar [1] and Sheikh Mahmoud Ashur, who is a member of Al-Azhar's Islamic ResearchAcademy (or Islamic Research Council) on the issue of female circumcision. The debate aired on Al-Arabiya TV on February 12, 2007.

Mahmoud Ashur: "Female circumcision is a traditional custom, and not a religious act. All the hadiths dealing with female circumcision are unreliable. Moreover, the hadith cited by those who support circumcision calls to refrain from it more than it calls to perform it.


"Female circumcision is not part of Islam. Rather, it is a traditional custom. Under no circumstances should we follow this custom, because it leaves a deep wound in the souls of these girls, which has a psychological, emotional, and social impact on their lives. Female circumcision does a lot of damage. This damage is harmful, and it shatters the girl's soul. Therefore, it is absolutely forbidden to perform this custom. No person should do this, because it is harmful and causes damage.


"This is a despicable, ugly, and evil custom. It is performed by a woman who uses inappropriate and non-sterile instruments. She may be passing on to the girl a terrible disease, or causing her a wound that never heals, because the person who performs this custom lacks expertise and experience, and does not know how to sterilize the instruments, and therefore she inflicts terrible diseases upon the girls."


Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "All the jurisprudents, since the advent of Islam and for 14 centuries or more, are in consensus that female circumcision is permitted by Islam. But they were divided with regard to its status in shari'a. Some said that female circumcision is required by shari'a, just like male circumcision. Some said this is the mainstream practice, while others said it is a noble act. But throughout the history of Islam, nobody has ever said that performing female circumcision is a crime. There has been a religious ruling on this for 14 centuries."


Mahmoud Ashur: "In the days of Jahiliya [i.e. the pre-Islamic period] and in the early days of Islam, a man whose mother carried out this custom was scorned by people who called him 'you son of a clitoris cutter.' This proves that it was never part of the religion of Islam. As for male circumcision, it is the approved mainstream practice, as determined by Islam and as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad."


"There is no doubt that we must reach agreement on this issue. There must be a decisive view and a resolute decision on this custom especially, because it is evil. When people perform it, they do so out of extreme ignorance, and it has a severe impact on marital life."


Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, there are reliable hadiths in Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim which support female circumcision. The Prophet Muhammad said: 'If a circumcised woman and man have intercourse, they must undergo ablution.' Unreliable hadiths do not cancel out the reliable ones. We have unreliable hadiths regarding prayer, fasting, charity, and pilgrimage. Should we abolish prayer and charity just because some hadiths are unreliable? According to some hadiths in Al-Bukhari and Al-Muslim, 'If a circumcised woman and man have intercourse, they must undergo ablution.' People would curse one another by saying: 'You son of a clit woman' - the son of a non-circumcised woman. The objections to circumcision are illogical and unnatural.

Interviewer: What is the justification for doing this?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, allow me... Regarding the claim that the instruments are not sterile - this is the reality and is not part of religious law. If there are dentists who do not sterilize their instruments, should we abolish medical faculties and dental clinics, or should we demand that they rectify the situation? Flawed reality cannot serve as a religious argument. The claim that female circumcision leads to barrenness is not true. The Muslim woman bears more children than any other woman. It is the Western woman who is barren, even though she is not circumcised. Moreover, when talking about nervous breakdowns... This is considered a day of celebration for the family."

Interviewer: "A day of celebration for the family?! Let me begin with the psychological effects. According to some studies, when there is a celebration, and sweets are given to the girl, and then an act is performed in which the girl's flesh is cut off... this makes her lose trust in her family, first of all. This generates an inner problem. As for the medical, physical problem, there is a problem in childbirth. There are lacerations, microbes, deformities - this is what the doctors say."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Sterilization is necessary in such cases. Cutting off a part of the human body does not mean a violation of its sanctity. How many human body parts are cut off in plastic surgery, and so on, yet we do not consider this offensive to the woman?"

Interviewer: "What is the reason for circumcising girls?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "First of all, the claim that this is a Pharaonic or Jahili practice..."

Interviewer: "Let's assume that this is a religious requirement..."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "It isn't..."

Interviewer: "Nevertheless, hypothetically speaking, what is the main reason for this?"

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Some sources said: 'Reduce, but do not remove.' In other words, it is neither about removing the organ, nor about leaving it. It is a trustworthy Muslim doctor who makes the decision. She decides whether the girl needs it or not. We do not obligate every girl to undergo circumcision. We say it should be left up to the doctor, and she can evaluate the case and determine whether the girl needs circumcision or not."

Interviewer: "Why would she need it? Sheikh Mahmoud Ashur, would you like to comment? What are the reasons that one could say... Go ahead..."

Mahmoud Ashur: "If it is left up to the doctor, then it is a custom and not part of the religion."


Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "Female circumcision is no less valid just because it was practiced in Pharaonic times and in the Jahiliya. Islam accepted some customs, which were harmonious with human nature, and rejected others, which contradicted human nature."


Interviewer: "Some studies show that the upbringing at home is the main thing, and that 95% of all prostitutes [in Egypt] are circumcised."

Muhammad Al-Mussayar: "And 100% of the prostitutes in the West are not circumcised, so what is the problem?"

[1] For more on Muhammad Al-Mussayar, see MEMRI TV Clip No. 183, "Al-Azhar Sheikh Al-Mussayar: Instead of Merely Defending Islam, Muslims Must Confront Non-Muslims," July 12, 2004, , and MEMRI TV Clip No. 102, "Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Al-Mussayyer on Wife Beating in Islam," June 7, 2004, .
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 10:00:55 PM

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 17, 2008, 10:46:34 PM

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?????  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:10:27 PM
Do you know the importance of the Al Bukhari and Sahih Muslim ahadith in sunni theology?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:29:00 PM

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?????  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:44:37 PM

Special Dispatch Series - No. 1274
August 31, 2006   No. 1274

Saudi Historian: Muslim Student Organizations in U.K. are Rife With Extremism, Xenophobia, and Discrimination Against Women
On August 21, 2006, the online Saudi daily Al-Iqtisadiyya published an article by Saudi university lecturer Dr. Hatoon Ajwad Al-Fassi titled "The Extremism of the Muslims in the West and Our Responsibility." In it, she wondered how it could be that the Muslim students on U.K. university campuses conduct, along with the usual student activity, Islamic activity that is rife with racism, separatism, extremism, and discrimination against women.

The following are excerpts from the article: [1]

"Manchester... was Jam-Packed With Young British-Asian Muslims Who Realized That Education was the Way to Fight... Marginalization"

"... In my previous article, I wrote about the elements of the identity of the Muslim community [in the U.K.], that range from British racism and socio-politico-economic marginalization [of the Muslims], to the winds of [Muslim] extremism that have reached from the [Arab] deserts to the island [of Britain] and begun [to sweep over] the Muslim youth that is in constant search of its self.

"In the 1990s Manchester was - and still is - jam-packed with young British-Asian Muslims who realized that education was the way to fight this marginalization, and we began to see them in not insignificant numbers at Manchester's four universities. Furthermore, [the Muslims] maintained a strong presence [at these universities] by establishing Islamic associations under the [general] students' unions at each of the universities. This enabled them to hold many Islamic, humanitarian, and social activities, such as breaking the fast [i.e. banquets] for the fasting students, holiday celebrations, etc.

"[The participants in these activities included] many male and female students, who succeeded in attaining a high level of coordination among the Islamic associations at the universities... By means of democratic struggle, these associations managed to obtain a permanent place allocated to prayer at the university, which the male and female [Muslim] students took care to use constantly, not only for prayer but also for holding religious study groups and Koran study... Fridays presented a wonderful picture, as the Muslim students of this city answered the call [to prayer, and prayed] before they scattered to eat lunch at the kebab and shawarma restaurants in the area, or returned to the lecture halls and the library..."

"I Don't Remember a Single Week in Which I Didn't Sense Provocation Rising From the Friday Sermons"

"But perhaps here I need to fill in the picture with what was happening on the sidelines on Fridays, and especially in the sermons. I don't remember a single week in which I didn't sense provocation rising from the Friday sermons. There was usually a different preacher every week, in accordance with whoever was available.

"Rarely, one of the students would take it upon himself to deliver the sermon. But in most cases the person giving the sermon was someone considered to be capable and successful in public speaking. Because people like this are hard to find, we were witness to sermons that dripped with the smell of racism, separatism, extremism, and discrimination against women. Since most of the worshippers were young people with no religious experience, such as, for example, the [experience] provided by our [Saudi] environment, they accepted these statements submissively and thought that Islam advocates discrimination against women, against every Muslim who disagrees with us, or against 'the People of the Book' [i.e. Jews and Christians] among whom we live...

"Only rarely did the preacher address the women, whom he couldn't see during the worship; the sermon was meant only for the men. The situation reached the point where the preacher would [sometimes] deliver his sermon in Arabic, and say that every Muslim should know Arabic thoroughly, and if he did not, this would detract from his religion. This made the Western Muslims [feel] a permanent sense of inferiority to the Arabs, who present themselves as the only ones bearing [the message] of the true religion, while [in fact] they ignored the true call of Islam, to whom it was addressed [i.e. to all humanity], and who raised its banner. Many statements [in the sermons] were, in my opinion, loaded with racism and one-sidedness - and I try to clarify to women... that the preacher was expressing his personal opinion, and not the religion of Islam in all its wide scope."

Despite University Regulations Against Discrimination, "Women Heard [the Lectures] From Behind a Partition"

"Gradually, we found that the activity of the Islamic association was characterized by an extremist character, which is in fact contradictory to its status [as a student organization], as well as to the places where these activities were being held. For lectures to which speakers from outside Manchester were invited, two halls were allocated - one for women and one for men, such that the women heard [the lecture] from behind a partition, or through a microphone [i.e. speaker], because closed-circuit TV technology had not yet reached them. Or else you would find them allocating seats in the back for the women, as though we were worshipping at a mosque. Or, they were fearful of the presence of women, and didn't know what to do and how to act with the British women - who in no way accept the discriminatory positions against women that were taken at such events. And then, [because of our objections,] the event's organizers would retract their statements - thus entering into [a state of] internal contradiction.

"What was even stranger was that all these activities were carried out on the university campus, one of whose statutes forbids discrimination among students on the basis of gender, race, or religion, and where all these [male Muslim] students studied together with their Muslim sisters at lectures, morning and evening, as well as with the non-Muslim [female students]...

"On the sidelines of these meetings, one could find religious pamphlets with fatwas on issues of how to act towards a non-Muslim, towards a woman, and other matters of controversy in day-to-day life, translated into every language, and especially into English. These pamphlets bore the imprimatur of councils of the most prominent 'ulama in Islamic countries, which, as far as [these students] were concerned, constituted the source of authority on [proper] behavior and religious law."

Before These Youth Understood Islam’s Spirit, Morals, Tolerance, and Lofty Message… They Had Already [Absorbed] Hatred of Non-Muslims and... of Anything Coming From Western Civilization

"Before these young people have understood the morals of Islam, its tolerance, its spirit, and its lofty message that led people far and near to embrace it... they already diligently [absorbed] hatred of non-Muslims and hatred of anything coming from Western civilization - or even from [non-fundamentalist] Islamic civilization, and have already discussed controversial issues such as veils for women, music, and even photography, as part of the religious guidelines that they receive from the sheikhs who occasionally visit from [Saudi Arabia], Pakistan, and other countries, where they have this same dogmatic [system of] single-sex schools...

"I saw many young people, men and women, who are sick to death of the activities of their colleagues, which are contradictory to their European environment and even to their Pakistani or Indian environment. Some of them have begun to withdraw and to try to ignore anything having to do with Islam, while others find extremism to be [a tool] by means of which they can benefit from an authority that they do not have in their regular surroundings."

[1] , August 21, 2006.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:51:00 PM
The Caged Virgin
Holland's shameful treatment of Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
By Christopher Hitchens
Posted Monday, May 8, 2006, at 3:44 PM ET

Three years ago, at a conference in Sweden, I was introduced to a Dutch member of parliament named Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Originally born in Somalia, she had been a refugee in several African countries and eventually a refugee from her own family, which had decided to "give" her in marriage to a distant male relative she had never met. Thinking to escape from such confines by moving to the Netherlands, she was appalled to find that radical Islam had followed her there—or in fact preceded her there—and was proselytizing among Turkish and Moroccan and Indonesian immigrants. In ancient towns like Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where once the refugees from Catholic France and inquisitional Spain had sought refuge, and where Baruch Spinoza had been excommunicated and anathematized for his opposition to Jewish fundamentalism, there were districts where Muslim women were subjected to genital mutilation and where the Dutch police were afraid to set foot.

Entering politics to try to alert the European left to this danger, she was first elected as a deputy for the Labor Party, but after 9/11 she changed her allegiance to the Liberals. This, she explained, was because many Labor spokesmen preferred to think of immigrants as possessing "group rights." They had become so infatuated by their own "multi-culti" style that they had ignored the rights of individuals—especially women and girls—who were imprisoned within their own ghetto. (That, by the way, was precisely Spinoza's problem as well. The Dutch rabbis cursed him and condemned him in their own sectarian "court," of which the Christian authorities approved because it took care of dangerous secularism among Jews.)

At the Swedish event, Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke calmly and rationally about the problem. I never know whether or not it's right to mention, with female public figures, the fact of arresting and hypnotizing beauty, but I notice that I seem to have done so. Shall I just say that she was a charismatic figure in Dutch politics, mainly because of the calm and reason to which I just alluded? She was the ideal choice of collaborator for the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh (a distant descendant of the anguished painter) on Submission, a film about the ignored problem of enslaved and oppressed women in Holland. Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote the screenplay and provided the movie's voice-over.

You probably remember what happened next: Van Gogh was bicycling to work one morning in 2004 in the capital city of one of Europe's most peaceful and civilized countries when he was shot down in the street and then mutilated in a ritual fashion by an Islamist fanatic. The murderer (who had expected to become a martyr but who was only wounded in the leg by the gentle Dutch cops) left a long "martyr's letter" pinned to van Gogh's corpse by an equally long knife. In it, he warned Ayaan Hirsi Ali that she was the next target, and he gave a long and detailed account of all the offenses that would condemn her to an eternity in hell. (I noticed, reading this appalling screed when it was first published, that he obsessively referred to her as "Mrs. Hirshi Ali," as if trying to make her sound like a Jew. Other references to Jews in the text were even less tasteful.)

She has had to live under police protection ever since, and when I saw her again last week in Washington, I had to notice that there were several lofty and burly Dutchmen acting in an unaffected but determined way somewhere off to the side. I would urge you all to go out and buy her new book, The Caged Virgin, which is subtitled An Emancipation Proclamation for Women and Islam. The three themes of the story are: first, her own gradual emancipation from tribalism and superstition; second, her work as a parliamentarian to call attention to the crimes being committed every day by Islamist thugs in mainland Europe; and third, the dismal silence, or worse, from many feminists and multiculturalists about this state of affairs.

Before being elected to parliament, she worked as a translator and social worker among immigrant women who are treated as sexual chattel—or as the object of "honor killings"—by their menfolk, and she has case histories that will freeze your blood. These, however, are in some ways less depressing than the excuses made by qualified liberals for their continuation. At all costs, it seems, others must be allowed "their culture" and—what is more—must be allowed the freedom not to be offended by the smallest criticism of it. If they do feel offended, their very first resort is to violence and intimidation, sometimes with the support of the embassies of foreign states. (How interesting it is that the two European states most recently attacked in this way—Holland and Denmark—should be the ones that have made the greatest effort to be welcoming to immigrants.) Considering that this book is written by a woman who was circumcised against her will at a young age and then very nearly handed over as a bargain with a stranger, it is written with quite astonishing humor and restraint.

But here is the grave and sad news. After being forced into hiding by fascist killers, Ayaan Hirsi Ali found that the Dutch government and people were slightly embarrassed to have such a prominent "Third World" spokeswoman in their midst. She was first kept as a virtual prisoner, which made it almost impossible for her to do her job as an elected representative. When she complained in the press, she was eventually found an apartment in a protected building. Then the other residents of the block filed suit and complained that her presence exposed them to risk. In spite of testimony from the Dutch police, who assured the court that the building was now one of the safest in all Holland, a court has upheld the demand from her neighbors and fellow citizens that she be evicted from her home. In these circumstances, she is considering resigning from parliament and perhaps leaving her adopted country altogether. This is not the only example that I know of a supposedly liberal society collaborating in its own destruction, but I hope at least that it will shame us all into making The Caged Virgin a best seller.

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair.
Article URL:
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 17, 2008, 11:56:20 PM

Hirsi Ali: shut anti-woman, anti-gay Dutch mosque

22 April 2004

AMSTERDAM — Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali demanded on Thursday the closure of an Amsterdam mosque that sells books supporting female circumcision, beating wives and the murder of gay people.

The Dutch Parliament is to hold an emergency debate about the El Tawheed mosque next week. MPs want Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner and Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk to explain what they intend to do about the book "De weg van de moslim".

The publication — translated as The Way of the Muslim in English — is said to advocate violence against women and killing gay people

Gay people should be thrown head first off high buildings. If not killed on hitting the ground, they should then be stoned to death, the book allegedly suggests.

In her column in newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Hirsi Ali — who was raised as a Muslim — went one step further and called on the government to close the mosque. The MP has been a strident opponent of Islamic teachings on women and gay people.

The Liberal VVD party MP said it was time for the Justice Ministry to indicate whether it intended to go to court to have the mosque banned.

Hirsi Ali said the latest revelations about the book advocating beating women and killing gay people was the last straw. Closure of the mosque was a question of "political will", she wrote.

"This mosque has been warned repeatedly by the authorities that intolerance against non-Muslims and undermining the law is unacceptable in the Netherlands," Hirsi Ali said.

"The Way of the Muslim" is one of the publications on sale at the El Tawheed mosque. Earlier this month the mosque was at the centre of a storm about another book available at its open day organised to help combat the mosque's negative public image.

That book "Fatwas of Muslim Women" says that women who lie deserve 100 blows and the husband's duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the home without his permission. One of its most controversial aspects is the call for Muslim girls to be circumcised.

A fatwa is an official statement or order from an Islamic religious leader.

MPs in the Dutch Parliament have indicated they want the second book, "The Way of the Muslim", banned if it supports violence towards women and killing gay people.

VVD parliamentarian Geert Wilders has called for the emergency debate next week.

Another MP, Mirjam Sterk of the Christian Democrat CDA, said imams (Islamic religious leaders) must distance themselves from the book's content. If not, the imams must be prosecuted or deported.

An Islamic cleric was deported from France to his native Algeria on Wednesday after he caused uproar by his endorsement of wife-beating and polygamy.

Clerics at El Tawheed feel they have been unfairly singled out in the media as part of a wider campaign against Islamic institutions in Europe.

MPs and media commentators attacked the Amsterdam mosque previously when one of the imams referred to non-Muslims as "firewood for hell". He also forbade Islamic women from leaving the family home without the permission of their husbands.

RTL Television reported on Thursday a cameraman was assaulted when a news team attempted to buy "The Way of the Muslim" at the mosque.

Eventually RTL's female reporter managed to buy the book, albeit while accompanied by police protection.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 18, 2008, 07:27:15 AM

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?????  Or did it move and I missed it?
Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US?  To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.

Ahhhh GM I never said Al-Azhar university isn't a fine university or isn't "rich in tradition and knowledge"; I (a study by WHO and UNICEF - read unbiased source) simply stated that FMG is an AFRICAN PROBLEM ergo Al-Azhar being in Africa represents an African take on the problem.  IF Al-Azhar was in in the Sudan or Ethiopia or Somolia it would be the same; they are all in Africa; got it?  FMG according to unbiased references (often you seem to have a hard time finding these) is a result of poverty and ignorance; yes Islam in Africa supports FMG as does a dozen or more other religions in Africa. And elsewhere, people talk of it, a few people are proponents of it, but not a significant number and even then in nearly every case they are from Africa. That one or a very few Islamic individuals promote it does not make a majority of Muslims supporting it. Most Muslims abhor it and do not practice FMG.  Again, my point, the vast majority of Muslims are good people as are most Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and most....  but all religions have extremists and they are dangerous.  But to bash all Muslims seems wrong to me.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 18, 2008, 11:01:49 AM

When are you flying off to Al-Azhar university to lecture those islamic theologians on the un-islamic nature of female genital mutilation?

Gosh, did I miss a day of geography class?  To be fair, it's been a while.  But, I mean, isn't Al=Azhar University still in Africa?????  Or did it move and I missed it?

**I guess I need to help you out in reading the important parts of what I post.

"Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. "

Al Azhar is the most important theological institution in the world for sunnis. You not knowing this is like not knowing that Vatican City has a global impact on catholic theology and trying to assert that theology being formulated in the Vatican applies only to southern europe. There is no hierarchy in islam like the pope and college of cardinals, but you are very mistaken in trying to assert that what theologians in Al Azhar say doesn't sway sunnis around the planet. My state has a law specifically banning female genital mutilation. Can you guess why? Last time I checked my map I live a long distance from North Africa.**

Wasn't I (I'm sorry I mean WHO and UNICEF) clear enough in my post above that this is an "African problem", a terrible problem, but it is not necessarily an Islamic problem and rarely does it appear
among practicing Muslims in the Middle East or Europe or the US? 

**The UN and it's WHO UNICEF are hardly fair and impartial. Would you like me to deconstruct this assertion? What is "rare" when it comes to female genital mutilation outside of africa?

"That book "Fatwas of Muslim Women" says that women who lie deserve 100 blows and the husband's duty of care for his wife is negated if she refuses him sex or leaves the home without his permission. One of its most controversial aspects is the call for Muslim girls to be circumcised."

Why would this book be sold by a mosque in the Netherlands if FGM is just "an african problem" and has nothing to do with islamic theology?**

 To answer your question, No, I don't plan on going to Al-Azhar in Africa, or Ethiopia, or Somalia, or Yemen,
or ...... or any other place in Africa and lecture on female genital mutilation.

**A perfect example of your utter ignorance on this topic.**

Al-Azhar is the world's oldest university, older than Cambridge or Oxford. Situated at the heart of Cairo, Egypt's capital, Al-Azhar has been the greatest learning centre for Muslims since it was first built by the Fatimid dynasty in the 10th century AD. 

The Fatimids were of Shiah belief. They erected Al-Azhar as an institution to propagate the teachings of the Isma'iliya madhhab. When the Ayyubids took over Egypt, they turned Al-Azhar into a school that taught the Sunni understanding of Islam.

Rich in tradition and knowledge, Al-Azhar had produced brilliant ulama throughout history. Examples of Imam Suyuti, Imam Ibn Hajar 'Asqalani and Imam Ibn Hajar Al-Haitami bejeweled its glorious past. Contemporary ulama produced by this university include Shaykh Ghazali and Shaykh Sha`rawi. With thousands of others, these giants of Islamic knowledge became the symbol of Al-Azhar supreme position among Muslims, something unrivalled thus far.

Today, Al-Azhar is not just a university, but an institution that vanguard the teachings of Sunni Islam, and an umbrella body to which thousands of ulama affiliate themselves with. The Head of Al-Azhar, called the Grand Imam (Imamul Akbar Shaykhul Azhar), was previously appointed by a committee of Azharian top scholars (shuyukh). But now it is under the appointment from the Egyptian President from the advice of the committee. Recently however, the Egyptian government is getting inclined to leave the matter of appointment purely in the hands of the Azharian ulama.

Ahhhh GM I never said Al-Azhar university isn't a fine university or isn't "rich in tradition and knowledge"; I (a study by WHO and UNICEF - read unbiased source) simply stated that FMG is an AFRICAN PROBLEM ergo Al-Azhar being in Africa represents an African take on the problem.  IF Al-Azhar was in in the Sudan or Ethiopia or Somolia it would be the same; they are all in Africa; got it?  FMG according to unbiased references (often you seem to have a hard time finding these) is a result of poverty and ignorance; yes Islam in Africa supports FMG as does a dozen or more other religions in Africa. And elsewhere, people talk of it, a few people are proponents of it, but not a significant number and even then in nearly every case they are from Africa. That one or a very few Islamic individuals promote it does not make a majority of Muslims supporting it. Most Muslims abhor it and do not practice FMG.  Again, my point, the vast majority of Muslims are good people as are most Buddhists, Christians and Jews, and most....  but all religions have extremists and they are dangerous.  But to bash all Muslims seems wrong to me.

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 18, 2008, 12:03:38 PM

Clarification of Islamic Law Support for Female Genital Mutilation, by Dr. Mark Durie
January 22nd, 2008 by Andrew Bostom |

Indonesian toddler following her ritual FGM

Dr. Mark Durie is the author, most recently of Revelation? Do We Worship the Same God?—Jesus, Holy, Spirit, God in Christianity and Islam, 2006. His cogent analysis, “Isa, the Muslim Jesus,” is available online, here. 

Dr. Durie has also studied the Acehnese (i.e., from Aceh, Indonesia), and published many articles, and books (here, here, and here, for example) on their language and culture. 

Dr. Dure writes—

In Februrary 2007 Dr Muhammad al-Mussayar of Al-Azhar University, referring to reliable hadiths from Muslim and al-Bukhari, stated: 

“All jurisprudents, since the advent of Islam and for 14 centuries or more, are in consensus that female circumcision is permitted in Islam.  But they were divided as to its status in the sharia.  Some said that female circumcision is required by the sharia, just like male circumcision.  Some said this is a mainstream practice, while others said that it is a noble act.”

Of the four Sunni schools of sharia, it is the Shafi’is who have said that circumcision of girls is compulsory. The Reliance of the Traveller, a respected manual of Shafi’i jurisprudence, states  “Circumcision is obligatory (for every male and female) by cutting off the piece of skin on the glans of the penis of the male, but circumcision of the female is by cutting out the clitoris” (section e4.3).  [The English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller (certified by Al-Azhar University) disguises the true meaning of the Arabic text by offering the following bogus English ‘translation’: “For men it consists of removing the prepuce from the penis, and for women, removing the prepuce (Ar. Bazr) of the clitoris (n: not the clitoris itself, as some mistakenly assert).” ]

As Indonesia is a country in which Shafi’i Islam predominates, it is hardly surprising that female circumcision is commonly practiced among Indonesian Muslims, from Java to Aceh. There is a close correlation between Shafi’i Islam and the frequency of FGM.  Regions where the Shafi’i school predominates are also the places where FGM is more frequent.  These include Egypt, southern Arabia, Bahrain, Kurdistan, Somalia, Brunei, Malaysia and Indonesia. The oft-recited claim that FGM is not a religious practice is proved false, not only because it is more frequently found in Shafi’i areas, but also because it was introduced, along with Shafi’i Islam, into Southeast Asia, a part of the world where it had previously been unknown.

It is only the teachings of the sharia  which account for this practice being followed in Bandung Java today, and specifically the doctrinal formulations of the Shafi’i school of sharia.  Imam Shafi’i may be long-dead, but he has a lot to answer for to the Muslim women of the world.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 18, 2008, 12:20:04 PM
A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true.  There is plenty of blame to pass around if one just looks for it.  And many of the problems are multidimensional; it is not black and white.

I worked out at my gym with my attorney friend yesterday (Cambridge - Law; not as old as Al-Azhar or equal to Columbia  :-)  but not shabby either).  He is from England (Wales). His comment was that yes, the Muslims are a problem, not necessarily for religious reasons, but rather poverty and ignorance.  He lived through the Irish times; they were much much worse he said, although not that much different.  Today, Ireland is doing great.  He went on further to say that the Muslims, "are really not a big deal", they "just get bad press".  As for arbitration, he said that arbitration has existed for many years and often religious leaders from all denominations will intercede. 

After we finished our beer, he left, but I had scotch  :-) in the Library and picked up this month's Foreign Affairs Magazine (I should be grateful to this forum; a few months ago I might have picked up a wine or cigar magazine while I drank).   :-D

Now as I read this forum, especially GM's posts, Muslims, the Palestinians, seem to always be the "bad guy"; I rarely if ever (did I miss a post?) see a positive article by GM on Muslims or Palestinians.   Yet, as I read the article/review by Shlomo Ben Ami, the former Israel Foreign Minister I realized that two sides do exist.  I love his line, "The ability to engage in a sober inquiry, into the past (or present) is an essential test of free democracies."

Now, I am sure he is a good Jew and that he truly loves Israel, but the article goes on to honestly talk of the atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers.  And how "Zionists deliberately killed far more civilians and prisoners of war and committed more acts of rape" than the Palestinians ever did.  In a similar manner, instances exist where America has done wrong, Europe, and other allies of ours have done wrong.

My point is that all sides often contribute bad and nearly all sides can and do contribute good.  A balanced approach or at least one that is not so biased might be better?  I think a "sober inquiry" means an open mind; one that is not blinded by racial or ethnic prejudices.  Lately, this forum, led by GM seems to be a "dump on Muslim" forum.  I think there are good Muslims, frankly I think most Muslims are good, just as I like to think most Christians, Jews, Buddhists are good.  And, there are a few bad apples.  I am not defending the "bad apples".  Those of ANY religion that publicly promote FMG, violence, killing of gays, etc. should be stopped, arrested, incarcerated and frankly, if they don't stop I don't care what you do to them.  But don't only blame the Muslims; there are many other participants and religions to share the blame.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 18, 2008, 01:33:22 PM
A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true. 

**Lacking any valid point, all you can do is offer this pathetic straw man argument? Where have I ever said that all the world's evils are caused by muslims, or asserted that the US, Israel or europe is perfect? Answer: I haven't.**

 There is plenty of blame to pass around if one just looks for it.  And many of the problems are multidimensional; it is not black and white.

**This is why some people actually bother to read up on and study issues rather than endlessly parrot the same mindless talking points. Yes, not every muslim is a jihadist, but EVERY jihadist is a muslim, and is motivated by core elements of islamic theology. I actually read up on a topic before rendering an opinion, you might give it a try sometime. I've made an in depth study of islam and islamic theology a major aspect of my life since 9/11 and have spent endless hours reading about the theological roots of violent jihad. I don't love wading through fatwas and the writings of Ibn Taymiyya and Sayid Qutb, I do it to understand what we face today with a complex understanding of the multidimensional nature of this problem.**

I worked out at my gym with my attorney friend yesterday (Cambridge - Law; not as old as Al-Azhar or equal to Columbia  :-)  but not shabby either).  He is from England (Wales). His comment was that yes, the Muslims are a problem, not necessarily for religious reasons, but rather poverty and ignorance.  He lived through the Irish times; they were much much worse he said, although not that much different.  Today, Ireland is doing great.  He went on further to say that the Muslims, "are really not a big deal", they "just get bad press".  As for arbitration, he said that arbitration has existed for many years and often religious leaders from all denominations will intercede. 

After we finished our beer, he left, but I had scotch  :-) in the Library and picked up this month's Foreign Affairs Magazine (I should be grateful to this forum; a few months ago I might have picked up a wine or cigar magazine while I drank).   :-D

**I don't doubt that your are much more qualified to render an opinion on cigars or wine than I am. I'll defer to you on these topics.**

Now as I read this forum, especially GM's posts, Muslims, the Palestinians, seem to always be the "bad guy"; I rarely if ever (did I miss a post?) see a positive article by GM on Muslims or Palestinians.   

**Ok, let's post in the Israel thread. I'll post all the scientific advances, books published, nobel prizes and contributions to medical science that have come from Israel. You can do the same for that "Palestinians". Want to wager as to who will have the longer list?**

Yet, as I read the article/review by Shlomo Ben Ami, the former Israel Foreign Minister I realized that two sides do exist.  I love his line, "The ability to engage in a sober inquiry, into the past (or present) is an essential test of free democracies."

Now, I am sure he is a good Jew and that he truly loves Israel, but the article goes on to honestly talk of the atrocities committed by Israeli soldiers.  And how "Zionists deliberately killed far more civilians and prisoners of war and committed more acts of rape" than the Palestinians ever did.  In a similar manner, instances exist where America has done wrong, Europe, and other allies of ours have done wrong.

My point is that all sides often contribute bad and nearly all sides can and do contribute good.  A balanced approach or at least one that is not so biased might be better?  I think a "sober inquiry" means an open mind; one that is not blinded by racial or ethnic prejudices.  Lately, this forum, led by GM seems to be a "dump on Muslim" forum. 

**A rational examination of the global jihad and the theological roots behind it isn't just "dumping on muslims". Again, Islam isn't a race or ethnicity and more than Roman Catholics are a race or ethnicity. Just as there are blue eyed, blond catholics, there are blue eyed, blond muslims. The majority of the planet's muslims live in asia, not the middle east. There isn't a muslim "race" or ethnicity.**

I think there are good Muslims, frankly I think most Muslims are good, just as I like to think most Christians, Jews, Buddhists are good.  And, there are a few bad apples.  I am not defending the "bad apples".  Those of ANY religion that publicly promote FMG, violence, killing of gays, etc. should be stopped, arrested, incarcerated and frankly, if they don't stop I don't care what you do to them.  But don't only blame the Muslims; there are many other participants and religions to share the blame.

Christianity: 2.1 billion

Islam: 1.5 billion

According to the website below, the global jihad's deadly attacks since 9/11/2001 is 11490 as of 7/21/2008.

Can you provide stats for attacks by "christianists" worldwide? So then the question would be, if islamic terrorism is from a "tiny minority of extremists" from out of the larger muslim population, and the number of christians is larger than the number of muslims, then why the "extremist gap"? Please explain.**

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: JDN on September 18, 2008, 01:42:58 PM

**Ok, let's post in the Israel thread. I'll post all the scientific advances, books published, nobel prizes and contributions to medical science that have come from Israel. You can do the same for that "Palestinians". Want to wager as to who will have the longer list?**

Ahhh GM no doubt you will have the LONGER list; but long isn't everything...   :-D

Maybe you should have a good glass of wine and a cigar; it might be good for you   :evil:
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 18, 2008, 01:48:50 PM
The last time I drank wine, it was red and came out of a box. I couldn't tell the difference between a cuban cigar and a Philly blunt without looking at the label. I'm a blue collar guy, what can I say?
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 18, 2008, 02:02:23 PM

Q: When we reach our goal of independency from oil-soaked nations that use their oil for terror, then what do you see becoming of them if they no longer have wealth? Will they be forced to educate themselves and develop with the West? Will poverty force them, as in Afghanistan, to turn to drug trafficking? The populations are generally poor or nowhere near the level they should be with such oil wealth, except for the Emirates. Basically, what is their future?

A:They will have to get work. Twenty-one Arab nations, plus Iran, have about the same population as the United States and Canada. Other than fossil fuels—mainly oil, of course—they export to the world less than Finland, a country of only 5 million people. If the world moves away from oil, these countries will have to learn from countries like Finland that have no oil but that produce decent lives for their people by educating their women, teaching engineering, math, and science in their schools and colleges—not just the rote memorization of religious texts—and otherwise move out of the 7th century. Indeed there is a fine role model quite near them, a nation that operates in this fashion, practices freedom of speech, press, and religion, and has a GDP per capita of over $18,000 per year (as contrasted to Saudi Arabia's of some$13,000 per year). This country—Israel—has virtually no natural resources except for farmland it has reclaimed from the desert. Tours should perhaps be organized for those who want to learn how to start with little more than sand and resolve, and from those create a prosperous democracy in the Middle East.

R. JAMES WOOLSEY served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1993-95. During a long career in government service, he served both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: tankerdriver on September 18, 2008, 08:42:20 PM
I totally agree with G M.  These muslims want to have their cake and eat it to. When they go to another country they want special treatment, but have no tolerance for others outside islam. If I were to go to a muslim country I would be forced to live by their rules and laws. Look at our soldiers in Iraq, they have to abide by certain rules and regs so they won't unecessarily offend the locals and their muslim practices. On the other hand muslims come over here and they want foot baths in public restrooms special prayer rooms, they talk trash about our religions, but if anyone says anything bad about the Koran they get their panty's in a bunch and go for the first lawyer within earshot. Many western scholars have read and interpreted the Koran. The cats out of the bag. They can't sit there and tell us they want peace! We know what they want, so come and try to get it. Any Red Blooded American already knows what they need to do, and thats is to fight tooth and nail for our Great Country. The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. THE GREATEST COUNTRY ON THE PLANET!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: tankerdriver on September 18, 2008, 08:46:52 PM
Yes sir, we are just laymen, speaking in laymens terms!!!!!
Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: Crafty_Dog on September 18, 2008, 09:02:51 PM
JDN:  A while ago I posted to the effect, "... Muslims getting blamed for everything."  Perhaps it's not true, yet if I read this forum, especially GM's posts, it seems all the evils of the world are caused by and propagated by Muslims.  Otherwise, America is perfect; Europe is perfect, Israel is innocent, etc.  yet it is simply not true.

GM: **, , ,Where have I ever said that all the world's evils are caused by muslims, or asserted that the US, Israel or europe is perfect? Answer: I haven't.**

Me:  JDN, I think you may be confusing having a fundamental problem with certain aspects of the Muslim religion and blaming them for everything.  Anyway, I agree with GM that he has not made the blanket assertions that you assert that he has.  IMHO he may make his points with little concern for the ego of the other  :lol: but I find that he HAS done quite a bit of reading and thinking on these subjects.  I for one am impressed with his ability to come up with pertinent pieces that support his point on a tremendous variety of aspects of the larger question. What do you think?   Agree with him or not, the invitation to you is to answer with similar specificity (or acknowledge when you can't) as well as broad statements.

Speaking for myself, I think in this moment we wrestle with the key difficulty for the west.  Let the conversation continue!

Title: Re: Islam in Europe
Post by: G M on September 30, 2008, 03:41:48 PM
- Pajamas Media - -

Who’s Sleeping More Deeply — Europe or America?
September 30, 2008 - by Bruce Bawer

In my 2006 book [1] While Europe Slept, I expressed concern about the will of Europeans to defend their freedoms in the face of the continent’s Islamization. I contrasted them in this regard with Americans, for whom, I argued, freedom is a living reality for which they are willing to fight and to sacrifice.

My book came out in the midst of the Danish cartoon crisis. And during that crisis I saw things in Europe that — quite frankly — surprised and impressed me. I saw the editors of a Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, stand up for freedom of expression in the face of worldwide rioting, vandalism, and murder by Muslims and contempt on the part of foolish Westerners. I saw a Danish prime minister, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, in defiance of the UN, the EU, and most of the “international community,” stand by that newspaper and refuse to meet with Muslim ambassadors who were out to intimidate his country and to force Sharia-like restrictions on Western liberties. I saw the people of Denmark, in overwhelming numbers, stand behind their prime minister in his refusal to yield to jihad. And I saw major newspapers across Europe reprinting the Jyllands-Posten cartoons in acts of free-speech solidarity.

I don’t mean to paint too rosy a picture. The Danish response wasn’t perfect. Not a single newspaper in Britain reprinted the cartoons. And both the Swedish and Norwegian governments provided textbook cases of cowering dhimmitude. But none of that was really a surprise. What did surprise, and disappoint, me was the American political and media establishment. Both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush condemned the Jyllands-Posten cartoons out of hand. The State Department denounced them too, and only reversed itself after getting an earful from the Danish government, one of its few allies in Iraq. In the entire United States of America, exactly one major newspaper, the Philadelphia Inquirer, reprinted the cartoons. And while the major broadcast networks, as well as CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC, reported extensively on the cartoon riots, none of them ever showed the cartoons at all.

A big part of the reason for this dismaying American response to the cartoon affair is, of course, that Islamization hasn’t progressed as far in America as in Europe, and there’s consequently an incredible level of ignorance in America both about what’s really going on in Europe and about the very nature of Islam. In the current presidential campaign, only a small portion of the electorate seems to think that the war with jihadist Islam is a major issue. The one candidate who understood best what we’re up against, and who took it most seriously, Rudy Giuliani, was ridiculed across the political spectrum for being obsessed with 9/11 — as if the events of that day had been some kind of fluke or accident that has virtually no meaning for us today.

In depressing numbers, in short, Americans seem not to grasp the lessons of 9/11 — which should hardly be a surprise, considering how many journalists and politicians keep repeating that the terrorists are betraying a great and peaceful religion, that jihad means doing good works, and so on. A while back, in response to rumors that Barack Obama is a closet Muslim, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof argued that it would be a matter of [2] utter indifference if the president of the United States were a Muslim. Of the hundreds of people who commented on this article on the Times website, the overwhelming majority applauded Kristof for his extraordinary courage in standing up to Islamophobia. Only a tiny handful of readers noted that there are, in fact, good reasons for free people to be concerned about the possibility of a U.S. president with a devout commitment to Islamic theology and law. The American media that do report honestly on the less attractive truths about Islam, moreover, tend to be media that people are encouraged to look down upon.

Make no mistake: if Europeans are, on average, more aware than Americans of the realities of Islam, it’s no thanks to their media but rather because they can see with their own eyes what’s going on around them. Yet many of them feel cowed — not only by Muslims but by politically correct politicians and media — into keeping their opinions to themselves, and feel powerless to prevent what now seems to many of them, in any event, inevitable. In other words, fatalism has taken hold.

In While Europe Slept I also contrasted European and American approaches to immigration. Ever since the Muslim influx began some decades ago, European countries have encouraged the newcomers to retain their cultural identity, to live apart from mainstream society, and to become clients of the welfare state. America, by contrast, has traditionally expected immigrants to learn English, to get a job, and to obey the law, and if they do so they’re every bit as American as anyone else. I didn’t argue in While Europe Slept that America was invulnerable to Islamization, but I did suggest that — thanks to this very dramatic difference both in the general public’s attitudes toward immigrants and in government immigration policy — America stood a far better chance than Europe did of seeing Muslim newcomers turn into loyal citizens rather than enemies within. I think I had a valid point there, though if I were writing the book today I’d probably be somewhat less sanguine about America’s ability to integrate absolutely everyone into its melting pot. I might also be less sanguine, I’m afraid, about the endurance of Americans’ love of freedom in an age of poisonous multicultural relativism.

I do feel, however, that there’s one very important difference between America and Europe when it comes to resisting cultural jihad, and that is this: that in America, a large proportion of the people who recognize the threat of Islam and who are determined to resist it are consciously fighting for freedom — for, that is, the principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. In many parts of Western Europe, this kind of certainty and unanimity about freedom — simple freedom — as a first principle can be discouragingly hard to come by. The blogger Frank Martin has written about a teenage tour guide at a World War II battlefield in the Netherlands who told him that the Allied soldiers who fell there had been “fighting for bridges, how silly that they would all fight for something like that.” Somebody like that boy, who didn’t grasp that those soldiers had died for the very freedom that he had taken for granted his whole life, is incapable of standing up for freedom against Islamofascism. Yes, there are Europeans who realize that the opposite of Islam is indeed human freedom. But in Europe, with its checkered history of fascism and socialism, there are also all too many people on the right who are mounting the barricades in the name not of freedom but of ethnic identity, cultural tradition, or religion, and all too many on the left whose cri de coeur is not individual liberty but the welfare state.

Meanwhile Europe’s cultural elites are dominated by people who seem likely to continue to smile upon Islamization right up till the moment they’re stoned to death. At a recent Norwegian conference on integration, the Swedish government representative was asked: “Is Swedish culture worth preserving?” “Well,” she replied dismissively, “what is Swedish culture?” To people like that, European culture is a void waiting to be filled with something, and that something might as well be Islam. Granted, things aren’t quite that bad in the U.S. — not even at the New York Times. Yet to an extraordinary extent, the political and cultural elites on both sides of the Atlantic are in sync in their denial of the reality we’re up against.

This was driven home to me a few months ago when I took part in a day-long conference in Washington, D.C., about the America/Europe relationship. Nearly all the participants and audience members, I gathered, were Americans or Europeans who worked in the diplomatic corps. The day was crammed with panel discussions, and from early morning until late in the afternoon we talked about nothing but America and Europe. Yet aside from me, only one other person even mentioned Islam. And he did so in the most indirect way, as if he were bringing up something indelicate. Everybody present seemed to share an unspoken understanding that this subject was off limits. Indeed, pretty much everybody seemed to agree that Europe is doing great — that it’s moving from strength to strength — and that America should be more like it in every way.

How I even got invited to such a conference I have no idea. In any case, everything I said was dismissed out of hand. One genial fellow who seemed desperate to correct my folly and bring me into the tent came up to me after my talk and said, almost pleadingly, “But don’t you think that the real problem is not Islam but Islamophobia?” And on the panel that followed my talk, a retired diplomat with decades of experience (and a masterly command of the art of condescension) mentioned in a tone of both wonder and whimsy that I wasn’t alone in my peculiar affliction; even Walter Laqueur — the distinguished octogenarian historian of Europe whom the retired diplomat, as his tone made clear, had once, but no longer, held in high esteem — had written a book making the same bizarre arguments I was making! But neither this retired diplomat nor anyone else was willing to entertain the possibility that if both Laqueur and I, and many others, had made certain arguments, there might actually be something in them; no, it was as if, in their eyes, we had all simply been bitten by some exotic bug or contracted some mysterious new infection or had giant alien pods placed under our beds while we were sleeping.

Among those who are considered experts on Europe, or on transatlantic relations, that patrician diplomat’s attitude is ubiquitous. Tony Judt, in [3] Postwar, his acclaimed 2005 book on Europe since 1945, pronounced the continent in magnificent health and all but ignored Islam. Timothy Garton Ash, in his 2004 book [4] Free World, did the same, only pausing briefly on pages 197 and 198 to admit parenthetically that addressing Europe’s Islamization is “the single most urgent task of European domestic politics in the next decade” — after which he amazingly returned to pretending, as he had on the preceding 196 pages, that Europe’s most urgent tasks lie elsewhere. Meanwhile one book