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Islam in Europe
Topic: Islam in Europe (Read 162327 times)
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #50 on:
November 30, 2006, 11:07:52 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #51 on:
November 30, 2006, 11:29:05 AM »
Having said that, there have been sufi jihads in history as well.
"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que viv?a un hidalgo de los de
lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, roc?n flaco y galgo corredor."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #52 on:
December 01, 2006, 01:01:56 AM »
**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 , 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #53 on:
December 01, 2006, 07:59:14 AM »
**Another response to Ralph Peters.**
The Reality of Eurabia
By Aaron Hanscom
FrontPageMagazine.com | 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.
Rejecting Rationalism; Occasionalism in Action
Reply #54 on:
December 01, 2006, 08:14:21 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.
Last Edit: December 01, 2006, 08:19:05 AM by buzwardo
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #55 on:
December 02, 2006, 01:12:29 AM »
**As usual, VDH is right on the money.**
Losing the Enlightenment
A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists.
BY VICTOR DAVIS HANSON
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #56 on:
December 06, 2006, 12:26:19 PM »
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 HLN.be 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."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #57 on:
December 07, 2006, 01:59:10 PM »
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...
"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que viv?a un hidalgo de los de
lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, roc?n flaco y galgo corredor."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #58 on:
December 07, 2006, 05:30:51 PM »
I'd like to see that when it comes out.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #59 on:
December 08, 2006, 12:23:36 PM »
Here it is:
SPIEGEL ONLINE - December 8, 2006, 06:32 PM
ANTI-SEMITISM AT GERMAN SCHOOLS
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."
"En un lugar de la Mancha, de cuyo nombre no quiero
acordarme, no ha mucho tiempo que viv?a un hidalgo de los de
lanza en astillero, adarga antigua, roc?n flaco y galgo corredor."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #60 on:
December 08, 2006, 12:43:18 PM »
A new documentary is coming out on this topic. "Ever Again".
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #61 on:
January 01, 2007, 09:43:59 AM »
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."
Reply #62 on:
January 01, 2007, 09:44:51 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #63 on:
January 14, 2007, 08:24:03 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."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #64 on:
January 15, 2007, 08:10:13 PM »
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #65 on:
January 16, 2007, 12:28:57 AM »
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
Sunday January 14, 2007
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.'
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #66 on:
January 23, 2007, 06:59:19 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."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #67 on:
January 30, 2007, 06:23:51 PM »
A remarkable poll and conversation on British TV:
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #68 on:
February 17, 2007, 12:28:34 PM »
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #69 on:
February 22, 2007, 11:05:13 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #70 on:
February 23, 2007, 08:17:43 AM »
I assume this is the URL you were looking for....
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #71 on:
February 26, 2007, 08:15:53 AM »
An Upside-Down World
The British far left makes common cause with Muslim reactionaries.
BY NICK COHEN
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).
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #72 on:
March 15, 2007, 05:56:09 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #73 on:
March 17, 2007, 10:50:34 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."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #74 on:
March 17, 2007, 10:51:52 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.
Dutch giving up on multi-culturalism?
Reply #75 on:
March 21, 2007, 12:33:52 AM »
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."
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #76 on:
March 22, 2007, 08:42:39 PM »
SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 21, 2007, 04:16 PM
JUSTIFYING MARITAL VIOLENCE
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.
"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
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #77 on:
March 24, 2007, 03:00:32 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 Townhall.com
Reply #78 on:
March 29, 2007, 05:51:01 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.
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #79 on:
March 29, 2007, 10:48:09 PM »
SPIEGEL ONLINE - March 29, 2007, 05:27 PM
GERMAN JUSTICE FAILURES
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?
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 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?
Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (8 Photos)
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #80 on:
March 29, 2007, 10:48:48 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?
Click on a picture to launch the image gallery (8 Photos)
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, Muslim-Market.de. 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
Re: Islam in France
Reply #81 on:
March 30, 2007, 08:06:24 AM »
That was an interesting read.
From today's NY Slimes, here's this about France:
By ELAINE SCIOLINO
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #82 on:
March 31, 2007, 05:49:01 PM »
Steyn will be seen as a prophet by future generations.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #83 on:
April 01, 2007, 06:21:17 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.
Last Edit: April 01, 2007, 06:27:16 PM by sgtmac_46
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #84 on:
April 01, 2007, 06:28:57 PM »
Quote from: G M on November 30, 2006, 11:07:52 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.
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #85 on:
April 01, 2007, 11:17:15 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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #86 on:
April 02, 2007, 07:54:26 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?
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #87 on:
April 02, 2007, 09:13:16 PM »
Quote from: sgtmac_46 on April 01, 2007, 06:28:57 PM
Quote from: G M on November 30, 2006, 11:07:52 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.
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #88 on:
April 13, 2007, 09:53:13 PM »
TERRORISM IN EUROPE
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.
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #89 on:
April 17, 2007, 08:00:00 AM »
Hezbollah's German Helpers
By ALEXANDER RITZMANN and MARK DUBOWITZ
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #90 on:
April 17, 2007, 10:53:17 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.
Sir Slaman Rushdie
Reply #91 on:
June 23, 2007, 06:38:29 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
By SADANAND DHUME
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #92 on:
August 16, 2007, 08:07:38 AM »
The forces of pre-emptive Dhimmitude on the march again:
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
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #93 on:
August 18, 2007, 07:24:00 PM »
Brutally honest commentary on islam in europe.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #94 on:
August 27, 2007, 12:41:23 AM »
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
ITALY: MUSLIM TRIES TO WALL UP STATUE OF THE MADONNA
(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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #95 on:
September 07, 2007, 09:53:23 AM »
Hardline takeover of British mosques From The TimesSeptember 7, 2007
Hardline takeover of British mosques
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
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.
Reply #96 on:
September 07, 2007, 12:16:30 PM »
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.
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #97 on:
October 08, 2007, 06:01:13 AM »
I saw the posters referenced in this article everywhere I went while in Switzerland last week.
By ELAINE SCIOLINO
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.”
Reply #98 on:
October 23, 2007, 03:20:05 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.
Last Edit: October 23, 2007, 07:19:08 PM by Crafty_Dog
Re: Islam in Europe
Reply #99 on:
October 25, 2007, 04:46:40 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.
Where Every Generation Is First-Generation
By CHRISTOPHER CALDWELL
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
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 SchÃ¤uble, 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 SchÃ¤uble,
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
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."
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
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 célÃ¨bre 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.
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