Demographers put the number of Muslims in France at five million to six million, or at least 8 percent of the population. In Roubaix, the mayor’s office estimates that the Muslim population is as much as 20,000, or about 20 percent of the population.
(top row left to right) Jewel Uddin, Mohammed Saud, Zohaib Ahmed. (bottom row left to right) Anzal Hussain, Mohammed Hasseen, Omar Khan. The six Islamic extremists will be sentenced today for planning a murderous attack on an English Defence League rally
Islamist gang that wanted to start war with the EDL: Bomb attack would have sparked ‘spiral of terror’ with far-Right
Memorials to RAF Bomber Command and animals killed at war were targeted in London (left and top right), as police forces across the country dealt with a spate of ugly attacks fuelled by hatred after soldier Lee Rigby’s murder. Hundreds of EDL protesters descended on London yesterday where they clashed with anti-fascists. One charity claimed that more than 200 attacks on Muslims had been reported to police since the brutal killing, including a mosque in Grimsby which had been firebombed (right centre). Elsewhere, Help for Heroes said it would not accept any money raised for it by the English Defence League, saying it did not want to be used for ‘political purposes’.
A common enemy
The people in the best position to stop Islamist violence are in the Muslim communities themselves
The desecration of two of London’s war memorials, daubed with the word Islam, while far-Right extremists marched through the capital, is further evidence of the heightened tensions following last week’s brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. There have also been reports of attacks on mosques and Muslims, which need to be condemned by all right-thinking people. Retribution for the murderous actions of a tiny minority should not be visited upon an entire community or their religion.
However, as Dame Stella Rimington, the former director-general of MI5, said at the Telegraph Hay Festival yesterday, it is also incumbent upon those communities to help expose the jihadists in their midst. We do not want to live in a Stasi society where everyone is under observation: not only is that unfeasible but illiberal, which is also why a very good case needs to be made out before laws are brought in to force the retention of the communications data of the whole nation. The Government needs to demonstrate that such powers are an essential requirement of the counter-terrorist effort and not just window-dressing to show something is being done.
But the radicalisation of Muslim youth needs to be countered within the communities themselves. It takes just a few individuals to perpetrate an atrocity and the threat they pose might not be apparent to the police or MI5 but will be to their family, friends and neighbours. As Dame Stella urged, they should be prepared to pass on information that might avert an attack. Acting as the “eyes and ears” for the security services is not snooping, but helping uphold the rule of law. Moreover, as we saw on July 7 2005, terrorism is indiscriminate in its victims. It is important, therefore, that in trying to combat it those best-placed to do so play their full part, too.
ASMIN ALIBHAI BROWN
Sunday 24 February 2013
How did modern Islam become so intolerant?
Israel’s occupation of Palestine, Islamophobia, and disastrous Western interventions all create grievance. But no injustice can excuse or explain the rise of brutal Islamicists
In Allah’s name, what is wrong with us Muslims? And why do we find it so hard to ask that question of ourselves? What will it take to break the heavily curtained window of denial?
The beardy jihadists convicted in Birmingham last week were incompetents; hard to distinguish, for many Britons, from the hilarious boneheaded fantasists in Chris Morris’s Four Lions .
I don’t find them funny and nor do most British Muslims. The ringleader, Irfan Khalid, and his henchmen Irfan Naseer and Ashik Ali meant to cause bloody mayhem, as did all those previous bombers from Glasgow to London, some of whom succeeded while others were discovered before they could bomb themselves off to hell. Sexual permissiveness disgusted them, as did most values of the country they were born in.
The gang frequented the Darul Ihsan gyms in Sparkhill, an inner city enclave in Birmingham. These “places of excellence” repudiated “inappropriate behaviour” and banned “non-Islamic” hairstyles and clothes. And it was in these enlightening joints that the thwarted three recruited others. Some went off to Pakistan and were made to come home by their families. There will be more and we can but hope they are stopped before they get the violent glory they crave.
I have met smart Muslim undergraduates and post-graduates at some of our top universities who offer perfectly honed theses to justify the actions of men like the Birmingham three. In sum, they give three key reasons: Palestinian rights denied by Israel, Islamaphobia, and Western interference in Muslim countries. These exact points were raised by a Muslim letter-writer to The Independent last week.
I sympathise with this position and have written with deep conviction on all those thorny issues. I am just reading Shadow Lives by the veteran journalist Victoria Brittain, on the unseen and unheard victims of our state’s iniquitous war on terror – the wives and children of men who have been incarcerated without charge for years.
I cry as I read – as many must when reminded of the chemical warfare used against Iraqis and the suffering of Palestinians. In Burma, Muslims are subjected to terrible persecution and Aung San Suu Kyi, now part of the establishment, expresses only tepid concern.
But no injustice can excuse or explain the rise of brutal Islamicists. Palestine is their cynical, moral pretence. Racism? Black Afro-Caribbean men who suffer the worst discrimination in this country don’t set up terrorist cells. Muslim foreign policy rage is questionable too. Over many decades, Western meddling in, say, Zimbabwe or Kenya has led to some of the intractable, current problems in those nations. Again, Kenyans and Zimbabwean migrants to the UK aren’t cooking carnage in pots in their kitchens.
Religion is another fig leaf used by millions of Prophet Mohamed’s followers. Islam, they rightly contend, does not sanction the killing of civilians by hobbyists or leaders. However, by focusing on what the good texts say, Muslims avoid the reality of what Muslims do. I doubt even the most virtuous imam can point this out without being subjected to threats.
And while ever alert on Islamaphobia, organisations like the Muslim Council of Britain assiduously avoid looking at the willed ignorance and barbarism within Muslim communities around the world in states controlled by Muslims.
Take this last week, when Bangladesh erupted with anger and competing protests led to five deaths. Secularists demand punishment for the Bangladeshi men who committed atrocities in the 1971 war for independence from Pakistan. Some of the perpetrators were militant Muslim militia and are defended by an alliance of powerful Islamicist parties.
In Egypt, human rights groups claim children are being detained and tortured. The government has spent £1.7m on tear gas. In Tunisia, after the assassination of the popular secular leader Chokri Belaid, Ennahda, the hardline Islamic party, takes charge. Fifty-three more died in an explosion in Syria where over 70,000 have been killed in two years.
Islamic rebels in Mali, Nigeria and elsewhere carry on their nefarious, destabilising activities. Eighty-nine Shias were killed in Pakistan, whose first leader, Muhammad Jinnah, was a Shia, as am I. They want to obliterate us there, in Afghanistan, Kashmir, Bahrain, and Iraq too, where bombs go off routinely to kill these worshippers. Other minority Muslim groups are also targeted and often murdered.
Change you can believe in
Internal and external intolerance is now Islam’s brand. Those great past Muslim civilisations famous for diversity, humanity, science, extraordinary achievements have died. Education, the arts, photographs, television, sports, even work are denounced by crazed imams online and in mosques worldwide, including the UK. In Brittain’s book, some women took on these values, and in effect, imprisoned themselves.
Polymath Ziauddin Sardar has met “countless Muslim scholars, thinkers, writers and activists” who are impatient for change and reform. That can’t happen while there is an aversion to criticism and self-criticism.
Thoughtful and honest Muslims stay silent because they fear ostracisation or inciting more racism against Muslims – both real perils. But silence now is cowardly, and collusion with the corrupters of our faith. True believers have a duty to speak out against that corruption.
Until our leaders admit the true nature of Islamic extremism, we will never defeat it
By MELANIE PHILLIPS
PUBLISHED: 17:04 EST, 26 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:04 EST, 26 May 2013
Ever since the spectre of Islamic terrorism in the West first manifested itself, Britain has had its head stuck firmly in the sand.
After both 9/11 and the 7/7 London transport bombings, the Labour government promised to take measures to defend the country against further such attacks.
It defined the problem, however, merely as terrorism, failing to understand that the real issue was the extremist ideas which led to such violence.
Accordingly, it poured money into Muslim community groups, many of which turned out to be dangerously extreme.
When David Cameron came to power, his Government raised hopes of a more realistic approach when it pledged to counter extremist ideas rather than just violence.
This approach, too, has failed. The Government still has no coherent strategy for countering Islamist radicalisation.
Following last week’s barbaric slaughter of Drummer Rigby on the streets of Woolwich by two Islamic fanatics, the Prime Minister has announced that he will head a new Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Task Force.
It arises from an interpretation of Islam which takes the words of the Koran literally as a command to kill unbelievers in a jihad, or holy war, in order to impose strict Islamic tenets on the rest of the world.
Of course, millions of Muslims in Britain and elsewhere totally reject this interpretation of their religion.
Most British Muslims want to live peacefully and enjoy the benefits of Western culture. They undoubtedly utterly deplore the notion that the kind of carnage that occurred in Woolwich should take place in Britain.
And let’s not forget that, worldwide, most victims of the jihad are themselves Muslims whom the extremists judge to be polluted by Western ideas.
Nevertheless, this fundamentalist interpretation of the Koran is what is being spouted by hate preachers in Britain and on the internet, and is steadily radicalising thousands of young British Muslims.
Now the Prime Minister says he will crack down on such extremism. Yet after the Woolwich atrocity, he claimed it was ‘a betrayal of Islam’ and that ‘there is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act’.
The London Mayor Boris Johnson went even further, claiming: ‘It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam’ and that the cause was simply the killers’ ‘warped and deluded mindset’.
Yet the video footage of the killers — who had shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ when butchering Drummer Rigby — records one of them citing verses in the Koran exhorting the faithful to fight and kill unbelievers, and declaring: ‘We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.’
Frankly, these comments by the Prime Minister and London Mayor were as absurd as saying the medieval Inquisition, for example, had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but was just the product of a few warped and deluded individuals.
Their comments were also deeply troubling. For if politicians refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this extremism, they will never counter it effectively.
But then, government officials have always refused to admit that this is a religious war. They simply don’t understand the power of religious fanaticism.
Of course, there are fanatics in all religions. Within both Judaism and Christianity, there are deep divisions between ultras, liberals and those in between.
But at the heart of these promises remains a crucial gap. That is the need to define just what kind of extremism we are up against.
The Government has been extraordinarily reluctant to do this — because it refuses to face the blindingly obvious fact that this extremism is religious in nature.
London Mayor Boris Johnson went even further, claiming: ‘It is completely wrong to blame this killing on the religion of Islam’ and that the cause was simply the killers’ ‘warped and deluded mindset’.
Yet the video footage of the killers — who had shouted ‘Allahu Akhbar’ when butchering
Drummer Rigby — records one of them citing verses in the Koran exhorting the faithful to fight and kill unbelievers, and declaring: ‘We swear by Almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you.’
Frankly, these comments by the Prime Minister and London Mayor were as absurd as saying the medieval Inquisition, for example, had nothing to do with the Catholic Church, but was just the product of a few warped and deluded individuals.
Their comments were also deeply troubling. For if politicians refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this extremism, they will never counter it effectively.
But then, government officials have always refused to admit that this is a religious war. They simply don’t understand the power of religious fanaticism.
Of course, there are fanatics in all religions. Within both Judaism and Christianity, there are deep divisions between ultras, liberals and those in between.
Omar Bakri Mohammed praises alleged Woolwich killed Michael Adebolajo and describes him as ‘courageous’ and a ‘hero’. The radical cleric says the murder is revenge for the ‘Muslim brothers’ who have lost their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq
In medieval times, moreover, Christianity used its interpretation of the Bible also to kill ‘unbelievers’, because early Christians believed they had a divine duty to make the world conform to their religion at all costs. That stopped when the Reformation ushered the Church into modernity, and today no Christian wants to use violence to convert others to their faith.
The problem with the extremist teachings of Islam is that the religion has never had a similar ‘reformation’.
Certainly, there are enlightened Muslims in Britain who would dearly love their religion to be reformed.
But they have the rug pulled from under their feet by the Government’s flat denial of the religious nature of this terrible problem.
Some people instead ascribe the actions of the Woolwich killers to factors such as thuggish gang membership, drug abuse or family breakdown. But it is precisely such lost souls who are vulnerable to Islamist fanatics and who provide them with father figures, a sense of belonging and a cause which gives apparent meaning to their lives.
Many people find it incomprehensible that such fanatics remain free to peddle their poison. Partly, this is because the Security Service likes to gather intelligence through their actions. But it is also because of a failure to understand what amounts to a continuum of extremism.
There are too many British Muslims who, while abhorring violence at home, nevertheless support the killing abroad of British or American forces or Israelis, regard unbelievers as less than fully human, and homosexuals or apostates as deserving the death penalty.
Such bigotry creates the poisonous sea in which dehumanisation and religious violence swim.
To the failure to understand all this must be added the widespread terror of being thought ‘Islamophobic’ or ‘racist’.
It is quite astonishing that universities mostly refuse to crack down on extremist speakers and radicalisation on campus — despite at least four former presidents of Islamic student societies having faced terrorist charges.
In a devastating account published at the weekend, Professor Michael Burleigh, who advised the Government on revising its counter-radicalisation strategy, described how this process descended into a ‘sad shambles’. He related how the Federation of Islamic Student Societies (FOSIS) had created a sexually segregated environment in which young people were being systematically indoctrinated in anti-Jew, anti-homosexual and anti-Western hatred by Islamist speakers on campus.
But although the Government condemned FOSIS for its failure to ‘fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology’, with the Home Secretary even ordering that civil servants withdraw from its graduate recruitment fair, the Faith and Communities Minister, Baroness Warsi, actually endorsed it by attending one of its events at the House of Lords.
Nor has the Government done anything to stop extremist preachers targeting and converting criminals in British jails at a deeply alarming rate.
On top of all this official incoherence is the paralysis caused by the excesses of the ‘human rights’ culture.
Thus the Home Secretary is facing a monumental battle to get through Parliament a Communications Bill that would give police and security services access to records of individuals’ internet use.
Anjem Choudary at a demonstration in 2007, with alleged Woolwich killer Michael Adebojalo behind him
It is said that some of these extremist preachers exploit loopholes in the law. If so, then the law should be changed.
But we all know what would befall any such attempt. It would be all but drowned out by shrieks that we were ‘doing the terrorists’ job for them’ by ‘undermining our own hard-won liberties’.
Well, it’s time to face down such claims as vacuous and lethal nonsense.
The people threatening our liberties are Islamic radicals determined to destroy our way of life.
It is those who refuse to acknowledge the true nature of this threat who are doing the terrorists’ job for them.
And unless Britain finally wakes up from its self-destructive torpor, all who love civilised values — Muslim and non-Muslim alike — will be the losers.
Is this country mad? Why is Anjem Choudary, whose poisonous teachings influenced the Woolwich killers, free to draw benefits and tour BBC studios spouting murderous hatred against Britain?
Fears of new generation of terrorists who found the ‘heart of the beast’ of al-Qaeda
Britain faces a new generation of self-starting “Nike terrorists”, the security services fear, amid alarm over the speed with which a gang of home grown extremists were able to find and gain support for a 9/11-style plot from the “heart of the beast” of al-Qaeda.
The case calls into question the government’s Prevent strategy to counter the home grown extremist threat. The Theresa May-backed plan relies on Muslim communities to report suspicious behaviour to the authorities. Yet although family members and other Birmingham residents knew they had travelled abroad for training, no alarm was raised.
The only true religion is make an effort to love your neighbor and thereby overcome human nature.
A Mail investigation into online Islamist propaganda has uncovered footage praising the killing of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich. Terror videos of how to use an AK-47 rifle (far right) are easy-to-access on YouTube. Radical cleric Omar Mohammed (top left) said ‘Woolwich killer Adebolajo is courageous and a hero’, and Mohammed Khan (bottom right) warns: ‘You will be our targets’ in YouTube footage. The ideological leader of Al Qaedai, Anwar Al-Awlaki (bottom left) rants: ‘My ancestors killed whoever didn’t want to become Muslims’ in a clip.
Rebecca Rigby, (centre) the widow of Drummer Lee Rigby, made a tearful pilgrimage to the scene of his murder yesterday, the day after his fiancee Aimee West (left) made the same heartbreaking trip. Ms Rigby, the mother of the soldier’s two-year-old son Jack, laid a wreath amid hundreds of other floral tributes to her estranged husband. It is understood that Drummer Rigby (pictured on patrol in Helmand, right) had separated from his wife, and started a relationship with army colleague Aimee West.
The Woolwich ‘beheading’ is straight out of al-Qaeda’s terror manual
Enemy within that hates our tolerance: MAX HASTINGS on a menace more chilling than any foreign threat
By MAX HASTINGS PUBLISHED: 17:31 EST, 23 May 2013 | UPDATED: 17:38 EST, 23 May 2013
The scene was a theatre of blood — more horror than terror, because while it has not frightened the British people, it has most certainly appalled us. Since Wednesday afternoon, I have heard people who are customarily oblivious to events outside their own lives volunteer their stunned sense of revulsion.
We customarily think of murder as a thing of the night, of secret places and denials of guilt.
Yet now, instead, we are confronted with the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby, of the Royal Fusiliers, in the most brutal fashion imaginable, in broad daylight before witnesses in a London street, by savages bent upon flaunting their martyrdom before the world.
Drummer Lee Rigby, of the Royal Fusiliers, was killed in broad daylight before witnesses in a London street, by savages bent upon flaunting their martyrdom before the world
The perpetrators were apparently as eager to embrace death as any suicide bomber, and threw themselves at armed police.
Among those who deserve sympathy today are the nurses who must minister to these two least deserving of hospital patients.
Some 30 years ago, Margaret Thatcher, as prime minister, imposed a ban upon the broadcasting of interviews with members of Sinn Fein and the IRA, to ‘deny them the oxygen of publicity’.
But in the modern world in which privacy is almost extinct, and censorship unenforceable as well as unacceptable, it would have been impossible to prevent the Woolwich killers from triggering an avalanche of national and worldwide publicity.
We do not yet know whether they acted alone, or were members of a terror group. But their act of depravity has won an audience beyond the dreams of most fanatics.
They hijacked the agenda of the Home Secretary, intelligence services and the COBRA government disaster committee. The Prime Minister dashed home from Paris.
Millions of people have listened to the killers’ broadcast ravings, in which they asserted their claims to act under the banner of Allah, in retaliation for the actions of British forces abroad.
Since all terrorists are by definition attention-seekers, others may well be encouraged and incited by the achievement of the Woolwich two.
Perhaps it was unavoidable that the whole national security apparatus was mobilised.
Though only a single death took place, had David Cameron and Theresa May not been seen to respond energetically, they would have suffered a storm of criticism.
But it is dismaying to witness the impact of this primitive assault on a country of some 60 million people.
In the years after the 9/11 attacks in America and the 2005 London bombings, there was fevered speculation that Al Qaeda might soon belabour the West with biological or even nuclear weapons.
Now, instead, we have seen two men armed only with a car, kitchen knives and butcher’s cleavers forcing themselves onto the centre of the national stage.
Our forefathers who braved two World Wars and the Cold War would be bewildered and, I think, dismayed that such an action could generate such turmoil.
But Wednesday’s events struck a society now addicted to video immediacy.
Moreover, it was shocking to discover that two men who have lived for years in the midst of our peaceful, decent society, were capable of such barbarity.
The spectre of an ‘enemy within’ is bound to be more disturbing than any foreign threat.
While most British Muslims wholeheartedly condemn the killers, we know from bleak experience that a significant minority will tell opinion pollsters they actually endorse what was done.
Tens of thousands of Islamists living in Britain not merely reject our society and its values, but even dare to despise them, supposing their own violent and intolerant creed superior. British Christians do not seek confrontation with Islam — yet some of its adherents are bent on confrontation with us.
We must nonetheless sustain a sense of perspective. Racially aggravated murders, claiming victims of all races, have been taking place for many years.
Among the most notorious cases were when in 2004 Glasgow teenager Kriss Donald was beaten, stabbed 13 times and then set on fire by a British Pakistani, Daanish Zahid.
A gang of white teenagers in Leeds beat to death an Asian taxi driver, and, of course, the black teenager Stephen Lawrence was brutally murdered in 1993.
None of those who carried out these killings made grandiose claims to be either white supremacists or jihadis.
They were simply thugs with a propensity for violence, who out of brutish ignorance and stupidity focused their hatred on people of other races.
I would guess that the Woolwich murderers will prove to be little different from other racist killers.
But such men have now identified a means to dignify their deeds as supposed political acts, executed in the name of jihad.
Western societies are becoming increasingly populated with alienated, confused young men whose supposed grievances are fuelled by the internet and by jihadist preachers whom our judges and asylum tribunals indulge by providing them with British residence.
Islamic extremists support a burden of rage about their own inadequacy.
They hate the rest of us for getting on with our lives, for our cultural tolerance, respect for women, and for achieving a material success unmatched by any Muslim society in the world.
Of course we ask: what went wrong? Whose failures allowed such a dreadful event to happen?
Yet, on the evidence thus far, nobody has done anything blameworthy except the murderers.
M15 must tell what it knew about the killers. But there are hundreds, if not thousands, of potential extremists out there.
In a free society, such as we cherish, the Security Service lacks resources to track them all, and they cannot be detained on mere suspicion.
Ultimately, though, it was the cub scout mistress who jumped off a bus and precipitated a confrontation with one of the killers who spoke for the nation when she told him: ‘It is only you versus many, and you are going to lose.’
Oh God in heaven…more liberal hogwash. These liberals…I consider them as dangerous as any terrorist who has ever lived! For years they have watered down our once tough society to the present state of affairs where the delicate, the useless, the workshy, the dim, the fanatics and all the failures are coddled, and soothed and told not to worry as we will look after you and everything will be alright. Time to go back to the laws of the nature…where only the fittest survives, and the weak go under. Just watch all the rats leave the British sinking ship then!
- bigted , Norwich, United Kingdom, 24/5/2013 08:16
If these Islamic extremists are so keen on their view of law and order then we should mete out punishment to them according to their own much vaunted sharia law, instead of our own cushy system.
- usednurse , Borders, Scotland, 24/5/2013 08:05
Only a politically correct fool would compare a random killing in the name of Allah to the dubious actions of a nation-state.
Was the London killing of a British soldier ‘terrorism’?
What definition of the term includes this horrific act of violence but excludes the acts of the US, the UK and its allies?
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 May 2013 09.03 EDT
23 May 2013 2:08pm
A definition that means hating foreign religious bigots more than your own civilization?
23 May 2013 2:22pm
If we are allowed to pick and choose our own definition, we can deny this is terrorism and classify it as – I guess – just another knife crime.
This act was motivated by an ideology. The belief that there is divine sanction for violent warfare against non-believers.
But it’s a lot easier to sweep this under the carpet if we call this barbarous act something other than terrorism.
Toy: The Jabba’s Palace Lego set has been criticised by the Turkish Cultural Community of Austria group, which has described it as offensive to the Muslim community
Baroness Warsi: Fewer than one in four people believe Islam is compatible with British way of life
A new report from Amnesty International lashes out at “widespread discrimination” against Muslims in Europe. The report directs particular ire at laws banning Muslim veils in public spaces, and excoriates European politicians for helping to “foster a climate of hostility and suspicion against people perceived as Muslim.”
Amnesty International omits, however, all instances of discrimination initiated by Muslims against Christians and others in Europe who have taken them in, and who may well feel dismayed by what might be seen as an escalating procession of Muslim demands, threats and attacks.
The report also fails to explain why growing numbers of Europeans are increasingly skeptical about Muslim immigration; it also fails to mention that in country after country, Europeans have been going out of their way to afford Muslims special benefits, rights, privileges and provisions that do not apply to native-born Europeans, and that are establishing the Muslim population as an entitled class in European society.
France-Based Tunisian Imam Hassen Chalghoumi: ‘We European Muslims Are Hostages, Caught Between Extremism And Racism’
Kill Mickey Mouse
Become a fan
2 hours ago (07:55)
Is it too late though now to stop all this nonsense?…..I would say that the first generation migrants to the UK tried to integrate into our society, the following generations sadly have not, and more importantly, they have been allowed not to …..and this is yet another example of it.
Something i was once told by a westernised muslim……..they are not permitted to live and settle in a country that they do not envisage as one day becoming majority if not exclusively muslim….Scary..
Prominent Russian Muslims targeted in attack
‘Another 9/11′: Islamic jihadists accused of planning huge coordinated suicide bomb campaign in London
Tony Blair: ‘The West is asleep on the issue of Islamist extremism’
”I see the Koran very much as an outsider [Blair is a Catholic convert]. It stands in the great prophetic tradition of trying to return people to the basic principles of spirituality. Taken for its time, it was an extraordinarily progressive declaration of principle. It is also extraordinary for a Christian to read: for example, there are more references to Mary than in the Gospels. The tragedy is that it has been so warped and misapplied.’’
And here, Tony Blair has grown sterner. After September 11, 2001, he now thinks, he underestimated the power of the bad ”narrative’’ of Islamist extremists. That narrative – that ”The West oppresses Islam” – ”is still there. If anything, it has grown.’’ It seeks ”supremacy not coexistence’’. He fears that ”The West is asleep on this issue’’, and yet it is the biggest challenge. In Africa, all the good things he sees through his Africa Governance Initiative face ”this threat above all others’’. In ”Sudan, Mali, Nigeria, outbursts in Tanzania and Kenya’’, sectarian Islamist extremism is the great and growing problem. By implication, Mr Blair seems to doubt President Obama’s outreach to Islam, because it tends to deal with the wrong people. Since Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009, ”the whole context has changed’’. The Muslim Brotherhood is taking over large parts of the Arab world, and ”the people without the loudest voices are desperate for our leadership’’.
”We must engage, but also challenge,’’ he warns. The Middle East ”won’t achieve democracy unless it understands that democracy is a way of thinking as well as voting. The key question is how the majority treats the minority.’’ The West, he says, has been too slow to help the people of Iran: ”It is a great civilisation. The people would undoubtedly boot their government out at the ballot box if they could. It is important they know we are prepared to help them. A Persian spring would be very welcome.’
Owen Jones: Islamophobia – for Muslims, read Jews. And be shocked
Imagine our alarm if nearly half the UK population said they believed that ‘there are too many Jews
To be a prominent Muslim means suffering a daily diet of bigotry and even outright hatred. This week, Mehdi Hasan – who, other than my colleague Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, is Britain’s only prominent Muslim journalist – wrote of how, every day, he is attacked as a “jihadist” and a “terrorist”. He has been described as a “dangerous Muslim shithead”, a “moderate cockroach”, and worse. The message from his critics is clear: Muslims have no legitimate place in public life.
Mehdi Hasan was right to speak out, but it must not be left to Muslims alone to take on this bigotry. A tide of Islamophobia has swept Europe for many years, and – shamefully – all too few have taken a stand. Even many who regard themselves as “progressives” have either remained silent or even indulged anti-Muslim prejudice. It’s time for Muslims and non-Muslims alike to join forces against the most widespread – and most acceptable – form of bigotry of our times.
Think I’m exaggerating? Consider that the far-right’s main target of choice is no longer Jews or black people: it’s Muslims. The BNP portrays itself as a crusade against the “Islamification” of Britain; in the 2010 election, it launched a “Campaign Against Islam”. Its leader, Nick Griffin, describes Islam as “wicked” and a “cancer”, and has blamed Muslims for problems such as drugs and rape. The English Defence League stages frequent – and often intimidating – street rallies protesting against Muslims.
But anti-Muslim prejudice isn’t simply confined to the far-right fringes. I attended a Stockport sixth form with a large Muslim student population. The reality of their lives is all but airbrushed out of existence. When they appear at all, it’s generally as fanatics, extremists or a community somehow “harbouring” dangerous extremists. (When do Britain’s whites face the absurdity of being called on to crack down on far-right fanatics supposedly in their ranks?) One study took a selection of newspapers in a single week: 91 per cent of reports featuring Muslims were negative.
One of my Muslim fellow students was Dr Leon Moosavi, fast becoming a national authority on Islamophobia. He battles against the widespread denial that anti-Muslim prejudice is a problem. But consider that, in one poll conducted by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, 45 per cent of Britons agreed that “there are too many Muslims” in Britain. Imagine if nearly half the population admitted to believing that “there are too many Jews” in Britain: how loud would our alarm be?
Of course, it is not just a British problem: the poison of Islamophobia has infected Europe’s political mainstream. According to a Pew Research Center survey, nearly six out of 10 Europeans believe that Muslims were “fanatical”, and half believed they were “violent”. As here, the European far-right aims fire at Muslims above all other groups. In the Netherlands, an anti-Muslim party led by Geert Wilders is the third largest in parliament. Wilders compares the Koran to Mein Kampf, calls Islam a “Trojan Horse” in Europe and demands that the country’s 850,000 Muslims be paid to leave the country. Wilders doesn’t languish on the fringes: the current Dutch cabinet depended for two years on his party’s support.
Or take sleepy Switzerland, where the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) is the biggest party in the country’s Federal Assembly. The SVP won a referendum on the banning of minarets, which the party’s general secretary described as “symbols of Islamic power”. During the vote, Geneva’s mosque was repeatedly vandalised. Farhad Afshar, the president of the Coordination of Islamic Organisations, had no doubt what signal was sent by this vote: “that Muslims do not feel accepted as a religious community”. But it gets even darker than that. In June, the Zurich-based SVP politician Alexander Müller was forced to stand down after tweeting: “Maybe we need another Kristallnacht… this time for mosques.” The parallels with anti-Semitism could not be more overt.
In France – where recently 42 per cent polled for Le Monde believed that the presence of Muslims was a “threat” to their national identity – a record number voted for the anti-Muslim National Front in April’s presidential elections. Denmark’s third largest party is the People’s Party, which rails against “Islamisation” and demands the end of all non-Western immigration. The anti-Muslim Vlaams Belang flourishes in Flemish Belgium. But those who take a stand against Islamophobia are often demanded to qualify it with a condemnation of extremism. When is this ever asked of other stands against prejudice? When we condemn anti-Semitic hate, must we criticise repressive Israeli policies in the same breath? It would be absurd – they are completely separate issues, and indeed millions of Jews across the world oppose the actions of Israel’s government.
Anti-Muslim hate is a European pandemic. I’m proud to stand with Mehdi Hasan and other Muslims facing Islamophobia. But – I implore, I beg fellow non-Muslims – stand with them too, before this hatred spirals further out of control.
Danes Protest Muslim Threat, 80 Arrested
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
Danish police arrested 80 protesters Sunday in a rally against the growing Muslim threat of turning Europe into part of an Islamic empire.
Scuffles broke out when a large number of masked leftist counter demonstrators tried to push past police to reach approximately 300 protestors from Denmark, Britain, Germany, Sweden and Poland. They also threw bottles and rocks at police vans and a busload of protesters.
The rally in Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark, began with a moment of silence for the Toulouse victims of the Al Qaeda-linked terrorist who gunned down a rabbi, three young Jewish children and three Muslim soldiers of North African origin in France last month.
The right-wing English Defense Group has attracted several similar groups to become active in several countries as large-scale Muslim immigration and their growing birth rate has catapulted Islam into a religious, political and demographic concern to Europeans who fear the threat of radical Islam and its drive towards a worldwide Caliphate. In England, Islamic Shari’a law already has been allowed to be the accepted authority in several communities.
Anti-Islam leaders have insisted they are not neo-Nazis or anti-Semites. German Defense League members at the protest waved German and Israeli flags, and one banner in at the rally stated, “Peace will dominate the world and not Islam.”
European poll: An Islamic threat?
A new poll conducted in France and Germany indicates that a notable portion of participants consider Islam a “threat”.
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 civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
–Winston Churchill – The River War, volume II pp. 248–50 (1899)
Muslim Immigration Transforms Finland
by Soeren Kern
April 28, 2011 at 5:00 am
As in other European countries (here and here), the politically correct guardians of Finnish multiculturalism have tried to silence public discussion about the escalating problem of Muslim immigration.
In March 2009, for example, Jussi Kristian Halla-aho, a politician and well-known political commentator, was taken to court on charges of “incitement against an ethnic group” and “breach of the sanctity of religion” for writing that Islam is a religion of paedophilia. He was referring to the Islamic prophet Mohammed, who is believed to have married a six year old girl and consummated the marriage when she was nine.
A Helsinki court later dropped the charges of blasphemy but ordered Halla-aho to pay a fine of €330 ($450) for disturbing religious worship. The Finnish public prosecutor, incensed at the lower court’s dismissal of the blasphemy charges, appealed the case to the Finnish Supreme Court, where it is now being reviewed.
Halla-Aho, the best-known political blogger in Finland, maintains a blog entitled Scripta, that deals with issues such as “immigration, multiculturalism, tolerance, racism, freedom of speech and political correctness.” His blog has between 3,000 and 6,000 readers a day. According to Halla-aho, immigration is a taboo topic in Finland. He has received death threats because of his web columns, which criticize the number of immigrants coming to Finland and argue that Muslims cannot be integrated.
In April 2011, Juha Molari, a Finnish Lutheran pastor, was “defrocked” after he was accused of inciting religious hatred for describing Doku Umarov, the man behind the Moscow metro and airport bombings, as a “terrorist.”
Also that month, the Finnish Ministry of Interior launched a new Internet site focused on immigration. The politically correct objective is to “give a boost to factual and serious debate and information on the issue,” and “to get away from an ‘us and them’ position as well as from preaching and guilt attitudes.” Of course, the site does not have a discussion forum.
Also, Finland’s political map has been redrawn in the aftermath of parliamentary elections on April 17, when the nationalist True Finns Partywon more votes than the governing party and now stands on the cusp of political power. The surge of the True Finns Party, which campaigned on a platform of opposition to Muslim immigration and further European integration, reflects growing voter disenchantment with multiculturalism and the ruling establishment’s fixation with the European Union.
The final vote results show the populist True Finns Party finishing third place with 39 seats in Finland’s 200-seat Parliament, just behind the center-right National Coalition Party with 43 seats and the center-left Social Democrats with 42 seats. The governing Center Party lost 16 seats, ending up with 24 seats.
As the largest vote-getter, the National Coalition Party has been given the first chance to form a government, and the party leader Jyrki Katainen, set to be Finland’s next prime minister, said “it is our duty to form a majority government.” He is now negotiating with the True Finns and the Social Democrats to build a governing coalition.
Support for the True Finns, led by charismatic leader Timo Soini, has nearly quadrupled its share of the vote from 4% to 19% since the last parliamentary elections in 2007. Using a catchy campaign slogan (kansa tietää: “The people know”), the party has harvested popular anger over issues ranging from bailouts of debt-laden European countries like Greece, Ireland and Portugal to unemployment and immigration, especially from Muslim countries.
Although Europe’s political establishment and the mainstream news media have variously branded the True Finns as “far-right,” “racist,” “xenophobic,” and “fascist” because of the party’s opposition to immigration, in reality the party does not fit neatly into any political grouping. The True Finns combine left-wing economic policies (the party defends the welfare state, for example, and favors raising taxes to do so) with conservative social values (Soini is a devout Roman Catholic). The party has been placed on the center-left in the parliamentary seating order.
In any event, both the National Coalition Party and the Social Democrats have adopted many of the anti-immigration positions held by the True Finns. For example, the National Coalition Party has called for “realism in asylum policy; resources for integration;” and the Social Democratic Party has set a goal for “controlled immigration.” Further, members of all three parties have voiced their concerns about immigration and the threat it poses to Finnish culture and identity.
Immigration is also not the exclusive concern of only one type of Finnish voter. According to a recent survey commissioned by the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper and conducted by Suomen Gallup, Finns of all political persuasions and socio-economic classes are concerned about immigration. The polling data show that nearly 60% of Finns are opposed to immigration. This number is up from 44% in 2009 and 36% in 2007.
Immigrants make up about 4% of the Finnish population, a relatively percentage low by European standards. There are an estimated 60,000 Muslims in Finland, which has a population of just over 5 million. The Muslim population has increased rapidly in recent years, due largely to immigration; and there are now dozens of Islamic communities in the country. As in other European countries, the debate over immigration centers on growing concerns about the failure of Muslim immigrants to integrate into Finland and learn the language.
A case in point is the request by Muslims in Finland for a fatwa (Islamic legal ruling) on how they should live in their newly adopted country. The fatwa was issued by Muhammad Saalih Al-Munajid, a well-known Saudi Arabian expert on Islamic Sharia law, who, in 2008, issued a fatwa to kill Mickey Mouse. He says: “You have to be aware that you are living in a Christian society, a Christian country, whose flag bears the cross! … It should be a priority of Islamic groups and political parties, especially those that are trying to establish an Islamic state, as we said, to preserve the identity of the Muslims who are living there. One of the most important means of preserving their identity is for Muslim men to marry Muslim women and to strive to create an Islamic atmosphere in their social lives. In the Islamic parties and organizations there should be people who direct the Muslims’ private matters such as marriage, divorce and social relationships in accordance with the laws of Allah.”
This is already happening. According to some reports, Muslim children in Finnish schools often are not allowed to take part in school activities such as singing and dancing, which are considered religious. Often, immigrant children play the race card if a solution to a conflict does not go in their favor or if a teacher rebukes the child.
In December 2010, the Islamic Society of Finland, headquartered in downtown Helsinki, complained that the country’s Muslims are running out of places to worship as their numbers grow. Finland’s only officially consecrated mosque is located in the town of Järvenpää, some 40 kilometers north of Helsinki.
In March 2011, the Islamic Society of Finland called for the government to provide university-level courses for the country’s imams. There are around 40 to 50 imams in Finland, both teaching and conducting religious services at mosques and prayer rooms. Their educational backgrounds vary. “Many have studied in their communities or in their home countries. What is needed is a degree from an institute of higher education for all imams,” says Anas Hajjar, an imam with the Islamic Society of Finland.
In recent years, ethnic Finns have been leaving immigrant-heavy neighborhoods to find more suitable housing elsewhere. According to some studies, Finland’s largest cities have developed areas where more than one-fifth of the population is of foreign origin. As native Finns move out of areas with significant immigrant populations, they are reducing the size of the population capable of paying taxes, leaving behind only those consuming welfare services, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper.
Much of the problem revolves around Finland’s immigration policy, which is one of the most liberal in Europe. This was highlighted in November 2009, when Egypt Todaymagazine published a story entitled “Welcome to Finland,” which portrayed Finland as a paradise for Muslim immigration.
According to Egypt Today: “Tara Ahmed, a 25-year-old Kurdish woman, came with her husband to Finland seven years ago to work. ‘There are a lot of services offered to us here,’ she says. ‘Plus, during my seven years I haven’t had one single harassment, assault or discrimination case in any form.’ Like most immigrants, Ahmed and her husband took advantage of the free Finnish language lessons offered by the government, which pays immigrants €8 per day to attend. The government also provides immigrants with a free home, health care for their family and education for their children. In addition, they get a monthly stipend of €367 per adult to cover expenses until they start earning their own living. The government is able to pay for these services due to a progressive tax rate that can exceed fifty percent of a person’s income. Even so, officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed that Finland needs immigrants and that, in the long run, they are not a burden on society.”
After that story was published, the number of Muslim immigrants to Finland skyrocketed. For example, immigration from Somalia alone more than doubled in 2010, from 2009. Most of the Somali adults coming to Finland are illiterate, according to the Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. In September 2010, Finnish authorities admitted that Somalis were abusing the family unification procedure to facilitate human trafficking.
Some Muslim immigrants to Finland have travelled to Pakistan or Somalia to attend Jihadi training camps, according to Vasabladet, a newspaper in Sweden. In February 2010, Helsingin Sanomat reported that the Somali terrorist group al-Shabab was recruiting young Somalis living in Finland to go to war against the Somali government.
In early 2010, the Finnish Security Police (SUPO) asked Parliament for €1.7 million in funding to station officers permanently in Africa and the Middle East to stop possible terrorists who might want to travel to Finland. In August 2010, SUPO said it had successfully prevented terrorist suspects from Africa from entering Finland. In December 2010, Interior Minister Anne Homlund said that training individuals to commit terrorist acts would become a criminal offense.
In December 2009, an Albanian Muslim shot dead three men and a woman at a shopping centre in Espoo. The lone gunman was dressed in black and walked through the mall randomly firing at shoppers.
There are now believed to be several hundred hard-line Wahhabi Muslim fundamentalists in Finland, according to a journalist for the Finnish Broadcasting Company, Tom Kankkonen, who recently wrote a book entitled Islam Euroopassa(Islam in Europe). He says these Islamists operate in communities such as the Helsinki Muslimikoti (Muslim Home), the Iqra Association, and the Salafi Forum on the Internet.
But lately some Finns have been pushing back.
In January 2011, the City of Helsinki said that it would stop reserving special hours for Muslim women to use the public pool in the suburb of Jakomäki. In the future, the time slot for Muslim women will be open to all women. Previously, the Jakomäki swimming hall blocked off Saturday mornings specifically for Muslim women. The women’s session followed a swimming class for Muslim girls.
In December 2010, the Ombudsman for Minorities, Eva Biaudet, issued a statement saying that a ban on Muslim prayer by a gym in the City of Espoo was not a violation of the prohibition on discrimination against ethnic minorities. In August 2010, the exercise center posted a notice requesting clients not to pray in its facilities. A nearby library provided a screened-off section in its rooms during August-September for use by Muslims during the month of Ramadan. But nine Espoo city councillors have demanded that religious practices be kept separate from public services.
People watch as Swedish firemen extinguish burning cars in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby after youths rioted in several suburbs around Stockholm for a fourth consecutive night on Thursday.(Jonathan Nackstrand / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images / May 23, 2013)
Swedes have been shocked by the images of destruction and by the convulsion of anger and fear in their usually easygoing capital. Television footage showed smoking husks of cars on otherwise ordinary-looking streets.
The unrest has raised uncomfortable questions in a once-homogeneous society now dealing with a relatively recent influx of immigrants, many of them from war-ravaged countries such as Afghanistan and Iraq. Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise and has become a political force in the far-right Swedish Democrats party.
The proximate cause of the rioting was the May 13 death of a man in his late 60s in the Husby district of Stockholm, a predominantly immigrant community where unemployment runs higher than the national average. Police say the man had threatened people on the street with a machete-like weapon and then continued to pose a danger after going inside an apartment building, where officers shot him
In Sweden, Riots Put an Identity in Question
Fredrik Sandberg/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images
Burned-out cars in the Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby last week after groups made up mostly of young immigrants rioted.
By ANDREW HIGGINS
Published: May 26, 2013
STOCKHOLM — Eva Bromster, an elementary school principal, was jolted awake by a telephone call late Thursday night. “Your school is burning,” her boss, the director of the local education department, told her.
Ms. Bromster rushed to the school, in the mostly immigrant district of Tensta, north of Stockholm, and found one room gutted by fire and another filled with ankle-deep water after firefighters had doused the flames. It was the second fire at the school in three days.
In Stockholm and other towns and cities last week, bands made up mostly of young immigrants set buildings and cars ablaze in a spasm of destructive rage rarely seen in a country proud of its normally tranquil, law-abiding ways.
The disturbances, with echoes of urban eruptions in France in 2005 and Britain in 2011, have pushed Sweden to the center of a heated debate across Europe about immigration and the tensions it causes in a time of deep economic malaise.
The riots, now subsiding, have produced less damage than the earlier ones in Paris and London, which also involved mostly immigrants. But the unrest has shaken Sweden, which has a reputation for welcoming immigrants and asylum seekers, including those fleeing violence in countries like Iraq, Somalia and Syria, and regularly ranks in surveys as one of the world’s happiest places.
“I don’t know why anybody would want to burn our school,” Ms. Bromster said. “I can’t understand it. Maybe they are not so happy with life.”
The riots are not unprecedented here. In 2008 and 2010, immigrants clashed with the police in the southern port city of Malmo. But the past week’s arson attacks in Stockholm, the capital, and the spectacle of teenagers hurling stones at firefighters have left many Swedes wondering what went wrong in a society that has invested so heavily in helping the underprivileged.
While the violence was concentrated in relatively poor districts, most of their residents have been shielded from dire poverty by a welfare system that is one of the world’s most expansive, despite recent cutbacks.
Sweden’s center-right prime minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, scornfully described the riots as “hooliganism,” while the Swedish Democrats, a far-right party, have seized on the violence to push their anti-immigrant stance and called for the deportation of nonnative Swedes who break the law. “This is not just a police issue,” said Jimmie Akesson, the party’s leader, but “a direct result of an irresponsible immigration policy that has created deep cracks in Swedish society.”
The left, which dominated Swedish politics for decades and devised the cradle-to-grave welfare system, has blamed reduced state benefits and a modest shift toward the privatization of public services for the unrest, pointing to an erosion of the country’s tolerant, egalitarian ethos. A recent report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said that income inequality had grown faster in Sweden than in any other industrialized nation between 1985 and the end of the past decade, although it remains far more equal than most countries.
“The rich are getting richer, and the poor are getting poorer,” said Barbro Sorman, an activist of the opposition Left Party. “Sweden is starting to look like the U.S.A.”
But Stockholm’s immigrant enclaves, including Tensta and the nearby suburb of Husby, where the riots began May 19 after the police fatally shot a 69-year-old immigrant wielding a knife, show few outward signs of deprivation.
Created in the 1960s as part of a state building blitz to create a million new homes in a decade, Stockholm’s northern suburbs now offer well-tended parks, graceless but well-maintained public housing, well-equipped schools, youth centers, libraries and legions of social workers financed by the state.
Dejan Stankovic, the Serbian-born manager of a team of government youth workers that has joined parents and other volunteers on nightly street patrols, recalled a visit to the area by a group of mystified American social workers. “They said, ‘It is green and safe, so what is the problem?’ ”
One big problem is the lack of jobs. The national unemployment rate is about 8 percent, but the rate is at least twice as high in immigrant areas and four times as high for those under 25. But, said Nima Sanandaji, a Kurdish-Swedish author of several books on immigration who was born in Iran, remote areas in the north of Sweden have more people out of work, “but they are not throwing rocks and burning cars.”
Mr. Stankovic said he was sympathetic to immigrants’ complaints of discrimination in the job market. But, he added, many job seekers, particularly young men, had unrealistic demands and expected the state to find them work in their own neighborhoods. “There are a lot of people aged from 20 to 22 who say, ‘I want a job, I want it now, and I want to stay here,’ ” he said. “This is their problem, but it becomes a government problem.”
Gabriel Bersham, a 17-year-old high school student born in Iraq, said: “Young people want to be heard but used to be ignored. Now what they say is being listened to.” But burning cars “is stupid and sad,” he said.
The anger of young immigrants has bewildered and alarmed elders in their communities. After the riot police were pulled off the streets late last week, older immigrants mounted their own effort to defuse tensions. “There is no excuse for this violence,” said Abdullah Ahmed, a teacher who emigrated from Somalia 23 years ago and now spends his nights walking the streets on the lookout for possible troublemakers.
The effort seems to be working, at least in Stockholm, where a few cars were incinerated over the weekend, down from about 50 last Tuesday. On Saturday night, the streets of Husby were quiet as young people gathered to watch a European championship soccer game on a big screen set up at the subway station.
Among immigrants, a wide generation gap exists regarding perceptions of life in Sweden. “Our parents say we should feel thankful,” said Rami al-Khamisi, a Husby youth activist whose family moved here from Iraq. “They feel thankful themselves because they lived through wars. But those of us who were born here have nothing to compare our lives with.”
Husby, Mr. Khamisi said, “looks nice on the outside, but inside it is not nice.” A first-year law student at Stockholm University who did not join in the rioting, Mr. Khamisi acknowledged that “Sweden has given me opportunities I didn’t have in Iraq,” but “I’m not treated the same as a white guy.”
“I feel discrimination all the time,” he said.
The recent violence has been a boon to the Swedish Democrats, the anti-immigration party. Opinion polls suggest the party is gaining in popularity, partly because of the indignation many Swedes feel about being called racists after accepting so many refugees. Immigrants and the Swedish-born children of immigrants make up about 15 percent of the population, and last year Sweden nearly doubled the number of asylum seekers it took in and became Europe’s primary destination for refugees from Syria.
Ms. Bromster, the school principal, whose 325 students are all from immigrant backgrounds, said families who had “escaped from terrible wars in Iraq and Syria” could not be expected to adapt easily to an entirely foreign environment. “They don’t get work, and they feel excluded from society,” she said.
But Michael Lundh, a former police officer, said, “Ordinary Swedes are sitting in front of their TVs and are getting very angry at pictures of immigrants throwing stones.” Mr. Lundh, who worked for years in an antiracism organization set up by Stieg Larsson, the author of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” said, “I’m angry, too, but this is the only way they can get the attention of politicians and the media.”
Mr. Lundh, who visited areas affected by rioting last week, said that although he had extensive experience in relatively deprived districts, he “didn’t realize so many young people hate the police” and considered them racist.
“The police are frightened, and young people are frightened,” he said. “When frightened people meet, you only get trouble.”
Special Dispatch 3753 April 10, 2011
Europe and the Arab & Muslim World/Islam in the West
Belgian Islamist Abu Imran on April 9 Demonstration in Paris: Plant the Black Flag of ‘There is No God but Allah…’ Over the Elysee Palace; Carla Bruni Should Divorce Sarkozy and Wear the Niqab
Following are excerpts from a statement delivered by Sheik Abu Imran of the Sharia4Belgium group. The statement refers to an April 9 demonstration in Paris against the banning of the burqa. Jamaat Tawhid, the radical Islamist group that held the protest, and which calls for the implementation of shari’a law in France, invited prominent radical Islamist groups and figures from other European countries to attend the event. The statement was posted on the Internet on April 3, 2011.
To view this clip on the MEMRI TV website, visit
“We Call Upon Carla Bruni to Become a Muslim, to Repent, to Join Our Islamic Community, and to Wear the Niqab”
Sheik Abu Imran: “Allah’s blessings upon you, my dear brothers and sisters in France. We respond to your call, Jama’at Al-Tawhit ['Group of Monotheism'].
“My dear brothers, you sent us an invitation to participate in the April 9 demonstration in Paris. We will be honored to come, and partake with you in the victory of our Islamic nation, with the grace of God.
“The demonstration was originally organized to [protest] the banning of the niqab. My dear brothers, I would like to tell you that we are coming with the goal of defending the niqab, and the honor of our sisters, as well as with another goal.
“We are coming to perform a da’wa. Our da’wa is directed toward Carla Bruni. We call upon Carla Bruni to become a Muslim, to repent, to join our Islamic community, and to wear the niqab. I ask Allah to guide Carla Bruni, to turn her into a niqab-wearing Muslim, and to make her divorce that unbeliever, Sarkozy, may Allah fight him. I pray to Allah for the family of that false idol Sarkozy to become Muslim, and to wear the niqab – so that this unbeliever Sarkozy will see the niqab in his very home, and in his very own family, Allah willing.”
“Oh Sarkozy, Enemy of Allah, Dog of the Romans, Son of the Unbeliever, We are On Our Way… We are Coming, with Our Nuclear Bombs of ‘Allah Akbar’”
“We are coming to say: Oh Sarkozy, enemy of Allah, dog of the Romans, son of the unbeliever, we are on our way. We are on our way with ‘Allah Akbar,’ ‘Allah Akbar.’ We are coming, with our nuclear bombs of ‘Allah Akbar.’ We are coming, with our black flags – the black flags of ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.’
“We are coming to take back what belongs to us, to regain our land and purify it of unbelief and of the unbelievers. We are coming with ‘There is no god but Allah.’ We are coming because we reject democracy. We do not accept democracy. We accept nothing but the tawhid of Allah. We accept nothing but: ‘There is no god but Allah.’ We accept nothing but the shari’a of Allah.
“Just as we ruled many European lands, we are coming to make you think about [the Battle of] Poitiers, to make you think about Andalusia, and to make you think about… By God, we are on our way. The day you will see the black flag flying over the Élysée us very near. I ask Allah to give us the power to plant the black flag over the Élysée. I say to all my brothers and sisters in France: We are coming from Belgium to support you, with our group, Sharia4Belgium. We are coming to support you.
“I ask all my brothers and sisters in France to come to the Place de la Nation in Paris. We will be there, with our brothers from Jama’at Al-Tawhid. May Allah accept their actions, and grant them a place in Paradise for their sacrifices and their activities, which aim to bring victory to this community. May Allah reward them with Paradise. Allah willing, we will meet next week in Paris. May Allah facilitate our path, and purify France of unbelief and the unbelievers. Allah willing, we will see you next week. Salaam Alyakum, and Allah’s blessings upon you.” […]
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- Global Warming is here
- Glory of God
- Goldman Sachs Naked and exposed Historical Inequality
- GOOD news POSITIVE stories
- Governor Walker is a Republican Ideologue
- Gridlock Corruption Bureaucracy Politics
- Grover Norquist
- Gun Control
- Hackers SpyEye
- Hamas strikes out
- Hard Times then and now
- Help the Homeless
- Henry Kissinger gives advice
- Honest Abe Savior and Martyr
- How Catholic bishops operate
- How Did We Get Into This Mess
- Hurricane Sandy Tragedy no one should die alone in darkness
- Ideology is ignorance
- illegal immigration What You Think
- Immigration Attitudes
- Importance of BEES Colony Collapse
- Internet Issues cyber-warfare
- Iran and the Bomb
- Islam in America
- Islam in Europe
- Italian Campaign
- Jesse Owens American Hero
- Jesus of Nazareth historic figure in fact
- Jim Martin Letter 101st Airborne
- Jim Tressel
- Job Market Reality
- Jobs Jobs Jobs
- John Bell Hood unlucky general
- Johnny Carson and Henry Bushkin
- Judas the Galilean and his Unterbrink writings
- KEEP the A-10
- Keith Olbermann ko’d
- Kennedy Assasination Eyewitnesses Video
- Kevin Phillips Predicts Future
- Keystone Pipeline Facts
- KFC conquers China
- Kick The comment on Comment
- Koch Brothers
- kRAZY Muslims
- La reConquista giving Our Country back to the Indians
- laissez faire capitalism – Where are the good jobs?
- Lauren Bacall youtube
- Leadership Lessons
- Life in China
- Life in France
- Life in the United Kingdom
- Life in the United States of America
- Likely Libya Outcome
- Link to tornado videos
- Litigation in Libya
- Living in Paris
- Manufacturing creates wealth
- Marilyn Monroe unseen photographs
- Marine Life dying coral
- Media Bias
- Memorial Day 2013
- METH MESSes You Up
- Michael Redd Bucks
- Middle Class economy 21st cen
- Middle Class fACTs
- Middle Class Stories Change for the American Dream
- Middle East History
- Middle East History Egypt Libya
- Middle East History Syria
- Middle East History Turkey
- Militant Islam
- Mindless VIOLENCE and Senseless Cruelty
- Mitt Romney Bain Capital 2012 election
- Monster Catfish in Italy
- More Climate Change FACTS
- MORE Divided than Ever
- More of the Same?
- MORE Soldier Stories HELP Taylor Morris
- Mullahs want the bomb
- Muslim Brotherhood revealed
- Muslim Democracy
- Neil Armstrong last interview
- Never Forget 9 11 Essay
- NEW 9-11 video
- New Normal in China
- New Pearl Harbor account
- New York Police Shooting read the comments
- Newsweek how Dumb Are We?
- Norway Nutjob Anders Behring Breivik
- NYC imam True Face of Islam
- Obama abandons white working class
- Obama AD 2010
- Obama affect on America
- Obama and Middle East Peace
- Obama and Syria
- Obama foreign and domestic
- Obama is a Phony
- Obama no sense of humor
- Obama not the anti-Christ
- Obama Re-elected Watch Out
- Obama Scorecard
- Obama supports gay marriage
- Obamacare is Poison
- Oceans are dying SOS planet
- Ohio State Marching Band Star Trek Video
- Oil Prices means speculators
- Old Men Who Don’t Care
- On Planet Krauthammer
- Opinion about Fracking
- Opinion about Newt Gingrich
- Opinion about Obama
- Opinion About Obamacare
- Opinion about Romney
- Oregon Somali Terrorist
- Our country committing suicide
- Our Friends in Pakistan
- Our friends the Saudis
- Pakistan Protected Osama bin-Laden updated
- Palin a Phony?
- Palin Book Tour
- past Present FUTURE America
- Pay Attention
- PEOPLE are more important than profits
- People Need Good Jobs
- Pluto in Capricorn
- Polar Bear Family
- Political Correctness in the UK
- Prairie Chapel Ranch
- Pray for the Children
- Predatory Chinese
- President Cruz le Snooze le Pew
- President Santorum
- Progress in Iraq no democracy
- Rampant Ignorance about the Civil War
- Rare Earth
- Read This MEMO
- Reality for Millenials
- Reality in Libya
- Remembering the Great War
- Republican Mandate?
- Robert Bales should be executed
- Rolling Stones at Fifty
- Romney and Afghanistan
- Romney and His Record
- Romney no military service
- Ron Paul
- Ronald Reagan Tax Review
- Ronald Reagan true myths
- SAD Obama
- San Jose veteran youtube video
- Santa Muerte
- Saturday Night Live Ferguson Video
- Screwing US
- Secure Protect Your Data
- See The Evidence PHOTOGRAPHS
- Sesquicentennial of the Civil War
- Sgt Dennis Weichel and Afghanistan
- Snow Scenes around the world
- Soldier Stories
- Something You Should Hear and See
- Spirit in the Sky Classic Rock
- SSG Johnson surprises Skylar – HAPPY
- State by State casualties Afghanistan
- State of our Democracy
- State of the Economy
- Stories about the After life Service is the currency of Salvation
- Stories World War I and II
- Supercommittee FAILure
- Syrian Spring updated
- Tea Party Hearty
- Ten Conditions for Change
- Ten Conditions for Change I
- Ten Conditions for Change II
- The 911 Conspiracy
- The Connected Class con
- The FED is private
- The Great Helmsman
- The Know Nothing President-cy
- The Kremlin
- The Military Industrial Complex
- The Palestinian Question
- The REAL Obama
- The Rich Get Richer
- There are the Jobs
- This Is EVIL
- Trump for President
- Truth to power The People
- Tsar Putin the Terrible
- Tunisian Revolution
- Understanding ISIS
- UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHY
- Unfair Competition equals Free Trade
- Vanished Dynasties
- Vanishing America – later than you think
- Veterans Aging Prematurely
- Veterans Issues
- Voice from the Past
- Washington’s Farewell Address
- Waterloo and Trafalgar
- WEAKest President in History
- What About Hillary?
- What about Scientology
- What Does Romney Stand For
- What I Know From Experience
- What I wrote in 2008
- What President Morsi Really Thinks
- What you think about Obama
- What you think about Romney
- Where is Obama?
- who cares gr$$dy NFL
- Who lost Iraq, Vietnam, China?
- Why Americans hate their government
- Why Romney Lost
- Why the Arab Spring is important
- Wicked Winter Weather
- Wisdom about Fools
- Words of Wisdom about Education
- World War 2 in color Hitler video
- World War Two obituaries
- Xi Jinping and China
- Xi Jinping new leader in China
- You got what you voted for
- Zero Some Game