REVIEW: Angel Rabasa and Cheryl Benard’s ‘EuroJihad’

Militants raising the Islamic State flag at the entrance of an army base in Ninevah Province, Iraq / AP

Militants raising the Islamic State flag at the entrance of an army base in Ninevah Province, Iraq / AP

Washington Free Beacon, By Tom Rogan:

Few political concerns are as troubling as that of European-based jihadism.

With thousands of European citizens now fighting for Salafi-Jihadist groups around the world, a storm of terror is gathering. Western security services fear that once these terrorists return home—and some already have—they may launch domestic attacks. With European Union passports offering easy travel globally, the threat is increasingly borderless.

In EuroJihad, Angel Rabasa, a political scientist at RAND, and Cheryl Benard, head of a Washington D.C.-based research agency, offer a thorough look inside European jihadism. Rich with case studies and supported by extensive statistical analysis, EuroJihad is a serious but accessible piece of research.

What’s immediately striking about EuroJihad is its avoidance of the casual political correctness of many discussions on the contemporary terrorist threat. For example, the authors note that while only a small minority of European Muslims support violent extremism, “even a support level of just 1 percent in a national Muslim community of 3.4 million (Germany) or 1 million (Spain) represents a substantial and potentially dangerous level.” This assessment honestly describes the challenge that a small group of ideologically committed, technically proficient and mobilized individuals pose.

The authors spend much of EuroJihad assessing the backgrounds of different terrorists. They explain that in Britain, most terrorist suspects are young British-Pakistani men isolated from mainstream society. In France, the threat centers with young North African men. And in Germany, the threat spectrum is evolving to include elements of Germany’s large, but traditionally moderate, Turkish expatriate community.

The threat is diverse. The authors reference a German official’s statement that a significant number of European jihadists are middle class individuals who believe they deserve better from society. Other young men, however, are motivated by their desire to find gang-style “street cred” with their friends. Many European jihadists are active on public networking sites such as Facebook, seeking to broadcast what they regard as ‘purposeful courage’. The authors buttress this discussion with various statistical assessments—and their findings are interesting. In the United Kingdom, for example, they find “a substantial gap between education level (the majority had some college education) and employment (only a minority had skilled or professional jobs).” Correspondingly, they note, this education-fulfillment “gap may have created a sense of relative deprivation among members of this population”.

As the authors explain, personal feelings of societal disenchantment can increase the susceptibility of someone to jihadist ideology, which focuses disappointment through the “prism of Islamist narratives of Western oppression of Muslims. These perceptions drive and justify the transition to violence.”EuroJihad also considers the various physical locales—frequently, mosques and prisons—in which European jihadists find networks of direction. The authors explain that the United States, with its opportunity-responsibility centered culture, has largely (but not entirely) found insulation from extremist infection.

Rabasa and Benard also examine the Internet. They note that the Internet provides many “utilities” for jihadists, including recruiting, propaganda, and a nexus for the transmission of technical and physical terrorist training manuals (a major concern for western intelligence services). Perhaps most interestingly, the authors also outline how the Internet has “emancipated female activists by allowing them to communicate with male extremists without violating social and religious precepts.”

The authors rightly pay special attention to the current conflict in Syria and Iraq. They note that for Salafi-Jihadists, there are distinct theological undertones to the geographic locale of the Syrian civil war. Believing themselves embarked on an apocalyptic battle, the Islamic State is strengthened in its aggression and lack of restraint. The authors also explain that where the expansion of al-Qaeda cells in Europe was (at least to some degree) prevented by U.S. special forces campaigns against al-Qaeda in Iraq, the Islamic State’s freedom of operations and its many European recruits pose an extreme near-term threat to the west.

EuroJihad challenges the reader with its dire appraisals of the European terrorist threat, and clarifies that in the short to medium term, European jihadism will continue to pose a major challenge. Nevertheless, pointing to increasing actions by some European governments to require stronger language and social skills from new immigrants, and the evolution of greater outreach and de-radicalization programs, the authors suggest that continental authorities are slowly waking up to the jihadist crisis.

AP: CIA given stand-down order in Europe

renderHot Air, by Ed Morrissey, Sep.19,2014:

At first blush, this report looks like common sense. After all, the Edward Snowden cache’s exposure of espionage and surveillance on our allies in Europe created no small amount of humiliation for all sides, and at least publicly, impacted our diplomatic and security relationships. A pause to determine the legitimate intelligence needs of the US, as opposed to a desire to just grab everything possible, makes sense under the circumstances — assuming it doesn’t blind us altogether to the issues in Europe.

That, however, might have been the result, at least according to Associated Press sources:

Under the stand-down order, case officers in Europe largely have been forbidden from undertaking “unilateral operations” such as meeting with sources they have recruited within allied governments. Such clandestine meetings are the bedrock of spying.

CIA officers are still allowed to meet with their counterparts in the host country’s intelligence service, conduct joint operations with host country services and conduct operations with the approval of the host government. Recently, unilateral operations targeting third country nationals — Russians in France, for example — were restarted. But most meetings with sources who are host nationals remain on hold, as do new recruitments.

The CIA declined to comment.

James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said during a public event Thursday that the U.S. is assuming more risk because it has stopped spying on “specific targets,” though he didn’t spell out details.

Spying stand-downs are common after an operation is compromised, but “never this long or this deep,” said a former CIA official, who, like others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity because it’s illegal to discuss classified material or activities. The pause, which has been in effect for about two months, was ordered by senior CIA officials through secret cables.

Needless to say, this is an odd time to go dark, and not just because of Russia and their own operations in Europe. The US needs to keep a close eye on the impact of ISIS in Europe, both in terms of recruitment to the battlegrounds of Syria and Iraq but also penetration into the governments of our allies. Assuming that ISIS isn’t attempting that kind of penetration may work out well in the short run while they’re desperate for fighters (and young women), but it won’t be long before the terrorists realize the value in having sympathizers burrow into the bureaucracies of the West, especially in national-security organizations.

The timing of this revelation is rather curious, too. James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, revealed earlier this week that the CIA missed significant signals in the rise of ISIS and in the collapse of Iraq’s military. In both cases, Clapper admitted, the CIA didn’t calculate the will to fight on either side properly:

The United States has made the same mistake in evaluating fighters from the Islamic State that it did in Vietnam — underestimating the enemy’s will, according to James Clapper, the director of national intelligence.

Clapper’s comments came in a telephone interview Wednesday, in which he summarized the elements of a new National Intelligence Strategyreleased this week. Clapper also answered some broader questions about intelligence issues confronting the country. …

“What we didn’t do was predict the will to fight. That’s always a problem. We didn’t do it in Vietnam. We underestimated the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese and overestimated the will of the South Vietnamese. In this case, we underestimated ISIL [the Islamic State] and overestimated the fighting capability of the Iraqi army. . . . I didn’t see the collapse of the Iraqi security force in the north coming. I didn’t see that. It boils down to predicting the will to fight, which is an imponderable.”

It’s not that imponderable. Plenty of people warned over the last several years that an American withdrawal from Iraq would have a negative impact on Iraqi military morale. The abandonment of Sunni tribal leaders to the Shi’ite-dominant government of Nouri al-Maliki was also eminently “ponderable,” even while Barack Obama insisted that the Iraq we left behind was stable and secure. Maliki’s purge of Sunni military and political leaders wasn’t much of a secret, or at least shouldn’t have been to the CIA. The question is less of “imponderables” than of a determination to see the situation in Iraq only through the context of an Obama policy success, at least at the policy-developing levels of the intel community and the White House.

Given that DNI Clapper is now offering mea culpas about being blindsided on the capabilities of both friend and foe, this seems like a very odd — and bad — time to have the CIA closing its eyes even more.

“Our Present Is Your Future”

Gates of Vienna:

Below is the prepared text of the speech given in Chanhassen, Minnesota tonight by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, at an event sponsored by SW Metro Tea Party Patriots and ACT! for America, Minneapolis Chapter.

esw-churchLadies and Gentlemen,

Thank you for inviting me here to Chanhassen. It’s the first time I’ve been to Minnesota, and I must say it’s a pleasure to be here. The closest I came to this part of the country was when I lived in Chicago, but that was many years ago.

I have always admired the Tea Party Movement, contrary to most of my fellow Austrians, who are uneducated when it comes to the historical significance of the original Boston Tea Party. What I admire most is that you are nourished by the very American belief that the government does not have the answers, that reform comes from below, that people are wiser than their leaders.

I bring you greetings from Austria. I’d like to be able to report some happy news, but there is little good news to be had in my country. Austria, like most of the rest of Western Europe, is being Islamized at an accelerating pace, even as our freedom of speech is more and more often suppressed. The two processes are connected with each other: in order to prevent any real public understanding of what Islamization means, and to inhibit any popular discontent, the ability to tell the truth is vigorously squashed.

Those of you who know me are aware that I will NOT cease telling the truth about Islam. For almost ten years I have made it my business to inform my fellow Austrians about the nature of Islam, as revealed in the Koran and the sayings of Mohammed. I refuse to cease my activities merely because dhimmi government bureaucrats consider such truths to be “hate speech”. In the past I have been prosecuted and convicted for explaining Islam in a factual manner, and I may well be prosecuted again. But I shall continue regardless.

Similar conditions exist in other European countries. Austria is not even the worst-off — Britain and Sweden are vying with each other to see who can be the most repressive. In both countries you are likely to be prosecuted for saying anything that reflects badly on Islam. And, just as in Austria, the truth is no defense.

As an example, consider what happened to my good friend Paul Weston, a Counterjihad activist and the leader of the LibertyGB party in Britain. Last April, as a part of his election campaign for the European Parliament, Paul stood on the steps of the Winchester Guildhall and quoted from a book written in 1899 called The River War. He recited the following words:

“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. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the faith: all know how to die 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.”

Someone in earshot heard his words, took offense, and called the police. Paul was eventually arrested, taken to the police station, and charged with “incitement of racial hatred”, which is a “racially aggravated crime under Section 4 of the Public Order Act.” The charges were later dropped, but what happened to him served as a warning to others who might consider doing something similar.

All of this is bad enough — to be arrested for reading from an old book that makes politically incorrect observations about Islam. But that book happens to have been written by a man named WINSTON CHURCHILL.

Such is the sad state of affairs in Modern Multicultural Britain: an English citizen can now be arrested for giving a public reading from a book by the greatest British prime minister who ever lived.

I could cite more examples from all over Western Europe, but if I did I would exceed my allotted time and keep all of us up long past our bedtime. Someone is arrested almost every day in Europe for “hate speech”, and the offending words almost always concern Islam.

There is currently a demand by the Islamic Faith Community in Austria for an “anti-Islamism law”, which is actually a ruse to obtain new favorable provisions for Muslims. The drive for this law is being backed by Turkey. The same law is also being demanded in Germany by the Turkish community. The final result, if they are successful, will be that Muslims in both countries will gain further special privileges and be protected from criticism.

Truth is the first victim when our freedoms are threatened. Seraphina Verhofstadt was asked in a TV interview why she still displays the Israeli flag after being beaten up, and whether it would not be wiser to remove it. She answered: “If I do that, I will also lose my freedom of speech.”

I have been asked frequently after my conviction whether it would not be wiser just to stop talking about Islam “in this way”. My answer is: “If I do that, more people will lose their freedom of speech.”

First we lose truth, then we lose freedoms, and finally we lose life itself.

As I have said previously, “There is no free speech in Austria and in Europe. That’s just an illusion; that’s just what the politicians are telling you. If you wanted a definition of European free speech, I would say, ‘Well, you have the right to say anything as long as it’s within what the government tells you to think.’”

Our politicians, similar to yours here in the United States are members of the Global Ministry of Truth, with its policy that Islam is a religion of peace hijacked by a Tiny Minority of Extremists. They are forcing truth upon us, preventing us from seeking truth and knowledge.

The engine driving the assault on civil liberties in Europe is the presence of millions of Muslims. It’s not just that the Islamic population is large enough in most major cities to pose the risk of mob violence when roused. Muslims also tend to vote as a bloc, and mostly for the socialist parties, so that the ruling establishment falls all over itself to cater to Islamic needs in order to retain its hold on power. Muslims require that there be no public criticism of Islam, so all such speech is in the process of being outlawed. Related issues, such as mass immigration from the Third World, may also trigger the same penalties under the same laws.

Within its borders Europe now has an Islamic population equivalent to that of Saudi Arabia. Due to their aggressive behavior and their group solidarity, Muslims wield an influence far beyond what their numbers would suggest. Muslim demands tend to be enacted as public policy, and what they dislike tends to be outlawed. Halal food is served to everyone at public schools, and gender segregation is instituted at public swimming pools. Muslims are granted special exemptions from dress codes, the right to pray in rooms specially set aside for them, and the right to blast the call to prayer at ungodly hours from the minarets of their mosques.

Not surprisingly, anti-Semitism has risen to a level not seen in Europe since the fall of the Third Reich. And, needless to say, the new Jew-hatred largely originates with European Muslims — the “New Swedes”, the “New Germans”, and the “New Austrians”.

Yes, there are anti-Semitic native Europeans. But they are few in number, and their political parties are generally considered a joke in most countries. The two most significant Jew-hating parties are Jobbik in Hungary and Golden Dawn in Greece. The former arose in a former East Bloc country where pre-war attitudes were preserved by communism like a fly in amber. The latter developed out of the despair and chaos of economic ruin in the most destitute country in Europe — much as the National Socialists did in Germany during the Great Depression.

People outside of Europe, especially talking heads on television, tend to lump the anti-jihad parties in with Golden Dawn and Jobbik as “right-wing extremists”. But this is a false grouping: such parties are quite different. The anti-jihad parties support Israel, promote civil liberties, and generally espouse a classical liberal philosophy. Examples include the PVV in the Netherlands, the Danish People’s Party, the Sweden Democrats, the Austrian Freedom Party, and the Lega Nord in Italy. What they all have in common is their opposition to Islamization and mass immigration.

The rising anti-Semitism in Europe is Islamic anti-Semitism, which, as chronicled by my good friend Dr. Andrew Bostom, is as old as Islam itself. It is sanctioned — even mandated — by the Koran and the sayings of Mohammed. There is no Muslim community in Europe, not even the most “mainstream”, that is not rife with Jew-hatred.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

The recent formation of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has drawn the world’s attention to the true nature of Islam. Images of the horrors unleashed by ISIS have spread all over the world via YouTube and social media. Our cowardly political leaders repeatedly deny that there is any justification in Islam for these acts. They keep telling us: “ISIS does not represent the true Islam”.

Yet nothing could be further from the truth. The Islamic State has returned to the core instructions recorded in the Koran, which Muslims consider to be the word of Allah. This IS the real Islam.

And this is the pernicious ideology that was deliberately imported into Europe along with millions of Muslim immigrants from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Indian Subcontinent. The process began forty years ago, and has been chronicled by Bat Ye’or in her ground-breaking book Eurabia. The first Oil Crisis in 1973 induced European governments to strike a Faustian bargain with Arab countries: in return for a guaranteed flow of oil at a relatively stable price, they were required to support the Palestinian cause, and also allow mass immigration from OPEC countries into Europe.

Four decades later, the results are as I have described. Our political leaders may well regret the decisions their predecessors made back then, but it is now far too late to reverse course. Not only is Muslim anger a potential threat to the civil order, but those in power depend on Muslim votes to keep them there. All they can do is double down on their failed policies, allowing more immigration, granting more concessions to Islam, and paying out billions and billions of additional euros in welfare and other subsidies.

Ladies and gentlemen, this will not end well.

Read more

The Danish Gangster Fighting For Islamists In Syria

H/T Warsclerotic:

Published on Jul 8, 2014 by Journeyman Pictures

European Jihadi: The Guardian follows Big A, leader of one of Copenhagen’s most notorious gangs, as he joins rebels fighting the Assad regime

Jihad Comes To Europe

by Guy Millière:

Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4000.

European leaders have directed their nastiest comments against the Jewish state, none of them has asked why Palestinian organizations in Gaza put their stockpiles of weapons in hospitals, homes, schools and mosques, or their command and control centers at the bottom of large apartment buildings or underneath hospitals. None of them has even said that Hamas is a terrorist organization despite its genocidal charter.

The majority of them are wedded to the idea of redistribution. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what caused these economic crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well.

“Europe could not stay the same with a different population in it.” — Christopher Caldwell, Reflections on the Revolution in Europe.

A few months before murdering four people at a Jewish Museum in Brussels on May 24th, a French Muslim named Medhi Nemmouche had been released from prison and had already joined the Islamic State (at the time, called ISIS).

Nemmouche had left the Museum unmolested and was identified only by images from surveillance cameras. He was arrested two days later in Marseille during an anti-drug check, where it was discovered that he was about to take a boat to Algeria. He had with him his weapons and a black flag of the Islamic State.

The French police knew exactly who he was. Despite everything, he had not been placed under close surveillance.

Nemmouche will be tried in Belgium, where he faces a sentence of life imprisonment — but life imprisonment in Belgium and France means a maximum of twenty-two years. He will not spend twenty-two years in prison. He will likely earn an early release for good behavior. Almost all prisoners in Belgium and France are released for good behavior. That he is a repeat offender and has been convicted seven times for robbery and assault will not be held against him: in Belgium or France, recidivism is theoretically considered an aggravating circumstance but is almost never taken into account in the judgments issued by courts.

In prison, he will join the company of people who share his ideas, and he will be able to join jihadi networks.

In Belgian and French prisons, a large majority of the inmates are Muslims, many of whom are radical; and jihadi networks are ubiquitous.

When he leaves prison, he will most likely join the Islamic State again, if he wants, and if the Islamic State still exists.

Nemmouche’s path resembles that of another French Muslim, Mohamed Merah, who killed three French soldiers and four Jews in the Southwest of France in March, 2012. Merah, like Nemmouche, had also served several sentences in prison and had joined Islamic organizations, although in Afghanistan, not Syria. He, too, came back ready to kill, and he killed.

The French police also knew who Mohamed Merah was. And he was also not placed under close surveillance.

The main difference between Merah and Nemmouche is that Merah chose to die in a police shootout. Because of the way he died, Merah became a hero for many young European Muslims.

At the time of the Merah case, against all evidence, the French government had put forward the “lone wolf” theory and officially dismissed the idea of jihad, although there were arrests in Islamist circles.

When Nemmouche was arrested, the French Interior Minister used more courageous words: he spoke of “jihadi networks” and of “problems” in the French prison system. He added that 700 French youths were in training camps in Syria, and could come back at any moment. The Belgian authorities used similar words.

These mentions of jihad and “problems” in the prisons were steps in the right direction. The problem is that there will almost certainly be no further steps.

Gilles de Kerchove, the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator, recently said that there are, in fact, more than 700 French Muslims presently waging jihad in Syria. Available data show that there are also many Belgian Muslims, and many Muslims going to Syria from the rest of Europe. Belgian security services have estimated that the number of European jihadists in Syria may be over 4,000. Entire European fighting units seems to have been created.

The leaders of the French and Belgian do not have any real ways of implementing and managing better security or keeping track of suspects — even those likely to take action. These leaders do not even try to restore order in prisons. Government leaders currently preside over financially battered countries, mired in sclerosis, stagnation, wretchedly controlled immigration, and the perverse effects of redistributive social welfare systems that only multiply the poor and destroy jobs — the side effects of multiculturalism. They have neither the will nor the resources to cope with all the costs that would be involved.

They know that if they tried to do something, they would soon be faced with riots in the (mostly Muslim) “no-go zones” scattered throughout the outskirts of most cities.

They know that they would have to hire thousands of police and to consider using the army.

French politicians fear mass riots in the violence-prone suburban “no go zones” that surround major cities. In this photo, a car burns in Sèvres, France, during the 2005 riots. (Source: WikiMedia Commons)

They know that they would soon face extremely reluctant and extremely hostile judges: judges in Belgium and France are permanent and irremovable civil servants, and the majority of them are wedded to economic ideas based on the redistribution of wealth. Their policies are anti-growth, do not afford people any economic opportunity, and are what created these crises in Europe in the first place. The United States seems to be following these thoroughly failed policies as well. The main union of magistrates in France, “Syndicat de la magistrature”, is close to a neo-communist organization, “le Front de Gauche”.

The governments’ leaders know that they would have to confront “anti-racist” organizations fully dedicated to the fight against “Islamophobia”: powerful and well financed Islamic lobbies, imams in key mosques, and most journalists in the mainstream media.

The governments’ leaders also know that they would have to run the risk of losing elections. In the major cities of Belgium and France, the Muslim vote has an increasing weight. Brussels, the city where Medhi Nemmouche murdered, is now 30% Muslim. Roubaix, the city where he was born, is 60% Muslim. The number of cities where the Muslim population is a majority continues to rise.

The governments’ leaders know that what is happening in France and Belgium can be found to varying degrees in all European countries, and that the problem that overwhelms them is really a European problem.

Government leaders in all major European countries know that hundreds of well-trained European jihadists are in Syria and that some of them will return. They do not ignore that some are already back in Europe and that attacks are likely. They do not ignore that if European jihadists are in the hundreds, those who support jihadism in Europe are probably in the tens of thousands. In recent demonstrations in support of the “Palestinian cause” all over Europe, flags of Hamas, Hizbullah and the Islamic State were abundant, and slogans explicit.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Beheadings of Infidels, Halal Sex Products and “Muslims Don’t Like Dogs”

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz is one of about 130 Dutch jihadists who have travelled to Syria.

The Dutch-Turkish jihadist known as Yilmaz is one of about 130 Dutch jihadists who have travelled to Syria.

by Soeren Kern:

The Vatican failed in an attempt to cover up the contents of a prayer by a Muslim cleric at an interfaith “Prayer for Peace” service held in the Vatican garden on June 8. Departing from a pre-approved script, the imam recited verses 284-286 of Sura 2 from the Koran, the latter part of which calls on Allah to grant Muslims victory over non-Muslims.

Danish police raided a mosque in the Vibevej district of Copenhagen after a passerby allegedly saw weapons being carried into the complex.

“We now have hundreds of jihadists and thousands of sympathizers. This naïve Cabinet’s inaction is inviting an attack in the Netherlands.” — Geert Wilders, Dutch Freedom Party.

Conference attendees called on the Spanish government to sponsor an official study aimed at finding ways to bring European food standards into compliance with Islamic Sharia law.

Austria accused Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan of stirring up trouble on June 19, when he urged thousands of cheering supporters in Vienna to reject “assimilation.”

Erdogan was rallying support for his candidacy ahead of Turkish presidential elections in August, and expatriate Turks have become a significant bloc of voters after changes to the electoral system now allow them to cast votes abroad.

Around 268,000 people of Turkish origin live in Austria, according to government figures, of whom nearly 115,000 are Turkish citizens.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz, who had expressly warned Erdogan not to undermine efforts to integrate Turks into Austrian society, criticized the latest comments:

“These show very clearly that the Turkish premier has brought the election campaign to our country and created unrest with this. We reject this. And I can only say that respect for a host country looks clearly different.”

In Graz, the second-largest city in Austria, police on June 5 arrested a 41-year-old Islamic preacher from Chechnya who is believed to be involved in efforts to send Austrians to war in the Middle East.

State prosecutor Hansjoerg Bacher said that the imam is thought to be behind the radicalization and recruitment of eight Chechens resident in Austria, four of whom have died in fighting in Syria.

In Bulgaria, the Kardjali District Court on June 16 rejected a property claim lodged by the office of the Chief Mufti, the spiritual leader of Bulgaria’s Muslims, to be awarded ownership of the building housing the Regional Historical Museum. The court found that there was no basis for the claim, and ordered the representatives of the Muslim community to pay 91,062 leva ($63,000) in costs to the state.

This case was the latest in a series of lawsuits by the Chief Mufti’s office, filed under the Religious Denominations Act, which allows applications by recognized religious denominations to be awarded property believed to be historically theirs.

The building was originally intended to serve as a Muslim religious school, and it was funded in part by donations from the local Muslim community in 1920s and 1930s. However, the building was never used as a madrassa. Instead, it was nationalized during Bulgaria’s communist era and became a museum.

Lawyers for the Kardjali district administration argued that the Chief Mufti’s office is not the heir to the local Muslim community because at the time there was no such registered legal entity.

In the southern Bulgarian town of Peshtera, residents are angry over the local mosque’s powerful loudspeakers, which are blasting the Islamic call to prayer, the adhan, several times a day.

According to Radio FOCUS, the town is a model of multicultural tolerance, but residents are increasingly irritated by the adhan; the “silent discontent may escalate to petitions and protests,” the radio said.

In Britain, a new television channel aimed exclusively at British Muslims, British Muslim TV (BMTV), was launched in early June. The channel, operating under the slogan “Confidently Muslim, Comfortably British,” is airing on the British Sky digital platform; the programming content is being exclusively funded and made in the UK.

BMTV will compete with other channels, such as Islam Channel, one of the UK’s most prominent and popular English language Muslim satellite channels; Noor TV, Peace TV and Iqra TV, all of which have a South Asian focus and are usually broadcast in Urdu or Bangladeshi; and to Shia Muslim focused channels such as Hidayat TV and Ahlebait TV.

Speaking to Al Arabiya news, the marketing director for BMTV, Wasim Akhtar, said that BMTV aims to be different from the other Muslim channels by being “inclusive of all different views and open to all different types of Muslims. So the channel isn’t just about issues of faith, it’s about practical Muslim life here in Britain.”

In a trial at the Central Criminal Court of England and Wales [Old Bailey], a jury heard how police found 38-year-old Tahira Ahmed after she was decapitated in her west London home, allegedly by her husband, 41-year-old Naveed Ahmed. Tahira had been stabbed, had both her arms broken, and her head cut off. The couple, who have two children aged six and 12, had been married for 14 years.

Also in London, police launched an investigation into the origins of a sign telling dog owners to stay out of a park because it is “an Islamic area now” and “Muslims don’t like dogs.”

Meanwhile, it emerged that taxpayer money could be used to help fund a new mosque for the Muslim community in Belfast, according to Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. The move came after a local pastor named James McConnell denounced Islam as “Satanic” and a “doctrine spawned in hell.”

McGuinness said he and First Minister Peter Robinson, who visited the Islamic Centre in south Belfast in June, “absolutely accepted” that the 4,000-strong Muslim community “is entitled to a mosque, if a proper site can be found which is suitable for them.”

McGuinness said McConnell’s remarks were “shameful” and could affect investments in Belfast. “This will impact, if not handled correctly by us, on our prospects of attracting foreign direct investment,” McGuinness said. “The story travelled all round the world, and I think that it was very damaging.”

In a bid to reverse negative stereotypes of Muslims in the UK, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association in Devon and Cornwall in southwestern England launched an advertising campaign in June to promote “positive awareness of Islam.”

The campaign involved banners displaying Muslim messages of peace on a fleet of more than 100 city buses. Under the slogan of “loyalty, freedom, equality, respect, peace” the community also launched a website:LoveForAllHatredForNone.org.

A regional president of the group, Muhammad Noman, said: “A true Muslim can never raise his voice in hatred against his fellow citizens, nor against the ruling authority or government of the time. He should remain loyal and fully abide by the laws of the land of which he is a subject.”

More news about Islam in Britain during June 2014 can be found here.

In Cyprus on June 3, Turkish Cypriot mufti Talip Atalay recited a prayer at the reopening ceremony of the Taht-el kale mosque in Nicosia, which had been closed for more than 50 years. Atalay visited the mosque after an invitation from the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Chrysostomos II as part of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process promoted by the Swedish government.

In the Czech Republic, President Miloš Zeman refused to apologize for comments he made during a speech at the Israeli Embassy in Prague on May 26 at a reception to celebrate Israel’s Independence Day.

Quoting several verses from the Koran that call on Muslims to kill Jews, Zeman said that Islam was to blame for the attack at the Jewish Museum in Brussels that killed four people. He also said:

“There is a term, political correctness. This term I consider to be a euphemism for political cowardice. Therefore, let me not be cowardly.”

The new Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation [OIC], Iyad Ameen Madani, condemned Zeman’s speech, saying, “It is only appropriate that President Miloš Zeman apologizes to the millions of Muslims worldwide for his deeply offensive and hateful anti-Islam statements.”

An OIC statement said:

“The Secretary General reiterated that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and that terrorism should not be equated to any race or religion; a stance upheld by all major UN texts on the subject of countering terrorism. He added that the OIC countries share a profound respect for all religions and condemn any message of hatred and intolerance.”

On June 10, a spokesman for the Czech government said Zeman would not be apologizing for his statements. “President Zeman definitely does not intend to apologize. For the president would consider it blasphemy to apologize for the quotation of a sacred Islamic text.”

The Gates of Vienna blog summed it up this way: “As far as I am aware, Miloš Zeman is the first Western head of state ever to tell the OIC to go jump in a lake. So this is an historic occasion.”

Read more at Gatestone Institute

The Brotherhood in London

 BY OLIVIER GUITTA:

London
British prime minister David Cameron’s announcement on March 31 that his government would be looking into the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in the United Kingdom and potential links to terrorism was reported around the world. Cameron has charged John Jenkins, his knowledgeable ambassador to Saudi Arabia, with heading a review of the MB’s philosophy and activities, while MI5 and MI6, the intelligence services, will look into the MB’s potential links to terrorism. While a case can be made that the government is responding to pressure from countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, one should not discount the domestic aspect—the Muslim Brotherhood’s growing presence in the United Kingdom.

SUPPORTERS OF FORMER EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MORSI PROTEST IN LONDON, JULY 2013. NEWSCOM

SUPPORTERS OF FORMER EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT MORSI PROTEST IN LONDON, JULY 2013. NEWSCOM

Europe has been very much the second home of the movement since the 1960s—initially as a base for exiled members of the group, and later as a theater of operations in its own right. Concerns regarding the Brotherhood’s activities—ranging from its impact on the ability of Muslims to integrate into European societies to its links with violent extremist movements—have been raised in numerous countries. Following a brief period of electoral success in the Middle East after the Arab Spring, the MB is now under attack on almost all fronts. A combination of public protests, internal repression, and wider geopolitical pressures has arguably left the MB more imperiled in the Arab world than it has been in decades. To compensate for these setbacks, the MB now seems to be seeking to expand its exploitation of Europe as a safe haven for its leaders, a financial center, recruiting ground, and forum in which to exercise political and social influence.

And London is the center. This has been all the truer since the ouster of Egypt’s elected president, Mohamed Morsi, a leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood, in July 2013. Several top MB officials from Egypt now call London home, among them MB spiritual leader Gomaa Amin and Salim Al-Awa, chief of Morsi’s defense committee and president of the MB parallel government in London.

Also in November 2013, a who’s who of international MB members gathered in London to discuss strategy. Mahmoud Ezzat, the deputy supreme guide of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, viewed by many as the group’s “iron man,” was present. The MB moved its media headquarters to London, where the English-language website Ikhwanweb.com was already based. And on March 30, 2014, a London-based, Qatari-financed newspaper, Al-Arabi al-Jadeed, was launched. Given all this, the urgency of determining the true nature of the MB’s presence in Europe has never been greater.

Publicly, Europe’s MB affiliates have sought to define themselves as enemies of extremism. Key leaders, however, have been consistently dogged by allegations that they provide ideological and financial support for violent movements outside Europe. The MB itself may not actively encourage violence against European targets, but it does divert those it influences away from any path but Islamism. It is therefore inevitable that some who adopt the outlook of the MB will gravitate toward direct action. In light of this, the British government’s need to educate itself about the MB is obvious.

Read more at The Weekly Standard

Gang Raping, “I Love Al-Qaeda” and Who Is Advancing Islam?

Before and After: Left, German rapper Denis Cuspert in 2005, then known as "Deso Dogg". Right, Cuspert as jihadist in Syria, in 2013, operating under the alias "Abu Talha Al-Almani" [Abu Talha the German]. (Image sources: Wikimedia Commons, ISIS)

Before and After: Left, German rapper Denis Cuspert in 2005, then known as “Deso Dogg”. Right, Cuspert as jihadist in Syria, in 2013, operating under the alias “Abu Talha Al-Almani” [Abu Talha the German]. (Image sources: Wikimedia Commons, ISIS)

by Soeren Kern:

The American Embassy in Prague is financing a new project aimed at promoting Islam in public elementary and secondary schools across the Czech Republic.

The new law removes the requirement that there must be a special reason to sue for defamation or insult. Swedish thought police will be able to prosecute anyone who expresses an opinion about Muslim immigration and much else if that opinion is deemed to be defamation or slander. The Swedish government is also spending 60 million krona ($9 million) to boost voter turnout in Muslim neighborhoods.

“The influx of immigrants is reaching biblical proportions. Italy is fighting a losing battle.” — Admiral Giuseppe De Giorgi, Head of the Italian Navy

In Austria, police say they believe that two teenage girls who vanished from their homes in the capital of Vienna on April 10 may be in Turkey, and that whoever helped them get there is using them as pin-up girls to boost recruitment efforts for the “holy war” in Syria.

Friends of Samra Kesinovic, 16, and Sabina Selimovic, 15, said the girls had become radicalized after attending a local mosque run by a Salafist preacher, Ebu Tejma, and learning about the duty of every Muslim to participate in jihad. The girls were expelled from school after inscribing “I Love Al-Qaeda” on tables and walls.

But the girls’ parents—originally Bosnian refugees who settled in Austria after the ethnic conflicts of the 1990s—say that messages and photographs posted on social media networks which claim that the girls are on the front line and fighting with their new husbands are fake.

In a possible break in the case, Austrian police say they traced a phone call Samra made to her sister in late April to a landline based in Turkey. The search for the girls continues.

At least 100 Austrian citizens or residents have participated in the fighting in Syria, according to Austrian media. Approximately 40 of them are currently on the front lines, 44 have already returned to Austria and 19 have been killed in action.

Also in April, the most senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood living in exile in Britain, Ibrahim Munir, denied claims that the group was moving its international headquarters from London to the Austrian city of Graz. The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, reported on April 12 that the Muslim Brotherhood was preparing to move its headquarters to Austria in an “apparent attempt to avoid an inquiry into its activities set up by the Prime Minister.”

The group was expelled from Egypt after a counter-revolution there in July 2013, and recently opened a new headquarters above a kebab shop in London. On April 1, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced an investigation of the Muslim Brotherhood’s activities in Britain.

A full summary of Islam in Britain during the month of April can be found here.

In the Czech Republic, police on April 25 raided the headquarters of Prague’s Islamic Foundation in the center of the capital and a mosque on the outskirts of the city. Police arrested 20 people, including the Czech translator and publisher of a book about Islamic theology that security officials said promotes hate speech and incites hatred toward Jews.

The book—”The Fundamentals of Tawheed” [Islamic monotheism] by Bilal Philips, a Jamaican-born, Qatar-based Muslim extremist who has been banned from entering Britain and Germany—was being used, police said, to spread Salafist ideology in the Czech Republic.

Also in April, it emerged that the American embassy in Prague is financing a new project aimed at promoting Islam in public elementary and secondary schools across the Czech Republic.

In Denmark, police in Copenhagen on April 25 said the man they believe tried to assassinate the Danish journalist Lars Hedegaard in February 2013 was arrested in Istanbul’s Atatürk airport as he tried to enter Turkey on a false passport. The man, identified only by the initials B.H., is awaiting extradition—a process that could take three months—in a high-security prison in the city’s Maltepe district.

Danish police say the suspect is a 26-year-old Danish citizen of Lebanese—possibly Palestinian—origin. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of a fake passport. He left Denmark on the same day of the assassination attempt, police said, and has been traveling between Syria, Lebanon and Turkey ever since.

In Finland, the Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee on April 4 ruled that the long-standing tradition of singing a summer hymn known as the “Suvivirsi” at end-of-school ceremonies can continue. In March, Deputy Chancellor of Justice Mikko Puumalainen had called on the Board of Education to look into the matter because the song has Christian overtones and could be offensive to the country’s growing Muslim community.

“It’s curious that the minority can so strongly influence the activities of the majority,” said Education Chancellor Pekka Iivonen. “Laws concerning religious freedom work both ways: in addition to having the right not practice religion, we also have the right to practice religion in Finland, where the majority of people belong to the Lutheran church.”

In France, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve on April 23 presented a new anti-radicalization plan aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from waging jihad in Syria and other Muslim conflict zones. The strategy includes more than 20 measures aimed not only at preventing French citizens from joining the war in Syria, but also at combatting the radicalization of young French Muslims during the earliest stages of indoctrination.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Austria: Muslims Outnumber Catholics in Vienna Schools

by Soeren Kern:

Austria is also in the process of introducing new taxpayer-funded textbooks for the formal teaching if Islam in all public elementary schools across the country…. This is the first time Islam is being taught to Austrian students in the German language.

“What remains, then, is to conquer Rome. This means Islam will come back to Europe for a third time, after it was expelled from it twice. We will conquer Europe! We will conquer America! Not through the sword but through our Dawa [proselytizing].” — Yusuf al-Qaradawi, Muslim Brotherhood

Muslim students, according to new statistics, now outnumber Roman Catholic students at middle and secondary schools in Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria.

The data—which show that Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools—reflect an established trend and provide empirical evidence of a massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country.

The Muslim population in Austria now exceeds 500,000 (or roughly 6% of the total population), up from an estimated 150,000 (or 2%) in 1990. The Muslim population is expected to reach 800,000 (or 9.5%) by 2030, according to recent estimates.

In the current school year, 10,734 Muslim students are enrolled in Viennese middle and secondary schools, compared to 8,632 Roman Catholic students, 4,259 Serbian Orthodox students and 3,219 students with “no religious persuasion,” according to statistics compiled by the Vienna Board of Education (Stadtschulrat für Wien) and published by Radio Vatican website on March 21.

As far as elementary schools are concerned, there are 23,807 Roman Catholic students, followed by 17,913 Muslim students, 11,119 “non-religious” students, 6,083 Serbian Orthodox students and 2,322 Protestants.

The statistics show that the only Viennese schools where Muslims remain a distinct minority are in thegymnasium, advanced secondary schools that place a strong emphasis on academic learning rather than on vocational skills. Students graduating from a gymnasium are more likely than others to be admitted to attend university in Austria.

Austria is also in the process of introducing new taxpayer-funded textbooks for the formal teaching of Islam in all public elementary schools across the country.

The textbooks are called “Islam Hour” (Islamstunde) and have been prepared by the Islamic Religious Authority of Austria (Islamische Glaubensgemeinschaft in Österreich, IGGiÖ), a Muslim umbrella organization whose main responsibility is the state-funded supply of Islamic religious education at Austrian public and private schools.

According to the IGGiÖ, the new textbooks are based on “secure and recognized sources of Islam” aimed at “embedding Islam into the lives of students.” Unlike previous versions of the books, which were criticized for being “overly martial in tone” and for not being “sufficiently oriented toward European values,” the new books have been developed based a “completely new didactic model for competency-based education.”

Previously, the main textbook used for Islam instruction in Austrian public schools was a vehemently anti-Western screed entitled “The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam” (Erlaubtes und Verbotenes im Islam) and authored by none other than Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Among other Islamic doctrines, the book taught students that Islamic Sharia law takes precedence over secular laws, that women have fewer rights than men, and that those who abandoned Islam are to be put to death.

The book was eventually banned from Austrian schools (although it is still being openly promoted on the website of the Vienna Islamic Centre, the largest mosque in Austria) after Al-Qaradawi[1] — a spiritual advisor for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas — began publicly endorsing suicide attacks against Jews as “martyrdom in the name of Allah.”

 

The Vienna Islamic Centre.

The new textbooks come in four volumes along with a companion CD that includes not only recitations of the Koran, but also a rap song which deals with the aspects of Ramadan.

In an interview with the Austrian newspaper Heute, an IGGiÖ project manager named Amena Shakir said the aim of the new textbooks is to “learn about how the Koranic suras [chapters] can be applied to everyday life.” Shakir added that this is the first time Islam is being taught to Austrian students in the German language and that the textbooks contextualize Islam in the Austrian countryside rather than in Arabia.

“We want our young people in Austria have a sense of home,” said the president of IGGiÖ, Fuat Sanac. “We have tried for years to bring these books into being.”

Sanac also called on the Austrian government to approve and promulgate a new “Islam Law” that would provide Muslims with more legal rights and protections than they enjoy in the current law, which dates back to 1912.

The original law was adopted to help integrate Muslim soldiers from Bosnia-Herzegovina into the Austro-Hungarian army of the Habsburg monarchy. The law recognized Islam as a religious community in Austria, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion in accordance with the laws of the state.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Ukraine: “what we have here is a kind of a situation”

In response to Frank Gaffney’s article, Thwart Putin’s ‘Evil Empire’ 2.0, IQ al Rassooli left this comment:

Dear Mr Gaffney
On most issues I agree with you BUT not this one because you are ignoring (maybe you do not know) that the so called rebels against the pro Russia movement are mostly Nazi Fascists in alliance with the Chechen Islamists.

Moreover, the Crimea to Russia – their back yard – is what Cuba is to the USA. Kennedy was willing to go to war (even nuclear) but would not allow the Soviets to have any missiles threatening the Continental USA.

They Ukranian neo Nazis represent a new destabilizing item in the Ukrainian crisis and should be of great concern to all those in the USA & Europe who want a free and democratic Ukraine.
The ultra-nationalists were instrumental in ousting pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. They are equipped with helmets, masks, protective gear, weapons and Molotov cocktails and are trained to confront security forces by infiltrating the other demonstrators.
The most prominent and violent of the ultra-nationalist groups is the Pravy-Sektor, or Right Sector, whose leader has recently appealed once more on Chechen Islamic militant chief Dokku Umarov to launch terror attacks in Russia.

It is obvious that John Kerry is helping to incite these groups, ignoring – as usual with Obama and his administration who support the Muslim Brotherhood – the excesses of militant Russo-phobic and anti-Semitic forces inciting demonstrations in Kiev.
The Nazi style Ukrainian groups use identical slogans, symbols and methodology as the Islamo-fascists.
Respectfully
IQ al Rassooli
Kafir & Proud!

When describing the complexities of the Middle East my cousin, Ken, used to say “what we have here is a kind of a situation”. What’s happening in the Ukraine is also one of those “situations” with many different players and more than two sides to the story driven by the Cold War legacy. One of my favorite counter jihad blogs, Cherson and Molschky, has been presenting a different view than what we are seeing in our media.

*****************

The Voice of a Native-Born Ukrainian

By Y. K. Cherson:

The situation in Ukraine is clearly confusing for Westerners and even more confusing for their media. A little insight from a native-born Ukrainian:

Crimea has a status of autonomy, authority, and has every right to ask another state for help. But it’s not only about if they have a right or not; 60% of the population of Crimea are ethnic Russians, and among Ukrainians, quite a lot would be more than happy to become a part of Russia instead of a weak and poor Ukraine. And 12% of Tartars in a wink became pro-Russia as soon as the new PM of Crimea guaranteed them that their rights in Crimea would become wider.

The comments made in the Western media’s articles demonstrate a total lack of knowledge and understanding. I’d like to address some of these ideas.

“The Russian military is not all it’s cracked up to be. It couldn’t stand up to the West.”

Come on! It would be true if Russia invaded France or Germany. But in a clash with Russia on the territory of Russia, neither NATO nor the USA would have any chances, and the West would have counted losses by the thousands each day. You’re not Nazi Germany, and you are not accustomed to a war where thousands of your mothers would be getting notifications that “your son died a hero”. And to start a war against Russia in winter is just an act of a collective suicide.

But it’s not only about Russia; it’s more about Ukraine itself. Southern regions like Odessa and Mariupol are waiving Russian flags. Odessa, Nikolaev and Cherson are talking about the creation of an independent State in the South of Ukraine. Kharkov and Donetzk raised Russian flags too and declared they would hold a referendum about where they want to live. All Crimea, together with Sevastopol, is Russian without a single shot. And Putin got a “go” from the Russian Council of Ministers to use military force- but he did not move a single additional soldier to Crimea!

All Russian soldiers there are of the Black Sea Fleet, and by the Kharkov Treaty of 1994, Russia has the right to have 25,000 soldiers in Sevastopol. Now it has only 16,000, which means Russia can calmly increase its military presence by 8,000 soldiers without violating a single letter of this treaty. And the West knows this, although your politicians are hypocritically screaming about “invasion”.

There is not any “invasion”! Putin has outsmarted the West who did not expect of Russia such a resolute and at the same time cunning game. But Putin understands that a war with Ukraine will meet resistance in Russia; Ukrainians for Russians are, in spite of everything, a brother people. Putin will never start a war, and he does not need to; the idiots in the Ukrainian government will give Ukraine to Putin with their own hands.

This is who the West supports?

This is who the West supports?

In an attack of collective madness, Ukrainian leaders declared a mobilization and called to ranks 1,000,000 reservists. By International Law, mobilisation is equal to the declaration of war. And now Putin has the right to do with Ukraine anything he wishes; in technical terms, they are aggressors, because Russia has not declared any mobilisation! Russia is calmly holding the Paralympic Games, watching concerts, readily giving shelter to Ukrainian refugees, whose number in just two months reached 600,000 persons- and patiently waiting.

Do you understand the costs to maintain, feed, arm, cure and dress a million soldiers? It is exorbitant even for a developed Western country, and for Ukraine, with its rachitic economy, it means a collapse in 10 days.

In two weeks, Putin will have Ukraine on a silver platter without a single shot. And let’s be honest; Ukraine as it is today is not a viable State. The Western part of Ukraine is different from its Southeastern part practically in all. Different religion (South and East are Orthodox, while Western Ukraine are Catholics), language, culture, traditions, history; they are all different. Even the geography is different! And it means that the mentalities of Ukrainians of the Western and Southeastern parts are absolutely different too. An example: Stepan Bandera for Western Ukrainians is a national hero- while for South and East Ukraine, he is a bloody murderer and a fascist.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky including links to many posts on the situation in Ukraine:

Sick of Western Hypocrisy

Ukrainian Jews May Be in Danger

Making Soup for Ukrainian Protesters

Ukraine: Truce Between President and Opposition

Neo-Nazis Among Opposition in the Ukraine

Kerry Suggests Ukraine Should Join the EU

Violent Ukrainian Protests: More Than Meets the Eye

Ukrainian Truce Made No Impact on Kiev Violence

How Many More Are Going to F… the EU?

******************

Ukraine Burning (published Feb. 20, 2014)

European Jihadists in Syria – More and Younger

by Soeren Kern:

European security officials say that in recent weeks they have noticed an “alarming acceleration” in the number of European jihadists traveling to Syria to obtain combat experience with Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda.

“France, Germany and the U.K. may have the largest foreign fighter contingents in Syria, but Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Austria have contributed a much higher proportion of their population… [and] may have a larger problem on their hands than do their bigger European neighbors.” — Thomas Hegghammer, Norwegian political scientist.

Two teenagers from the southern French city of Toulouse have run away from home to become jihadists in Syria.

The youths—both aged 15—are believed to be the youngest-ever European jihadists to join the fighting in Syria since the war there began in March 2011.

The boys are part of an influx of up to 2,000 Europeans—including 700 from France alone—who have traveled to Syria in the hopes of overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with an Islamic state.

European security officials say that in recent weeks they have noticed an “alarming acceleration” in the number of European jihadists traveling to Syria to obtain combat experience with Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda. They say their primary concern is about the potential threats these battle-hardened “enemies from within” will pose when they return to Europe.

The two teenagers from Toulouse—home to the radical Islamist Mohammed Merah, who murdered seven people in and around the city in March 2012—left for Syria on January 6, the first school day of 2014, after stealing credit cards from their parents to purchase airplane tickets to Turkey.

The parents of the youths (French media are calling them Hakim and Hassan, fictitious names to protect their identity) say they did not notice anything was amiss until the boys failed to return home from school.

Although the school policy is to notify parents when their children do not show up for class, the procedure failed in this circumstance because two individuals posing as parents of the teenagers phoned the school to say they were sick. It was not until later that evening that Hakim phoned his parents to tell them he was in Turkey and on his way to Syria.

In an interview with the Toulouse-based newspaper La Dépêche du Midi, Hakim’s Franco-Tunisian father said his son had given no indication that he was planning to leave for Syria, nor did he ever talk about fighting or jihad. He said the 15-year-old—who does not speak Arabic— was well integrated into French society but had been “brainwashed” by jihadist recruiters on the Internet.

Hakim’s father said he believes his son is being used as “cannon fodder” in the northern Syrian city of Idlib, a jihadist stronghold situated some 40 miles (60 km) west of Aleppo. The father said Hakim was sobbing during his most recent telephone conversation. Hakim told his father he was at a jihadist training camp and promised to phone again in a month if he was still alive.

“Hakim realized he could no longer turn back,” said the father, who remains anonymous. “In his mind, he was going to spread the message of Islam. He wanted to be a good Muslim. I do not think he was aware of what he was getting himself into.” The father added:

I ​​do not understand how a minor can leave France with only a passport in his pocket and without authorization from his parents. We talk a lot about the protection of minors in France but—paradoxically—today they can fly freely… It is incomprehensible!

What has happened to us can happen to any family. Our son did not attend mosques and was never involved with a bad crowd. He was a good student. We are very worried. We will do everything we can to find him safe and sound. Today it is a matter of life or death.

We need the government to be fully aware of the scourge of these jihadist recruitment networks. These people exploit any and all loopholes and weaknesses of youth to enlist them to fight in Syria. These boys are innocent and have nothing to do with these extremist ideologies.

A separate article published by La Dépêche du Midi on January 18 suggests the teenage jihadists are not as innocent as their parents seem to believe. The newspaper reported that both youths had been in contact with their friends via Facebook since their arrival in Syria.

“The last message we received from them was on Wednesday [January 15]. They seemed happy but also worried,” said Rania, a high school classmate who has known Hakim and Hassan since childhood. “I wrote to Hakim telling him that he must return home. He has a family, he has his whole life ahead of him, but he did not want to listen. He told me that in the end he would be rewarded by Allah.” Hakim also told Rania he might never return to France.

School officials expressed consternation. “This is the first time in France that adolescents and very young students are being recruited by jihadist networks,” said Denis Demersseman, the principal of the high school where the teenagers were students. But Demersseman also admitted there were rumors that jihadists sometimes loiter outside the gates of the school—next to a transportation hub where students stand in line waiting for rides to go home—to proselytize for Islam and tell students about holy war.

Hakim and Hassan are not the only jihadists from Toulouse—where Muslims make up roughly 10% of the total population—to have left for Syria.

In March 2013, two half-brothers from Toulouse took a bus to Barcelona, Spain. From there they flew to Casablanca, Morocco and on to Istanbul, Turkey. From Turkey they crossed the border for the Syrian city of Aleppo.

The two converts to Islam came to the attention of French intelligence in July when they posted an Islamist propaganda video on YouTube appealing for holy war. With Kalashnikov and Koran in hand, they urged French President François Hollande to convert to Islam.

On August 11, one of the brothers, Jean-Daniel, 22, was killed in fighting in Aleppo. Just four months later (on December 22), his half-brother Nicolas, 30, was “martyred” as a suicide bomber in the Syrian province of Homs. In an interview with the French press agency AFP, Nicolas’ mother said he “was waiting to go to paradise.”

 

Nicolas (R) and his half-brother Jean Daniel (L) were French converts to Islam, who travelled from their homes in Toulouse to wage jihad in Syria. Both have since been reported dead.

As the conflict in Syria drags on, the full scope of the jihadist problem facing France and Europe is gradually coming into focus.

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Seismic Strategic Shifts Due to Easing of Sanctions Against Iran

Rouhani and PutinBY RYAN MAURO:

The easing of sanctions on Iran as part of the nuclear deal has prompted a major strategic shift in the region in favor of the terrorism-sponsoring regime, and Europe and Turkey are looking to cash in in it. The Middle East is split between three alliances and the one opposed to both Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood is now fracturing.

There is a Shiite alliance led by Iran; a pro-Muslim Brotherhood alliance led by Turkey and Qatar and a third alliance led by Egypt and Saudi Arabia that opposes both Iran and the Brotherhood. The first two alliances are coming together. The third is growing closer to Israel, Russia and China and further away from the U.S.

Governments and companies around the world are looking at Iran as an economic opportunity because of the nuclear deal. European investors are readying to do business at the earliest opportunity. Italy is moving quickly to trade with Iran and a delegation of major French companies will visit Iran next month.  Russia is negotiating a deal to buy 500,000 barrels of oil from Iran per day.

An analysis by Joseph Zaalishvili explains that a major energy deal is being forged that could bring together Europe, Iran and Turkey. The economic opportunity is an added incentive for Iran and Turkey to heal their relationship and, if it goes through, it is hard to see how meaningful sanctions on Iran will be maintained.

One of Europe’s major problems is its dependency on Russian natural gas. The Russian government is not afraid of using this dependency as a means of political pressure. This is a major consideration for Europe that other countries can exploit.

Zaalishvili points out that oil companies in Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia agreed on December 17 to develop a gas field for this purpose. By 2019, six billion cubic meters of gas will go to Turkey and 10 billion will go to southern Europe every single year.

Enter Iran. An Iranian state-controlled company owns 10% of the natural gas field. In addition, Turkey wants to act as a corridor for Iranian gas shipments to Europe. Turkey also wants to import more gas from Iran and its Iraqi allies. The end result is an Iranian-Turkish bloc that Europe depends on.

Meanwhile, the third alliance is weakening. Saudi Arabia hoped to transform the Gulf Cooperation Council into a Gulf Union, basically creating an Arab NATO consisting of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

Oman rejected the idea of a Gulf Union right off the bat. The country served as a secret staging ground for talks between the U.S. and Iran and wants to remain neutral.

This stance is best explained by a report that Iran has agreed to give Oman free oil and gas in about two years after a natural gas pipeline is built. In return, Iran gets a “strategic location on Musandam mountain” that allows it to threaten the Strait of Hormuz.

Read more at Clarion Project

Five Signs of Hope (Maybe) for Europe

Prince-Charlesby :

Every now and then readers of this site, while thanking me for my coverage of the Islamization of Europe, have kindly asked if it’s possible for me to provide an occasional break from the endlessly depressing accounts of jihad and appeasement and dhimmitude and, quite simply, report on some good news for a change.

Point taken. Here, in recognition of the hopeful message of Christmas and the New Year’s promise, is a year-end dose of tidings of – well, not great joy, but at least possible positive turnarounds on various fronts.

1. BRITAIN: Walking back a dhimmi policy

The Marks and Spencer story. This one went through the whole cycle (from proud corporate declaration of spineless dhimmitude to meek apology therefor) with incredible – and gratifying – rapidity.

Just a couple of days before Christmas, a customer of the posh London retailer told the Telegraph that a Muslim clerk had refused, albeit politely, to ring up her bottle of champagne because the item offended the clerk’s religious convictions. Confronted with this story, a spokesperson for M&S affirmed that, indeed, out of respect for Islam, the store had a policy of allowing Muslim workers to refuse to serve customers purchasing (for example) alcohol and pork, and to pass these haram customers on to other, less discriminating employees.

Result: a huge public outcry, including a Facebook page promoting an M&S boycott. Within hours, M&S was not only apologizing for its wrongheaded policy but (amusingly) insisting that, in fact, it had no such policy at all, and that in the champagne incident the store’s actual policy had not been properly followed.

2. FRANCE: Walking back a dhimmi report

Here’s another example of outraged reactions to dhimmitude having a real effect. Earlier this month, Le Figaro revealed the contents of a new report – commissioned by France’s socialist prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault – which recommended a veritable blizzard of revolutionary acts by the government, from renaming streets and squares after immigrants to prohibiting the mention of transgressors’ ethnicity in the news media. Among much else, school curricula would be dramatically transformed to make them radically multicultural. Accepting the report on November 13, Ayrault promised that the recommendations would be acted upon tout de suite.

Then the protests started pouring in. “It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture,” charged Jean-Francois Cope, head of the opposition UMP party, “but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others.” Geoffrey Didier, also of UMP, called the report “a crime against republican assimilation and another step in the communitarian strategy of the Socialist Party.” And National Front leader Marine Le Pen denounced it as “a “declaration of war on the French who are calling for an end to the policy of mass immigration and the reaffirmation of our republican laws and values.” The nationwide outrage led one commentator to describe Ayrault as having “shot himself in the foot.” Confronted with the reaction, Ayrault did a snappy about-face, saying meekly: “Just because I get a report doesn’t mean it’s government policy.”

3. BRITAIN: A Prince who May or May Not Be Snapping out of It

Over the years, Prince Charles’s gushing praise of Islam, his enthusiastic participation in Islamic ceremonies, and his occasional references to his own purportedly serious study of the religion have fed speculation that he was either a secret Muslim or was well on his way to becoming one. (A 1997 article in the Middle East Quarterly, entitled “Prince Charles of Arabia,” carefully sifted through the evidence for this proposition.) As recently as 2010, Charles gave a speech extolling Islamic “spiritual principles” as environment-friendly.

How surprising it was, then, to hear the Prince of Wales saying in a speech earlier this month that “we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants.” Underscoring that he had been trying for twenty years “to build bridges between Islam and  Christianity,” he lamented that “we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so, and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution, including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.” Refreshingly, he made no apparent attempt to draw a false moral equivalency, to put the crisis down to the usual “interreligious tensions”: no, Charles actually said that Muslims were persecuting Christians, and condemned it outright.

This doesn’t mean he’s now a hero of the counterjihad resistance, but it’s something.

Read more at Front Page

Swiss Member of Parliament Oskar Freysinger has had Enough of Islam: “It Gnaws at the Pillars of our System of Laws”

 oskar-freysingerBy :

Oskar Freysinger, a member of the Swiss Parliament, gave a passionate speech filled with truth that no politician in Washington, DC has yet to give from the floor of Congress.

“Europe is an idea,” Freysinger said, “a cultural landscape, an intellectual space shaped by history. Europe is the cradle of the modern constitutional democracy, the treasure-house of opinion and expression….or at least it used to be that, until recently.”

He says this history of Europe has been put into jeopardy by the “political elite bend(ing) their necks before a certain religious dogma which is completely alien to our intellectual history, our values and rule of law.”

Obviously, Freysinger was speaking about nothing more than Islam. To this assertion, he received thunderous applause.

“This dogma is gnawing away at the pillars of our system of laws, wherever it is granted the space to do so,” he continued. “This dogma demands total obedience from its followers.”

So what does Mr. Freysinger say about such people with those “values”?
Read more at Freedom Outpost

Study: Widespread Islamic Fundamentalism in Europe

sharia-law-uk-newby :

“Religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe,” concluded a December 9, 2013, press release of the Berlin Social Science Center (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung or WZB) with respect to European Muslims in particular.  The social survey results from six West European countries supporting WZB’s conclusion present troubling questions concerning Muslim immigrant integration into free societies in Europe and beyond.

As a WZB Discussion Paper explained, the WZB-funded Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey (SCIICS) involved a 2008 “large-scale telephone survey.”  Respondents were “Turkish origin” and “Moroccan origin” people “who came during the guest-worker era” pre-1975 or their descendants.  SCIICS surveyed both groups in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, while insignificant Moroccan populations limited the survey to Turkish-descent individuals in Austria and Sweden.  SCIICS sought 500 respondents from each group in each country as well as from a control group of non-immigrant descended country citizens, with the exception of Belgium with its “high degree of federalism.”  Here SCIICS surveyed 300 individuals from each group in both Flanders and Wallonia provinces.  Almost 9,000 completed surveys or 3,373 native, 3,344 Turkish, and 2,204 Moroccan origin, resulted.

For WZB study author Ruud Koopmans the results revealed unsettling aspects of Islamic belief in Western Europe as discussed in his article “Fundamentalism and Out-Group Hostility:  Muslim Immigrants and Christian Natives in Western Europe.”  Among other issues, SCIICS sought to remedy the deficiency that “very little is known about the extent of religious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants” in Europe.  A “large number of studies” on American Protestant fundamentalism, meanwhile, “have shown that it is strongly and consistently associated with prejudices and hostility against racial and religious out-groups, as well as ‘deviant’ groups such as homosexuals.”

For a comparative religious fundamentalism survey, SCIICS employed Bob Altermeyer and Bruce Hunsberger’s “widely accepted definition of fundamentalism” with “three key elements.” These are (1) “that believers should return to the eternal and unchangeable rules laid down in the past;” (2) “that these rules allow only one interpretation and are binding for all believers;” and (3) “that religious rules have priority over secular laws.”  Accordingly, “native respondents who indicated” being Christian (70%) and “Turkish and Moroccan origin” respondents who professed being Muslim (96%) received three questions.  These were (1) “Christians [Muslims] should return to the roots of Christianity [Islam];” (2) “There is only one interpretation of the Bible [the Koran] and every Christian [Muslim] must stick to that;” and (3) “The rules of the Bible [the Koran] are more important to me than the laws of [survey country].”

These questions revealed that “religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon within West European Muslim communities.”  Almost 60% of surveyed Muslims advocated a “return to the roots of Islam,” 75% accepted following “only one interpretation of the Koran,” and 65% considered “religious rules…more important” than domestic laws.  “Consistent fundamentalist beliefs, with agreement to all three statements,” existed among 44% of the Muslim survey respondents.

“Fundamentalist attitudes are slightly less prevalent among Sunni Muslims with a Turkish (45% agreement to all three statements) compared to a Moroccan (50%) background,” Koopmans noted.  In contrast, only 15% of Alevi, a “Turkish minority current within Islam,” were similarly fundamentalist. The “lowest levels of fundamentalism” among the individually surveyed Muslim communities appeared in Germany, where a nonetheless “widespread” 30% affirmed all three statements.  This result opposed the “idea that fundamentalism is a reaction to exclusion by the host society” given that German Muslims had the least legal recognition as a religious community among all the surveyed countries.  Koopmans discerned “remarkably similar patterns” in other studies of West European Muslims such that 47% of German Muslims prioritized religious rules over democracy in both his and the 2007 Federal Ministry of the Interior Muslime in Deutschland study.

By contrast, only 13-21% of Christian survey respondents agreed to the individual statements, with fewer than 4% accepting all three as “consistent fundamentalists.”  Corresponding “with what is known about Christian fundamentalism,” fundamentalism rates were low among Catholics (3%) and “mainstream Protestants” (4%).  A “most pronounced” high of 12% occurred “among the adherents of smaller Protestant groups such as Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pentecostal believers.”  Thus Christian “support for fundamentalist attitudes remains much below the levels found among Sunni Muslims.”

Read more at Front Page