Gates of Vienna, by Fjordman, Jan. 19, 2015:
Starting in 2014, the German movement PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) has created headlines. It has gradually spread to other cities and even beyond Germany, but the first PEGIDA rallies began in Dresden. Some Scandinavian friends of mine wanted to go there. I decided to join them, to see this new phenomenon for myself.
On January 12 2015, the PEGIDA rally in Dresden in which I participated turned out to be even more significant than expected. In Paris just a few days earlier, staffers from the French satirical paper Charlie Hebdo were massacred by Islamic Jihadist terrorists. Their crime? Among cartoons mocking many people and religions, they had also made some cartoons making fun of Islam’s founder Mohammed.
In solidarity, the PEGIDA demonstrators in Dresden carried banners showing the names and photos of the Charlie Hebdo staff who were murdered by militant Muslims. Next to German national and regional flags, the French flag was the most prominent one in the rally. I did see at least one Israeli flag, one English flag, a couple of Swedish flags, several Danish flags, plus one or two Norwegian flags, among others.
The lowest estimate for the number of people who participated in the rally this day was 25,000 people. The highest estimate was 40,000 people. It was apparently the biggest crowd so far. The number of people was so large that if you lost sight of your friends, you might not see them again for several hours.
The largest number of participants were undoubtedly local residents of Dresden or Saxony. However, there were also visitors from other parts of Germany and a few international visitors who came specifically to take part in the PEGIDA rally. I was one of them.
I talked to some friends from Denmark afterwards. It is noteworthy that so many people displayed the German national flag, openly and with pride. This would have been taboo some years earlier. Germans were then still too weighed down by guilt from the Second World War. For historical reasons, neighboring countries which have been invaded by Germany in the past view their large neighbor with some suspicion. Despite this, my Danish friends concluded that they were fine with what they had seen in Dresden.
PEGIDA is not about aggressive German nationalism. It is about the normalization of Germany. Germans should not invade Poland or other countries for Lebensraum. However, they have the perfect right to reject Arabs, Turks or others from expanding their own Lebensraum in Germany.
I had a good look at thousands of people. There were hardly any skinheads present. I saw more grandmothers. The people who participated in this peaceful demo were simply normal, concerned citizens, many of them well-dressed. The only tensions I registered were triggered by some rather few left-wing counter-demonstrators who shouted senseless slogans.
While looking at the different slogans and banners, many of them were indeed related to Islam and Islamization. However, some people in the PEGIDA demo carried posters denouncing biased mass media or the EU. PEGIDA is anti-Islamic, but it is also anti-totalitarian, anti-establishment and in favor of traditional European culture.
A recent article by the Pew Research Center highlights five important facts about Europe’s Muslim population in light of the recent Islamist attacks in France and anti-Islamist protest marches in Germany. The data reveals that Europe is becoming more and more Muslim.
Though the greatest sufferers of Islamist violence continue to be the populations of Iraq and Syria under siege by the Islamic State, along with Nigeria facing the virtually unchecked onslaught of Boko Haram, Europe has its own causes for concern. The Muslim population in many European nations has been growing steadily, leading some countries, such as Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands, to call for restrictions on immigration.
Recent Islamist violence in Paris has brought Europe’s concerns to the fore, but it represents only the tip of the iceberg. On Thursday, Belgian counterterrorism police interrupted another jihadist terrorist plot, killing two suspected Islamist militants and severely wounding a third, and additional raids were carried out in the capital, Brussels. Similar anti-terrorist operations are being carried out throughout Europe, and counterterrorism officials are warning that their top security threat is the risk of attacks by their own citizens.
Fact no. 1: Europe’s largest Muslim populations are in Germany and France, followed by the UK and Italy.
According to the most recent available statistics, both Germany and France have Muslim populations around 5 million, which represents about six percent of Germany’s population and 7.5% of France’s. Going beyond the borders of the European Union, Russia’s population of 14 million Muslims is the largest on the continent.
The anti-Islamist PEGIDA movement, which stands for “Patriotic Europeans against Islamization of the West,” rallied a record 25,000 supporters in Dresden on Monday, and there are to be more PEGIDA marches in Cologne. Though Chancellor Angela Merkel has dismissed PEGIDA as a movement followed by those with “hatred in their hearts,” other European countries are following Germany’s lead; PEGIDA chapters have been founded in Switzerland, Austria, Norway, Spain, and the UK.
Fact no. 2: Europe’s total population is becoming increasingly Muslim.
The Muslim share of Europe’s population has grown about 1 percentage point a decade for the last 25 years, moving from 4% in 1990 to 6% in 2010. The number of Muslims in Europe has grown from 29.6 million in 1990 to 44.1 million in 2010.
Europe’s Muslim population is expected to exceed 58 million by 2030. While Muslims today account for about 6% of Europe’s total population, by 2030, Muslims are expected to make up 8% of Europe’s population, or double what it was in 1990.
Percentagewise, the European Union’s most Muslim country is Cyprus, at more than a quarter of the total population (25.3%), followed by Bulgaria at 13.7% of the population. The country with the highest projected growth of its Muslim population is the United Kingdom, expected to have a Muslim population of 5.5 million by 2030.
Fact no. 3: Muslims are younger than other Europeans.
Data for 2010 reveals that the average age of Muslims in Europe was 32, while the median age of Europeans generally was 40, an eight-year gap. The median age of Christians in Europe was ten years higher than that of Muslims, or 42.
The age gap also affects population increase. Muslims’ fertility rates are generally higher than those of non-Muslims in Europe, which along with immigration helps explain why the Muslim population of Europe is projected to rise, both in absolute numbers and as a percentage of the population.
The Pew Study analyzed current trends in the 25 European countries for which data are available and found that Muslim women today will have an average of 2.2 children each, compared with an estimated average of 1.5 children each for non-Muslim women in Europe.
Fact no. 4: European countries vary widely in their views of Muslims.
Majorities in Germany, France, and the UK have generally favorable views of Muslims, according to a Pew Research survey conducted last spring. More than half the population in Italy, Greece, and Poland expressed negative views of Muslims, while in Spain opinion was roughly divided.
Among EU countries, the Italian population is the most critical of Muslims, with 63% expressing an unfavorable view and only 28% voicing a favorable opinion.
Views about Muslims are tied both to age and to where one stands on the political spectrum, with youth and those on the left being generally more favorable to Muslims. In Spain, just over half of those age 50 and older view Muslims unfavorably, while only a third of people under age 30 say the same. While 47% of Germans on the political right see Muslims unfavorably, just 20% on the left do so.
Fact no. 5: The European Union is home to some 13 million Muslim immigrants.
As of 2010, an estimated 13 million Muslim immigrants (27% of the foreign-born population) live in the 27 countries of the European Union. When internal migration within the European Union is excluded, the percentage of Muslim immigrants among the foreign-born population rises to 39%.
The immigrant Muslim population in Germany is primarily from Turkey, whereas the roughly 3 million foreign-born Muslims in France are largely from France’s former colonies of Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia.
Follow Thomas D. Williams on Twitter @tdwilliamsrome.
The UK, France Holland and many other European countries are suffering a tide of Islamic extremism unprecedented in living memory. Is Europe’s culture and way of life in danger? Will the governments wake up and act or continue to bury their heads in the sand, living in denial. Clarions Project’s film, The Third Jihad, predicted this tide of violence and extremism now gathering momentum as seen in France, the UK, Holland and across all of Europe.
IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
January 11, 2015
Jeanine Pirro: Developing tonight, new reports that terrorist sleeper cells may have been activated in France. This as we’re learning new details about hundreds of no-go zones across France and other countries that are off limits to non-Muslims. Steve Emerson, founder of the Investigative Project joins us. Alright Steve, my last guest told us some chilling details about these no-go zones. What more can you tell us about these zones, Steve?
Steve Emerson: Well these no-go zones exist not only in France, but they exist throughout Europe. They’re sort of amorphous, they’re not contiguous necessarily, but they’re sort of safe havens and they’re places where the governments like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany don’t exercise any sovereignty. So you basically have zones where Shariah courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don’t go in, and where it’s basically a separate country almost, a country within a country.
Pirro: You know what it sounds like to me, Steve? It sounds like a caliphate within a particular country.
Emerson: It certainly does sound like that. It’s almost the prescription that they’re asking Israel to do, which is to set up a separate state within their own state, except they’re not recognizing it. And they’re not dealing with it because they don’t want to; I got into a tweet fight with the French ambassador who denied that there are any such things as no-go zones, except on the French official website it says there are and it actually has a map of them…. [A]nd in Britain, it’s not just no-go zones, there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in. And parts of London, there are actually Muslim religious police that actually beat and actually wound seriously anyone who doesn’t dress according to Muslim, religious Muslim attire. So there’s a situation that Western Europe is not dealing with. And in this country, you know, we have this, you know this selective orientation toward what is radical Islam. The president doesn’t [even] say the [words, “radical Islam.”] We include Turkey as…our ally, despite the fact that it supports Hamas, it provides safe haven to the leaders of Hamas that coordinate attacks on Israel. Europe just lifted the sanctions on Hamas. So when Europe says or France says, ‘We’re engaged in a war against radical Islam,’ they don’t include Hamas, they don’t include Hizballah.
Pirro: OK tell me, Steve, is there any way to get these no-go zones back? In other words, does France want it back? Does Belgium want it back? Does Germany want these zones back? Because what’s happening is this is metastasizing into a simple takeover. I think even you said Europe is over. What did you say, Steve?
Emerson: I said the other day, Europe is finished because if you extrapolate the number of Muslims [now into the future, you will get Muslim dominated countries] and I’m not saying that all Muslims are terrorists, far from it.
Pirro: Of course not.
Emerson: Because the problem is that the leadership of the Muslim communities in Europe deliberately don’t want to integrate. And so they establish these zones which refuse to integrate and use them as leverage against the host country as political and military leverage. So will these countries take it back? I don’t see it happening at this point. You see [the] reaction by the population, Judge. But I don’t see the country elites taking it [the Muslim no-go zones] back. And that’s really unfortunate, because it fosters the whole perpetuation of radical Islamic generations from here to come.
Pirro: Alright, I just have a few seconds left, Steve. Tell us very quickly about these women — you know, we hear about this woman, [Hayat] Boumeddiene, as well as some of the other female terrorists, I mean there are a lot of them in France, I understand.
Emerson: Yeah, well listen, there are many of them, not many, I can’t give you the specific number. But they’ve trained, first of all they’ve carried out terrorist attacks in the Middle East for sure. Hizballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad. ISIS even has women trained [as] Islamic female terrorists, and Europe also [has]; we’ve seen now in Britain where [some Muslim] women [trained as terrorists] wear burkas to hide their identities, and in fact in certain airports, believe it or not, they don’t require the burkas to be removed to identify them to see who they are in their passport controllers.
Pirro: Exactly. Gotta wrap. Great point. I’ve seen it at airports myself.
Update 1/11/15 –
I have clearly made a terrible error for which I am deeply sorry. My comments about Birmingham were totally in error. And I am issuing this apology and correction for having made this comment about the beautiful city of Birmingham. I do not intend to justify or mitigate my mistake by stating that I had relied on other sources because I should have been much more careful. There was no excuse for making this mistake and I owe an apology to every resident of Birmingham. I am not going to make any excuses. I made an inexcusable error. And I am obligated to openly acknowledge that mistake. I wish to apologize for all residents of that great city of Birmingham.
PS. I am making donation to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
“The whole dynamic is now escaping the control of European political elites because they won’t take security or culture seriously.”
– John Robson
Sataya’s Blog, Jan. 6, 2015:
In her new year speech German Chancellor Merkel criticized the ever growing anti-Islam rallies in Germany by organization by name PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the Occident) as ‘their hearts are cold and often full of prejudice, and even hate’ and appealed Germans not to participate in the rallies. She quoted when PEGIDA says ‘we are the people’, ‘What they really mean is: You are not one of us, because of your skin color or your religion’.
IPT, by Steven Emerson
Interview on Fox News
January 7, 2015
Sean Hannity: Welcome back to “Hannity.” So France is on high alert at this hour following today’s deadly terrorist attack that left 12 people dead. Investigators working around the clock to put the pieces together. So could a similar terrorist attack happen here at home? Joining me now terrorism expert Steve Emerson. Steve, I want to talk about the growth in population of people moving to France from Muslim countries. You have these no-go zones. You have sharia courts that they’ve allowed. I assume the French, they wanted to be accepting and accommodating and have not insisted on assimilation. Has that played a part in this and is that something we’ve got to be on alert for now?
Steve Emerson: Well certainly throughout Europe, Sean, you have “no-go zones.” When I was in Brussels a year ago when I asked the police to take me to the Islamic zone or the Islamic community area they refused. They said we don’t go there. This goes on in Belgium, this goes on in Sweden, in the Netherlands, in France, it goes on in Italy. It goes on throughout Europe. So there are no-go zones.
Sean Hannity: Hang on. “No-go zone” means no non-Muslims, no police, no fire, their own court system. So basically these countries have allowed Muslims to take over parts of their country, entire portions, towns.
Steve Emerson: These are semiautonomous countries within countries in which the federal governments there have basically given up, surrendered their autonomy, surrendered their authority and goes against the entire grain of what social democracy was after World War II, was to integrate everybody into a socialist democracy, which is really a pluralistic experiment which worked. And everybody was supposed to be egalitarian; at least everyone was supposed to be equal in a pluralist society. What has happened however with migration of Muslims – and [although the problem] not all Muslims, the problem is the domination of Muslims [communities] within European countries, particularly in France…by radical Islamic groups. The mosques and Islamic centers… infuse the Islamic population with a militant strain of Islam that teaches them the infidel has to be killed and that the Crusaders like the French, Jews and Americans have to be killed or punished like [we saw] today. And this goes on and on and on. And the reaction unfortunately as we saw this morning from the President or from the President [Hollande]… of France or from [Prime Minister] Cameron of Britain is this has nothing to do with Islam, this is just a simple act of [non-religious] violence and that Islam is a religion of peace. And when they say those things they exonerate the leaders of Islamic communities throughout Europe and the militants themselves are given a free pass.
Sean Hannity: The next logical question then, Steve, is, okay, what about visas for people coming from Muslim countries? What about people that come to America that are Muslim? I’m sure the average American believes in freedom of religion, they don’t want to discriminate, they don’t want to be called Islamophobic, all of these things. How do you balance the two if people are coming from Muslim countries, how do you determine if they hold radical views, if they want sharia implemented in America like this guy Chaudary that I talked about?
Steve Emerson: Well you raise a very good question because that’s the role – you know there are DHS officers planted, placed overseas in US embassies in certain countries that have produced disproportionate numbers of terrorists like in Egypt or Saudi Arabia or elsewhere. Their role is to collect the intelligence on the visa applicants coming to the United States. The problem has been under this administration is that DHS has specifically instructed DHS agents overseas to basically not do their job, to not collect this intelligence. And when the intelligence has been collected, to show that the applicants coming to the United States with the visas in hand have radical backgrounds are either connected to the Muslim Brotherhood, connected to the Taliban, connected even [tangentially] to ISIS, they’ve been told to look away. I can tell you that personally. having had discussions with DHS officials and other agents from DHS who operate in an environment that’s Orwellian. And so you’re right, there’s a real problem here and our national security being violated.
Sean Hannity: Do you think France can get control of their country again and take over these no-go zones, stop sharia courts? I know prayer rugs are in just about every hotel if you go to Paris, according to a friend of mine who travels there quite often. Do they have the ability now to stop this, to say no you either assimilate or you have to go?
Steve Emerson: That’s a great question. I think they’ve reached critical mass, frankly. I’ve said this before, I think Europe is finished.
Sean Hannity: You think it’s finished? Well there’s a poll out there. One in six people in France actually support ISIS. Over 1,000 French have gone to join ISIS. So you’re saying you don’t think they can recover, that’s there’s too many radical Islamists that have taken over this portion of that country and it would be a war to take it back?
Steve Emerson: They [the European governments] wouldn’t take it back. They refuse to take it back. Sweden just engineered this artificial political coalition designed to stop any type of immigration prohibitions until the year 2022. So we’re talking about a situation throughout Europe where there’s a refusal to acknowledge the problem. And two, even if they did acknowledge the problem, what are they going to do if six to seven to eight to nine percent constitute a serious radical threat, not every single person but within that percentage, [there exist] no-go zones with sharia courts? Who are they hurting the most? They’re hurting Muslim women the most. They’re the ones who get subject to beatings, to death, to honor crimes.
Sean Hannity: So women who live in France are subject to sharia. They’re not subject to the laws of the country.
Steve Emerson: Not all Muslim women.
Sean Hannity: If they live in the no-go zone.
Steve Emerson: Absolutely. You’re 100% right. That’s the problem.
Sean Hannity: All right. That’s a big problem, and a warning I think.
Mark Steyn and Michael Coren discuss topics from Mark’s latest book, including and especially the threat of Islam to the West.
by Soeren Kern
December 30, 2014
“Britain remains the world’s leading recruiting ground for al-Qaeda.” — Con Coughlin, Daily Telegraph.
When she sought help from the police and a lawyer, “the family of the defendants were insulted that she had gone to the law. They wanted her back within the family fold… Therefore, it was decided that she should be forced to comply or be killed.” — Prosecutor of Ahmed A-Khatib, who murdered his wife for becoming “too westernized.”
British school teachers are afraid to teach their students about Christianity out of fear of offending Muslims. — Roger Bolton, BBC Radio 4’s Feedback program.
Rather than taking steps to protect British children, police, social workers, teachers… and the media deliberately played down the severity of the crimes [of Muslim sexual grooming gangs] in order to avoid being accused of “Islamophobia” or racism. — From the report “Easy Meat: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery.”
A group of British lawyers launched a website, Sharia Watch UK. The group called Sharia law “Britain’s Blind Spot.”
After Adebolajo, who murdered and tried to behead British soldier Lee Rigby with a meat cleaver, was given a “whole-life” prison term, his brother said his sibling was the victim of “Islamophobia.”
“The problem of honor-based violence and forced marriages in England is “worse than people think.” — Claire Phillipson, Wearside Women in Need
The Muslim population of Britain reached 3.4 million in 2014 to become around 5.3% of the overall population of 64 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France and Germany.
Islam and Islam-related issues were omnipresent in Britain during 2014, and can be categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists in Syria; 2) the continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) the sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; and 4) Muslim integration into British society.
What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories involving the rise of Islam in Britain during 2014.
In January, an analysis of census data showed that nearly 10% of the babies and toddlers in England and Wales are Muslim. The percentage of Muslims among children under five is almost twice as high as in the general population. By way of comparison, fewer than one in 200 people over the age of 85 are Muslim, an indication of the extent to which the birth rate is changing the religious demographic in Britain.
Also in January, Muslim fundamentalists threatened to behead a fellow British Muslim after he posted an innocuous image of Mohammed and Jesus on his Twitter account. The death threats against Maajid Nawaz, a Liberal Democrat Party candidate for British Parliament, added to the growing number of cases in which Islamists are using intimidation tactics to restrict the free speech rights of fellow Muslims in Europe.
On January 16, a Muslim woman was arrested by counter-terrorism police at Heathrow Airport as she was preparing to board a flight to Turkey. Nawal Masaad, 26, is accused of trying to smuggle £16,500 ($27,000; €20,000) in her underwear to jihadists in Syria. She and her alleged co-conspirator, Amal El-Wahabi, 27—a Moroccan who does not work and claims British social welfare benefits for herself and two young sons—were the first British women to be charged with terrorism offenses linked to the conflict in Syria.
On January 23, the head of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism unit, Commander Richard Walton, revealed that 14 British minors were arrested on charges linked to the Syrian conflict in January alone, compared to 24 for the whole of 2013. He said it was “almost inevitable” that some fighters would try to mount attacks in Britain upon their return.
On January 16, British Islamist Abu Waleed outlined his vision of an Islamic state in Britain, and called for Christians to be humiliated so that they would convert to Islam. In a video, he said:
“If the Muslim sees a kaffir [non-Muslim] with nice clothes, the kaffir has to take his clothes off and give them to the Muslim. The kaffir, when he walks down the street, he has to wear a red belt around his neck, and he has to have his forehead shaved, and he has to wear two shoes that are different from one another. He [the non-believer] is not allowed to walk on the pavement, he has to walk in the middle of the road, and he has to ride a mule. That is, my dear brothers, the Islamic state.”
In Bristol, the city council approved a controversial plan to convert a former comedy club into a mosque. In Cambridgeshire, a Muslim group submitted plans to convert a warehouse into a new mosque. In Cambridge, locals opposed a plan to build a £17.5 million ($28.5 million; €21 million) mega-mosque, claiming it could be “a front for terrorism.” In Blackburn, home to nearly 100 mosques, city councilors were urged to reject a plan to open a mosque in a residential neighborhood.
In Southend, local residents celebrated after a four-year battle resulted in the closing of an illegal mosque. In Newton Mearns, south of Glasgow, plans were abandoned to build a mosque within the grounds of a school in one of the most affluent suburbs of Scotland, due to local criticism of the move.
In Catherine-de-Barnes, a tiny village in western central England, local residents objected to plans for a large, Muslim-only cemetery, which will include space for 4,000 followers of Islam to be buried, and 75 parking spaces for visitors. The village has a population of just 613, which means the cemetery could eventually hold six-and-a-half times as many people as Catherine-de-Barnes itself.
In February, official statistics showed that net immigration to the United Kingdom surged to 212,000 in the year ending September 2013, a significant increase from 154,000 in the previous year. The new immigration data cast doubt on a pledge by Prime Minister David Cameron to get net migration—the difference between the number of people entering Britain and those leaving—down to the “tens of thousands” before the general election in May 2015.
Separately, data released by the National Crime Agency showed a 155% rise in British children groomed by sex gangs during 2013.
Also in January, a Muslim extremist who hacked a soldier to death on a London street in May 2013, launched a taxpayer-funded appeal against his murder conviction. Michael Adebolajo, 29, who tried to behead the British soldier Lee Rigby with a meat cleaver, maintained that he should not have been convicted because he is a “soldier of Allah” and therefore Rigby’s killing was an act of war rather than premeditated murder.
Adebolajo and his co-defendant, Michael Adebowale, 22, were found guilty by a jury in December 2013, and were sentenced on February 26. Adebolajo was given a “whole-life” prison term and Adebowale was given a minimum term of 45 years. Adebolajo’s brother saidhis sibling was the victim of “Islamophobia.”
On February 16, The Sunday Times reported that about 250 British jihadists who went to train and fight in Syria had returned to the UK and were being monitored by the security services. Senior officials said the high number of “returnees”—five times the figure that had been previously reported—underlined the growing danger posed by “extremist tourists” going to the war-torn region. MI5 and police said they feared that “returnees” could be preparing a Mumbai-style gun attack on civilians, possibly in a crowded public place in London.
On February 14, three Muslim vigilantes who terrorized innocent members of the public as the self-styled “Muslim Patrol” were banned from promoting Sharia Law in Britain for a period of five years.
In March, British authorities launched an investigation into the source of a document that purportedly outlined a plot by Muslim fundamentalists to Islamize public schools in England and Wales. The four-page document described a strategy—dubbed Operation Trojan Horse—to oust non-Muslim head teachers and staff at state schools in Muslim neighborhoods and replace them with individuals who would run the schools according to strict Islamic principles.
Also in March, a report entitled, “Easy Meat: Multiculturalism, Islam and Child Sex Slavery,”showed how officials in England and Wales were aware of rampant child grooming—the process by which sexual predators befriend and build trust with children in order to prepare them for abuse—by Muslim gangs since at least 1988. Rather than taking steps to protect British children, however, police, social workers, teachers, neighbors, politicians and the media deliberately downplayed the severity of the crimes perpetrated by the grooming gangs in order to avoid being accused of “Islamophobia” or racism.
Meanwhile, official figures revealed that record levels of Muslims are serving jail sentences and that the numbers are still growing. Across England and Wales the proportion has risen from 8% one decade ago to 14% now. In London, the figure is 27%, which is more than double the 12% of the capital’s population who are Muslim.
On March 27, ITV News reported that the problem of honor-based violence and forced marriages in England is “worse than people think,” but that many people are afraid of speaking out because they do not want to be branded as being “racist.” Claire Phillipson from Wearside Women in Need said:
“I have no doubt that all over the North East [England] first, second, third generation English young women are being forced into marriage.
“Schools and communities are keeping silent about it, because they are concerned that they would be called racist, Islamophobic. They don’t quite know where the line between culture, religion and human rights should be drawn.”
|An image from the video “Right to choose: Spotting the signs of forced marriage – Nayana”, produced by the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office.|
On March 13, the Law Society, the main professional association representing and governing the legal profession in England and Wales, issued ground-breaking guidance to help lawyers draft Sharia-compliant wills and estate planning documents. The move effectively enshrined Islamic Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.
In April, the British government launched a public consultation on whether or not to introduce student loans that are compliant with Islamic Sharia law, which forbids loans that involve the payment of interest.
Critics said that the dispute over interest-bearing student loans follows stepped-up demands for Sharia-compliant banking and insurance as well as credit cards, mortgages and pension funds, which—taken together—are contributing to the establishment of parallel Islamic financial and legal systems in Britain.
Separately, Lloyds Bank was accused of reverse religious discrimination after dropping overdraft fees for Muslims but not for others. The bank said that non-Muslims would have to pay up to £80 (€97, $135) a month for an overdraft, but that for Muslims “there won’t be any charges.”
Meanwhile, the fast food giant Subway removed ham and bacon from almost 200 outlets in Britain and switched to halal (Arabic for “permitted” or “lawful”) meat alternatives, apparently in an attempt to please its Muslim customers.
On April 9, Home Secretary Theresa May published her annual report on the government’s strategy for countering terrorism. The report concluded that battle-hardened British jihadists returning from the war in Syria now pose the most serious threat to British security.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
National Review, By Daniel Pipes, Dec. 30, 2014:
Woe to anyone in Sweden who dissents from the orthodox view that welcoming large numbers of indigent peoples from such countries as Iraq, Syria, and Somalia is anything but a fine and noble idea. Even to argue that permitting about 1 percent of the existing population to emigrate annually from an alien civilization renders one politically, socially, and even legally beyond the pale. (I know a journalist threatened with arrest for mild dissent on this issue.) Stating that there exists a Swedish culture worth preserving meets with puzzlement.
And yet, the realities of immigration are apparent for all to see: welfare dependency, violent bigotry against Christians and Jews, and a wide range of social pathologies from unemployment to politically motivated rape. Accordingly, ever-increasing numbers of Swedes find themselves — despite known hazards — opting out of the consensus and worrying about their country’s cultural suicide.
The taboo on such attitudes means that political parties, with only one exception, staunchly support continued immigration. Only the Sweden Democrats (SD) offer an alternative: real efforts to integrate existing immigrants and a 90 percent decrease in future immigration. Despite an unsavory neo-fascist past (not something unique to it, by the way), SD has become increasingly respectable and has been rewarded with electoral success, doubling its parliamentary vote from 3 percent in 2006, to 6 percent in 2010, to 13 percent in 2014. All the Swedes with whom I spoke on a recent visit expect the SD vote to grow further, something recent polls confirm.
If a party or bloc of parties held a large majority in Sweden’s unicameral parliament, SD would be virtually irrelevant. But the Riksdag’s two blocs are almost equally balanced. Three left-wing parties control 159 of 349 seats, while the “right wing” (quotation marks to denote that, from an American perspective, it’s hardly conservative) Alliance for Sweden, consisting of four parties, has 141 seats. This means that SD, with 49 seats, holds the balance of power.
But SD is deemed anathema, so no party bargains with it to pass legislation, not even indirectly through the media. Both Left and “Right” seek to isolate and discredit it. Nevertheless, SD has played kingmaker on certain crucial legislation, particularly the annual budget. In keeping with its policy to drive from power every government that refuses to reduce immigration, it brought down an Alliance for Sweden government in early 2014. Recent weeks saw a repeat of this scenario, when SD joined the Alliance in opposing the leftist budget, forcing the government to call for elections in March 2015.
But then something remarkable occurred: The two major blocs compromised not only on the current budget, but also on future budgets and power-sharing all the way to 2022. The left and “right” alliances worked out trade-offs so that elections need not take place in March, allowing the Left to rule until 2018, with the “Right” possibly taking over from 2018 until 2022. Not only does this political cartel deprive SD of its pivotal role but, short of winning a majority of parliamentary seats in 2018, it has no meaningful legislative role for the next eight years, during which time the immigration issue is off the table.
This is nothing short of astonishing: To stifle debate over the country’s most contentious issue, 86 percent of the parliament joined forces to marginalize the 14 percent that disagrees. The two major blocs diluted their already tepid differences to exclude the insurgent, populist party. Mattias Karlsson, the acting SD leader, accurately notes that with this deal, his party has become the only real opposition.
In the long term, however, things look good for SD, which will likely gain from this undemocratic sleight of hand. Swedes, long accustomed to democracy, do not appreciate a backroom arrangement that almost surely nullifies their votes in 2018. They don’t like its bullying quality. Nor do they take well to removing a highly controversial issue from consideration. And when the time comes to “throw the bums out,” as always it does, the Sweden Democrats will offer the only alternative to the tired, fractious coalition that will have been in power for eight long years — during which time immigration problems will alarm yet more voters.
In other words, this blatant act of suppression is spurring the very debate it is intended to quash. Before too long, the supreme issue of national suicide might actually be discussed.
- Sweden’s Suicide Pact (gatesofvienna.net)
- The Christmas Junta (gatesofvienna.net) excellent detailed explanation of Swedish politics
Another mosque fire in Sweden—the land that hands out welfare goodies and loves diversity (refugeeresettlementwatch.wordpress.com)
Sweden’s Christmas Present: New Laws Curbing Free Speech (gatestoneinstitute.org)
Sweden’s Christmas Junta and Why It Matters Here (dianawest.net)
by Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
December 29, 2014
Among the trends of 2014 – “Gone, Girl,” Lena Dunham, and$55,000 potato salad – was another the list-makers seem to have missed: it was also a very good year for Islamic jihad. And while this was true on the battlefields of Syria and the cities and villages of Pakistan, it was true, too, in more subtle ways throughout the West – and especially in Europe. It was, for instance, the year of Mehdi Nemmouche’s slaughter of four Jews at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
It was the year that Belgium itself was named a “terrorist recruiting hub” by the Wall Street Journal. And in Germany, France, England, and the Netherlands, pro-Islamic State demonstrations laid bare the growing support of terrorism and Islamic jihad among Europe’s expanding Muslim population – all while politicians either stood back or even contributed to the praise.
Throughout 2014, Europeans faced pro-IS, anti-Jew demonstrations in Paris, Hamburg, Amsterdam, London and The Hague, and the establishment of “sharia zones” in London, Wupperthal, and elsewhere. True, such zones do not necessarily delineate areas in which sharia law, rather than state law, applies. But the term helps them define those largely-Muslim neighborhoods whose residents tend to be radical and who often support jihadist movements both at home and abroad.
Combined, these events signal the increasing success of Islamists who are working to change Europe from within – sometimes through violence, but more often through strategies known as “stealth jihad” – a way of applying social and political pressures to transform the current culture.
Take, for instance, the response of Josias van Aartsen, mayor of The Hague, to radical Muslims who called for the death of Dutch non-Muslims and Jews during pro-IS rallies in August: then on holiday, Van Aartsen declined to return home, ignoring even the throwing of stones at non-Muslims and the police. Only when a counter demonstration against IS was planned in the same, Muslim-majority neighborhood did Van Aartsen take action: he forbade it. “Too provocative,” he said.
Or there are the recently-leaked intelligence briefs in France, as reported by the Gatestone Institute, that “Muslim students are effectively establishing an Islamic parallel society completely cut off from non-Muslim students,” while “more than 1000 French supermarkets, including major chains such as Carrefour, have been selling Islamic books that openly call for jihad and the killing of non-Muslims.”
In England, an “Operation Trojan Horse” outlined plans to Islamize schools in Muslim neighborhoods. According to the Guardian, a government investigation of the program last summer found a “‘sustained, coordinated agenda to impose segregationist attitudes and practices of a hardline, politicised strain of Sunni Islam’ on children in a number of Birmingham schools.” Among those responsible for the “Operation” were the Association of Muslim Schools – UK and the Muslim Council of Britain – the same organization that, in 2011, declared that women who do not veil their faces “could be guilty of rejecting Islam.”
Ironically, it seems to have been England’s own culture that allowed the rise of Islamist teachings in its schools to begin with. Even Britain’s education secretary Nicky Morgan admitted to the New York Times that much of the operation’s success could be attributed to public “fear of being accused of racism and anti-Islamic views.” Not for nothing did former Obama advisor Lawrence Krauss declare the British “too polite” and “scared of offending ‘vocal and aggressive Muslims.'”
The government’s discovery of “Operation Trojan Horse” and immediate efforts to dismantle it are commendable, but it is difficult to assess the damage already done to Muslim children in the British schools. By some accounts, as many as 2,000 Britons have joined the (Sunni-led) jihad in Syria and Iraq. That includes the man known as “Jihadi John,” who beheaded U.S. journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. And, experts warn, the number of so-called “junior jihadis” – children under 10 who have become radicalized – is on the rise.
Not that such warnings are likely to do much good: The UK has, until recently, spent tremendous resources on programs aimed at preventing Muslim youth from joining militant groups, which have for the most part failed. “Having undertaken the ‘most significant domestic program by any Western country to foster a moderate version of Islam and prevent radicalization, the UK has effectively given up trying to stop jihadists from being created,” James Brandon, the former research director at one such program, told Reuters.
Despite such developments, European lawmakers have had a hard time figuring out how to deal with Muslim radicals, especially with returnees from Syria and Iraq. England is hardly the only place where politicians fear “offending” the sensibilities of Muslim groups. Although an estimated 450 Germans have joined the jihad in Syria, German Green Party domestic policy expert Irene Mihalic told the magazine Der Spiegel in September that tougher counterterrorism laws were unnecessary because “there are already ‘sufficient levers available to impose bans and limitations’ on terrorists and their supporters.” Majority parties apparently disagreed. Later that month, Germany became the first country to fully outlaw IS, along with all expressions of support for the terrorist group, from banners and graffiti to public demonstrations and endorsements by local mosques.
Such has hardly been the case in Denmark, though, where unwillingness to “offend” or “provoke” the country’s Muslim community has translated into a program that seeks to rehabilitate returning jihadists, rather than imprison them. In the country that boasts the second-largest number (per capita) of Muslims to join jihadist groups, returnees receive generous handouts in the form of government assistance in finding homes and jobs, or tuition aid in order to continue their education. In addition, the rehab program “does not try to change the fundamentalist beliefs of the returning fighters – as long as they don’t advocate violence,” CNN reports.
Evidently pampering jihadists isn’t working very well: Danish intelligence recently warned that returnees from IS and Al Nusra camps now pose a “significant” threat to the country. One jihadist profiled by CNN said that he plans to return to Syria to rejoin the caliphate once he completes his Danish government-funded education.
Other European governments have been reluctant to prosecute those recruiting for ISIS and other terrorist groups – groups that are in effect encouraging people to commit murder. In December, Dutch courts declared a 20-year-old woman “not guilty” of recruiting women to join the jihad in Syria on the grounds that women in IS are not permitted to fight – and hence cannot be considered terrorists. In another case, 23-year-old “Imad al-O” was found guilty of helping a 16-year-old girl travel to Syria via Egypt. His sentence? Three months prison time and 240 hours of community service.
Through it all, “lone wolf” radicals continue their attacks in European cities, such as the Dec. 21 attack in Dijon by a man who drove a car into a crowd of pedestrians, claiming he was “acting for the children of Palestine.”
The attack “for the children of Palestine” occurred just as French officials determined to join Sweden in recognizing a Palestinian state – a kind of international version, you might say, of England’s decision to stop trying to keep Muslim youth from radicalizing and becoming warriors for Islam. Unlike Kickstarter potato salads, it’s a trend we can well leave behind as we move into the new year.
Abigail R. Esman, the author, most recently, of Radical State: How Jihad Is Winning Over Democracy in the West (Praeger, 2010), is a freelance writer based in New York and the Netherlands.
The Muslim population of France is now roughly 10% of the country’s total population of 66 million, the largest Muslim population in the EU.
by Soeren Kern:
The Muslim population of France reached an estimated 6.5 million in 2014. Although French law prohibits the collection of official statistics about the race or religion of its citizens, this estimate is based on several recent studies that attempt to calculate the number of people in France whose origins are from Muslim majority countries.
This implies that the Muslim population of France is now roughly 10% of the country’s total population of 66 million. In real terms, France has the largest Muslim population in the European Union.
Consequently, Islam was an ever-present topic in newspaper headlines during 2014. What follows is a chronological review of some of the main stories about the rise of Islam in France during 2014:
On January 1, Interior Minister Manuel Valls announced the most anticipated statistic of the year: a total of 1,067 cars and trucks were torched across France on New Year’s Eve, a “significant reduction” from the 1,193 vehicles that were burned during the annual ritual on the same holiday in 2013.
Car burnings, commonplace across France, are often attributed to rival Muslim gangs that compete with each other for the media spotlight over who can cause the most destruction. An estimated 40,000 cars are burned in France every year.
On January 6, two 15-year-old boys from the southern French city of Toulouse—home to Mohammed Merah, the Islamist who murdered seven people in and around the city in March 2012—ran away from home to become the youngest-ever European jihadists to join the fighting in Syria since the war there began in 2011.
During a press conference on January 14, French President François Hollande revealed that more than 700 French nationals and residents—more than twice that of previous estimates—have traveled to fight in Syria. On January 19, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said more than a dozen French nationals under the age of 18 are active as jihadists in Syria.
Meanwhile, a court in Versailles on January 8 convicted Cassandra Belin, a 20-year-old convert to Islam, for wearing a full-face Islamic veil in public, and threw out her bid to have the country’s burqa ban declared unconstitutional. She was also convicted of threatening three police officers at the time of her arrest, which sparked three days of rioting in the Parisian suburb of Trappes in July 2013. She was given a one-month suspended prison sentence for the clash with the police and a €150 ($200) fine for wearing the veil.
Finally, an Ipsos survey published on January 21 found that 66% of French people believe there are too many foreigners in France, and 59% believe “immigrants do not try hard enough to integrate.” According to the poll, 63% of French people think Islam “is not compatible with French values.”
Read more at Clarion Project
- France’s Attempt to Downplay Jihad Attack Unlikely to Convince (centerforsecuritypolicy.org)
by Soeren Kern:
There is a mounting public backlash over what many perceive as the government’s indifference to the growing influence of Islam in German society. This backlash represents a potentially significant turning point.
Despite efforts by German politicians and the media to portray PEGIDA as neo-Nazi, the group has taken great pains to distance itself from Germany’s extreme right. The group says that it is “apolitical” and that its main objective is to preserve what is left of Germany’s Judeo-Christian culture and values.
“Many people in Germany have legitimate concerns about the spread of radical Islamic ideology, which promotes violence against non-Muslims, robs women and girls of their natural rights, and seeks to require the application of Sharia law…. Because the rule of law, tolerance and freedom of religion are fundamental Western values, the PEGIDA movement must leave no doubt that it is precisely these values that it seeks to defend.” — Bernd Lucke, leader, Alternative for Germany Party and professor of macroeconomics, Hamburg University.
Thousands of German citizens have been taking to the streets to protest the growing “Islamization” of their country.
The protests are part of a burgeoning grassroots movement made up of ordinary citizens who are calling for an end to runaway immigration and the spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany.
The guardians of German multiculturalism are fighting back: they are seeking to delegitimize the protesters by branding them as “neo-Nazis” and by claiming that the Islamization of Germany is a myth contrived by misinformed citizens.
But there is a mounting public backlash over what many perceive as the government’s indifference to the growing influence of Islam in German society. This backlash represents a potentially significant turning point—one that implies that the days of unrestrained German multiculturalism may be coming to an end.
The latest protest took place in the eastern German city of Dresden on December 8, when more than 10,000 people defied freezing temperatures to express their displeasure with Germany’s lenient asylum policies.
Germany—which is facing an unprecedented influx of asylum seekers, including many from Muslim countries—is now the second most popular destination in the world for migrants, after the United States.
The Dresden protest was organized by a new citizens initiative, “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West,” better known by its German abbreviation, PEGIDA, short for “Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes.”
PEGIDA, which has been organizing so-called “evening walks” (Abendspaziergang) through downtown Dresden every Monday evening since October, has seen the number of protesters increase exponentially from week to week.
|PEGIDA on a Monday “evening walk” in Dresden, November 10, 2014. (Image source: Filmproduktionen video screenshot)|
Similar anti-Islamization protests have been held in the western German cities of Hannover, Kassel and Düsseldorf, where 400 people showed up on December 8 for demonstration organized by a PEGIDA offshoot, named DÜGIDA.
These protests are similar to, but separate from, other mass demonstrations organized in Cologne and other German cities by a group called Hooligans against Salafists, or HoGeSa.
PEGIDA was launched by Lutz Bachmann, a 41-year-old Dresden native with no background in politics, after government officials in the eastern German state of Saxony announced that they would be opening more than a dozen new shelters to house some 2,000 refugees.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
A new type of anti-immigration protest is sweeping across Germany, as thousands take to the streets against what they say is the growing “Islamisation” of the country.
The new protests, which began in the city of Dresden in the former East Germany, feature no neo-Nazi slogans and have nothing to do with the traditional far right.
Instead the demonstrators have adopted the old rallying call of the protests against the East German communist regime that brought down the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”. They say they want to preserve Germany’s Judeo-Christian Western culture.
The protests come as Bavaria’s ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) is seeking to distance itself from a draft proposal for its party conference which said that immigrants should speak German not only in public, but at home as well.
Germany is now the second most popular destination in the world for migrants, after the US, and the country is struggling to cope with an unprecedented influx of asylum-seekers.
While Angela Merkel’s government has made clear it will block any attempt by David Cameron to curtail freedom of movement within the EU, the German debate over immigration has focused on those coming from outside the bloc, and on Muslims in particular.
Thousands have defied sub-zero temperatures to join weekly marches each Monday in Dresden under the banner of Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of Europe, or Pegida.
The protests were started by a local man, Lutz Bachmann, with no background in politics. When he called his first demonstration in October, only a few hundred turned up, but the movement has snowballed, and last week 7,500 came.
Pegida has inspired similar movements across Germany. Though the numbers have not been as high as in Dresden so far, marches have been called in cities from Düsseldorf to Munich.
Demonstrations against Muslim immigration in Cologne earlier this year turned violent, but unlike the far-right groups and self-proclaimed “hooligans” behind those protests, Pegida insists its movement is peaceful.
It has run into opposition, though: last week a counter-demonstration by around 1,000 people succeeded in blocking Pegida’s way through Dresden, and in the city of Kassel, counter-demonstrators actually outnumbered those who marched against immigrants.
Critics contend that known neo-Nazis have infiltrated the protests, while Mr Bachmann, who has called for “zero tolerance for criminal immigrants”, was forced to acknowledge he “has a past”, after a local newspaper reported he has a lengthy criminal record of his own, including convictions for burglary and drug-dealing.
He has been at pains to stress that he is not opposed to genuine political refugees, only to economic migrants who “take advantage” of the German system, and has no problem with Islam but is worried about erosion of German culture.
Concerns for the German culture plunged Bavaria’s ruling CSU into its own controversy, after a draft proposal for the opening motion at the party conference called for immigrants to speak German at home.
“Whoever wants to live here permanently should be encouraged to speak German in public and within the family,” the draft said.
After a storm of criticism, including the Twitter hashtag YallaCSU, Arabic for “Let’s go, CSU”, and questions over how such a policy could possibly be enforced, Andreas Scheuer, the party’s general secretary, sought to limit the damage.
The proposal was only ever intended as “encouragement”, he said. “Obligation, nannying or control are out of the question.”