Long War Journal, by Caleb Weiss, July 1, 2017:
Al Muhajirun, a media organization linked to foreign jihadists in Syria, recently released a video highlighting the supposed degradation of Western society. The video offers insight into how jihadists, especially foreign jihadists, view the West.
The video, entitled “Fitra – The West – Behind the Mask”, details the Islamic idea of “fitra” which loosely correlates to “the human instinct.” This concept includes those instincts, such as compassion or believing in Tawhid (the oneness of God), which makes someone a good person in the eyes of Islam. The jihadist propaganda begins with a German fighter, identified as Andreas Muller, explaining the alleged situation of children, mothers, and the elderly in Europe.
“I began to notice the problems of that society when I was still young…It begins in the nurseries, or even before that….besides the lack of desire for children amongst [sic] most people there, abortions are a normal affair and totally accepted,” Muller states. As a result, he claims “Family ties and close relations, both of which are from the human fitra, is being destroyed gradually.”
The footage then proceeds to show alleged abuse of elderly people in nursing homes, as well as general abuse against people in Europe. The German jihadist fighter then pins the blame on Christianity in the West.
“Obviously there is a reason for all of that: the people of the West, due to their bad experience with the distorted Christianity of the church, are totally adverse to religion,” he states. “Rather that searching for credal [sic] errors in this distorted Christianity in the name of ‘enlightenment’ people were totally driven away from the belief in Allah.”
Large portions of the film are then dedicated to describing the education system in the West, particularly in Germany. According to Muller, the West has no need to “develop character” in people because of the teaching of evolution in primary schools. In addition, he spends several minutes describing how LGBT education destroys morals.
“However, who can be surprised by all of this,” Muller states, “when even the executive class – the politicians and educated among their society, are the ones who themselves announce their depraved behavior openly.” The video shows Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and his husband, former German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, and former White House social secretary Jeremy Bernard as so-called “evidence.”
Muller also discusses the role of drugs and alcohol in the suicide and divorce rates in the West. “People are degrading more and more, becoming people without morals or direction, simply selfish consumers.”
Toward the end of the video, the jihadist discusses an alleged conspiracy against Muslims in the West, particularly in Europe. This plot, according to Muller, feeds on and supports growing far-right sentiment in Europe. “Across all of Europe, they worked to increase pressure on Muslim women. Politicians and police attack the hijab.” Not only this, he states, but that Western governments openly support far-right attacks on Muslims to “produce enmity” between the general populace and Muslims.
The footage buttresses this argument by showing alleged crimes against Muslims by police and far-right groups in Europe, as well as military footage of bombings and firefights in the Middle East. “It is their spite against Islam. Millions of Muslims are slaughtered and no news is heard about them. They are annihilated by chemical weapons and no one is taken to account. However, when someone dies in the West the whole world stands up.”
An audio quote from Abdullah Azzam, the co-founder of al Qaeda, then plays. “The Western society is one that is quite dull, in every sense of the word. Imagine that the church in some places that a woman can marry another woman and a man can marry another man! Such evil! An evil, wasted society! Because of this, separation from the disbelievers, and not living with them, is something clearly intended in the Sharia and is supported by logic and emotion.”
This is a common argument of jihadist discourse in that the Islam practiced by jihadists is incompatible with Western society. Only when a Muslim lives under what they deem as “true Sharia” can a Muslim actually be free.
The end of the video includes a call to action to European Muslims to migrate to Syria and join jihadists there. “Without doubt, life under the authority of the kuffar [infidel] is a life of fitnah [tribulations]. It is a life of humiliation and there is no doubt that hijra [migration] is mandatory. Only the worship of hijra can allow the Muslims to live a free and noble life.”
Al Muhajirun is a jihadist media front in Syria that is affiliated to several al Qaeda-linked groups. In its first few videos, it even demonstrated a clear link to the then Al Nusrah Front, al Qaeda’s official branch in Syria. Al Muhajirun hopes to unite foreign fighters under one banner in addition to recruiting foreign fighters from the West. [See FDD’s Long War Journal report, Jihadist front established to represent foreign fighters in Syria.]