What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’?

MEF, by Burak Bekdil
BESA Center Perspectives
September 10, 2017

Originally published under the title “What’s on a Muslim Refugee’s Mind?”

The autumn of 2015 was unusual in almost every way on the north Aegean Greek island of Lesbos from which I am writing. There were tens of thousands of illegal migrants on the island, the native population of which was scarcely 100,000. New refugees arrived every day by the thousands.[1]

One evening, the blue-grey sky grumbled shortly after sunset. The thick clouds blackened and rain poured down over the city with a roar. As I ran across the slippery pavement into a friend’s bar, I heard a group of five poor souls speaking Persian with a Turkic accent and running amok, seeking shelter under the eaves of a building.

A quarter of an hour later I found them in front of my friend’s bar, totally soaked. I went out and asked them if they spoke English; they shook their heads. I asked them in Turkish if they spoke Turkish. With glittering eyes, three of them cheerfully said, “Evet!” [“Yes” in Turkish]. I told them they could come into the bar if they liked. They hesitated but politely declined. I asked if they needed food, water, or cigarettes.

The one with the most fluent Turkish stepped forward. He drew a pack of banknotes from his pocket and said, “If you really want to help, find us a hotel. The best, if possible. We have cash. Money is no problem. Find us a hotel and we’ll pay you a commission.” He explained that all the “damn” hotels on the island were full [of refugees] and they needed rooms.

I apologized and disappeared into the bar.

Why do millions of Muslims risk everything to reach a civilization they blame for all the world’s evils?

Nearly two years later, on a beautiful and cool summer evening, I met A. at a bar on the same island. A., a Syrian refugee, often spends his evenings bar-hopping with his Western friends. Those friends are mostly romantic European social workers who, I observed several times, sport t-shirts, bags, and laptops festooned with the Palestinian flag. They are on the island to help the unfortunate Muslim refugees who are fleeing war in their native countries.

“I’ll tell you strictly Muslim-to-Muslim,” A. said in good English after having poured down a few shots of whiskey. “These (European social workers) are funny guys. And they’re not just funny. They’re also silly. I don’t know why on earth they are in love with a Muslim cause that even some of us Muslims despise.”

Last year, three Afghans stopped in front of my house on the same island and asked for drinking water. I gave them three bottles and asked if they needed anything else. Coffee? They accepted and sat down in the garden chairs.

Over coffee, they said they were glad to be hosted “not by an infidel on this infidel island” but by a Muslim. The young Afghan who was dressed like a dancer from a cheap hip-hop clip on MTV said, “One day we good Muslims will conquer their infidel lands.” I asked why he was receiving “infidel” money for living. “It’s just halal,” he answered. “They [‘infidels’] are too easy to fool.”

M., another fluently English-speaking Syrian, gave me a long lecture on the wonderful governance of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “Turkey is the best country in the world!” M. said. ” Erdoğan is the leader of the ummah.” I asked why he had risked his life to cross illegally from the “best country in the world” to the “poor, infidel lands.” “I want to go to Europe to increase the Muslim population there,” he said. “I want to make a Muslim family there. I want to have plenty of children.” I reminded him that Greece, too, is a European country. No it’s not, he answered.

Almost all illegal migrants in Greece want to get to Germany, where they will be the best paid.

Almost all the illegal migrants on that and other Greek islands want to get to Germany, where they have heard from friends and relatives that they will be the best paid for being “poor” refugees. The cliché “the-poor-souls-are-fleeing-war-in-their-native-country” is becoming less and less convincing every day. True, most Syrians fled to Turkey after the start of civil war in their country. But why did they then risk their lives to squeeze into 12-man rubber boats with 40-50 other people, including children and the elderly? Because of war in Turkey?

No. Despite political instability and insecurity for all, there is technically no war in Turkey. It is a Muslim country whose mostly Muslim migrants want to leave it as soon as possible for non-Muslim Europe.

They reach the shores of the Greek islands, which are so beautiful that people from across the world fly there for their holidays. But the islands are not good enough. They want to go to Athens. Why? Because there is war on the Greek islands? No. It’s because Athens is the start of the exit route to the Balkans.

Apply the same logic to Serbia, Hungary, and Austria. Like Greece, none of those countries will be good enough for the refugees. Why not? Because there is war in Serbia or Hungary or Austria? Or because “my cousin tells me Germans pay the best?”

Turkey’s leaders often threaten Europe that they will “open the gates” and flood Europe with millions of refugees. They should ask themselves instead why those Muslim refugees are so eager to leave the “new Turkish empire” if given the chance. Why would they choose not to live a comfortable life in a powerful and peaceful Muslim country and instead flock to the “infidel” west?

Erdoğan blames the West for the tragedy. He has criticized the West for having taken only 250,000 Syrian refugees. In 2016, then Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members (the US, Russia, Britain, France, and China), should pay the price, not Syria’s [Muslim] neighbors.

It is ironic that millions of Muslims are trying, through dangerous means, to reach the borders of a civilization they have historically blamed for all the world’s evils, including those of their own countries. The “romantic” West does not question why millions of West-hating Muslims are heading in their direction. Or is it “Islamophobic” to point out that there is no war in Greece, Serbia, Hungary, or Austria?

Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based political analyst and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

[1] By the end of July 2017, the number of refugees and migrants in Greece waiting to be granted asylum or deported had fallen to 62,407. The five Aegean islands (Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros) are presently home to 15,222 asylum-seekers and migrants.

***

A year ago, screaming headlines spoke of an immigration crisis in Europe, caused by refugees fleeing the Middle East. You may not have heard much lately, about what was called the refugee crisis of 2016. Here’s a new headline: it hasn’t gone away. In fact, in some respects, it may be getting worse. Scott Thuman went to France, to examine the growing worry, over this new wave of refugees.

Science aims to destroy rational fear of Islamic invasion by drugging Europeans

Vlad Tepes Blog, by Eeyore, Sept. 17, 2017:

From the Daily Mail:

Giving people oxytocin alongside positive social pressure increases kindness toward refugees, even in those with a fear of foreigners, new research has found.

The hormone is released naturally by humans during social and sexual behaviour, and research has shown it breeds trust and generosity in others. 

Oxytocin, known as the love or ‘cuddle hormone’, together with being surrounded by charitable peers was found to boost people’s willingness to donate money to refugees in, even in those with a sceptical attitude toward migrants.

Yes, European authorities have combined George Orwell’s 1984 with Anthony Burgess’ A Clockwork Orange and are now working on drugging, not the dangerous thugs into becoming good citizens, but the good citizens into submitting to the dangerous thugs.

European Attacks Show the Difficulty in Tracking Soaring Terror Suspect Numbers

IPT News, by Patrick Dunleavy, September 18, 2017:

Three separate radical Islamic terror attacks took place Friday in Europe. The most serious was caused by an improvised explosive device (IED) placed on a London underground train in the Parsons Green station which injured more than 30 people.

Witnesses spoke of hearing a “whooshing” sound and then seeing a fireball coming at them from a plastic bucket that was placed unattended on the floor of the rush hour train. The device’s failure to completely detonate was credited with saving lives. “There is no doubt that this was a serious IED (improvised explosive device) and it was good fortune that it did so little damage,” said UK Interior Minister Amber Rudd.

Two men, ages 18 and 21, are in custody. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Until the second suspect’s arrest Saturday night, Prime Minister Theresa May raised the terror threat level from severe to critical, meaning that future attacks may have been imminent.

As the number of terror attacks in Europe increases, the question arises whether current counter terrorism strategies are working. Issues such as immigrant vetting, watch lists, and de-radicalization continue to be critical components that require, upon closer examination, changes. At least one of those components failed in each attack.

This was the UK’s fifth terrorist attack this year. Other attacks targeted the Westminster Bridge, Manchester, Borough Market, and Finsbury Park. The terrorists have used knives, vehicles, and bombs to kill and injure both police and civilians.

These incidents have contributed to a 68 percent increase in terrorism arrests in the UK. Authorities say as many as 3,000 people are under active investigation with 20,000 more causing concerns about radicalization and terrorist leanings.

Former New York Police Counter Terrorism Director Mitch Silber believes that some of the UK’s previous counter terrorism and de-radicalization programs have been insufficient. “One of the things the UK will have to do is hire more intelligence analysts, police investigators, and staff in order to be better prepared to match up with the numbers that they are up against,” he said.

Similar statistics are also showing up in France, which suffered two more terror attacks on Friday. A man with a knife shouting “Allah Akbar” attacked a French soldier at the Paris Chatelet subway station. Then, two women in Chalon-sur-Saone were attackedby a man wielding a hammer. He also shouted, “Allah Akbar” as he assaulted the women, witnesses said.

This was the tenth terrorist attack in France this year. France’s terror watch list has more than 18,500 names on it, up from 15,000 a year ago.

So far, the United States has seen only a minimal number of terrorism attacks compared to the EU. In March, the FBI said it had as many as 1,000 open terrorism cases. Many of these involve people returning from Syria and Iraq or ISIS sympathizers. A third of those cases reportedly involve refugees.

The Bureau has also admitted that some of the people who carried out recent terrorist acts in the U.S. were “previously known to authorities.” That includes Orlando nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev, and would-be Garland, Texas shooter Elton Simpson.

People can become known to authorities in several ways. There may have been a prior allegation of radicalization, or an incident which caused federal or state law enforcement agencies to interview the subjects or their families. This creates a paper trail which may or may not be shared with other agencies.

We also have a watch list.

Managed by the National Counterterrorism Center’s Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment (TIDE) the terror threat list has more than 1 million names on it. Other federal and state agencies have their own “persons of interest” list. Their information sometimes is not shared because of small-minded administrators and long-standing turf wars. This was a problem prior to 9/11.

Yet there are indications this continues to be an issue. The FBI’s National Data Exchange program, initiated in 2008 to foster cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, still does not have full participation due to longstanding mistrust between the groups.

Any list is likely to include duplications and erroneous entries, but still the numbers are mind boggling. How do you keep track of more than 1 million potential suspects? It is critical to make resource sharing and information sharing priorities if the information contained on the lists is to be of any value in preventing future terror attacks.

It will require decisive action both from the congressional and executive branches. An agreement on how to properly vet individuals from countries ravaged by war or terrorist attacks seeking refugee status would help. A clear policy on what to do with people who commit terrorist acts would address the growing concern of what happens when someone who has been radicalized is released from prison.

If we do not address this issue sooner or later some that have been released will return to the battlefield. The environments where radicalization seem to thrive most – cyber chat rooms, websites, prisons and radical mosques – must be countered.

Otherwise we’re just fooling ourselves in to thinking we can avoid the surge in terror attacks that we see in Europe. As coordinated military action continues to squeeze ISIS and regain territory in the Middle East, it undoubtedly will increase its call for followers to carry out attacks in their home countries.

The U.S. will not be immune from the threat.

IPT Senior Fellow Patrick Dunleavy is the former Deputy Inspector General for New York State Department of Corrections and author of The Fertile Soil of Jihad. He currently teaches a class on terrorism for the United States Military Special Operations School.

Muslims Tell Europe: “One Day All This Will Be Ours”

Gatestone Institute, by Giulio Meotti, August 19, 2017

  • The Archbishop of Strasbourg Luc Ravel, nominated by Pope Francis in February, just declared that “Muslim believers know very well that their fertility is such today, that they call it… the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way: One day all this, all this will be ours…”.
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán just warned against a “Muslimized Europe”. According to him, “the question of the upcoming decades is whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans”.
  • “In the coming 30 years, the number of Africans will grow by more than one billion people. That is twice the population of the entire European Union… The demographic pressure will be enormous. Last year, more than 180,000 people crossed in shabby boats from Libya. And this is just the beginning. According to EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, at this very moment, 3 million migrants are waiting to enter Europe”. — Geert Wilders, MP, The Netherlands, and leader of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (PVV).

This week, yet another Islamic terrorist attack targeted the Spanish city of Barcelona. As it was for many years under Muslim rule, it is, therefore, like Israel, land which many Islamists believe they are entitled to repossess.

At the same time, far from Spain, elementary schools have been closing, shuttered by the state after the number of children dropped to less than 10% of the population. The government is converting these structures into hospices, providing care for the elderly in a country where 40% of the people are 65 or older. That is not a science-fiction novel. That is Japan, the world’s oldest and most sterile nation, where there is a popular expression: “ghost civilization“.

According to Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, by 2040 most of the country’s smaller cities will see a dramatic drop of one-third to one-half of their population. Due to a dramatic demographic decrease, many Japanese councils can no longer operate and have been closed. Restaurants have decreased from 850,000 in 1990 to 350,000 today, pointing to a “drying up of vitality”. Predictions also suggest that in 15 years, Japan will have 20 million empty houses. Is that also the future of Europe?

Among the experts in demography, there is a tendency to call Europe “the new Japan“. Japan, however, is dealing with this demographic catastrophe with its own resources, and banning Muslim immigration to the country.

“Europe is committing demographic suicide, systematically depopulating itself in what British historian Niall Ferguson has called “the greatest sustained reduction in European population since the Black Death in the fourteenth century'”, as George Weigel recently noted.

Europe’s Muslims appear to be dreaming of filling this vacuum. The Archbishop of Strasbourg, Luc Ravel, nominated by Pope Francis in February, recently declared that “Muslim believers know very well that their fertility is such today, that they call it … the Great Replacement. They tell you in a very calm, very positive way: ‘One day all this, all this will be ours’ …”.

A new report by the Italian think tank Centro Machiavelli just revealed that if current trends continue, by 2065 first- and second-generation immigrants will exceed 22 million persons, or more than 40% of Italy’s total population. In Germany, as well, 36% of children under the age of five are being born to immigrant parents. In 13 of the 28 EU member countries, more people died than were born last year; without migration, the populations of Germany and Italy are expected to decline by 18% and 16%, respectively.

The impact of demographic free-fall is most visible in what was once called the “new Europe”, the countries of the former Soviet bloc such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, to distinguish these from the so called “old Europe”, France and Germany. Those Eastern countries are now the ones most exposed to the “depopulation bomb”, the devastating collapse in birth rate that the current-events analyst and author Mark Steyn has called “the biggest issue of our time“.

The New York Times asked why, “despite shrinking population, Eastern Europe resists accepting migrants”. The shrinking demography is precisely the reason they fear being replaced by migrants. In addition, much of Eastern Europe has already experienced being occupied by Muslims for hundreds of years under the Ottoman Empire, and are all too well aware what would be in store for them were they to come there again. Aging countries fear the antipathetic values sure to appear if there were a replacement by the current young foreign population.

“There are two distinct views in Europe today to consider [regarding the decline and aging of the population]”, Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently said. “One of these is held by those who want to address Europe’s demographic problems through immigration. And there is another view, held by Central Europe – and, within it, Hungary. Our view is that we must solve our demographic problems by relying on our own resources and mobilising our own reserves, and – let us acknowledge it – by renewing ourselves spiritually”. Orbán just warned against a “Muslimized Europe”. According to him, “the question of the upcoming decades is whether Europe will continue to belong to Europeans”.

Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orbán recently said: “Our view is that we must solve our demographic problems by relying on our own resources and mobilising our own reserves, and… by renewing ourselves spiritually”. (Image source: David Plas/Wikimedia Commons)

Africa is also pressing Europe with a demographic time bomb. According to Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders:

“In the coming 30 years, the number of Africans will grow by more than one billion people. That is twice the population of the entire European Union… The demographic pressure will be enormous. One-third of the Africans want to move abroad, and many want to come to Europe. Last year, over 180,000 people crossed in shabby boats from Libya. And this is just the beginning. According to EU Commissioner Avramopoulos, at his very moment, 3 million migrants are waiting to enter Europe”.

Eastern Europe is thinning out. Demography has even become a problem for Europe’s security. There are fewer people to serve in Europe’s military and social welfare posts. The President of Bulgaria, Georgi Parvanov, has, in fact, called on the country’s leaders to attend a meeting of the national Consultative Committee entirely devoted to the problem of national security. Once Eastern European countries feared Soviet tanks; now, they fear empty cradles.

The United Nations estimated that there were about 292 million people in Eastern Europe last year, 18 million fewer than in the early 1990s. The number is equivalent to the disappearance of the entire population of the Netherlands.

The Financial Times had called this situation in Eastern Europe “the largest loss of population in modern history”. Its population is shrinking as has no other before. Not even the Second World War, with its massacres, deportations and population movements, had come to that abyss.

Orbán’s way — dealing with a demographic decline using the country’s own resources — is the only way for Europe to avoid Archbishop’s Ravel’s prediction of a “great replacement”. Mass immigration will most likely fill those empty cradles — but Europe will then become also just a becomes a “ghost civilization”; it is just a different kind of suicide.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

APPENDIX

Romania will lose 22% of its population by 2050, followed by Moldova (20%), Latvia (19%), Lithuania (17%), Croatia (16%) and Hungary (16%). Romania, Bulgaria and Ukraine are the countries where the population decline will be most severe. Poland‘s population is estimated to decrease by 2050 to 32 million from the current 38 million. Nearly 200 schools have closed, but there are enough children to fill the remaining ones.

In Central Europe, the proportion of “over 65s” increased by more than one-third between 1990 and 2010. The Hungarian population is at its lowest point in half a century. The number of people fell from 10,709,000 in 1980 to the current 9,986,000 million. In 2050, there will be fewer than 8 million people in Hungary; and one in three will be over the age of 65. Hungary today has a fertility rate of 1.5 children per woman. If you exclude the Roma population, this figure drops to 0.8, the lowest in the world — the reason Prime Minister Orbán announced new measures to solve the demographic crisis.

Bulgaria will have the fastest population decline in the world between 2015 and 2050. Bulgaria is part of a group that is expected to decrease by more than 15% between 2015 to 2050, along with Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Hungary, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Serbia and Ukraine. Bulgaria’s population of about 7.15 million people is estimated to fall to 5.15 million in 30 years — a decline of 27.9%.

Official figures show that 178,000 babies were born in Romania. By comparison, in 1990, the first post-Communist year, there were 315,000 births. Croatia last year had 32,000 births, a decline of 20% from 2015. The depopulation of Croatia could come to more than 50,000 people each year.

When the Czech Republic was part of the Communist bloc (as part of Czechoslovakia), its total fertility rate was conveniently close to the replacement rate (2.1). Today it is the fifth most barren country in the world. Slovenia has the highest GDP per capita in Eastern Europe, but an extremely low fertility rate.

Barcelona Terror Cell Originally Planned to Target Sagrada Familia Cathedral With Massive Truck Bomb

(Wikimedia Commons)

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, Aug. 20, 2017:

The terror cell that struck Barcelona on Thursday originally intended to target the city’s famed Sagrada Familia cathedral with a massive truck bomb, as investigators have revealed they’ve discovered 120 gas canisters that are believed to have been intended for the attack.

Meanwhile, the names and stories of the victims killed in the terror attack continue to be revealed, including confirmation earlier today that 7-year-old Australian boy Julian Cadman was among those murdered.

Investigators are focusing on the role of a Moroccan imam, Abdelbaki Es Satty, who is believed to be the brains behind the terror cell and served in the mosque attended by the other terror cell members.

Meanwhile, a manhunt for one of the remaining cell members who may have been behind the wheel of the van that drove through the Las Ramblas shopping district has now spread to France.

Regarding the targeting of the Sagrada Familia, The Local reported:

Police believe that the jihadist cell responsible for the attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils that left 14 dead and more than 100 injured were originally planning something much bigger involving Barcelona’s most emblematic tourist sites.

The terrorists planned to inflict as much carnage as possible by driving vans packed with explosives into three of the city’s busiest tourist areas, according to a report in  Spanish online newspaper El Español on Saturday.

The newspaper cites police sources with information that one of the targets was Gaudi’s as yet unfinished masterpiece, the towering basilica of the Sagrada Familia.

As the most visited monument in Spain attracting more than four million visitors last year, the Catholic site is thronged with tourist crowds with queues of dozens of people snaking across the forecourt to gain entry, while thousands more linger outside to admire its spires.

Reports said that Las Ramblas was the second objective and that the busy port area, which each day welcomes hundreds of visitors disembarking from cruise ships, may have been the third target.

The plans of the terror cell were apparently derailed after the explosion Wednesday of the safe house in Alcanar an hour south of Barcelona, where the terrorists were apparently building the vehicle bombs and where they had stored the gas canisters and the explosive TATP.

One of those killed in that blast is believed to be imam Abdelbaki Es Satty, who has become the one of the primary subjects of the investigation.

El Pais reported earlier today:

Two months ago, Abdelbaki told several acquaintances he was giving up his duties as an imam and moving to Morocco. A new imam was not named – all such changes must be communicated to the regional government – and since then worshippers with the Annour community have been leading their own prayers.

The strange disappearance of the imam coincides with the period during which the terrorist cell began to prepare an attack, or a number of attacks, involving a large explosive device in Barcelona. Although the timeline is not firmly established, the head of the Mossos d’Esquadra, Josep Lluís Trapero, explained the group had spent a “certain length of time” on those preparations […]

The role of the religious leader in the attacks is still to be clarified – not just in terms of the radicalization of cell members but also in terms of logistical preparation. “We can’t compromise evidence or leads, or give unreliable information,” said Mossos d’Esquadra spokesperson Albert Oliva on Saturday, adding that police had carried out nine searches in Ripoll alone that day.

Whether the members of the cell were radicalized by Abdelbaki or in another way, they quickly become ready and able to act. None of them had previous convictions for terrorism crimes nor did they feature on police databases. “They are very young,” stressed Catalan regional police chief Trapero.

Es Satty reportedly had contact with members of the terror cell that conducted the March 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed 193 — still the largest Islamic terror attack in modern European history.

French authorities are now on alert as they believe that one of the remaining terror cell members still at large may have crossed over into France.

Read more

Also see:

Raw Exposure: Leftwing–Islamic Alliance Fabricated Europe’s Migration Crisis

Ggia/Wikimedia Commons

The American Spectator, by Victor Gaeten,  August 1, 2017

Germany’s Refugee-Driven Terror Problem Out of Control After a Dozen Incidents Since Jan 2016

PJ Media, by Patrick Poole, July 29, 2017:

Yesterday it was Hamburg. Today or tomorrow it could be anywhere else in Germany.

As I chronicle below, there have been a dozen terror-related incidents in Germany since January 2016, indicating that the problem may be at a tipping point as the number of fatal terror attacks in Western Europe has exploded in just the past few years.

And much of the recent problem is refugee-driven.

The attacker who killed one and injured seven at a supermarket in Hamburg Friday while shouting “Allah akbhar” was a Palestinian born in the UAE who was in the country illegally and was scheduled for deportation.

He entered the country in 2015 during the massive rush of Syrian migrants, during which 900,000 entered the country.

Video taken at the scene of yesterday’s attack shows him fending off bystanders who subdued him and being taken under arrest by police:

Local media reported that the attacker was an Islamist already known to German authorities:

With parliamentary elections looming in September, the Hamburg attack reopens the debate in Germany about Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to let more than a million immigrants enter the country since the summer of 2015.

Hamburg Mayor Olaf Scholz lashed out on Facebook yesterday, noting that the attacker had been welcomed in Germany, only to “direct his hatred towards us.” He also called for deporting any dangerous immigrant Islamists.

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