European Court Orders EU Countries to Take Migrants

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren  Kern, Sept. 7, 2017:

  • The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the EU’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized.
  • Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia.
  • “Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? If we lose sight of this, the idea of Europe could become a minority interest in its own continent.” — Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán.

The European Union’s highest court has rejected a complaint by Hungary and Slovakia over the legality of the bloc’s mandatory refugee quota program, which requires EU member states to admit tens of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that the European Commission, the powerful executive arm of the European Union, has the legal right to order EU member states to take in so-called asylum seekers, and, conversely, that EU member states have no legal right to resist those orders.

The September 6 ruling, which has been hailed as a victory for European federalism, highlights the degree to which the European Union has usurped decision-making powers from its 28 member states. The ruling also showcases how the European Union’s organs of jurisprudence have become politicized.

Opponents of the relocation scheme say that decisions about the granting of residence permits should be kept at the national level, and that by unilaterally imposing migrant quotas on EU member states, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels are seeking to force the democratically elected leaders of Europe to submit to their diktat.

The dispute dates back to September 2015, when, at the height of Europe’s migration crisis, EU member states narrowly voted to relocate 120,000 “refugees” from Italy and Greece to other parts of the bloc. This number was in addition to a July 2015 plan to redistribute 40,000 migrants from Italy and Greece.

Of the 160,000 migrants to be “shared,” nine countries in Central and Eastern Europe were ordered to take in around 15,000 migrants. Although the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia voted against the agreement, they were still required to comply.

Since then, several states have refused to accept their assigned quotas of migrants. Poland, for example, has a quota of 6,182 migrants, not one of whom has been admitted. The Czech Republic has a quota of 2,691 migrants, of whom only 12 have been taken. Hungary has a quota of 1,294, none of whom has been admitted.

In the EU as a whole, so far only around 25,000 migrants have been relocated (7,873 from Italy and 16,803 from Greece), according to the EU’s latest relocation and resettlement report, published on July 26, 2017. Of the 28 EU member states, only Latvia and Malta have taken in their full quotas — a combined total of 469 migrants.

Many so-called asylum seekers have refused to relocate to Central and Eastern Europe because the financial benefits there are not as generous as in France, Germany or Scandinavia. Hundreds of migrants who have been relocated to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, which rank among the poorest countries in the EU, have since fled to Germany and other wealthier countries in the bloc.

Hungary and Slovakia, backed by Poland, argued that the European Union broke its own rules and exceeded its powers when it approved the quota system with a “qualified majority” — around two thirds of the bloc’s members. They also argued that the relocation scheme is a direct violation of the European Union’s Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach.

The European Court of Justice ruled that a qualified majority vote was sufficient because the EU “was not required to act unanimously when it adopted the contested decision.” The ruling, which did not mention the Dublin Regulation, concluded: “The mechanism actually contributes to enabling Greece and Italy to deal with the impact of the 2015 migration crisis and is proportionate.”

Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto called the court ruling “outrageous and irresponsible” and “contrary to the interests of the European nations, including Hungary.” He added: “The decision puts at risk the security of all of Europe and the future of all of Europe as well.”

Szijjarto vowed that Hungary would continue to challenge any attempts by the EU resettle migrants in Hungary without its approval. “The real battle is only just beginning,” he said, adding that the decision was political: “Politics has raped European law and values.”

Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico said that while he “respected” the court’s decision, his government’s opposition to the relocation plan “has not changed at all.” He added: “We will continue to work on having solidarity expressed in different ways other than forcing on us migrants from other countries that do not want to be here anyway.”

Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydło also was defiant: “I was convinced that the court would make such a decision, but this absolutely does not change the stance of the Polish government with respect to migration policy.”

After the ruling of the European Court of Justice that the EU has the legal right to order member states to take in so-called asylum seekers, and that member states have no right to resist those orders, Polish PM Beata Szydło was defiant, saying, “this absolutely does not change the stance of the Polish government with respect to migration policy.” (ECJ photo by Transparency International/Flickr; Szydło photo by Polish PM Chancellery)

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said that the ruling means Eastern European member states must abide by the refugee sharing scheme: “I always said to our Eastern European partners that it is right to clarify questions legally if there is doubt. But now we can expect all European partners to stick to the ruling and implement the agreements without delay.”

EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos welcomed the ECJ ruling: “ECJ confirms relocation scheme valid. Time to work in unity and implement solidarity in full.” He warned holdouts of legal action if they do not comply with the refugee obligations “in coming weeks.”

The European Commission has already initiated legal action against the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland for failing to take in their quotas of migrants. The so-called infringement procedure, which authorizes the Commission to sue member states that are considered to be in breach of their obligations under EU law, could lead to massive financial penalties.

The ECJ ruling and the continued threats from Brussels are likely to help Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orbán in his campaign for re-election in 2018. In a recent opinion survey, Orbán’s Fidesz party polled at 53%, followed by the nationalist Jobbik party, at 21%. He has said that his campaign platform would focus on boosting the economy, improving security and preserving national identity.

Orbán, who has emerged as the standard-bearer of European opposition to German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s “open-door” migration policy, has repeatedly warned that Muslim migrants are threatening Europe’s Christian identity:

“Let us not forget that those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims. This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity. Is it not worrying in itself that European Christianity is now barely able to keep Europe Christian? If we lose sight of this, the idea of Europe could become a minority interest in its own continent.”

At a September 3 campaign rally in the town of Kötcse, Orbán cited expert predictions that more than 60 million people are expected to make their way from Africa into Europe during the next 20 years — thereby pushing Europe’s Muslim population to above 20% by 2030. “The Islamization of Europe is real,” Orbán warned.

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Also see:

  • The Islamic Future of Europe (I tried to post this yesterday but there was a formatting error I couldn’t get rid of. Either that or the site was hacked because only an unrelated video would show up)

Europe’s Mass Migration: The Leaders vs. the Public

Gatestone Institute, by Douglas Murray, July 9, 2017:

  • “[T]he more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” — Bill Gates.
  • The annual survey of EU citizens, recently carried out by Project 28, found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from that consensus.
  • At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. German Chancellor Angela Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies.

Is Bill Gates a Nazi, racist, “Islamophobe” or fascist? As PG Wodehouse’s most famous butler would have said, “The eventuality would appear to be a remote one”. So far nobody in any position of influence has made such claims about the world’s largest philanthropist. Possibly — just possibly — something is changing in Europe.

In an interview published July 2 in the German paper Welt Am Sonntag, the co-founder of Microsoft addressed the ongoing European migration crisis. What he said was surprising:

“On the one hand you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.”

These words would be uncontroversial to the average citizen of Europe. The annual survey of EU citizens recently carried out by Project 28 found a unanimity on the issue of migration almost unequalled across an entire continent. The survey found, for instance, that 76% of the public across the EU believe that the EU’s handling of the migration crisis of recent years has been “poor”. There is not one country in the EU in which the majority of the public differs from this consensus. In countries such as Italy and Greece, which have been on the frontline of the crisis of recent years, that figure rockets up. In these countries, nine out of ten citizens think that the EU has handled the migrant crisis poorly.

How could they think otherwise? The German government’s 2015 announcement that normal asylum and border procedures were no longer in operation exacerbated an already disastrous situation. The populations of Germany and Sweden increased by 2% in one year alone because of that influx of migrants. These are monumental changes to happen at such a speed to any society.

Philanthropist and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said in an interview: “…you want to demonstrate generosity and take in refugees. But the more generous you are, the more word gets around about this — which in turn motivates more people to leave Africa. Germany cannot possibly take in the huge number of people who are wanting to make their way to Europe.” (Photo by World Economic Forum/Wikimedia Commons)

At the same time as the public has known that what the politicians are doing is unsustainable, there has been a vast effort to control what the European publics have been allowed to say. Chancellor Merkel went so far as to urge Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to limit posts on social media that were critical of her policies. This was just one example of a much wider trend. Across the continent, any private or public figure who dared to warn that importing so many people in such a disorganised manner was the origin of a catastrophe found themselves impugned with the darkest imaginable motives.

Even after the November 2015 terror attacks in Paris, and the discovery that members of the terror-cell had slipped in and out of Europe using the migrant routes, European leaders dismissed public concerns about the migration crisis. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker berated the public and the few politicians who opposed Merkel after the Paris attacks:

“I would invite those in Europe who try to change the migration agenda we have adopted – I would like to remind them to be serious about this and not to give in to these base reactions that I do not like.”

It is understandable that some humanitarian impulse might prevail during a period in which thousands of people were crossing the Mediterranean and many were drowning. Back then in 2015, at the height of the crisis, Bill Gates himself urged America to take in migrants at the levels that Germany was taking them in. Since then, however, Gates has noticed what most people who live in Europe have noticed — which is that while opening your country’s borders may have a short-term moral appeal, it causes a whole variety of long-term societal concerns.

It is these concerns — which the European public can see all around them, as well as on their newspapers’ front-pages — which lead the majority of the public across Europe to want the flow of migrants to be reduced. In his recent German newspaper interview, Bill Gates also expressed this sentiment — and starkly — saying, “Europe must make it more difficult for Africans to reach the continent via the current transit routes.”

All this is, of course, true. It is not possible for Europe to become the home for everyone and anyone in Africa, the Middle East or Far East who manages to cross a fairly narrow stretch of water. The people of Europe have known this for a long time. Some people — heavily criticised by the mainstream media and the political class — have even expressed this. But perhaps now that a measured and surely non-Nazi philanthropist such as Bill Gates has noticed it, something will change. It is probably too much to hope for that the Western European political class might actually listen to his advice. But might they at least rein in their disdain for the reasonable concerns of the general public?

Douglas Murray, British author, commentator and public affairs analyst, is based in London, England.

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Also see:

Europe: More Migrants Coming

Gatestone Institute, by Soeren Kern, May 5, 2017:

  • “In terms of public order and internal security, I simply need to know who is coming to our country.” — Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka.
  • Turkey appears determined to flood Europe with migrants either way: with Europe’s permission by means of visa-free travel, or without Europe’s permission, as retribution for failing to provide visa-free travel.
  • The migrants arriving in Italy are overwhelmingly economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Only a very small number appear to be legitimate asylum seekers or refugees fleeing warzones.
  • The director of the UN office in Geneva, Michael Møller, has warned that Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The European Union has called on its member states to lift border controls — introduced at the height of the migration crisis in September 2015 — within the next six months.

The return to open borders, which would allow for passport-free travel across the EU, comes at a time when the number of migrants crossing the Mediterranean continues to rise, and when Turkish authorities increasingly have been threatening to renege on a border deal that has lessened the flow of migrants from Turkey to Europe.

Critics say that lifting the border controls now could trigger another, even greater, migration crisis by encouraging potentially millions of new migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East to begin making their way to Europe. It would also allow jihadists to cross European borders undetected to carry out attacks when and where they wish.

At a press conference in Brussels on May 2, the EU Commissioner in charge of migration, Dimitris Avramopoulos, called on Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden — among the wealthiest and most sought after destinations in Europe for migrants — to phase out the temporary controls currently in place at their internal Schengen borders over the next six months.

The so-called Schengen Agreement, which took effect in March 1995, abolished many of the EU’s internal borders, enabling passport-free movement across most of the bloc. The Schengen Agreement, along with the single European currency, are fundamental pillars of the European Union and essential building-blocks for constructing a United States of Europe. With the long-term sustainability of the single currency and open borders in question, advocates of European federalism are keen to preserve both.

Avramopoulos, who argued that border controls are “not in the European spirit of solidarity and cooperation,” said:

“The time has come to take the last concrete steps to gradually return to a normal functioning of the Schengen Area. This is our goal, and it remains unchanged. A fully functioning Schengen area, free from internal border controls. Schengen is one of the greatest achievements of the European project. We must do everything to protect it.”

The temporary border controls were established in September 2015, after hundreds of thousands of migrants arrived in Europe, and when EU member states, led by Germany, gave special permission to some EU countries to impose emergency controls for up to two years. Since then, the European Union has approved six-month extensions of controls at the German-Austrian border, at Austria’s frontiers with Hungary and Slovenia and at Danish, Swedish and Norwegian borders (Norway is a member of Schengen but not the EU). Several countries have argued that they need border controls to combat the threat of Islamic militancy.

On May 2, Sweden, which claims to conduct the most border checks among the EU countries, announced that it will lift controls at its border with Denmark. Sweden received 81,000 asylum seekers in 2014; 163,000 in 2015; 29,000 in 2016, and the same is expected for 2017.

On April 26, Austria called for an indefinite extension of border controls. “In terms of public order and internal security, I simply need to know who is coming to our country,” Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said. Austria, which accepted some 90,000 migrants in 2015, also called for a “postponement” of the EU refugee distribution program, which requires EU member states to accept a mandatory and proportional distribution of asylum-seekers who arrive in other member nations.

On March 9, Norway extended border controls for another three months.

On January 26, Denmark extended border controls for another four months. Integration Minister Inger Støjberg said that his government would extend its border controls “until European borders are under control.”

On January 19, Germany and Austria announced that border controls between their countries would continue indefinitely, “as long as the EU external border is not adequately protected.”

Meanwhile, the number of migrants making their way to Europe is once again trending higher. Of the 30,465 migrants who reached Europe during the first quarter of 2017, 24,292 (80%) arrived in Italy, 4,407 arrived in Greece, 1,510 arrived in Spain and 256 arrived in Bulgaria, according to the International Office for Migration (IOM).

By way of comparison, the number of arrivals to Europe during each of the first three months of 2017 exceeded those who arrived during the same time period in 2015, the year in which migration to Europe reached unprecedented levels.

The trend is expected to continue throughout 2017. Better weather is already bringing about a surge of migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea from Libya to Europe. During just one week in April, for example, a total of 9,661 migrants reached the shores of Italy.

The migrants arriving there are overwhelmingly economic migrants seeking a better life in Europe. Only a very small number appear to be legitimate asylum seekers or refugees fleeing warzones. According to the IOM, the migrants who reached Italy during the first three months of 2017 are, in descending order, from: Guinea, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Senegal, Morocco, Mali, Somalia and Eritrea.

In February, Italy reached a deal with the UN-backed government in Tripoli to hold migrants in camps in Libya in exchange for money to fight human traffickers. The agreement was endorsed by both the European Union and Germany.

On May 2, however, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel reversed course by saying the deal ignored the “catastrophic conditions” in Libya and would not curb migration. He said that Germany now favored tackling migration by fighting instability in Africa:

“What we are trying instead is to help stabilize the countries on the continent. But that is difficult. We will have to show staying power, stamina and patience. This is in the interest of Africans but also in the interest of Europeans.”

Gabriel’s long-term solution — which in the best of circumstances could take decades to bear fruit — implies that mass migration from Africa to Europe will continue unabated for many years to come.

Italy has emerged as Europe’s main point of entry for migrants largely because of an agreement the European Union signed with Turkey in March 2016 to stem migration from Turkey to Greece. In recent weeks, however, Turkish authorities have threatened to back out of the deal because, according to them, the EU has failed to honor its end of the bargain.

Under the agreement, the EU pledged to pay Turkey €3 billion ($3.4 billion), as well as grant visa-free travel to Europe for Turkey’s 78 million citizens, and to restart accession talks for Turkey to join the bloc. In exchange, Turkey agreed to take back all migrants and refugees who reach Greece via Turkey.

After the deal was reached, the number of migrants reaching Greece dropped sharply, although not completely. According to data supplied by the European Union on April 12, a total of 30,565 migrants reached Greece since the migrant deal took effect. Only 944 of those migrants have been returned to Turkey. Still, this is in sharp contrast to the hundreds of thousands of migrants who entered Greece at the height of the migration crisis. Turkey’s continued cooperation is essential to keep the migration floodgates closed.

On April 22, Turkey’s Minister for EU Affairs, Ömer Çelik, issued an ultimatum, warning the European Union that if it does not grant Turkish citizens visa-free travel by the end of May, Turkey would suspend the migrant deal and flood Europe with migrants.

On March 17, Turkey’s Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu warned that his country would “blow the mind” of Europe and renege on the deal by sending 15,000 Syrian refugees a month to Europe:

“We have a readmission deal. I’m telling you Europe, do you have that courage? If you want, we’ll send the 15,000 refugees to you that we don’t send each month and blow your mind. You have to keep in mind that you can’t design a game in this region apart from Turkey.”

In February 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had already threatened to send millions of migrants to Europe. “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” he told European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker. In a speech, he signaled that he was running out of patience:

“We do not have the word ‘idiot’ written on our foreheads. We will be patient, but we will do what we have to. Don’t think that the planes and the buses are there for nothing.”

In February 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (left) threatened to send millions of migrants to Europe. “We can open the doors to Greece and Bulgaria anytime and we can put the refugees on buses,” he told Jean-Claude Juncker (right), President of the European Commission. (Image source: Turkish President’s Office)

European officials say that to qualify for the visa waiver, Turkey must meet 72 conditions, including the most important one: relaxing its stringent anti-terrorism laws, which are being used to silence critics of Erdoğan, especially since the failed coup in July 2016. Turkey has vowed not to comply with the EU’s demands.

Critics of visa liberalization fear that millions of Turkish nationals may end up migrating to Europe. The Austrian newsmagazine, Wochenblick, recently reported that 11 million Turks are living in poverty and “many of them are dreaming of moving to central Europe.”

Other analysts believe Erdoğan views the visa waiver as an opportunity to “export” Turkey’s “Kurdish Problem” to Germany. According to Bavarian Finance Minister Markus Söder, millions of Kurds are poised to take advantage of the visa waiver to flee to Germany to escape persecution at the hands of Erdoğan: “We are importing an internal Turkish conflict,” he warned. “In the end, fewer migrants may arrive by boat, but more will arrive by airplane.”

The European Union now finds itself in a Catch-22 situation. Turkey appears determined to flood Europe with migrants either way: with Europe’s permission by means of visa-free travel, or without Europe’s permission, as retribution for failing to provide visa-free travel.

Greek officials recently revealed that they have drawn up emergency plans to cope with a new migrant crisis. Turkey is hosting some three million migrants from Syria and Iraq, many of whom are presumably waiting for an opportunity to flee to Europe.

Italy is also bracing for the worst. Up to a million people, mainly from Bangladesh, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Syria are now in Libya waiting to cross the Mediterranean Sea, according to the IOM.

The director of the United Nations office in Geneva, Michael Møller, has warned that Europe must prepare for the arrival of millions more migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. In an interview with The Times, Møller, a Dane, said:

“What we have been seeing is one of the biggest human migrations in history. And it’s just going to accelerate. Young people all have cellphones and they can see what’s happening in other parts of the world, and that acts as a magnet.”

German Development Minister Gerd Müller has echoed that warning:

“The biggest migration movements are still ahead: Africa’s population will double in the next decades. A country like Egypt will grow to 100 million people, Nigeria to 400 million. In our digital age with the internet and mobile phones, everyone knows about our prosperity and lifestyle.”

Müller added that only 10% of those currently on the move have reached Europe: “Eight to ten million migrants are still on the way.”

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Europe Braces for Post-Mosul Jihadi Onslaught

IPT, by John Rossomando  •  Oct 18, 2016

European leaders fear onslaught of jihadists fleeing from Mosul after Iraq’s government and its allies kick ISIS out of the city.

Last year’s Paris attacks and the Brussels attacks in March brought heightened awareness that ISIS established an underground network to move jihadis in and out of Europe at will. Thousands of European nationals traveled to Syria and Iraq to wage jihad for ISIS. An estimated 2,500 Europeans still belong to ISIS’s fighting force.

“The retaking of (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s) northern Iraq stronghold, Mosul, may lead to the return to Europe of violent (ISIS) fighters,” European Union Security Commissioner Julian King told The (London) Telegraph. “This is a very serious threat and we must be prepared to face it.”

Iraqi forces, together with Iranian-backed Shiite militia and Kurdish pershmerga, aim to deal a deathblow to ISIS’s caliphate in Mosul.

It is a day ISIS anticipated. In an online publication last December called Black Flags From the Islamic State, ISIS vowed to continue its fight.

“If they win this battle, they will capture a lot (sic) of weapons, and their soldiers morale will be boosted. Now they will have control over land and will be able to train more people to fight the enemy. If they continue the fight, they will keep winning, but if they start to lose and give up, their leadership will hide in the deserts and mountains again, only to start the: Lone wolf -> Clandestine Cells -> Insurgency -> Army technique, all over again,” Black Flags From the Islamic State promised.

Jihadis without a home base pose a direct threat to Europe and menace security officials around the world, warned Raffaello Pantucci, director of the International Security studies at the Royal United Services Institute.

This especially concerns France, which suffered the Paris attacks last November that claimed 130 lives at the hands of ISIS jihadis who fought in Syria. An estimated 400 French nationals are still fighting jihad in warzones.

The number of returnees on watch lists has overstretched European security services, just as ISIS hoped. More than 10 officers try to monitor each returnee around the clock.

“We’ve had hundreds returned to our country [UK.] Some estimates say it’s a thousand. We can’t monitor the people that are here. So, it is really important that they sit round the table, because there are potentially 9,000 ISIS jihadists sitting in Mosul at the moment, who are also looking to move across,” European Parliament member Janice Atkinson told Russia Today.

The conflict against ISIS is moving into a new, unpredictable phase that has Europe on edge worrying about what comes next.

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With The Terror Threat Growing, Europe Changes Course

Europe mapby Abigail R. Esman
Special to IPT News
August 31, 2016

Sixteen years ago, when Dutch commentator Paul Scheffer published his “Multicultural Drama” declaring that multiculturalism in the Netherlands had failed, the response was swift and angry. Critics across Europe called him racist, bigoted, nationalistic. Others dismissed his views as mere rants and ramblings of a Leftist in search of a cause.

Not anymore.

With over 275 people killed in 10 Islamic terrorist attacks since January 2015, Europeans harbor no more illusions about the multiculturalist vision: where immigrants from Muslim countries are concerned, that idealist vision has more than just failed. It has produced a culture of hatred, fear, and unrelenting danger. Now, with European Muslim youth radicalizing at an unprecedented rate and the threat of new terrorist attacks, Europe is reassessing its handling of Muslim communities and its counterterrorism strategies and laws.

Among the changes being considered are a reversal of laws that allow radical Muslims to receive handouts from the very governments they seek to destroy; restricting foreign funding of mosques; and stronger surveillance on private citizens.

Chief among the new counterterrorism approaches is a program to coordinate intelligence data among European Union countries – a tactic that has not been pursued with any regularity or such depth before now. But following the November attacks in Paris, the Dutch intelligence agency AIVD initiated weekly meetings among intel agencies from all EU countries, Switzerland, and Norway, with the objective of sharing information, exchanging new clues, insights, and suspect alerts, and discussing improvements to a Europe-wide system of counterterrorism and intelligence.

Through these meetings and the improved shared database, it is now possible for each country to contextualize its intelligence and understand links between individuals and various groups from one city to another – and so, between radicals and radical groups as they pass through a borderless EU.

Concurrently, EU members are now beginning to share information about web sites and even details about private citizens where needed. Most countries had been reluctant to make such exchanges, citing both privacy concerns and the need to protect their sources. Other cooperative efforts include an EU initiative begun in February 2015 to counteract Islamic extremist propaganda. The project received a major €400 million boost in June, indicating the high priority Europe now places on fighting recruitment.

Earlier this month, Europol began a new effort to screen refugees still awaiting placement in Greek asylum centers. According to a report from Europa Nu, an initiative between the European parliament and the University of Leiden, Europol agents “specifically trained to unmask and dismantle terrorists and terror networks” will be dispatched to the camps to try to prevent terrorists from infiltrating the flood of refugees to Europe.

Some EU measures, however, have been based more in politics than counterterrorism, including efforts to crack down on the ability of radical Muslims to benefit from welfare programs. British citizens, for instance, reacted with outrage when it was discovered that the family of “Jihadi John” had received over £400,000 in taxpayer support over the course of 20 years. In Belgium, Salah Abdeslam, the terrorist accused of participating in the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, pulled in nearly €19,000 in welfare benefits from January 2014 and October 2015, according to Elsevier. And Gatestone reports that more than 30 Danish jihadists received a total of €51,000 in unemployment benefits all while battling alongside the Islamic State in Syria.

Such concerns have also spread to the United States. Earlier this year, U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine, introduced the “No Welfare For Terrorists Act.”

“Terrorist victims and their families should never be forced to fund those who harmed them,” he said in a statement. “This bill guarantees this will never happen.”

But not all of Europe’s new approaches to the terror threat are being coordinated out of Brussels. Many more, in fact, are country-specific, such as England’s decision to follow an example set earlier by the Netherlands and Spain, separating jailed terrorists and terror suspects from other prisoners. The measures follow others the country adopted after the July 7, 2005 bombings of a London underground and buses, to criminalize “those who glorify terrorism, those involved in acts preparatory to terrorism, and those who advocate it without being directly involved,” the New York Times reported.

In fact, prisons worldwide, including in the U.S., have long been viewed as warm breeding grounds for radicals and potential terrorists. Ahmed Coulibaly, the gunman at the Porte de Vincennes siege in January 2015, was serving time for a bank robbery, for instance, when he met Cherif Koauachi, one of the Charlie Hebdo attackers. Both converted to Islam there. It was in that same prison that the two encountered Djamel Beghal, an al-Qaida operative who attempted to blow up the American Embassy in Paris in 2001.

Hence many experts now argue in favor of isolating those held on terrorism-related charges as a way to stop them from radicalizing their fellow inmates.

Yet British officials have until now resisted creating separate wings for terror suspects, arguing that doing so gives them “credibility” and makes it harder to rehabilitate them. But a recent government report on Islamist extremism in British prisons forced a change in thinking, in part by noting that “other prisoners – both Muslim and non-Muslim – serving sentences for crimes unrelated to terrorism are nonetheless vulnerable to radicalization by Islamist Extremists [sic].”

Similarly, France, the site of the worst attacks of the past two years, also balked at first at the idea of separating terrorists from other prisoners, arguing that doing so “forms a terrorist cell within a prison.” But the Charlie Hebdo attacks of January 2015 changed all that. Now, officials are even going further, looking at other potential sources of radicalization: the mosques.

Shortly after the Bastille Day attack in Nice, Prime Minister Manuel Valls announced plans to ban foreign financing for French mosques as part of an effort to establish a “French Islam,” led by imams trained only in France. France hosts dozens of foreign-financed mosques – many sponsored by Saudi Arabia and Morocco – which preach Salafism, an extreme version of Islam practiced in the Saudi Kingdom and the root of much radical Islamist ideology. And according to a new report on counter-radicalization, about 300 imams come from outside France.

That same report also calls for “regular surveys” of France’s 4-5 million Muslims, according to France 24, in order “to acquire a better understanding of this population in a country where statistics based on religious, ethnic, or racial criteria are banned.”

Both proposed measures have been met with resistance. The “surveys,” as even the report itself notes, are a means of circumventing laws against gathering information on the basis of religious criteria – and so, go against democratic principles. And many French officials also oppose the ban on foreign funding for mosques, arguing that French government intervention in places of worship contradicts separation between church and state. Besides, they claim, radicalization doesn’t take place there anyway.

But Dutch authorities and counter-extremism experts are not so sure. The announcement earlier this month that Qatar would finance an Islamic center in Rotterdam, for instance, set off alarms even among Muslim moderates, including Rotterdam’s Moroccan-born mayor Ahmed Marcouch. There are good reasons for this. The Salafist Eid Charity, which sponsors the project, has been on Israel’s terror list since 2008, according to Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. Moreover, in 2013 the U.S. Treasury Department accused the charity’s founder, Abd al-Rahman al-Nu’aymi, of providing funding for al-Qaida and its affiliates, and named him a “specially designated global terrorist.”

Plans for the center sound much like those of the now-abandoned plans for New York’s “Ground Zero mosque,” with sports facilities, prayer space, tutoring for students, Islamic child care, and, reports Dutch newspaper Volkskrant, imam training.

Yet the center’s prospective director, Arnoud van Doorn, a convert to Islam and former member of the far-right, anti-Islam political party PVV, insists that any fears about the project are unfounded. “Our organization has nothing to do with extremism,” he told the NRC. “We want only to provide a positive contribution to Dutch society.”

Notably, though, France’s proposal to ban foreign mosque funding and the Qatari backing of the Rotterdam center point to some of the deepest roots of Europe’s radical Islam problem, and, despite all the new initiatives now underway, the greatest challenges to ending it. When Muslim immigrants came to Europe in the 1970s, they carved prayer spaces wherever they could: the backs of community grocery stores, in restaurants and tea rooms. But these soon became too small to handle the growing Muslim population. Mosques – real mosques – would have to be built.

But by whom? The Muslim communities themselves were too poor. Western governments, wedded to the separation of church and state, could not subsidize them with taxpayer funds. And so the door was opened to foreign – mostly Saudi – investment, and the placement of Saudi-trained and Saudi-backed imams in European mosques. Europe had, in essence, rolled out the welcome mat for Salafism.

Now they want to roll it in again. But is it too late? Even as Western intelligence is now uniting to fight radical Islam, Islamic countries are pooling together in Europe to expand it. The result, as Manuel Valls told French daily Le Monde, is that, “What’s at stake is the republic. And our shield is democracy.”

Hence as the number attacks against Western targets increase, many Europeans are coming to understand that preserving the core of that democracy may mean disrupting some of the tenets on which it’s built, like certain elements of privacy, for instance, and religious principles that violate the freedom that we stand for . It is, as it were, a matter of destroying even healthy trees to save the forest. But in this tug-of-war between the Islamic world’s efforts to shape the West, and Western efforts to save itself, only our commitment to the very heart of our ideals will define who wins this fight.

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.

ESW: We Need to Reclaim Our Right to Speak Freely

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Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey, Aug. 28, 2016:

A week ago today, on August 21, the American Freedom Alliance sponsored a conference in Los Angeles, “Islam and Western Civilization: Can they Coexist?” One of the featured speakers was Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

Many thanks to Henrik Clausen for recording, and to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Judge Jeanine: ‘It’s Time to Take Our Country Back’

Fox News Insider, June 26, 2016:

On “Justice” last night, Judge Jeanine Pirro said the U.K.’s decision to leave the European Union is just the beginning of a worldwide revolution, and the next stop is the U.S.

“The world is changing, and all you elite establishment, ruling class, condescending Washington bigwigs, who think you know better than ordinary Americans, are out,” Judge Jeanine said. “Start packing. Your days are numbered.”

She said that millions of American citizens who are unhappy with the direction of the country will catapult Donald Trump into the White House.

“It’s time to take the country back,” Judge Jeanine said.

“Every week, I speak to you in front of a backdrop. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the American flag. It represents the spilled blood and treasure of those who gave up everything for this great nation. It stands for freedom, equality and justice. And I’m damn proud of it.”

Watch Judge Jeanine’s opening statement above and read a full transcript below.


What happened in England is going to happen again. Next stop: the United States. Next president: Donald J. Trump.

What happened in the U.K. is just the beginning. The world is changing, and all you elite establishment, ruling class, condescending Washington bigwigs who think you know better than ordinary Americans are out. Start packing. Your days are numbered.

I told you this election was a revolution – but even I didn’t know how big it would be.

It’s worldwide. The headlines scream it. The working class who toil everyday to pay their rent and put food on their families’ tables are tired of being lectured by the fat cats in Washington and Brussels who preach what we need and when we need it. The Brits in a monumental upset made their voices heard this week voting to exit the European Union. You know the place with open borders being overrun by immigrants as they watch their economies falter. Similarly, Americans fed up with this “we are the world” dance will catapult Donald Trump to the White House.

News flash: we don’t want an internationalist country, world banks, globalization of our economy, a country with no border and no identity. You are not allowed to change the identity of this country. Americans want a nation-state, our own country with a history of freedom combined with responsibility. And yet our proud history – even our money – is being rewritten to accommodate a new world view.

We are so beaten down by political correctness that most of us are numb to the surrender of America.

And as for those naysayers. The ones who say Donald Trump just can’t win, listen up: those naysayers in England, got it all wrong. Prime Minister Cameron got it all wrong you know-the one who criticized Donald trump for his temporary ban on Muslims… And now he’s out. Obama too got it all wrong– jetting to England as if he were the world’s dictator-telling the Brits what’s good for them. And while we’re at it– Hillary Clinton got it wrong on just about everything, except her bank account.

When the president of the United States – a country founded on Judeo Christian ethics – tells Christians at a prayer breakfast no less, to get off their high horse, after Christians get their heads cut off-not even willing to mention Islamic extremism when the president of the united states allows hordes of immigrants who’s names– let alone backgrounds – we don’t even know – as ISIS proudly announces they are infiltrating these refugees… When states are not even notified who the federal government is sending to live in their neighborhoods, flying in unknowns from central America and the middle east en masse, who demand Sharia law in place of American law – then we are in the wilderness, folks.

And I don’t want to hear that Americans need to be more humble that we need more humility that my free speech needs to be tamped down so as not to offend another’s’ religion.

Nowhere does our Constitution say we cannot say something about another’s religion. Nowhere does our Constitution say we cannot say anything that offends someone. And by the way nowhere does it say I can’t have a gun. Do not use our Constitution against us while you use the same Constitution to shield those who violate our laws, showering them with all the rights and benefits but none of the responsibilities.

When our president’s first response to an American getting his head cut off is to show up in a golf cart and then keep on golfing-when he and his attorney generals response to Americans being killed by Muslim terrorists is to stand up for Muslims, then it’s time to take our country back

And don’t tell me that to not take these people in is not who we are. I know who we are.

My grandfather was part of the greatest generation that stormed the beach in Normandy. My dad saw the plume in Nagasaki. And later died because of it. No. Don’t you preach to me. I know who we are and I know who I am. I am an unapologetic nationalist. I am an unapologetic American.

And that Statue of Liberty – give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses

We never had a problem taking them in from the beginning. We are the most generous country in the world. I’ve sworn in newly naturalized citizens for years and have never been more proud of America. But they have to do it legally. They have to swear allegiance to America, follow our laws, and not be exempt from arrest because of their illegal status, as they are in sanctuary cities.

Even the Supreme Court had to stop the president, who attempted to ban the deportation of four million illegals and give them an automatic right to work here.

When a man running for president proudly carries with him the sword of socialism and when a woman running for president accepts monies from countries that kill gays and stone women to death for her family’s so called charity, when their holdings are invested in the Cayman Islands, and her husband is middle man to some of the world’s biggest deals, as they feather their nest at the expense of America, it’s time to take the country back.

No, I don’t believe in globalization. I don’t believe in this international mumbo jumbo. I don’t believe in self-denigration. I believe in our nation-state. I believe in borders. And I believe in the law, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence that outlines the character of who we are. Every week, I speak to you in front of a backdrop. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the American flag. It represents the spilled blood and treasure of those who gave up everything for this great nation. It stands for freedom, equality and justice. And I’m damn proud of it.

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