Archive for the ‘Islam and democracy’ category

The Identity Crisis Fueling European Muslim Radicalization

June 7, 2017

The Identity Crisis Fueling European Muslim Radicalization, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, June 7, 2017

When tanks entered the streets of Istanbul and Ankara last summer in an attempt to overthrow the Turkish government, people swarmed the streets to fight them off. At the urging of their president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, they pushed back against the coup, some waving Turkish flags, others waving guns. “What else would you do?” A friend in Istanbul asked me some months later. “When your government and your country are attacked, you fight back. It’s to be expected.”

Less expected, however, were the crowds of Turkish-Europeans who also took to the streets in cities like Rotterdam, where dozens demonstrated on the city’s Erasmus Bridge, waving Turkish flags and, in some cases, crying out “Allahu Akbar.” For many non-Turkish Europeans, the action felt almost threatening: Were these people Turkish or European? Could they reasonably be both? Or did they represent a fifth column, aiming to overtake Europe from within?

In Holland, members of Leefbaar Rotterdam (Livable Rotterdam), the populist political party founded by the late Pim Fortuyn, determined to address the issue head-on. They held a public panel discussion last week to debate the question of who these demonstrators were: traitors? Dual citizens with torn allegiances? Could they be true to both their Turkish heritage and to the Dutch culture in which they were born and raised?

Left unspoken were the more pressing questions, the ones the non-Turks really meant: do Dutch Turks identify more with the Islamist policies and values of Erdogan and his regime, or with the secular Enlightenment, the democratic culture of the West? What, after all, to think of the fact that the vast majority of European Turks voted for Erdogan in the November 2015 elections, and again voted against democracy in Turkey’s April 16 referendum, which gave him virtually limitless powers until 2029?

While this particular debate took place in Rotterdam, once the home of the Renaissance humanist Erasmus, these questions have hovered over all of Europe since the 2004 terrorist attacks in Madrid and, even more, the 2005 attacks in London – and not only about the Turks, but about Muslim immigrants in general.

With Europe facing a near-continual onslaught of Islamist terrorist attacks often perpetrated by homegrown extremists, those questions feel more urgent than ever.

But both the issue and its urgency are far more complex than a matter of allegiance. For many second- and third-generation immigrant youth, especially those from Turkey and Morocco, it is also a matter of identity. As dark-skinned immigrants with names like Fatima and Mohammed, they are often discriminated against in their home countries. The values of their families and their religious leaders do not always mesh with the values of their communities and governments. But when they visit their cousins and grandparents in Anatolia and rural Morocco, they find they don’t fit in there, either.

Many counterterrorism experts maintain that this situation makes Muslim European youth especially vulnerable to radicalization and recruitment by terror groups. As Belgian-Palestinian jihad expert Montasser AIDe’emeh has noted of Belgian Moroccan extremists such as the Paris and Brussels attackers, “The Islamic State is giving them what the Belgian government can’t give them – identity, structure. They don’t feel Moroccan or Belgian. They don’t feel part of either society.” And speaking to PBS’s Judy Woodruff, Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study of Radicalization, observed that “the cause [of radicalization] is ultimately a conflict of identity. It is about second- or third-generation descendants of Muslim immigrants no longer feeling at home in their parents’ or grandparents’ culture, at the same time not being accepted into European societies.”

If this is true, then what to make of the Turkish-European dual citizens choosing, as most have, to support Erdogan’s Islamist policies while living in the liberal West? Are they integrated, assimilated, into the cultures in which they live, as most insisted during the Rotterdam debate? Or are they rather true to the norms of a Turkey that is becoming increasingly religious, turning increasingly eastward, and to a president who is gradually unraveling the secular Western vision of the republic’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk?

At the same time, does waving the Turkish flag when the country is attacked mean they are not actually Dutch? Should Dutch Jews not fly the flag of Israel, or Dutch-Americans have left their stars and stripes at home after 9/11?

“It’s more than just flags,” Ebru Umar, a Dutch-Turkish journalist who moderated last week’s event, explained in an e-mail. “The flags symbolize who they are…. They claim to be soldiers of Erdogan.” Hence, she said, “the people [demonstrating] on the [Erasmus] bridge were and are seen as not integrated. Ask them and they’ll answer they are integrated. And [yet] they tell you of course they adore Erdogan.” Indeed, she noted, they even stated it at the debate: “‘You can’t ask a child whom they love more: mum or dad.'”

It is a false equivalency, however. This is not about loving one parent more than another, but about accepting one of two opposing sets of values: those of secular democracies, or those of Islamist theocracies. There is no combining the two. There is no compromise.

Which is what makes these questions so very critical right now – not just for the Dutch, but for all Europeans, as they confront a complex, existential dilemma. Should they continue to alienate the growing population of young Muslims, and should those same young Muslims continue to resist assimilation, they will together be laying out the welcome mat for recruiters for jihad. But should Europe instead accept the Islamist leanings of those same Muslim youth, it will soon discover there was a fifth column after all – a movement to Islamize the West. And it will have succeeded.

Europe: Denying the Threat of Islamic Imperialism

May 11, 2017

Europe: Denying the Threat of Islamic Imperialism, Gatestone InstituteMaria Polizoidou, May 11, 2017

The UN report and Erdogan’s rhetoric both evidently expresses the Muslim world’s thoughts about what it apparently thinks should be the fate of Israel and Europe. So far, not a single Muslim state has condemned or opposed Erdogan’s aggression against Judeo-Christian civilization.

The enemy is already inside the gates; many European regimes seem unaware that there is even a threat.

The logic of much of Europe’s religious and political community seems to be that if the elephant in the room is spoken to nicely and made to look cute and adorable, people will not think of it as a threat to their safety.

The Western world can no longer ignore the latest elephant in the room: Islamic imperialism. Europe has gone so far as to hamper free speech on the subject, apparently preferring to put the safety of its citizens at risk over admitting that the elephant exists.

Meanwhile, Muslim countries make not the slightest effort to hide their intentions, as recent actions of 18 such states at the United Nations illustrate. They cooperated in the preparation of the report released in March by the U.N. Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UNESCWA), which accused Israel of “the crime of apartheid,” despite knowing full well that such a baseless claim would be rejected by the world body now that Donald Trump is at the helm of the free world. The reason they went ahead with it anyway was to convey to the West that delegitimizing the Jewish state was merely the first step in a master plan to unravel all of Judeo-Christian civilization and values.

For a body such as UNESCWA to declare the State of Israel in an official Institute’s report, as being guilty of “the crime of apartheid” according to international law, shows that Islamic expansionism is a real and an active political problem.

UNESCWA must have had some idea, before publishing the report, that such a loopy conclusion could not be adopted, even by the UN, which has been doing its utmost to rewrite historical facts. In the last few years, UNESCO has repeatedly declared pre-Islamic historical sites Islamic.

Nevertheless, UNESCWA proceeded to pass this surreal political concoction, probably to declare to the Western world again its attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and all the freedoms it represents in the Judeo-Christian world that might threaten the expansion of Islam.

It was an attempt to project power.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey, which even before his new, absolute powers, wanted to represent all of Sunni Islam, shows to the Western world the true face of Islamic imperialism and the conventional, irregular and cyber war it appears to have declared on the Christian world.

The UN report and Erdogan’s rhetoric both evidently expresses the Muslim world’s thoughts about what it apparently thinks should be the fate of Israel and Europe. So far, not a single Muslim state has condemned or opposed Erdogan’s aggression against Judeo-Christian civilization.

ANKARA, TURKEY – APRIL 17: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan gives a referendum victory speech to his supporters at the Presidential Palace on April 17, 2017 in Ankara Turkey. Erdogan declared victory in Sunday’s historic referendum that will grant sweeping powers to the presidency, hailing the result as a “historic decision. 51.4 per cent per cent of voters had sided with the “Yes” campaign, ushering in the most radical change to the country’s political system in modern times.Turkey’s main opposition calls on top election board to annul the referendum. OSCE observers said that a Turkish electoral board decision to allow as valid ballots that did not bear official stamps undermined important safeguards against fraud. (Photo by Elif Sogut/Getty Images)

According to Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu, “[T]here will soon be religious wars inside Europe”. The enemy is already inside the gates; many European regimes seem unaware that there is even a threat.

Corrupted elites, with the help of many in the international community, try to suffocate Israel economically; and the biased and dishonest media seem to be trying to hide from the public that they work as proxies of Islamic imperialism, promoting Islamic ideology and condemning the values of the West.

Pope Francis and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew use Jesus’s phrase “Love each other as I have loved you” as a religious justification to love people who are ordered — under threat of eternal hellfire — not only never to love you, but to have nothing whatever to do with you, apart from trying to win you over to their firmly-held belief:

“O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them.” — Qur’an 5:51

The logic of much of Europe’s religious and political community seems to be that if the elephant in the room is spoken to nicely and made to look cute and adorable, people will not think of it as a threat to their safety.

Left-wing ideologues and unwitting fellow travelers hide the nature of the elephant. This was the approach of President Obama, who, along with European leaders, provided space in which the elephant could operate, grow and undermine the fabric of Western societies.

Key to this enabling has been a Western focus on fake politics — such as the obsession with issues such as transgender bathrooms and rights for women who are already blessed with rights — while Islamists are actually oppressing gays and women in the most rigid fashion.

The Obama administration metamorphosed real politics into fake politics, where people talk — instead of about freedom and democracy — about feminism, gender studies, transgender bathrooms, feeling offended and endless vaginology.

Christian leaders have also been trying to deflect from the threat. Both Pope Francis and Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I use Jesus’s phrase, “Love each other as I have loved you” to disguise and minimize it.

Meanwhile, the elephant in the room gets bigger and bigger and is ready, according to the Turkish president’s statements, to destroy the house.

The West seems addicted to prettying up terrorist organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood or the PLO. Wishing away danger is nothing new to the West. It was not until President Ronald Reagan exposed the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” for example, that the threat of Communism began to be taken seriously. Within six years, the USSR collapsed.

The behavior of many Western political leaders, jumping from one definition to another about the “true nature of Islam,” has so far been disastrous. The tenets of Islam are there or all to see; people in the West seem not to want to look.

What are we Westerners doing trying to tell Muslims what their religion is, in the first place? Do they try to tell us what “real Christianity” is?

Sadly, too much of what we have seen of Islam in the West has been violent. Countless attacks, with shouts of “Allahu Akbar” have been claimed in the name of Islam. In terms of what their religion stands for, you at least have to give them credit for being forthright. We in the West are the ones who have lied.

Ultimately, if we do not confront this problem, this problem will confront us.

Where Are the Moderate Muslims?

April 27, 2017

Where Are the Moderate Muslims? Prager University via YouTube, April 27, 2017

(This is similar to what Muslim reformers, also known as “Islamophobes”, such as Dr. Zuhdi Jasser and the Clarion Project, which also promotes reform, have been saying. The stats were presented by Clarion Project several years ago. A Muslim reformation will be difficult, will take a long time — so did the Christian reformation — and may not happen. For America, however, I see no alternative for the reasons stated here. — DM)

 

EXCLUSIVE: Geert Wilders on “the patriotic spring” sweeping the West

February 28, 2017

EXCLUSIVE: Geert Wilders on “the patriotic spring” sweeping the West, Rebel MediaEzra Levant, February 27, 2017

The Netherlands has its Parliamentary elections in a couple of weeks, and the man who is leading the polls right now is Geert Wilders.

Wilders is the leader of the Party for Freedom. His chief campaign focus is de-Islamification:

Stopping mass immigration, for sure, but more specifically, stopping the cultural, legal, criminal and social ramifications of bringing in a million Muslims into a country of 17 million Dutch.

(That’s twice the Islamification that Canada has, proportionately; we have just over a million Muslims in a population of 36 million.)

I sat down with Geert Wilders in The Hague on Thursday morning.

That very day, news broke that one of Wilders’ own security staff was caught secretly passing on information about Wilders’ movements to a Moroccan jihadist group.

Of course they want to kill him. He’s the only one trying to close the door, while the rest of the politicians there are prying it further open, in return for power or votes or money…

Watch all the footage from my trip by clicking here.

Dr. Jasser joins Politics & Profits discussing the Trump admin & radical Islam 02.15.2017

February 17, 2017

American Islami Forum for Democracy via YouTube, February 15, 2017

 

Failure of Democracy in Muslim Countries Eludes So-Called Experts

November 27, 2016

Failure of Democracy in Muslim Countries Eludes So-Called Experts, Jihad Watch

francis-fukuyama

Given American policymakers’ ignorance of Islam, “I am just worried about people like me running around with big theories trying to set foreign policy,” stated famed intellectual historian Francis Fukuyama in Washington, D.C. His confession occurred at “Democracy in the Arab World: The Obama Legacy and Beyond,” a recent conference that did little to alleviate the knowledge deficit among hackneyed Islamism apologists.

Fukuyama’s luncheon address at the downtown JW Marriot luxury hotel focused on the cultural factors that aided the development of modern societies. While China benefited from the appearance 2,300 years ago of the “first modern, relatively impersonal state,” Fukuyama said, the “Arab world [is] where I think the fundamental problem is” for human progress today. Although he worried that the U.S. had not made an effort to understand Muslim societies comparable to its Cold War study of Russia, Fukuyama’s own knowledge of Islam was spotty. He described an often repressive and all-encompassing sharia law as a mere “balance to political power.”

Referencing the late scholar Ernest Gellner, Fukuyama maintained that “contemporary Islamism is basically just a different version of European nationalism in the nineteenth century.” Just as Europeans transitioning from intimate rural communities to urban anonymity during industrialization sought a new identity, Islamists invoke a “universal umma that extends all the way from Morocco to Jakarta.”  Similarly, this Islamism appeals to alienated second-generation European Muslim immigrants. Left unexamined was whether the cosmic worldview of a faith like Islam has considerably more ideological content, and can incite far more zeal, than nationalist allegiances, particularly in an increasingly globalized world.

At least Fukuyama didn’t minimize jihadist terrorism, unlike the preceding panelist, anti-Israel commentator Peter Beinart. He decried the “rise of ISIS and a massive increase fueled by cable news [coverage] of the threat of terror that emerged in 2014” and reflected upon President Barack Obama’s shared view that the “threat of terrorism had been exaggerated.” Obama rejected former President George W. Bush’s “war on terrorism” as the “new Cold War, the new World War II; there was fascism and communism, and now there was jihadism.”

In contrast to totalitarianism’s past appeal to, and rule over, millions, few “believed that you could build a new prosperous world based on the ideas of Osama bin Laden,” Beinart declared. His sanguine analysis ignored that faith-based jihadists have eternal timeframes capable of minimizing material setbacks. Contrary to the Third Reich’s twelve-year nightmare and the Cold War’s long twilight victory, Pope Francis’s warning of a “third [world] war … fought piecemeal” with jihadist movements and regimes worldwide has no end in sight.

Conference literature omitted the unsavory connection between this new kind of Third World War and Azmi Bishara, an Israeli-Arab writer and accused Hezb’allah operative who gave his conference keynote address online from Qatar. With terrorism charges hindering an American entry visa, this general director of the Qatari Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) hosted the conference via ACRPS’s Washington, D.C. affiliate. The former Knesset member fled Israel in 2007 to escape charges of helping Hezb’allah plot terrorist attacks against Israeli targets.

Reiterating his anti-Zionist take on Palestinian “territory occupied in 1948,” Bishara’s address text condemned Israel’s “colonial apartheid” and claimed conspiratorially that “Israel’s security was the fetish for whose sake [the] rights of people were sacrificed” during the “Arab Spring.” Contradicting Fukuyama’s speculations, Bishara insisted that “it is not the Islamization of society that makes people afraid of change” and that the “obstacle for democracy in the Arab world is not the political culture.” His assessment that “post-Islamic Brotherhood” parties with an “Islamic identity,” such as the “Christian Democratic parties of Europe,” are emerging in Tunisia and Turkey was wildly optimistic.

Likewise, Princeton University political science professor and boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) supporter Ms. Amaney Jamal labored to blame Israel for democracy’s poor prospects in the Arab world.  In yet another example of what Islam scholar Martin Kramer critiques as the false “linkage” between Israel and sundry Middle East problems, one of her slides listed the “Arab-Israeli Conflict as an Obstacle to Reform.” Another slide alleged that the “percent who say it is an impediment” from Arab countries ranges from 84 percent (Lebanon) to 33 percent (Algeria). Because dictatorships seek international investment by suppressing anti-Israel sentiment, Jamal maintained that the Arab-Israeli conflict is “always going to keep investors out of the region.”

ACRPS associate researcher Abdulwahab Al-Qassab strained credulity elsewhere by stating that in 2003, “Iraq, actually, before the invasion, was a secular state” and that in “Arab society in Iraq, we had many strong unifying factors.” Such claims reflect al-Qassab’s outlandish assertion at a 2014 conference that Iraqi “society was known throughout history to be a well-integrated one, notwithstanding its diversity.” Critical observers should maintain a healthy skepticism toward a former major-general under the brutal Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein promoting “diversity.”

More realistic were the comments of Qassab’s fellow ACRPS associate researcher, Marwan Kabalan, and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Arab studies scholar Michele Dunne. Kabalan rightfully noted that “moderate” Syrian rebels are “lacking the ideological motivations that exist among the jihadis,” who “are actually bound by a very strong ideological bond.”

Dunne emphasized that Westernization had made Tunisia, the Arab world’s current hope for democracy, a “bit different from other Arab countries.” The “population was in general more educated … women were more liberated and empowered … the middle class was a bit larger … [and] the military was less involved in politics,” while Tunisia “was more connected to Europe.” “All of these things turned out to be very, very important,” she concluded.

Such realism reflects Fukuyama’s insight that not all cultural beliefs equally favor the development of peaceful and prosperous societies with liberty under law. Critical inquiry into Islamic doctrine and its troubled relationship with democracy will be necessary for overcoming the knowledge deficit in the free world’s latest struggle against tyranny. Whether ACRPS, based in Muslim Brotherhood-supporting Qatar, can alleviate this deficit is highly questionable.