Archive for the ‘Spain’ category

How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process

October 12, 2017

How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process, Gatestone InstituteFjordman, October 12, 2017

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe — thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable.

When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe’s leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed, and around two thousand injured, in the Madrid train bombings.

In hindsight, that attack marked a new phase in the modern Islamic Jihad against Europe. After the Madrid bombings, London was hit with deadly bombings on July 7, 2005. In recent years, the frequency of jihadist attacks on European soil has increased dramatically.

It is probably not a coincidence that Spain was an early target of Islamic terror. The Iberian Peninsula, present-day Portugal and Spain, was for centuries under Islamic rule. Militant Muslims have repeatedly made it clear that for them, reconquering Spain is a priority.

The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. (Image source: JT Curses/Wikimedia Commons)

Ironically, some people in Barcelona seem to view tourists who pay for short-term visits as a greater threat than Muslim immigrants who come to stay permanently. One can hear similar reactions among some radical left-wing activists, for instance, in Greece.

Mass tourism can potentially cause problems such as overcrowding and local pollution. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that only a few days before the terror attack in Barcelona, some locals were complaining about an invasion of tourists. One radical left-wing group, Arran, published footage of tourist bikes in the city having their tires punctured in acts of deliberate sabotage. Of course, the problem might be even greater if there were too few tourists.

Meanwhile, a real invasion of Spain and Europe is taking place. For years, huge numbers of illegal immigrants from the Islamic world and Africa have been entering, especially through Greece or Italy. Spain, too, has seen a spike in the number of illegal immigrants. The Spanish-controlled enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa are under increasing pressure as points of departure for migrants.

The Madrid bombings in 2004 were immediately followed by the election in Spain of the Socialist politician José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. His policy of appeasement of Islam and the Islamic world was, sadly, not the first. Western Europe’s appeasement of Islam stretches back at least to the 1970s.

With the 1973 oil embargo, Arab countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used oil as a weapon and tool for blackmail. European countries started giving concessions to Arabs to ensure their oil supply and, they doubtless hoped, avoid terrorism. These concessions were not just limited to economic affairs. They also included opening Western Europe up to Islamic culture and Muslim immigration. The author Bat Ye’or has written extensively on this subject.

As part of the Euro-Arab Dialogue, a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership between the EU and the Arabic-Islamic world was launched in 1995 with the so-called Barcelona Process. Its purpose was to strengthen the ties between Europe and the Arab world in the fields of trade, economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education, social affairs and cultural cooperation.

This Process has been in force for decades. Despite it, the increasingly stronger ties between the EU and Arab Muslim countries rarely receive critical scrutiny from the European mass media. There is even a Union for the Mediterranean, which most Europeans have never heard of.

As the official website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the European Union (EU), stated in October 2017:

The Union for the Mediterranean promotes economic integration across 15 neighbours to the EU’s south in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans region. Formerly known as the Barcelona Process, cooperation was re-launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean…. Projects address areas such as economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education and social affairs. Along with the 28 EU member states, 15 Southern Mediterranean countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (suspended), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya is an observer.”

The Islamic Republic of Mauritania in western Africa, a full member of the Union for the Mediterranean, has the same formal status there as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Poland. Although Mauritania was the last country officially to ban slavery, it is still widely practiced there to this day. Yet the country regularly cooperates with the EU on matters of importance to the future of the EU.

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe — thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable. When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing Jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe’s leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.

Fjordman, a Norwegian historian, is an expert on Europe, Islam and multiculturalism.

Hypocrisy: A state for the Palestinians but not for the Kurds or Catalonia

October 2, 2017

Hypocrisy: A state for the Palestinians but not for the Kurds or Catalonia |Anne’s Opinions, 2nd October 2017

 

The Kurds are a nation scattered across the Middle East while their national territory was divided up by the ruling powers of a century ago and split amongst several nations, all in a manner similar to the fate of the Jews and Israel:

For decades, Kurdish politics have hinged on dreams of an independent Kurdish state. When colonial powers drew the map of the Middle East after World War I, the Kurds, who now number around 30 million, were divided among Turkey, Iran, Syria and Iraq.

Kurdish inhabited areas of the Middle East, crossing international borders

Since the Arab “spring” with its multiple civil wars broke out, the Kurds are the one nation that have managed to remain united and hold on tot their territory, retaking control and a semblance of independence after decades of repression by the Arab countries who previously controlled their territory. They have been amongst the prime fighters against ISIS and have stayed out of the Israeli-Arab conflict altogether.In fact Israel is very popular with the Kurds and as I have previously written, the Israeli flag is a common sight at Kurdish rallies.

The Israeli flag is flown at a rally for Kurdish independence held in Geneva, Switzerland

Last week the Kurds held a referendum amongst its people asking if they wanted independence. The answer of course was a resounding yes. However the answer from almost the entire world (the UN, the US, Iran, Iraq, Turkey) was a resounding “no”, or a hostile neutral silence. The only country that lent its solid support to the Kurdish nation was Israel.

Iraq threatened the Kurds with a flight ban if they do not hand over their airports to the Iraqi authorities:

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi issued his ultimatum a day after the landmark vote, which he said was a “historic and strategic mistake by the Kurdish leadership.”

“I will not give up on the unity of Iraq, that is my national and constitutional duty,” he said, adding that any ban would still allow for humanitarian and other “urgent” flights.

That’s rich coming from the leader of a country which is so fractured that it barely exists any more.

Masoud Barzani, the Kurdish regional president who spearheaded the referendum, called for “dialogue” with Baghdad. “Negotiations are the right path to solve the problems, not threats or the language of force,” he said in a televised address.

The US remained cool to downright cold, refusing to recognize “illegitimate referendum“:

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson referred to the recent referendum on the independence of Kurdistan as “unilateral,” saying the vote held on September 25 lacks legitimacy.

US Secretary of State Reg Tillerson

“The United States does not recognize the Kurdistan Regional Government’s unilateral referendum held on Monday,” Tillerson said in a written statement on Friday (September 29).

Tillerson said his country supports a united, federal, democratic and prosperous Iraq.

He expressed concern over the possible “negative consequences” of the Kurdish referendum, adding the vote may hinder efforts to promote stability and prosperity for the people of the Kurdistan Region.

Tillerson said the U.S. asks all parties, including Iraq’s neighbors, to reject unilateral actions and the use of force.

“We urge calm and an end to vocal recriminations and threats of reciprocal actions. We urge Iraqi Kurdish authorities to respect the constitutionally-mandated role of the central government and we call upon the central government to reject threats or even allusion to possible use of force.”

But an interesting article in the New York Times of all places praised Israel’s endorsement of the Kurds’ bid for independence:

JERUSALEM — With a two-sentence statement supporting the Iraqi Kurds’ plan to hold a referendum on independence this Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put Israel at odds with nearly every other major player in the Middle East.

Mr. Netanyahu, who endorsed not only the referendum but also the establishment of a Kurdish state, had ample strategic reason: A breakaway Kurdistan could prove valuable to Israel against Iran, which has oppressed its own Kurdish population.

But given the interwoven history and shared emotion underlying his statement, present-day geopolitics can seem almost beside the point.

The Kurds and the Jews, it turns out, go way back.

Back past the Babylonian Captivity, in fact: The first Jews in Kurdistan, tradition holds, were among the last tribes of Israel, taken from their land in the eighth century B.C. They liked it there so much that when Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered the Babylonians and let the Jews go back home, many chose instead to stick around.

Sixteen centuries later, Saladin, a Kurd, treated the Jews humanely after he conquered Jerusalem, and notably hired a Jewish doctor, Maimonides, as his physician.

In the modern era, Kurdish Jews departed en masse for Israel when the Jewish state was created in 1948, leaving Kurdish civil society so bereft that some recall its leaders still lamenting the Jewish exodus decades later.

Ties between the two have only grown warmer and more vital since the 1960s, as Israel and the Kurds — both minorities in an inhospitable region and ever in need of international allies — have repeatedly come to each other’s aid. The Kurds have long patterned their lobbying efforts in Washington on those of Israel’s supporters.

Israeli flags often appear at Kurdish rallies, like this one in Erbil, Iraq

And while Kurdish leaders have not publicly embraced Israel in the run-up to the referendum, for fear of antagonizing the Arab world, the Israeli flag can routinely be seen at Kurdish rallies in Erbil and across Europe.

The Kurds in turn have friends and supporters all across Israel, including some 200,000 Kurdish Jews. But 83-year-old Tzuri Sagi, a retired brigadier general, has more reason than most Israelis to root for Kurdish independence.

Read the rest of that fascinating article about the ties between Israel and the Kurds.

A Jerusalem Post article also agrees with the Israeli position of supporting the Kurds bid for independence:

In the wake of Iranian aggression across the Middle East, the most effective strategy Israel can adopt is to recognize an independent Kurdistan and fully support it.

Across the Middle East Israel faces a variety of security threats, from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Assad’s regime in Syria to Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Islamic State (ISIS) in the Sinai Peninsula. These already existing threats are exasperated by Iran seeking to establish a Shi’ite Crescent from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea.

To prop up Assad’s regime and Hezbollah, Iran needs territorial contiguity from Iran to Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. This way, it can import supplies with ease to its proxies via land routes, for Israel has already demonstrated that it can infiltrate and stop Iranian sea or air shipments more easily. However, an independent Kurdistan in Syria and Iraq would territorially break up the Shi’ite Crescent, thus making it more difficult for Iran to carry out its terrorist activities across the Middle East. The Kurdistan region of Iraq led by President Masoud Barzani’s government will not permit Iranian shipments to terrorist groups to pass through its territory.

If Kurdistan becomes a full-fledged independent state in Northern Iraq and parts of Syria, the logistical obstacles for Iran will greatly increase.

It is not only for the purely practical geopolitical advantages that Israel should support the Kurds, but because it is morally right:

It is critical to note that Israel should support an independent Kurdistan because it is the moral thing to do. The Kurds were promised a country in the Treaty of Sevres but this promise was reneged on in the Treaty of Lausanne, leaving the Kurds as the largest nation on earth without a country, a reality that affects 40 million people. The Kurds have their own unique culture, history and language, which are distinct from those of their Turkish, Persian and Arab neighbors. Furthermore, in the past the Kurds had strong leaders who befriended the Jewish People, such as Saladin.

In addition, the Kurds ruled themselves in the past, under the Ayyubid dynasty and the Bohtan Emirate, to name a few. In fact, they were only absorbed by the Ottoman Empire in 1908. For this reason, the Kurds have a strong sense of nationalism.

The Kurds passionately believe that their culture, language and historic destiny can be best realized by granting them the same rights that other nations possess.

Israel’s former Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor also praises the Kurds’ readiness for statehood (unlike, say, the Palestinians):

An independent Kurdish state would be a victory for democratic values, national self-determination and the rights of women and minorities. Is there a more iconic image of the fight against the Islamic State than that of female Kurdish peshmerga fighters doing battle on the front lines against jihadists who demand the subjugation of women? An independent Kurdish state would empower these warriors in a part of the world where women and girls are typically second-class citizens.

Kurdish Peshmerga women fighters

In addition to its commitment to gender equality, Kurdistan has also shown its commitment to minority rights. Over the past three years, Kurdistan, which is about the size of Maryland, has taken in nearly two million refugees, including Assyrians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shabaks and Christians fleeing the Islamic State and sectarian violence in other parts of Iraq and in Syria.

Even without a formal state, the Kurds have built a society that meets many of the criteria of statehood. They are economically viable, with a well-developed energy industry. They have functioning institutions, including elections for Parliament and a relatively free media. And they’ve proved capable of defending themselves against the Islamic State without attacking others.

Kurdistan is already, in values and governance, a democratic nation in waiting. Is it a perfect Jeffersonian democracy? No. Does it have a long way to go? Yes. But in a region where tyranny is the norm, it’s on the right track.

We should all pray that Kurds are successful in their bid for independence and that there will be a peaceful solution to this brewing crisis. Israel should certainly give it as much support as it can. And shame on the world for denying this brave, big-hearted people their rightful claim to their own territory and self-determination.

Meanwhile over in Spain, Catalonians held a referendum today asking their people if they wanted independence. The answer was not clear. Nevertheless the Spanish rejected the referendum, calling it illegal, and sent in the riot police which violently repressed the independence rallies, injuring almost 500 people:

Nearly 500 people were injured Sunday as Spanish security forces attempted to shut down a referendum vote on the future of the northeastern Spanish province of Spain.

Spanish police break into a Catalonian voting booth

Catalonia, a semi-autonomous province with its own official language, held the controversial vote Sunday on whether to remain a part of the Kingdom of Spain, or to seek independence.

Catalan President Carles Puigdemont, who supports a Catalan separation from Spain, said earlier that if the referendum saw a majority of “yes” votes, he would declare an independent Catalonia within 48 hours.

While polls show some 60% of locals oppose independence from Spain, a wide majority back the plebiscite.

Girls stroll through the center of Figueras with the Spanish and a pro-independence ‘Estelada’ Catalan flag

The Spanish government, however, has declared the referendum illegal and ordered security forces to bar voters from entering polling stations.

“There has not been a referendum or anything remotely similar,” Spanish Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría said.

In polling places across Catalonia, including the local capital, Barcelona, police clashed with crowds of voters as they attempted to enter voting stations.

During the clashes, officers opened fire with rubber bullets, hitting dozens of protesters.

According to The Independent, local firefighters formed human shields around voters to protect voters from police.

Catalan officials say police managed to shut down 319 voting stations across Catalonia.

“What the police are doing is a real scandal, a savagery,” said Catalan spokesperson Jordi Turull.

“The Spanish state is in a very difficult situation before the world… What the police is doing is truly an international embarrassment.”

Yet it seems that what is sauce for the goose is not sauce for the gander. Or maybe that statement should be reversed. The very independence that is rejected by the world for their own minorities is enthusiastically advanced for the Palestinians. The Kurds do not seek to replace anyone or to kill them. They simply want their own indigenous territory back in their hands and under their control. But the world rejects their bid.

The Catalonians want to run their own affairs outside of Spanish jurisdiction. Here too their bid for self-determination is rejected by the world.

But somehow, the Palestinians, who already have independence from Israel, and who run their own affairs, are considered perfectly legitimate when they demand not only independence, but an end to the State of Israel. They demand this loudly and clearly and can be heard in demonstrations across the world: “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”. This is no less than an Arabic “final solution” for the Jews. In case you haven’t looked at a map lately, the space between the river (Jordan) to the (Mediterranean) Sea is occupied, for want of a better word, by Israel with over 6 million Jews as well as another 2 million Muslims, Christians and other minorities.

“From the river to the sea Palestine will be free” – of Jews and of Israel. This is an Arab Final Solution

The inherent hypocrisy in this stance was called out today by Eli Dahan, Israel’s Deputy Defence Minister:

Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan (Jewish Home) blasted the Spanish government’s crackdown against a regional referendum in the province of Catalonia Sunday, which left nearly 500 people injured, most of them pro-independence demonstrators.

Deputy Minister Ben-Dahan slammed Madrid’s crackdown on the referendum, noting Spain’s decades-long support for Palestinian statehood.

“For many years, Spain lectured us about how we need to give [national] rights to the Palestinian Arabs,” wrote Ben-Dahan on Twitter. “Today we see their hypocrisy, as [Spain] doesn’t even allow the Catalans to hold a referendum on independence.”

I found this Facebook post by Tsuriel Rashi, a lecturer at Bar Ilan University, to be particularly apt:

 

He writes:

Two states for two people
Spain and Catalonia
Kurdistan and Turkey
“They are there and we are here”.
Or is this a solution limited to a particular region?

Indeed Dr. Rashi has pointed out the world’s hypocrisy in one short pithy paragraph. “Do as I say, not do as I do” is what the world tells Israel.

It’s about time Israel told the world where to get off.

Giant Weapons Cache of Illegal Arms for Terrorists Discovered

January 16, 2017

Giant Weapons Cache of Illegal Arms for Terrorists Discovered, Clarion Project, January 16, 2017

france-charlie-hebdo-attack-ip_2A victim of the Charlie Hebo shooting in France. The weapons cache discovered in Spain is suspected of supplying the weapons for this and other attacks in Europe. (Photo: © Reuters)

A weapons cache worth over $9 million was discovered in Spain by anti-terror investigators. The cache, which included 12,000 weapons, included “several anti-aircraft guns capable of bringing down aircraft,” according to the interior minister.

Police also confiscated over $70,000 in cash.

The weapons were being sold by a Spanish gang, who would buy used weapons from war-torn areas, repair them and sell them to terror cells or organized crime families.

The gang, which consisted of four men and one woman, set up a sports firm as a front for the weapons trading. They were caught by an operation headed by Europol, the European crime agency, some of which involved undercover work.

More than 8,000 military-caliber weapons were seized, including long and arms, canons and a wide variety of ammunitions.

“This modus operandi used to purchase weapons is the same as the one used for the attacks carried out in Paris on January 7th, 2015, against employees of the satirical weekly ‘Charlie Hebdo’, in which 12 people were killed and another 11 injured, all with recommissioned weapons acquired at the time from a Slovak gunsmith,” said a spokesman for Spanish government.

After the terror attack at a Jewish museum in Brussels in May 2014 in which four people were killed, the Europol operation was set up based on surveillance of the weapons used in that attack.

Spain: Muslim migrants break through border fence, over 80 still at large

December 10, 2016

Spain: Muslim migrants break through border fence, over 80 still at large, Jihad Watch

What could possibly go wrong?

In February 2015, the Islamic State boasted it would soon flood Europe with as many as 500,000 refugees. And the Lebanese Education Minister said in September 2015 that there were 20,000 jihadis among the refugees in camps in his country. Meanwhile, 80% of migrants who have come to Europe claiming to be fleeing the war in Syria aren’t really from Syria at all.

So why are they claiming to be Syrian and streaming into Europe, and now the U.S. as well? An Islamic State operative gave the answer when he boasted in September 2015, shortly after the migrant influx began, that among the flood of refugees, 4,000 Islamic State jihadis had already entered Europe. He explained their purpose: “It’s our dream that there should be a caliphate not only in Syria but in all the world, and we will have it soon, inshallah.” These Muslims were going to Europe in the service of that caliphate: “They are going like refugees,” he said, but they were going with the plan of sowing blood and mayhem on European streets. As he told this to journalists, he smiled and said, “Just wait.”

All nine of the jihadis who murdered 130 people in Paris in November 2015 had just entered Europe as refugees.

migrants-ceuta

“Spain’s Ceuta enclave stormed by migrants,” BBC, December 9, 2016:

At least 400 people have broken through the border fence between Morocco and the enclave of Ceuta, which is part of Spain.

The migrants, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, stormed different points of the 6m-high (19ft) barbed-wire fence from 06:15 local time (07:15 GMT) on Friday.

It is the biggest single breach of the border in a decade, local media report.

Two border guards were injured in the surprise assault on the border, according to Spanish authorities.

Local TV footage showed dozens of migrants celebrating their crossing, while others appeared exhausted, lying on the pavement with visible cuts to their feet and hands.

Most of those who made the crossing have now been detained, with 20% still unaccounted for, Spanish Interior Minister Juan Ignacio Zoido said….

Bernie Sanders Invites Spain’s Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Party Leader to Democratic Convention

July 25, 2016

Bernie Sanders Invites Spain’s Anti-Semitic, Anti-Israel Party Leader to Democratic Convention, PJ MediaRon Radosh, July 24, 2016

sanders

Because of the tumult over the WikiLeaks revelations showing how the DNC worked to undermine Bernie Sanders’ candidacy in the Democratic primaries, few people have noticed the controversial guest that Sanders has invited to the Democrats’ convention.

Spanish newspaper ABC reported on July 22 that Paul Bustinduy, secretary of international relations of Spain’s far-left, anti-Semitic party Podemos, is Bernie’s guest.

Although Podemos came in third place in the June 26 Spanish national election, it is a political force to be reckoned with in Spain. Podemos had joined an alliance with other mostly leftist groups in a coalition called United We Can — this was the name Podemos ran under. The alliance included the  United Left, whose main component is members of the old Spanish Communist Party, which on its own has little support in Spain.

Composed of old Communists, Trotskyists, independent revolutionaries, Basque and Catalan nationalists, leftist urban intellectuals, and former supporters of the Socialist Party annoyed at what they perceive as its continuing compromises, United We Can models itself on the Marxist Greek party Syriza. Syriza brought the Greek economy to near total collapse.

To call Podemos blatantly anti-Semitic would not be a false accusation.

In Madrid, the party’s affiliate is called Ahora Madrid. The head of Madrid’s department of culture, Guillermo Zapata, who is a member, tweeted:

“ ‘How do you fit five million Jews in a SEAT 600 [a car]?’ Answer: ‘In an ashtray.’”

In 2012, he tweeted that Israel is “genocidal posing as an advanced democracy,” and resembles Assad’s regime in Syria.

Not surprisingly, United Left and Podemos support the international BDS campaign. They also supported the anti-Israel flotillas that attempted to sail to Gaza in support of Hamas in its war against Israel. They support virtually all measures the anti-Israel European left has proposed.

Podemos is so anti-Israel that it defends a notorious anti-Semitic Spanish magazine, El Jueves.

An English independent socialist internet magazine, Shiraz Socialist, recently ran an article aboutEl Jueves written by Yves Coleman, appropriately titled: “Spanish radical left tolerates anti-Semitism.”

Yves Coleman writes:

Following the publication of anti-Jewish and anti-Semitic cartoons in El Jueves on 10 February 2016, Pablo Iglesias (general secretary of Podemos) and David Fernandez, former member of the CUP in the Catalan Parliament, have, along with other personalities of the “political and cultural world,” signed a petition protesting against any possible complaint which could be filed against the anti-Semitic drawings published by El Jueves.

The magazine, Coleman notes:

… likes to play with the stereotypes of the Jew as a schemer, swindler and liar.

They regularly run cartoons of Jews wearing:

… either payots, long beards, a wide-brimmed hat and a black coat or an IDF military uniform.

One such cartoon, from another Spanish left-wing anti-Semitic group, depicts the “Stay out of Spain, Obama” protest. It shows Obama taking money from the Jews. In the Spanish left, Obama is viewed as an imperialist warmonger.

In another issue, they published the cartoon below about Israel, using the symbols of Hitler’s SS to indicate that Israel is composed of Nazis.

cartoon antisemitism

Although Spain is a nation in which few Jews live, it is also the European country in which anti-Semitic views are most widespread. Unfortunately, the magazine’s writers and editors, like Podemos, hold the same anti-Semitic views that exist among the French left, and especially exist in Jeremy Corbyn’s British Labor Party.

To be a leftist in Spain, France or Britain means that you support anti-Semites, condemn Israel, and feel comfortable comparing it as a nation to the Nazis.

While here, Mr. Bustinduy plans to meet with activists in the Latino community, trade unionists, and leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement — which itself is anti-Israel.

A day before the convention, on July 24, he will participate in a left-wing conference at the University of Pennsylvania called Democracy Rising.

His main purpose, however, is to give his support to Bernie Sanders’ efforts to force the Democratic Party to move much further to the left. Undoubtedly, Bustinduy will complain about the Sanders group’s one big failure: to put an anti-Israel position into the Democratic Party platform.

With most of the media concentrating on reaction to the WikiLeaks release, the invitation to Podemos will most likely go unnoticed. Is there anyone in the mainstream media who will ask Sanders why he offered this invitation to a leader of a Spanish anti-Semitic, anti-Israel political party?

Spain: Courses on Islam in Public Schools

April 2, 2016

Spain: Courses on Islam in Public Schools, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, April 2, 2016

♦ The guidelines for teaching Islam in public schools — drafted by the Islamic Commission of Spain and approved by the Ministry of Education — are aimed at stirring religious fervor and promoting Islamic identity among young Muslims in Spain.

♦ The guidelines, which envision the teaching of every aspect of Islamic doctrine, culture and history, are interspersed with “politically correct” terminology… but the overall objective is clear: to inculcate young people with an Islamic worldview.

♦ According to the guidelines, preschoolers (ages 3- 6) are to learn the Islamic profession of faith, the Shahada, which asserts that “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” The Shahada is the gateway into Islam: one becomes a Muslim by repeating the Shahada three times in front of a witness. They are also encouraged to “emulate, through different forms of expression, the values observed by Mohammed.”

♦ In primary school (ages 6-12), the guidelines call for children to “recognize Mohammed as the final prophet sent by Allah and accept him as the most important.”

The Spanish government has published new guidelines for teaching Islam in public preschools and primary and secondary schools.

The guidelines are being touted as a way to prevent Muslim children and young people from being drawn into terrorism by exposing them to a “moderate” interpretation of Islam.

On closer inspection, however, the guidelines — drafted by the Islamic Commission of Spain and approved by the Ministry of Education — are aimed at stirring religious fervor and promoting Islamic identity among young Muslims in Spain.

The new plan, which is the most ambitious in all of Europe, amounts to a government-approved program to establish a full-fledged Islamic studies curriculum at public schools nationwide, at a time when Christian religious symbols are being systematically removed from Spanish public schools by official enforcers of secularism.

Although Spanish taxpayers are being expected to pay for the religious education of up to 300,000 Muslim students between the ages of 3 and 18, it remains unclear whether Spanish authorities will have any oversight of the teaching of Islam in public schools. The government has agreed to allow local Muslim organizations to draft the course syllabi, choose the textbooks, and even determine who will teach the classes.

Spain’s Ministry of Education quietly published the guidelines in the official state gazette (Boletín Oficial del Estado) on March 18. The curriculum for teaching Islam in Spanish public preschools can be found here; in public primary schools here; and in public secondary schools here.

The guidelines, which envision the teaching of every aspect of Islamic doctrine, culture and history, are interspersed with “politically correct” terminology — the documents are rife with buzzwords such as coexistence, diversity, equality, human rights, inclusion, integration, intercultural education, interreligious dialogue, moderation, pluralism, religious liberty, respect and tolerance — but the overall objective is clear: to inculcate young people with an Islamic worldview.

According to the guidelines, preschoolers (ages 3- 6) are to learn the Islamic profession of faith, the Shahada, which asserts that “there is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” The Shahada is the gateway into Islam: one becomes a Muslim by repeating the Shahada three times in front of a witness.

Block 6 is aimed at instilling “interest for Islamic religious and cultural texts,” stirring “curiosity for the Koran in oral and written language,” and learning “Islamic recitations, narrations and descriptions.”

Children should develop an “attitude of listening to Koranic and prophetic texts” and memorize “short Hadiths [reports about the words, actions or habits of Mohammed] and Koranic stories.” They are also encouraged to “emulate, through different forms of expression, the values observed by Mohammed.”

In primary school (ages 6-12), the guidelines call for children to “recognize Mohammed as the final prophet sent by Allah and accept him as the most important.” Students are to “recite the Shahada in perfect Arabic and Spanish,” and “recognize that the Koran is a guide for all of humanity.” Children are to “know certain Arabisms in the Spanish language and appreciate the linguistic contributions of Islam to the history of Spain, using verbal language to communicate emotions and sentiments.”

Primary school students are to “know examples of Mohammed’s coexistence with non-Muslims,” although there is no indication that Muslim pupils will be taught about the 900 Jews of the Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina that Mohammed ordered to be beheaded in 627AD.

Students are also to “understand that Islam is a religion of peace — spiritual or internal peace and social or communitarian peace. The prophet teaches us to live in peace. Islam promotes solutions to resolve conflicts and social inequality.”

Moreover, the guidelines call for primary students to “comprehend and explain the existence of other monotheistic revelations of Allah: Judaism and Christianity.” But it remains unclear whether students will learn about the three instances in the Koran (Suras 2:65, 5:60 and 7:166) in which Allah turns Jews into apes and/or pigs.

In secondary school (ages 12-18), the guidelines call for students to “know, analyze and explain the affective-emotional attitudes of Mohammed when confronting personal offenses, valuing conflict resolution.” It remains unclear whether students will learn about Suras 5:33 and 33:57-61, which call for curses against those who “annoy Allah and His Messenger.”

Block 4 calls on students to evaluate the “transversality present in the Koran and the Hadiths regarding social relations.” It does not, however, mention whether students will be taught that the Koran and the Hadiths require non-Muslim subjects (dhimmis) residing in Muslim lands to pay a protection tax known as the jizya.

In a section on the “Islamic model for economics and jurisprudence,” students are asked to identify Islamic solutions to world problems. They are also asked to “analyze and explain the benefits of interest-free loans [aka Sharia finance].”

In Block 8, students are asked to “analyze the stages of the establishment and flourishing of Islamic jurisprudence [Sharia law] during the splendor of al-Andalus.”

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France that were occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. The Islamic State (ISIS) has repeatedly vowed to “liberate” al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate.

The guidelines also encourage students to use the internet to learn more about Islam, even though the internet is playing an increasingly important role in the radicalization of young Muslims.

The legal basis for teaching Islam in Spanish public schools can be found in Article 27.3 of the Spanish Constitution of 1978, which establishes that although Spain is non-confessional (meaning that it does not recognize an official state religion), “the State guarantees parents the right for their children to obtain a religious and moral education which conforms to their own convictions.” Muslims (and Roman Catholics) have long understood this to mean that children are entitled to religious education in public schools.

On November 10, 1992, the Socialist government of Felipe González — seeking to end the monopoly of the Roman Catholic Church over Spanish education — negotiated a “Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Spain and the Islamic Commission of Spain” (Comisión Islámica de España, CIE). That agreement, codified in Law 26/1992, recognized Islam as a minority religion in Spain and guaranteed that “Muslim students … receive Islamic religious education in public schools.”

(Also on November 10, 1992, the Spanish government approved the “Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Spain and the Federation of Evangelical Christian Entities in Spain.” That agreement was codified in Law 24/1992. In June 1993, the Spanish government published guidelines for the teaching of evangelical Christianity in public schools.)

In recent years, Muslim leaders in Spain have complained that the Spanish government has failed to implement the 1992 agreement. According to the CIE, 90% of Muslims students in Spain lack access to Islamic studies in public schools. The new guidelines appear to signal the current government’s commitment to follow through on the promises of past governments.

The guidelines were drafted by CIE president Riaÿ Tatary, a Syrian who has lived in Spain for more than 45 years. Tatary, a medical doctor who is also the imam of the Abu-Bakr Mosque, the second-largest mosque in Madrid, is often portrayed as the epitome of Muslim integration and moderation.

Tatary is the chief interlocutor between Spain’s Muslim community and the Spanish government and has received a civilian merit award from the Ministry of Justice for his work on Spain’s law on religious liberty.

But Spanish counterterrorism analysts (here and here) have long suspected that Tatary is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is highly critical of Western concepts of justice and democracy. The Brotherhood’s motto is: “Allah is our objective; the Prophet is our leader; the Koran is our law; Jihad is our way; dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope.”

1536The Spanish government’s curriculum guidelines for public school Islamic studies were drafted by Riaÿ Tatary, imam of the Abu-Bakr Mosque. Spanish counterterrorism analysts have long suspected that Tatary is closely linked to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Tatary denies the charges, although members of his mosque have, in fact, been tied to al-Qaeda.

Ahead of municipal elections in May 2015, Tatary admonished Muslims in Spain not to vote for any candidate who “hinders or impedes the establishment of mosques for our faithful, and cemeteries for our dead.” He also said that Muslim voters should not vote for anyone who “hinders or prevents the children of Muslim citizens from receiving Islamic religion courses in public or private schools.”

Spanish political analysts said Tatary’s attempt to enforce the Spanish Muslim vote was alarming:

“At first glance, it does not seem objectionable that a group, whatever its nature, defends the rights of its members. However, when it comes to an entity that appeals to religion to impose a massive discipline of the faithful in the political arena, we cannot but be alarmed. Especially when that religion is engaged in relentless war within itself and with the rest of the civilized world.”

It seems unlikely, however, that parents and imams will accept many of Tatary’s politically correct non-literal interpretations of the Koran, which apparently are aimed at securing the government’s approval of the guidelines. The challenge of reform-minded Muslims is to convince the majority of Muslims that the Koran and the Hadiths do not actually mean what they say.

In the end, the new guidelines may end up achieving a completely undesired objective: serving as gateway to radical Islam for tens of thousands of young Muslims in Spain.

Spain in the Eye of the Storm of Jihad

June 6, 2015

Spain in the Eye of the Storm of Jihad, The Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, June 6, 2015

(Right of return? — DM)

  • The Islamists are especially interested in converts who have not yet taken on Muslim names and whose official IDs still have their Christian names, so they can purchase weapons without drawing the attention of police.
  • At least 50,000 Muslim converts are currently living in Spain. Police say that converts are especially susceptible to radicalization because they are facing increasing pressure from Islamists who are calling on them to carry out attacks to “demonstrate their commitment” to their new faith.
  • Spain has also become a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East.
  • “Turkey is the Seven-Eleven of false passports.” — Spanish agent working on a human trafficking case.

Spanish security forces have arrested a total of 568 jihadists over the past ten years in 124 separate operations against Islamic terrorism, Spanish Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz revealed at an African security conference in Niger on May 14.

Fernández Díaz said that “constant police and judicial actions” have helped Spanish authorities prevent another large-scale terrorist attack similar to the March 2004 Madrid train bombings, in which nearly 200 people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.

At the same time, Fernández Díaz has warned that it is “very probable” that Islamic terrorists will strike Spain at some point in the future; he has estimated the probability of an attack to be 70%.

At a two-day terrorism conference held in Madrid on April 23 and 24, Fernández Díaz said that at least 115 Spanish jihadists — including at least 15 women — are now known to have joined the Islamic State. He added that 14 jihadists had returned to Spain; nine of those are in prison and five remain free.

In January, Fernández Díaz said the number of Spanish jihadists abroad was 70, which implies a jump of more than 40 new jihadists in the first four months of 2015 alone. In August 2014, the first time that Fernández Díaz provided an official estimate, he said there were 51 Spanish jihadists fighting abroad.

Meanwhile, “dozens” of jihadists and other Islamic radicals are entering Spain from neighboring France, where they are said to be “asphyxiating” due to a government crackdown following theCharlie Hebdo attacks in Paris in January. (On April 29, French President François Hollande announced that a force of 7,000 troops would be deployed to patrol French streets on a permanent basis.)

According to an anonymous Spanish intelligence operative interviewed by El Confidencial, a media outlet based in Madrid, French jihadists are moving to Spain because they feel they have “greater room for movement” on the Iberian Peninsula. They include individuals “suspected” of being Islamic radicals, but for whom there is insufficient proof for either government to arrest them.

The report says that most of the jihadists from France are moving to Catalonia and Spain’s Mediterranean coast, where they are attempting to “blend in” with Muslim communities there. Also known as the Spanish Levant, the region roughly corresponds with what was once known as Xarq al-Ándalus, territories that were occupied by Muslim invaders for nearly five centuries.

Al-Andalus is the Arabic name given to those parts of Spain, Portugal and France occupied by Muslim conquerors (also known as the Moors) from 711 to 1492. Many Muslims believe that territories Muslims lost during the Christian Reconquista of Spain still belong to the realm of Islam. They claim that Islamic law gives them the right to return there and re-establish Muslim rule.

In July 2014, jihadists with the Islamic State produced a video in which they vowed to liberate al-Andalus from non-Muslims and make it part of their new Islamic Caliphate. The video showed a jihadist speaking in Spanish with a heavy North African accent, warning:

“I say to the entire world as a warning: We are living under the Islamic flag, the Islamic caliphate. We will die for it until we liberate those occupied lands, from Jakarta to Andalusia. And I declare: Spain is the land of our forefathers and we are going to take it back with the power of Allah.”

639A tweeted photo of an Islamic State supporter holding the Islamic State’s black flag of jihad in front of Aljafería Palace in Zaragoza, Spain

Counter-terrorism authorities are now warning that the Islamic State is actively looking for Spanish converts to Islam who possess gun licenses and who can legally purchase rifles and shotguns. The Islamists are especially interested in converts who have not yet taken on Muslim names and whose official IDs still have their Christian names, so that they can purchase weapons without drawing the attention of police.

At least 50,000 Muslim converts are currently living in Spain. Police say that converts are especially susceptible to radicalization because they are facing increasing pressure from Islamists who are calling on them to carry out attacks to “demonstrate their commitment” to their new faith. “Converts are the perfect breeding ground for Islamism,” according to a Spanish intelligence operative.

These concerns have been confirmed in a new report published by the Spanish Institute of Strategic Studies, an organ of the Ministry of Defense, which warned that so-called lone wolves pose the biggest threat to Spain and other European countries.

“They are activists who secretly swear allegiance to [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and act independently without making contact with anyone, so locating them becomes a living hell,” the report said. It added:

“Terrorists no longer need to communicate directly with the leadership of the organization to which they belong, or use the telephone or emails to know exactly what to do, when and under what circumstances. There is no longer any need for prior contact to establish the type of signals to be used, the conditions and dimensions of an attack or any restrictions.

“These tactics end the dream of the intelligence services to control everything through the systematic interception of communications and the use of satellite imagery. If there is no communication, it is not possible to intercept anything.”

Spain has also become a key entry point for human trafficking mafias being used by jihadist veterans seeking to return to Europe after fighting in the Middle East. A report prepared by Spanish border police identifies three main routes of entry — Africa, South America and Europe — and warns that human trafficking is “more lucrative than cocaine trafficking.”

According to the report:

“The proliferation of organizations trafficking in human beings and taking advantage of counterfeit documentation is resulting in the introduction of thousands of people into European countries. The problem is compounded when one considers that European jihadist veterans who have fought in Syria and Iraq on behalf of the Islamic State are using the same networks to facilitate their return. Many have arrest warrants in different countries (Spain, France, UK, etc.) and Islamic State members may cross our borders to carry out terror attacks in Europe.”

In November 2014, police in Madrid arrested 18 individuals — eight Lebanese, four Spaniards, three Syrians, one Ecuadorian, one Moroccan and one Ukrainian — accused of running smuggling operation to bring people from Syria into Spain. Police estimate that the cell, which had branches in Lebanon and Turkey, generated earnings of between €50,000 ($55,000) and €100,000 ($110,000) each month. According to one of the agents working on the case, “Turkey is the Seven-Eleven of false passports.”

Meanwhile, at least 60 jihadists in Catalonia are said to be waiting for a signal from the Islamic State to attack, according to the Madrid-based El País newspaper. The warning was given during a closed-door meeting of anti-terrorism police held in late April in Viladecans, a town near Barcelona.

The unofficial meeting was convened after a counter-terrorism operation in Catalonia was compromised, when some jihadists were allegedly tipped-off that they were about to be arrested. Although the exact circumstances of the imbroglio remain unclear, it appears to have been the result of poor inter-agency coordination between counter-terrorism police in Madrid and Catalan police known as the Mossos d’Esquadra. The two groups were apparently investigating the same Islamist cell without consulting each other.

The meeting in Viladecans, attended by 130 agents from different police forces — Mossos, Civil Guards, national and local police — from across the country, got together to discuss their mutual concerns about “the lack of training of law enforcement to combat jihadist terrorism.”

Much of the daylong meeting was used to share information about how to detect “radicalization processes” and how to distinguish ordinary Muslims from Salafists and jihadists. A counter-terrorism specialist said that one of the key problems faced by police is that “jihadists have infiltrated society, they drink alcohol, eat pork and dress like a Westerner and are undetectable.”

One of the organizers of the event, Alex Pérez of a local branch of the International Police Association, said:

“We go out on the street every day but we do not have the tools needed to combat threats against the public. Some of us are digging into our own pockets to train ourselves, protect ourselves and provide an adequate service to society.”

Another police officer summed it up this way: “We are screwed and will be much worse off in the future because there are radicals increasingly inclined to attack.”