Posted tagged ‘Charlie Hedbo’

Charle Hebdo is back

August 24, 2017

(There has been little media coverage, most of it derogatory. — DM)

Source: MWC News.

 

Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre survivor: “We need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace”

October 29, 2016

Charlie Hebdo jihad massacre survivor: “We need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace”, Jihad Watch, 

As a secular Muslim, Zineb El Rhazoui is allowed to say in the mainstream what others are excoriated as “anti-Muslim extremists” for saying. The truth is true no matter who says it, but in today’s culture of identity politics, it’s truer when coming from racially and culturally approved voices.

“Zineb el Rhazoui, Charlie Hebdo survivor, discusses why the world needs to ‘Destroy Islamic Fascism,’” by Emma-Kate Symons, New York Times (of all places), October 18, 2016:

She leads a clandestine existence, on the move and under 24-hour guard as France’s most protected woman. Yet Zineb El Rhazoui, the Charlie Hebdo journalist who happened to be in Casablanca on January 7 last year, the day terrorists “avenging the Prophet” massacred nine people at the satirical magazine in Paris, believes she has a duty to defy Islamists desperate to silence her.

Shaken but undeterred by the fatwas and relentless, precise death threats issued via social media to “kill the bitch” since she helped produce the publication’s first survivors’ issue following the attack — and spoke about it in Arabic for the Arab press — the Moroccan-French writer refuses to assume an anonymous identity. Fleeing Paris or abandoning her human rights activism, and her unforgiving critiques of the religion she grew up with, are also out of the question.

“I don’t have the right to renounce my struggle, or to give up my freedom,” says the reporter and sociologist of religion in an interview with Women in the World, during a recent trip to New York, as part of French president Francois Hollande’s delegation when he received the Appeal of Conscience Foundation’s World Statesman Award for 2016. “If the French state protects me it is not little individual me: What is being protected is my freedom to be irreverent, and freedom of expression, so I should exercise this even more because I enjoy this protection.”

“It’s totally crazy. I have done nothing against the law and have nothing to hide, yet I live with security while those who threaten us are free,” El Rhazoui declares with an air of shock and anger that underscores the arbitrariness and brutality visited on a 34-year-old woman condemned to living on the run and mostly in the shadows. “And if you call them by their names you are Islamophobic and racist. I am racist? I can teach them a few things about Arab culture. I can show them how to discover its richness and the diversity of their culture. I believe this culture deserves universality because you can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker.”…

Detruire Le Fascisme Islamique (Destroy Islamic Fascism), being released in France this week, takes the battle of ideas directly to the ideologically-driven zealots who inspired the assassins of her dear friend Charb (Stephane Charbonnier), late editor of Charlie Hebdo who preferred “to die standing than to live on my knees.”

Obtained exclusively by Women in the World, the book dedicated to “Muslim atheists” is an unapologetic strike against the strict application of Islam by imitating the first Salafists or “pious ancestors.” The Prophet Mohammed and his companions, whose violent exploits are contained in “bellicose texts from a barbaric 7th-century Bedouin tribal context,” exhibited codes of behavior El Rhazoui insists have no place in the modern world and can be directly connected to terrorism. “The most abject crimes of Islamic State are but a 21st-century remake of what the first Muslims accomplished under the guidance of the Prophet,” she writes, noting that sexual and domestic slavery, the massacre of non-Muslims (notably Jews), pedophilia, pillage, polygamy and summary executions were all adopted from pre-Islamic societies. The book is also the journalist’s way of carrying on the legacy of her dead comrades, who reveled in their right to mock established religion and fanatics everywhere — with Islam no exception to their traditional French anti-clerical ridicule — through satire and caricature.

Formerly the magazine’s religion writer, El Rhazoui is in the throes of joining the exodus of staff breaking from the magazine under its new management. Flush with cash from international donations, the fundamentally altered publication, she disappointedly explained, “will probably never again draw the Prophet” out of fear of more reprisals.

“[And] those who think that only a handful of madmen are capable of killing for a cartoon of Mohammed forget that everywhere that Islam reigns as the religion of the state, caricatures and cartoons in the press are repressed”.

El Rhazoui’s book, dedicated to “Muslim atheists,” is an unapologetic strike against the strict application of Islam.

Religion of peace and love?

“We need to admit that Islamism today is applied Islam,” El Rhazoui — who describes herself as an “atheist of Muslim culture” –writes, responding to politicians, religious figures, Islamophobia opponents and media commentators who claim after every jihadist attack that “real Islam” has nothing to do with such terror.

“When we apply Islam to the letter it gives Islamism, and when we apply Islamism to the letter it gives terrorism. So we need to stop saying Islam is a religion of peace and love. What is a moderate Islamist? An Islamist who doesn’t kill?”

The essay-length book is in the grand French polemical tradition of Emile Zola whose J’accuse denounced the anti-Semitism of the French state and establishment during the Dreyfus Affair, on the eve of the 20th century. El Rhazoui, who holds Moroccan and French citizenship, takes aim at a very 21st-century phenomenon: what she abhors as the “intellectual fraud” of Islamophobia, which pretends to be about anti-racism but in her reckoning is used as a weapon to silence all critics of Islam and the ideas behind it as automatically hostile towards all Muslims. Epitomized by the French Collective Against Islamophobia (CCIF), this deliberate strategy vilifies as Islamophobic voices such as El Rhazoui’s who dare question the religion the CCIF and fellow travelers define only through the prism of their own fundamentalism.

The notion of Islamophobia doesn’t even exist in Muslim countries, the author points out, because outside the West, criticism of the religion or Mohammed is officially “categorized as blasphemy.”

“Unable to pass blasphemy laws in Europe, groups like the CCIF employ a dangerous “semantic confusion,” she said. On the CCIF site it is written “Islamophobia is not an opinion: it is an offense.”

“This is very dangerous because it has even entered the dictionary as hostility towards Islam and Muslims. Yet criticism of an idea, of Islam or of a religion cannot be characterized as an offense or a crime. I was born and lived under the Islam of Morocco and live in France and I have the right criticize religion and this dictatorship of Islamophobia that says I have no right to criticize! If we criticize Christianity it doesn’t mean we are Christianophobes or racist towards the ‘Christian race.’”

The widespread pressure to self-censor is severe, El Rhazoui says.

“You can no longer speak about Islam without saying it’s a religion of peace and love. But when you open any book in Islam what do you find? Violence, blood, oppression of women and hate for other religions.

“Of course you can find this in other religions, however we are talking about something written many centuries ago during a barbaric time for humanity. As long as we don’t talk about this, and keep repeating that Islam is a religion of peace and love, many people will continue to believe the Koran is a constitution, and that rather than being a book written 15 centuries ago reflecting a particular context, it is a legal constitution to apply today.”

Zineb El Rhazoui feels she is carrying on the legacy of her dead Charlie Hebdo comrades.

After completing high school in Morocco, El Rhazoui studied languages and the sociology of religion, obtaining a Master’s degree from Paris’s prestigious social science graduate school EHESS. In her twenties she returned to the country of her birth to work as a journalist at Le Journal Hebdomadaire, becoming a campaigner for secular liberties, such as the right to break the fast and even snack in public during the month of Ramadan. This act of non-violent resistance earned her her first fatwa, ahead of her involvement in the movement supporting the Arab Spring in 2011. The wave of personal attacks and threats that came after her collective protest against Ramadan rules prompted her to leave Morocco again for France where she began to report for Charlie Hebdo, bringing her memories of having “vomited up compulsory religious classes” in a country where “being Muslim is not a choice” unless you’re Jewish or Christian.

Extreme personality cult

So-called Islamic fascism, seen in its most extreme form in groups like ISIS, shares characteristics in common with all extreme-right fascisms, El Rhazoui argues, because it combines an intense personality cult around Mohammed as the incarnation of the nation. It also employs widespread systems of suspicion and denunciation, exemplified by “sartorial branding” — for example Burkinis or niqabs — that allow for immediate identification and targeting of non-adherents. There are also familiar fascist tropes of repressive sexism against women and homosexuals, armed militias, adoption of a flag, and a strategy that confers the benign status of ‘Muslim women’ to heavily veiled adherents in the West, and characterizes them, disingenuously, as victimized objects of exclusion.

“The literary corpus of Islam is so stuffed with damning accounts it would be difficult to cleanse it without altering the fundamentals of dogma,” El Rhazoui writes.

“If the terrorists of Daesh [ISIS] behead those they judge to be miscreants, that is because they draw on their legislation in the texts like the 8th surah of the Koran, al-Anfal, verse 12: “Remember what Your Lord revealed to the angels : I am with you, so support those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. You can strike them above the neck and strike off every fingertip”.

‘You can be Arab, Muslim and a free thinker’

Drawing on her personal experience and scholarly knowledge of Islam’s core Arabic texts, the politics of the post-Arab Spring Middle East, and the wellspring of reformism and dissidence embraced within the multi-faceted Islamic civilization, El Rhazoui’s book is an impassioned response to all the extremists who want to see her and her fellow opponents of politico-religious repression dead.

The greatest racism is, El Rhazoui argues, the racism of the Islamist ideology that forbids marriage with people who are not Muslims, and that rejects women. “That is the definition of racism and fascism and we must say it,” the writer adds.

“Today Islam in the world only has a role as a civilization. A civilization is defined by many things and not uniquely by religion — but also by its geographical heritage, its artistic, culinary and sartorial traditions and by literature.

“The Muslim religion has its place in the modern world if it submits itself fully to the laws that rule humanity today: universal principles of equality between men and women, sexual and individual freedom, and equality for all, no matter your creed or religion. Until Islam has admitted this and accepted that the freedom of men and women is superior to it, Islam will not be acceptable.”

‘Islamophobia whiners’

Destroy Islamic Fascism aims to puncture the hypocrisy and faux-intellectual “fakery” (the author’s word) of “Islamophobia whiners” and other “collaborationists” from across the political spectrum — particularly the hard left, “Crypto-Islamist” anti-racists on a quest for a new “Muslim proletariat,” certain feminists, cultural relativists and so-called moderate Imams. All these “willing accomplices” do is distort the noble cause of fighting racism to give undeserved legitimacy to an ideology that at its most extreme results in the horrors of Islamic State, the author says, but also makes the lives of millions of Muslims living in Islamic countries downright miserable.

“What do these Islamophobia whiners say to the millions of individuals who live in Islamic theocracies and dream of liberty?” El Rhazoui concludes in her book. “Who speaks about the nightmare of a woman who decides to cross the streets of Algiers, Casablanca or Cairo in a skirt?… those who would like to drink a glass of alcohol in countries where you have to flout the law to do it? … about homosexuals, pariahs of Muslim societies, who often only have the choice of death, prison or exile? Who speaks about this youth born Muslim but dreaming of a normal life, these teens attacked for having had a romance?”

The summer furore over Burkini bans in France agitated the author who deplored the cynical rush of Islamists and their Western sympathizers in the media, academia and politics to celebrate the controversial swimsuit as a form of “liberation” and simultaneously a banal piece of cloth preferred by “Muslim women,” even though most never wear it.

“Western media, in an intolerable readiness to oblige, have defended the Burkini as a ‘freedom’ and a legitimate cultural expression of a part of humanity,” she said, but pointed out that “in Muslim countries the beaches are not filling up with Burkinis, but they are emptying themselves of women. From one year to another, they are disappearing from the public space, because the veil has never been anything except an extension of the walls of their harem to the exterior.”

As for mainstream or moderate Muslim clerics, El Rhazoui tells Women in the World that during the Burkini debate in France not one Imam stood up and said “Hey, wait a minute, you can be Muslim and wear a [regular] bathing suit.”

History will judge those who have monopolized the debate, given a platform to Islamist fundamentalism and even given it a guarantee of acceptability, the author of Destroy Islamic Fascism told Women in the World. “This is just betrayal and it is collaboration with one of the worst forms of fascism that exists today,” she said.

According to the writer, who is repeatedly accused of bigotry, the “Islamophobia ruse” is driven by “great ignorance” and a lack of understanding of the culture of Islam and what Islam with a big ‘I’ is — “they ignore its complexity and that there have always been opposition currents and progressive and liberal pushes from within.”

“The accomplices don’t recognize the struggles playing out today in Arab countries will inevitably be won by the democrats and free people. No fascism or totalitarianism has ever been able to win in the long haul of history. The people who are the allies and collaborators of this totalitarianism today will be judged by history and seen as accomplices to this criminal ideology to which they have given a veneer of respectability.”

For El Rhazoui the true racism emerges from a condescending approach to Islamic culture that decrees an Islamic woman in a burqa is congenitally not free and that her “race” is the burqa. “We present the fundamentalists as being a race and this only shows the contempt we have for this culture. It is absolutely intolerable,” she says.

Survivor syndrome

Women in the World asked El Rhazoui how she manages to keep up her spirits, and continue her struggle for the freedom to dissent after everything that has happened since January 2015.

“It is a question people often ask me,” she said with a perceptible tremor in her voice. “But when you live through these moments in which you are confronted by a reality as cruel and simple as life and death, you realize can put many things in perspective.

“Straight after the attacks, like many of my colleagues I felt guilty for having stayed alive. I said to myself ‘Those who are dead are dead for all our work, and some are dead when it wasn’t even their work. But it was my work because I am a journalist and I am still here.’ And then you understand this is all part of survivor syndrome, which is normal when you survive a massacre like that.

“As you start to heal you say, ‘I am lucky to be alive and if I am still here perhaps that is because I still have something to do.’ I understood long before the attack on Charlie, when I engaged in a struggle for individual liberties and democracy in Morocco, that when you fight against totalitarianism, whether it is political or religious, you should never give your enemies the pleasure of stopping living. We fight so that everyone can have a free and happy life and we must continue to live this same life.

Still a day doesn’t go past when she doesn’t think of her old colleague Charb and their many heated discussions.

“He was someone who was extremely lucid and for whom the concepts were clear. He was a true humanist who didn’t fear being accused of being racist because for him it was absurd.”

El Rhazoui’s deconstruction of Islam is also a defense of Muslims, she reasoned, as “salvation will come when we stop aligning the identity of an entire community with the most fundamentalist people who pretend to represent it.”

“We have to extend a hand to all these Muslims who are free people, who have questioned their heritage, and who are fighters for liberty, battling for the same values as us but in a context controlled by Islamists,” she says….

 

Salman Rushdie Reveals the Power of Today’s Islamism

September 9, 2016

Salman Rushdie Reveals the Power of Today’s Islamism, Counter JihadBruce Cornibe, September 8, 2016

Author Salman Rushdie, of the controversial novel The Satanic Verses, has spent a large stint underground being protected by the British government.  This is because he allegedly blasphemed Islam’s prophet  Muhammad. Rushdie, whose life has been greatly affected by Sharia inspired laws, is speaking out against the politically correct climate of our time, The Washington Times reports:

“Today, I would be accused of Islamophobia and racism. People would say I had attacked a cultural minority,” the writer [said].  He cited as an example of the change the handling of Charlie Hebdo, where an often scabrous satirical newspaper was threatened for years by Islamists and eventually numerous employees there were killed in a terrorist attack.

“Instead of responding to attacks against freedom of expression, voices were raised to decry blasphemy and to propose compromise with terrorism. There is no blasphemy in a democracy,” Mr. Rushdie said.

In the interview, the writer decried the reluctance of Western governments to use the words “Muslim” or “Islam,” preferring instead to attribute terrorist attacks to “unbalanced” people or to a generic thing like “radicalism” or “extremism,” even when the attackers themselves say Islam is their motive.

The ‘Islamophobia’ narrative that seeks to silence any kind of criticism of Islam is in fact a type of anti-blasphemy tactic used by Islamists. Quran 33:57 states, “Indeed, those who abuse Allah and His Messenger – Allah has cursed them in this world and the Hereafter and prepared for them a humiliating punishment.” The worst part is that prominent institutions and figures are pushing this narrative. The University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race & Gender (CRG), has even released an “Islamophobia Reporting App” for one’s cell phone. The same CRG, whose definition of ‘Islamophobia’ includes, “a perceived or real Muslim threat[.]” Also, one can speculate that London’s new Islamic mayor, Sadiq Khan, is going to try and target critics of Islamic doctrine in his effort to police “online hate crimes[.]”

Rushdie also makes good points about the dangerous atmosphere caused by Islamists leading up to the Charlie Hebdo attack in January 2015, and the failure of many Western leaders to call out Islamic terrorism by name. The Obama Administration’s response, or lack thereof, after the attack is pretty telling of its hesitancy to confront Islamic terrorism – the U.S. President and top-ranking U.S. officials didn’t join the Hebdo rally in Paris. Whether President Obama approves of the provocative magazine or not, he needs to still stand in solidarity against terrorism and the shedding of innocent blood.

This hyper-sensitivity against offending Islam not only shows religious favoritism to a particular group in society but also enables the Islamists and jihadists to advance their Sharia agenda. If the Salman Rushdie case and others like Charlie Hebdo do not awaken the West to action, then we can continue to watch our Western civilization and its liberties slowly vanish.

The City of Light Goes Dark

November 20, 2015

The City of Light Goes Dark, The Gatestone InstituteDenis MacEoin, November 20, 2015

(Please see also, Beware of Islamic terrorism. — DM)

  • The targets in all the Paris attacks were not chosen “randomly.” Charlie Hebdo stood for the Enlightenment value of free speech, for the right to challenge, even to make fun of figures who deem themselves above criticism: politicians, religious leaders, the rich and famous. It stood for the right to be secular: for refusing to fence off religion, or award believers greater respect than non-believers.
  • Like the attempts to shut down all criticism of Islam — whether in novels such as Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, cartoons such as those of Muhammad drawn and published in Denmark, or debates between academics — the Charlie Hebdo killings were intended to instil fear and silence all honest discussion of Islam and its values.
  • Through bold criticism in a secular manner, European states have been able to create a more pluralistic, tolerant, and humane culture. For devout Muslims (not just radicals), this is blasphemy of the worst sort: democracy, made by man and not by Allah, is evil, and tolerance for all beliefs is a path to hell.
  • This ongoing failure to admit that the law of jihad is explicitly cited by spokesmen for Islamic State is the root cause of our inability to fight this war. The ancestors of today’s Europeans knew how to fight against Islamic encroachment, but today, hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants, some of them devoted to waging jihad, are being given free access to enter Europe.

Who does not love Paris? Puritans do not love Paris. Puritans hate, music, song, dance, poetry, fun and love. Today, such people are represented above all by extremist Muslim doctrinaire fundamentalists. They seem to despise women without veils; call music Satanic; regard painted images as an insult to an angry God; consider football a sin, and a restaurant serving wine as the embodiment of evil. They do not respond to a life-affirming bustle and the ideals an open, tolerant, democratic, liberal, humanitarian, egalitarian West.

When Sir Karl Popper wrote, at the end of the Second World War in 1945, his two-volume classic, The Open Society and its Enemies, he laid bare the evils of totalitarian systems, both left and right — Communism and Fascism. He would never have guessed that soon a Third World War would be taking place between radical Islam and the West.

Last week, the City of Light went dark. In January of this year, some Islamist gunmen had attacked the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, and another had gunned down shoppers in a kosher supermarket. U.S. President Barack Obama, in an interview with Matt Yglesias, commenting on the supermarket attack, glossed over the motives behind it: “It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris.” [Emphasis added]

Two days after last week’s attacks, when reporters asked Obama if he would consider additional action against The Islamic State (IS), he declined to give a straight answer. The killings, he said, were “based on a twisted ideology.” As so many times before, Obama would not define what ideology — the belief system of radical Islam, based on violent passages from the Qur’an and Hadith, and modelled on the jihadist actions of generations of Muslims, beginning with Muhammad himself.

This ongoing failure to admit that the law of jihad is explicitly cited by spokesmen for Islamic State is the root cause of our inability to fight this war. The ancestors of today’s Europeans knew how to fight against Islamic encroachment, but today, hundreds of thousands of Muslim migrants, some of them devoted to waging jihad, are being given free access to enter Europe. At least one of last Friday’s killers in Paris appears to have travelled from Syria and entered Europe through Greece.

The targets in all the Paris attacks were not chosen “randomly.” Charlie Hebdo stood for the Enlightenment value of free speech, for the right to challenge, even to make fun of figures who deem themselves above criticism: politicians, religious leaders, the rich and famous. It stood for the right to be secular: for refusing to fence off religion, or award believers greater respect than non-believers.

Through bold criticism in a secular manner, European states have been able to create a more pluralistic, tolerant, and humane culture. For devout Muslims (not just radicals), this is blasphemy of the worst sort: democracy, made by man and not by Allah, is evil, and tolerance for all beliefs is a path to hell.

Like the attempts to shut down all criticism of Islam — whether in novels such as Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses, cartoons such as those of Muhammad drawn and published in Denmark, or debates between academics — the Charlie Hebdo killings were intended to instil fear and silence all honest discussion of Islam and its values.

The kosher supermarket attack was clearly anti-Semitic. Like the multitude of such attacks on Jewish schools, museums, synagogues, and individuals, it celebrated the rise of a new anti-Semitism in Europe, an anti-Semitism (often expressed through anti-Zionism) that has been carried out by the political left, hand-in-hand with Muslim radical groups.

Jews on European streets are the one people most intensely hated by many Muslims (again, not just radicals). The freedom French Jews have for a long time enjoyed (despite high levels of indigenous anti-Semitism) is an affront to Islam, in which Jews especially must be converted, rendered submissive, or killed. Unfortunately, many Europeans have gone out of their way to be helpful. Just the day before the Paris attacks, the EU had singled out Israel, as usual, to label goods to help anti-Semitic, racist Europeans hurt Palestinians and Israelis with an unjust, sanctimonious boycott.

A leader of a British Islamic educational institute writes that, “One should abstain from evil audacities such as listening to music.” Another graduate speaks of the “evils of music;” calls London’s Royal College of Music “satanic,” and claims that music is the way in which Jews spread “the Satanic web” to corrupt young Muslims. Is it, then, surprising that a handful of fanatics gunned down more than 80 innocent young people who had gone to enjoy a rock concert in the Bataclan Theatre?

As sports (apart from archery and horseback riding) are also activities much disliked by fundamentalist imams, three jihadis, in an apparent rebuke to such games and frivolity, went to a football stadium in Paris last Friday night and, although they could not get in, they blew themselves up outside it.[1]

The Nazis hated jazz and modern art (even as they stole it), but not even they rejected all music and all art. Hitler luxuriated in the operas of Wagner and fancied himself no mean painter, even if the art world may not have agreed with him. But today’s fascists care for nothing but their own increasingly expansionist beliefs.

As Hamas members have said more than once to Israelis, with whom the Europeans have more in common now than they would like to admit, the extremist Muslims will conquer in the end because “we love death more than you love life.” Nothing could better sum up the bitter reality of the Paris attacks.

In a television interview on BBC News at Ten on Sunday night, a singer, Maude Hacheb, expressed her response to the killings: “If they want to break the country, they have to break young people. I think for them, music is no good, fun is no good, love is no good. So I guess it was really significant they go to the Bataclan.”

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[1] Cricket has been condemned by a Pakistani imam as a sacrilegious “waste of time,” playing chess has been compared to dipping one’s hands in the blood of pigs, and ultra-conservative Muslim clerics have condemned football as a Jewish and Christian tool to undermine Islamic culture. Saudi Sheikh Abdel Rahman al-Barrak has warned in a fatwa that football “played according to [accepted international rules] has caused Muslims to adopt some of the customs of the enemies of Islam, who are [preoccupied with] games and frivolity.”

France’s Politically Correct War on Islamic Terror

November 16, 2015

France’s Politically Correct War on Islamic Terror, The Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, November 16, 2015

(Please see also, Why Islam is a religion of war. — DM)

  • French leaders consistently act in ways that undermine their stated goal of eradicating Islamic terror.
  • Critics of the policy say “Daesh” is a politically correct linguistic device that allows Western leaders to claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic — and thus ignore the root cause of Islamic terror and militant jihad.
  • French leaders have also been consistently antagonistic toward Israel, a country facing Islamic terror on a daily basis. France is leading international diplomatic efforts to push for a UN resolution that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within a period of two years. The move effectively whitewashes Palestinian terror.
  • French critics of Islam are routinely harassed with strategic lawsuits that seek to censor, intimidate and silence them. In a recent case, Sébastien Jallamion, a 43-year-old policeman from Lyon was suspended from his job and fined 5,000 euros after he condemned the death of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel, who was beheaded by jihadists in Algeria.
  • “Those who denounce the illegal behavior of fundamentalists are more likely to be sued than the fundamentalists who behave illegally.” — Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s Front National.

French President François Hollande has vowed to avenge the November 13 jihadist attacks in Paris that left more than 120 dead and 350 injured.

Speaking from the Élysée Palace, Hollande blamed the Islamic State for the attacks, which he called an “act of war.” He said the response from France would be “unforgiving” and “merciless.”

Despite the tough rhetoric, however, the question remains: Does Hollande understand the true nature of the war he faces?

Hollande pointedly referred to the Islamic State as “Daesh,” the acronym of the group’s full Arabic name, which in English translates as “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,” or “ISIL.”

The official policy of the French government is to avoid using the term “Islamic State” because, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, it “blurs the lines between Islam, Muslims and Islamists.”

Critics of the policy say “Daesh” is a politically correct linguistic device that allows Western leaders to claim that the Islamic State is not Islamic — and thus ignore the root cause of Islamic terror and militant jihad.

Islamic ideology divides the world into two spheres: the House of Islam and the House of War. The House of War (the non-Muslim world) is subject to permanent jihad until it is made part of the House of Islam, where Sharia is the law of the land.

Jihad — the perpetual struggle to expand Muslim domination throughout the world with the ultimate aim of bringing all of humanity under submission to the will of Allah — is the primary objective of true Islam, as unambiguously outlined in its foundational documents.

Consequently, even if the Islamic State were to be bombed into oblivion, France and the rest of the non-Muslim world will continue to be the target of Islamic supremacists. The West cannot defeat Islamic terrorism by attempting to conceptually delink it from true Islam. But still they try.

After the January 2015 jihadist attacks on the Paris offices of the magazine Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, President Hollande declared:

“We must reject facile thinking and eschew exaggeration. Those who committed these terrorist acts, those terrorists, those fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said: “We are in a war against terrorism. We are not in a war against religion, against a civilization.” Again, he said: “We are at war with terrorism, jihadism and radicalism. France is not at war against Islam and Muslims.”

At a June conference with more than 100 leaders of the French Muslim community, Valls denied there is any link between extremism and Islam. He also refused to raise the issue of radicalization because the topic was “too sensitive.” Instead, he said:

“Islam still provokes misunderstandings, prejudices and is rejected by some citizens. Yet Islam is here to stay in France. It is the second largest religious group in our country.

“We must say all of this is not Islam: The hate speech, anti-Semitism that hides behind anti-Zionism and hate for Israel, the self-proclaimed imams in our neighborhoods and our prisons who are promoting violence and terrorism.”

1348After the January 2015 jihadist attacks in Paris, France’s President François Hollande declared: “We must reject facile thinking and eschew exaggeration. Those who committed these terrorist acts, those terrorists, those fanatics, have nothing to do with the Muslim religion.”

France is home to around 6.5 million Muslims, or roughly 10% of the country’s total population of 66 million. Although most Muslims in France live peacefully, many are drawn to radical Islam. A CSA poll found that 22% of Muslims in the country consider themselves Muslim first and French second. Nearly one out of five (17%) Muslims in France believe that Sharia law should be fully applied in France, while 37% believe that parts of Sharia should be applied in the country.

France is also one of the largest European sources of so-called foreign fighters in Syria: More than 1,500 French Muslims have joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and many more are believed to be supporters of the group in France.

Since the Charlie Hebdo attacks, the French government has introduced a raft of new counter-terrorism measures — including sweeping surveillance powers to eavesdrop on the public — aimed at preventing further jihadist attacks.

French counter-terrorism operatives have foiled a number of jihadist plots, including a plan to attack a major navy base in Toulon, and an attempt to murder a Socialist MP in Paris.

As the latest attacks in Paris (as well as the failed attack on a high-speed train from Amsterdam to Paris in August) show, surveillance is not foolproof. Claude Moniquet, a former French intelligence operative, warns that European intelligence agencies are overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who may pose a threat. He writes:

“Some 6,000 Europeans are or were involved in the fighting in Syria (they went there, they were killed in action, they are still in IS camps, they are on their way there or their way back.)

“If you have 6,000 ‘active’ jihadists, this probably means that if you try to count those who were not identified, the logistics people who help them join up, their sympathizers and the most radical extremists who are not yet involved in violence but are on the verge of it, you have something between 10,000 and 20,000 ‘dangerous’ people in Europe.

“To carry out ‘normal’ surveillance on a suspect on a permanent basis, you need 20 to 30 agents and a dozen vehicles. And these are just the requirements for a ‘quiet’ target.

“If the suspect travels abroad, for instance, the figure could go up to 50 or 80 agents and necessitate co-operation between the services of various countries. Work it out: to keep watch on all the potential suspects, you’d need between 120,000 and 500,000 agents throughout Europe. Mission impossible!”

Meanwhile, French leaders consistently act in ways that undermine their stated goal of eradicating Islamic terror.

The French government has been one of the leading European proponents of the nuclear deal with Iran, the world’s biggest state sponsor of terrorism. Although Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah, are responsible for deaths of scores of French citizens, Fabius wasted no time in rushing to Tehran in search of business opportunities for French companies. In July, Fabius proclaimed:

“We are two great independent countries, two great civilizations. It is true that in recent years, for reasons that everyone knows, links have loosened, but now thanks to the nuclear deal, things are going to change.”

Fabius also extended an invitation for Iran’s President, Hassan Rouhani, to visit France in November. This trip — which has been mired in controversy, not over terrorism or nuclear proliferation, but over Iran’s demand that no wine be served during a formal dinner at the Élysée Palace — was postponed indefinitely after the Paris attacks. Hollande’s advisors apparently concluded that this is not the right moment for a photo-op with Rouhani, a career terrorist.

French leaders have also been consistently antagonistic toward Israel, a country facing Islamic terror on a daily basis.

After Israel launched a military offensive aimed at stopping Islamic terror groups in the Gaza Strip from launching missiles into the Jewish state, France led international calls for Israel to halt the operation. French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said:

“France calls for an immediate ceasefire… to ensure that every side starts talking to each other to avoid an escalation that would be tragic for this part of the world.”

More recently, France has been a leading European advocate of a European Union policy that now requires Israel to label products “originating in Israeli settlements beyond Israel’s 1967 borders.” The move is widely seen as part of an international campaign to delegitimize the State of Israel. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the move:

“The labelling of products of the Jewish state by the European Union brings back dark memories. Europe should be ashamed of itself. It took an immoral decision… this will not advance peace, it will certainly not advance truth and justice. It is wrong.”

France is also leading international diplomatic efforts to push for a United Nations resolution that would lead to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state within a period of two years. The move effectively whitewashes Palestinian terror. Netanyahu responded:

“The only way to reach an agreement is through bilateral negotiations, and we will forcibly reject any attempts to force upon us international dictates.

“In the international proposals that have been suggested to us — which they are actually trying to force upon us — there is no real reference to Israel’s security needs or our other national interests.

“They are simply trying to push us into indefensible borders while completely ignoring what will happen on the other side of the border.”

Meanwhile, after more than a year as a member of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, French officials waited until late September to begin striking targets in Syria. But they refused to destroy the headquarters of the Islamic State in Raqqa — where the Paris attacks were reportedly planned.

Back in France, critics of Islam are routinely harassed with strategic lawsuits that seek to censor, intimidate and silence them.

In a recent case, Sébastien Jallamion, a 43-year-old policeman from Lyon, was suspended from his job and fined 5,000 euros after he condemned the death of Frenchman Hervé Gourdel, who was beheaded by jihadists in Algeria in September 2014. Jallamion explained:

“According to the administrative decree that was sent to me today, I am accused of having created an anonymous Facebook page in September 2014, showing several ‘provocative’ images and commentaries, ‘discriminatory and injurious,’ of a ‘xenophobic or anti-Muslim’ nature. As an example, there was that portrait of the Calif al-Baghdadi, head of the Islamic State, with a visor on his forehead. This publication was exhibited during my appearance before the discipline committee with the following accusation: ‘Are you not ashamed of stigmatizing an imam in this way?’ My lawyer can confirm this… It looks like a political punishment. I cannot see any other explanation.

“Our fundamental values, those for which many of our ancestors gave their life are deteriorating, and that it is time for us to become indignant over what our country is turning into. This is not France, land of Enlightenment that in its day shone over all of Europe and beyond. We must fight to preserve our values, it’s a matter of survival.”

Meanwhile, Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s Front National (FN) and one of the most popular politicians in the country, went on trial in October 2015 for comparing Muslim street prayers to the wartime occupation of France. At a campaign rally in Lyon in 2010, she said:

“I’m sorry, but for those who really like to talk about World War II, if we’re talking about an occupation, we could talk about the [street prayers], because that is clearly an occupation of territory.

“It is an occupation of sections of the territory, of neighborhoods in which religious law applies — it is an occupation. There are no tanks, there are no soldiers, but it is an occupation nevertheless, and it weighs on people.”

Le Pen said she was a victim of “judicial persecution” and added:

“It is a scandal that a political leader can be sued for expressing her beliefs. Those who denounce the illegal behavior of fundamentalists are more likely to be sued than the fundamentalists who behave illegally.”

Responding to the jihadist attacks in Paris, Le Pen said:

“France and the French are no longer safe. It is my duty to tell you. Urgent action is needed.

“France must finally identify her allies and her enemies. Her enemies are those countries that have friendly relationships with radical Islam, and also those countries that have an ambiguous attitude toward terrorist enterprises.

“Regardless of what the European Union says, it is essential that France regain permanent control over its borders.

“France has been rendered vulnerable; it must rearm, because for too long it has undergone a programmed collapse of its defensive capabilities in the face of predictable and growing threats. It must restore its military resources, police, gendarmerie, intelligence and customs. The State must be able to ensure again its vital mission of protecting the French.

“Finally, Islamist fundamentalism must be annihilated. France must ban Islamist organizations, close radical mosques and expel foreigners who preach hatred in our country as well as illegal migrants who have nothing to do here. As for dual nationals who are participating in these Islamist movements, they must be stripped of their French nationality and deported.”

In the aftermath of the attacks, Le Pen, who has long been critical of President Hollande’s politically correct counter-terrorism policies, is certain to rise in public opinion polls. This will increase the political pressure on the government to take decisive action against the jihadists.

Faced with similar pressure after the Charlie Hebdo attacks in January, Hollande seemed reluctant to push too far, apparently fearful of the consequences of confronting the Muslim community in France. It remains to be seen whether the latest attacks in Paris, which some are describing as France’s September 11, mark a turning point.

ISIS “lone wolf” violence on global stage baffles Western authorities fighting terror

June 27, 2015

ISIS “lone wolf” violence on global stage baffles Western authorities fighting terror, DEBKAfile, June 27, 2015

“Nothing to do with Islam.”

— DM)

Tunis-Abu_Yahya_al_Qayrawani_was_responsible_26.6.15_1The Tunisian hotel gunman Abu Yahya al Qayrawani

President Barack Obama has avoided linking terrorism with the Muslim religion. Friday, British premier David Cameron responded to the latest round of ISIS attacks with horror, but he also said, “…this terrorism is not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” The killers, rather, “do it in the name of a twisted, perverted ideology.”

******************

The US State Department said Friday, June 26, that there was no indication so far “on the tactical level” that “the attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France were coordinated.”

DEBKAfile: That conventional prototype of Islamist terrorist operations is no longer applicable. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS has its own methods of inflicting widespread death which are hard to detect or predict. A decree sent from the top galvanized followers worldwide into initiating lasrgely solo operations. The result was: 211 people dead on Tunisian beaches, a decapitated victim – the first in Europe – at an US-owned French factory, and 27 Shiites killed at a Kuwaiti mosque.

The three outrages were perpetrated on three continents just two hours apart.

The second Friday of the Muslim festival month of Ramadan marked the first anniversary of the founding of the Muslim caliphate in Iraq and Syria under the rule of Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi and was therefore judged a fitting date for killing infidels and Shiites.

These atrocities, along with the mass-executions of Syrian Kurds in Kobani and attacks on Saudi Shiite mosques, were also designed to further inflame sectarian hostilities between Sunnis and Shiites and remind non-Sunni minorities, including Kurds and Druze, of the cruel punishment in store for them.

The latest operational mode of terror employed by the Islamic State is a special adaptation of the “lone wolf” method – which is nothing like the lone terrorist acting on impulse, such as Israel officials depict after a Palestinian crashes a vehicle into a crowd, or stabs a passerby. It rests on meticulous forward planning, according to all the evidence.

Most of the terrorists activated by ISIS are radical Muslims living or working outside Syria or Iraq, often in western Europe and the United States, who have pledged an oath of loyalty to the Islamic State and its caliph, or else Western converts who returned home from Middle East battlefields:
These extremists set up their own operations for acting alone, or in twos or threes at most. They choose their targets according to three yardsticks:

1. The highest number of victims they can kill.

2.  The most gruesome atrocity, climaxing in beheading, for inspiring terror in a large community.

ISIS strategists have turned their backs on Osama bin Laden’s tactics. He employed 20 Saudi terrorists to hijack two commercial planes for murdering thousands of people in the horrific 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.

Fourteen years later, ISIS uses a single terrorist who is ready to die – or two at most – to execute a massacre. It took no more than one gunman, later identified as Abu Yahya al Qayrawani, firing his Kalashnikov non-stop, to mow down 39 mostly foreign holidaymakers on the beaches of the Tunisian resort of Sousse.

Disguised as a European holidaymaker, he sauntered out to the first hotel beach, his automatic rifle hidden in a large sun shade and opened deadly fire on the unsuspecting people lying there, swimming or heading for the hotel lobby. He then raced to the next hotel beach, firing as he went and killing people as they sought cover.

He was only stopped by police gunfire. A bomb belt was found tied to his body, meaning that the shooting was just stage one of the attack. A big explosion was to have followed.

This was no ordinary “lone wolf” terrorist. It was a highly competent terror machine on two feet.

The beheading of victims is another novel Islamic States method, compared with the classical Al Qaeda of yore. Its perpetrators are usually selected from a group of Muslim extremists with a history in the movement. The more gruesome the deed, the more valiant and honored is the perpetrator.

Many of the jihadis are known to Western security and intelligence agencies. In same places, especially Britain, France and Tunisia, they may even serve local Western security agencies as informants, a role they use as cover for secretly setting up their attacks. This makes their attacks virtually unpredictable.

The unfortunate truth is that many Western counter-terror bodies have been penetrated by these extremists who pretend to cooperate in the war on terror and instead keep their handlers confused.

President Barack Obama has avoided linking terrorism with the Muslim religion. Friday, British premier David Cameron responded to the latest round of ISIS attacks with horror, but he also said, “…this terrorism is not in the name of Islam. Islam is a religion of peace.” The killers, rather, “do it in the name of a twisted, perverted ideology.”

DEBKAfile: Too many Muslims, even those who do not preach violence, don’t see it in those terms.

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.”