Posted tagged ‘Islamic integration’

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

September 14, 2017

What’s on the Mind of a Muslim ‘Refugee’? Middle East Forum, Burak Bekdil, September 10, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I apologized and disappeared into the bar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lessons from Europe’s Immigrant Wave: Douglas Murray Cautions America

July 24, 2017

Lessons from Europe’s Immigrant Wave: Douglas Murray Cautions America, Investigative Project on Terrorism, Abigail R. Esman, July 24, 2017

Douglas Murray has long voiced his concern about the growing influence of Muslim culture on the West. The associate editor of Britain’s Spectator, a frequent contributor to the Wall Street Journal, and the founder of the Centre for Social Cohesion, a think tank on radical Islam, he has built an international reputation for his opposition to the demographic changes of the West and the threats to its traditions. In his latest book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam (Bloomsbury, 2017), he attacks all of these subjects as they relate to the current crisis of migration from the Middle East.

It is a controversial book, particularly for Americans and Jews, but one which also makes important arguments against the multiculturalist ideal. That ideal, which once led much of domestic policy across Europe and the United States, has proven not only a failure, but a threat to the values and national security of Western civilization.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism recently spoke with Murray about his book and the concerns that drove him to write it.

Abigail R. Esman: As an American, a Jew, and an immigrant myself to the Netherlands, there are aspects of your arguments against immigration and asylum that are troublesome to me. I come from a country where we are all immigrants, or our parents or grandparents were likely immigrants. You talk for instance of families where “neither parent speaks English as a first language,” yet my husband is Australian and I am American and neither of us speaks Dutch as a first language. So naturally, I come at these arguments with some concern. Are you saying, basically, close the borders?

Douglas K . Murray: It’s only for me to diagnose what’s happening – to see the truth about what is going on. Policy makers will make their own decisions. I have obviously broad views on it, which is that I think you can’t continue at the rate we have now, and I think you have to be choosy about the people you bring in. But you are right, and there are two groups of people who have had trouble with some of the basic things in this book: one is people of Jewish background, and others who come from nations of immigrants, like America. But Britain isn’t a nation of immigrants – we have been a static society with all the benefits and ills that this brings. And I think it is dishonest to say it is the same thing. I realize people who are predominantly Jewish have a particular sensitivity to it, but I think that that’s a particular issue. And why do we say one migration is just like the other It’s like saying because two vehicles went down the same road they are the same vehicle.

ARE: How is it different?

DKM: In the UK, when Jewish migration happened more than a century ago, the main thing was integration, integration into the society, wanting desperately to be part of British society. Why do synagogues in the UK have a portrait of the Queen? And after services, they often sing the British national anthem. It’s very moving. It’s an effort to demonstrate this is what we are and this is what we want to be. You’d be hard pressed to find a mosque with a picture of the queen who sing the anthem.

ARE: That element of integration is crucial, I agree. In America, in fact, immigrants in the past and often even today are eager to give their children Anglicized names: “Michael,” not “Moishe,” “Henry,” not “Heinrich.” Yet you do not see the name changes in Muslims these days. Why do you think that is?

DKM: Because there is less of a feeling to integrate. They want to stay with the country they’ve left but not deal with its economics. Some people find it flattering – that people want to move to your country – they say well, it shows what a wonderful place we are. No, it shows that your economics work better.

ARE: You also write about Muslim enclaves in Europe where “the women all wear some form of head covering and life goes on much as it would if the people were in Turkey or Morocco.” How is that different than, say, Chinatowns, or Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in America and say, Belgium, where women wear wigs and men have peyas, or sidelocks?

DKM: The example of Chinatown-like places is a good comparison. These are places that are mini-Chinas, they are enjoyed and liked by people because they are a different place. Well, if people want to have a mini-Bangladesh, that’s one vision of a society. It’s not the vision we were sold in Europe. It was not meant to be the case that portions of our cities were meant to become totally different places. In the 1950s the British and other European authorities said we have to bring people into our countries and we will get a benefit in labor. But if they had said that the downside is that large portions of the area would be unrecognizable to their inhabitants, there would have been an outcry.

And the issue of them being different from Hasidic communities – you’re right, they are similar. You can go to Stamford Hill in North London and see most of the men in hats and so on and that’s because that’s an enclave that wants to keep to itself. That raises questions: one, people don’t mind that, for several reasons – one is the recognition that Orthodox men don’t cause troubles. We don’t have cases of Orthodox men going out and cutting off people’s heads. If four Jewish men from Stamford Hill had blown up buses some years back there would be concern about these enclaves.

And also those enclaves are not growing. If it was the case that these enclaves were becoming areas where all the city was hat-wearing Orthodox Jews, then people would say wait, what is that? You can applaud that or abhor it, but it’s important to mention.it.

ARE: In the Netherlands, which has some of the toughest immigration policies in the world, people from certain countries are required to take “citizenship” courses before they can even enter Dutch borders. They have to learn the language, they have to learn about Dutch values, and that no, you can’t throw stones at Jews and gay people and that gay marriage is legal and women wear short dresses. Would you recommend other countries take on the Dutch policy of citizenship courses?

DKM: I make this point in the book. You say we could have done more and better, but the fundamental thing is that none of it was ever expected in the first place. No one ever thought that we would be in the situation we are now in. We didn’t expect them to stay. That’s a very big misunderstanding. Why wouldyou ask people to become Dutch citizens if you expect them to go home in five years? Why if you only expect them to stay in Britain for only 10 years? But then we realized they would stay and then we said, “we have to let them practice their own culture.” But for us to have acted as you suggest we would have had to know [at the time].

So yes, I think it’s a bare minimum for Europe to have the Dutch policy, even at this very late stage. I’m of the inclination that this is too little too late, but I wish everyone luck with it.

ARE: What about Yazidi women, Syrian Christians?

DKM: Again, it comes down to the Jewish question – because people think that every refugee is like a Jew from Nazi Germany. But if you were to think of a group that was facing an attempt to wipe them off the face of the earth then yes, you’d have the Yazidis. But there are people on all sides of the Syrian civil war, which are a minority of people coming to Europe – these are people fleeing sectarian conflict, but none of them are fleeing an effort to wipe them out as a people. So the lazy view, and it is quite often pushed by Jewish groups which I think is a mistake – is to suggest that it is similar to Nazi Germany. And I wish more care were taken in this.

ARE: Is this in your mind a way of stopping radical Islam? Because so many of the radicalized Muslims are actually converts. How would it help?

DKM: We know that people who convert to anything tend to be fundamentalist. But the important thing is, if you were pliable to be converted, available to be converted, then it raises the question of what kind of Islam do we have in these countries? If it were people finding Sufism, rather than hardcore Salafism, maybe it would be different. I have a friend who is a Muslim who was on a trip some years ago who told me the story of introducing a Muslim woman to one of the senior clerics at Al-Azhar and she wouldn’t shake his hand. He asked her why not. She said, “Because I’m Muslim.” So he asked her how long she’d been a Muslim, and she said “Six years.” He said, “I’ve been a Muslim for eight decades.” And then he turned and said to his friend in Arabic, “What kind of Muslims are you making in Britain?”

ARE: One thing the American Muslim community seems to have over its European brethren is its successful integration into society. Yet at the same time, some of the worst of the radicals are in fact American-born. We have people like Linda Sarsour, who wears the mantle of feminism, but who is really a Trojan horse for the Islamists. She has said things like “Our number one and top priority is to protect and defend our community. It is not to assimilate and lease any other people in authority.” What are the dangers of that kind of message?

DKM: I once spent an evening with Linda Sarsour. She is a very unpleasant, very radical girl. Filled with hate. I was the one having to defend America to Americans in an American audience against an American opponent. What she told that night was all lies, which you would tell either because you are dumb, which she isn’t, or because you want to spread propaganda, which she does.

I just think she is of a type. There are various sides to the issue that are important. There’s an “us” question and a “them” question. The “them” question is, what do people like that believe, what are they doing and how vile are they? But in a way, the “us” question is bigger. Why do we let them do this? What is wrong with America at this time in its history that an obvious demagogue like her can end up leading a feminist march [the 2017 Women’s March]? That’s an illness of America. She’s just a symptom of that.

ARE: And similarly, the Rushdie affair was effective in quashing further expression and criticism related to Islam. And Charlie Hebdo took that to an extreme. We haven’t had anything that severe, but there were the South Park threats and the attempted attack on the Mohammed cartoon contest in Garland. You blame European politicians and media for failing to recognize that those who were shouting “fire” were in fact the arsonists. This seems to be a global challenge – that any criticism or critique of Islam gets shouted down as inherently bigoted. In the U.S., the Southern Poverty Law Center places Maajid Nawaz on a list of “anti-Muslim extremists” for criticizing some tenets of the faith and advocating modernization and reform. In Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. At the same time, though, there was certainly support for Charlie Hebdo, though you seem to deny it in your book, after the shootings. What’s the proper response to that form of a heckler’s veto?

DKM: I agree with the point. The only ways to reject the assassin’s veto is for civil society to be stronger on the question, for governments to ensure that people deemed to have ‘blasphemed’ are protected (as in the case of Rushdie) and that those who incite violence against them (such as Cat Stevens during the Rushdie affair) are the ones who find themselves on the receiving end of prosecutions. That and – obviously – ensuring that blasphemy laws aren’t allowed in through the back door via new ‘hate speech’ laws and the like.

ARE: In the chapter on multiculturalism, you describe interest groups which “were thrown up that claimed to represent and speak for all manner of identity groups.” These self-appointed voices then become the go-to groups for government. To keep the money flowing, they make the problems facing their community appear worse than they really are.” Is that a universal behavior for interest groups? We certainly see that in the U.S. with CAIR and ISNA.

DKM: Every group is vulnerable to that. With every human rights achievement, there are always some people left on the barricades. And the ones who linger on the barricades linger on without any home to go to. And you get these people who are stranded after it’s over and they have to hustle as if everything was as bad as it once was. Sometimes they are telling the truth; sometimes they wave a warning flag, but for the moment it seems particularly in America every group is claiming that this is basically 1938. It’s a tendency of every commune or group that wants awareness raised.

But it’s true, it’s especially prevalent of Muslim groups because if you keep claiming that you are the victim, then you never have to sort out your own house. And the groups that come to Europe and America, they never have to get their house in order if they spend all their time claiming they are victims of genocide and persecution and so on. And this is a familiar story.

ARE: So what would be your lesson, then, for America, especially in a book which clearly is about Europe?

DKM: Well, it is about Europe, certainly, but it’s connected to the debate America is now beginning to have. The first is to be careful with immigration. We’ve all had the same misunderstanding, the same thought that our societies are vast, immovable, unchanging things to which you could keep bringing people of every imaginable stripe and the results will always be the same. And I think that is just not the case, depending on the people who are in them. So we must take care with what kind of immigration we encourage, and at what pace, and that is something America should be thinking of, as everyone else should.

But America will have a harder time with this, because everyone in America has this vulnerability we don’t have in Europe, which is that we are all migrants. And you have the sense of ‘who am I to keep anyone out?’

ARE: I don’t think that’s the American view. I think it’s more that we all became part of this fabric, and we expect that the new immigrants will, too. But not all of them do.

DM: The whole thing actually seems to be unraveling, more than in Europe. In Europe, we don’t like to think in terms of racial terms. But all anyone in America talks about is race.

ARE: I don’t think so….

DKM: Maybe; but your vision of original sin in America seems to have become all so overwhelming. Your leading cultural figures, like Ta-Nehisi Coates, have this image of America born in terrible sin. The Atlantic’s front cover recently was all about slavery. You would get the impression that slavery only ended about 12 months ago. You are going over and over this in America – this endless sense of original sin. You are discussing reparations for slavery in 2017. You’d be hard-pressed to find publications in the UK calling for reparations to our past. Find me a mainstream publication that runs such a thing in Europe, even of WWII reparations.

So it’s symptomatic of something badly wrong at the structure of the public discussion.

ARE: Which suggests that we should do what?

DKM: What you have to listen out for is very straightforward: are the people raising such issues raising them because they want America to improve, or because they want America to end? I think this is a very central issue. Are you speaking as a critic, or as an enemy of the society in question? If you think the society can do no good, then you are speaking as an enemy. If you think there are things that have been done, that are wrong, that should be righted, campaign for them, speak out for them. Sometimes if you’re lucky you can get a posthumous rectification. But it sounds to me like a lot of this talk is from people who hate America. They don’t want to improve it. They want to end it.

So the lesson is – be careful about immigration. Be choosy. And another is a pretty straightforward one which is to work on the people who are there not to fall into the victim narratives of their special interest groups. And to focus on the “we.” I’ve always felt more optimistic for America in this regard, for the same reason I feel more optimistic than others do about France: because I think there is a very specific identity there, which it is possible to become a part of. I think it’s something other Western European countries, have not accomplished in the same way. So basically to strengthen their own identity.

ARE: Do you consider yourself a pessimist?

DKM: I think in Europe the facts are very pessimism-causing. I think it would be a strange person who would look at 12,000 people landing in Lampedusa, all young men, all without jobs, all without futures, and think, ‘That’s going to go really well. These are going to be just like the Jews of Vienna. These are going to be the receptacles of our culture.’ I don’t see it happening.

The Worst Ideological Enemy of the US is Now Europe

July 20, 2017

The Worst Ideological Enemy of the US is Now Europe, Gatestone Institute, Drieu Godefridi, July 20, 2017

The vast majority of these European courts — whether the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) or the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) — in their attempt to be moral and just, have dismissed the sovereign laws of Italy as irrelevant, and trampled the rights of the Italian state and ordinary Italians to approve who enters their country.

In Europe, Amnesty International and the like are, it seems, a new source of law.

Those who gave the Statue of Liberty to America in 1886 “to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States” are willingly trampling their own people’s liberties today through courts of appointed, unelected, unaccountable ideologues. The danger is that, with the help of many doubtless well-intentioned, international NGOs, the EU will not stop at its shores.

Europe is the worst enemy of the US? You cannot be serious. Islamism, Russia, illegal immigrants… whatever, but surely not Europe! Are we not still together in NATO? Do we not conduct huge amounts of trade every day? Do we not share the same cultural roots, the same civilization, the same vision of the future? Did France not give the US her famous Statue of Liberty – “Liberty Enlightening the World?

Not anymore. In a sense, Europe looks like a continent where American Democrats have been in power for 30 years, not only in the European states, but also at the level of the European Union.

In the US, the political spectrum still spans a vast range of views between Democrats and Republicans, globalists and nationalists, pro-lifers and pro-choicers, pro-government control and pro-individuals’ control, and pro-whatever. Even today with a president and a Supreme Court clearly on the political “Right” these divisions, and the all-important separation of powers, allow for and encourage vigorous debate. By contrast, in Europe, at the “official” level, such a spectrum of views no longer exists.

In Western Europe, politically speaking, in the press and in universities, either you are on the “Left,” or you are a pariah. If you are a pariah, you are most likely to be prosecuted for “Islamophobia”, “racism”, discrimination or some other “trumped up” charge.

There are several reasons for this imbalance. One is the difference in political maturity between Europeans and Americans. Whereas “ordinary” American voters (not just the “elites”) understand that their Supreme Court is key to ensuring that fundamental constitutional freedoms are maintained for all, the Europeans have done the opposite. In the US, the constitutional right to “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” is derived from the people — “from the consent of the governed.”

Consequently, when Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court died, the US press wrote about him for weeks. “Ordinary citizens” in the US are deeply aware of judicial roles and their effect on judgements and legal precedents.

By contrast, in Europe, we now have two Supreme Courts: the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg, in addition to national courts. There is, however, not one citizen in a million who can name a single judge of either the ECHR or the CJEU. The reason is that the nomination of those judges is mostly opaque, purely governmental and, in the instance of the ECHR, with no public debate. With the CJEU, appointments are also essentially governmental, with the sanction of the European Parliament, which is ideologically dominated by the Left.

In Europe, there are now two Supreme Courts: the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, and the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Luxembourg (pictured above), in addition to national courts. (Image source: Transparency International/Flickr)

The US has always welcomed immigrants, most of whom came to her shores via Ellis Island and went through a legal process for entry, led by the light of the torch of Lady Liberty. In recent years, especially since the advent of increased terrorism, the subject of illegal immigrants, migrant workers and the vetting of immigrants has become hotly debated.

By contrast, in Europe, the topic of “illegal” migrants is effectively forbidden. The continent has recently been invaded by millions of migrants — many apparently arriving under the false pretense of being refugees, even according to the United Nations.

One of the reasons is the open-door policy of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who allowed over a million mostly Muslim migrants to enter Germany, not only without extreme vetting, but with no vetting at all.

There is, however, another, more structural cause for the current situation. In 2012, the ECHR enacted the so-called “HIRSI” ruling, named after the court case of Hirsi Jamaa and Others v. Italy, which states that the European states have the legal obligation to rescue migrants wherever they find them in the Mediterranean Sea — even just 200 meters away from the Libyan coast — and ferry them to the European shores, so that these people can claim the status of refugee.

When the Italian Navy intercepted illegal migrants in the Mediterranean Sea and sent them back to their point of origin, Libya, not only did the ECHR condemn Italy for this “obvious” breach of human rights; the Italians had to pay 15,000 euros ($17,000 USD) to each of these illegal migrants in the name of “moral damage”. This kind of money is equivalent to more than 10 years of income in Somalia and Eritrea (the countries of origin of Mr. Hirsi Jamaa and his companions). In 2016, Somalia’s GDP per capita was an estimated $400 USD; Eritrea’s $1,300.

Everyone, of course, heard about the HIRSI ruling. In Africa, especially, many understood that if they could reach the Mediterranean, Europe’s navies would now be obliged to ferry them directly to Europe. Before the HIRSI ruling, when people tried to reach the shores of Europe, hundreds every year tragically died at sea. After HIRSI, the objective is now simply to be intercepted. Consequently, hundreds of thousands attempt this journey — often with the help of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as Médecins Sans Frontières, whose activists wait for boats to appear at sea, just off the Libyan coast. We therefore presently have 5,000 unintercepted people dying at sea every year.

While Italy is “drowning” in refugees, Austria has deployed armored vehicles close to its border with Italy, to stop more migrants from coming north.

The vast majority of these European courts — whether the ECHR or the CJEU — in their attempt to be moral and just, have dismissed the sovereign laws of Italy as irrelevant, and trampled the rights of the Italian state and ordinary Italians to approve who enters their country.

Americans would do well to read the HIRSI decision; it is rather short and a perfect summary of current European jurisprudence. They will find that the ECHR does not hesitate to accept NGOs as an authoritative part of the process; the ECHR even quotes their statements as if fact or law. In Europe, Amnesty International and the like are, it appears, a new source of law.

The European people, of course, still share the common values of Western civilization. The “Visegrad Group” of countries in Central Europe, for instance — the Czech RepublicHungaryPoland and Slovakia — do not accept the German diktat to relocate Muslim refugees. Parts of Western Europe, such as the northern Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, are also pretty tired of the whole European mess, and Merkel will not embody the leadership of Germany forever.

Americans, therefore, would do well to understand that for the time being the “Cultural Left” is so deeply entrenched in Western Europe and the EU, that their worst ideological enemy is not the Middle East or Russia: it is Europe.

Those who gave the Statue of Liberty to America in 1886 “to commemorate the perseverance of freedom and democracy in the United States” are willingly trampling their own people’s liberties today through courts of appointed, unelected, unaccountable ideologues. The danger is, with the help of many, doubtless well-intentioned, international NGOs, the EU will not stop at its shores.

Drieu Godefridi, a classical-liberal Belgian author, is the founder of the l’Institut Hayek in Brussels. He has a PhD in Philosophy from the Sorbonne in Paris and also heads investments in European companies.

The British Response to Terrorism! Nigel Farage!

June 4, 2017

The British Response to Terrorism! Nigel Farage! via YouTube, June 4, 2017

 

Sharia Down Under

May 29, 2017

Sharia Down Under, Gatestone Institute, Judith Bergman, May 29, 2017

Recently, Australia adopted stricter vetting rules for immigrants to avoid admitting those who harbor hostile Islamic views. Evidently, this measure comes several decades too late: Those who harbor hostile Islamic views were let in a long time ago. Now, what will Australia do about those who are there?

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Sharia law, the president at the time of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils ludicrously argued, far from discriminating against women, “guarantees women’s rights that are not recognised in mainstream Australian courts”.

The Australian Federal Police investigated 69 incidents of forced or under-age marriage in the 2015-16 financial year, up from 33 the previous year. While there are no official numbers, it is estimated that there are 83,000 women and girls in Australia who may have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM).

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has spent the past four years probing numerous religious organizations, has made no inquiries into Islam. The commission has held 6,500 one-on-one private interview sessions with survivors or witnesses making allegations of child sexual abuse within institutions, but only three sessions in relation to Islamic institutions.

What legacy did Australia’s former Grand Mufti, Sheikh Taj Din al-Hilali — named “Muslim Man of the Year” in 2005 and the country’s most senior, longest-serving (1988-2007) Muslim cleric — leave behind?

In 1988, when Hilali was imam of the largest mosque in Australia, he gave a speech at Sydney University in which he described Jews as the cause of all wars and the existential enemy of humanity.

In July 2006, he called the Holocaust a “Zionist lie” and referred to Israel as a “cancer”.

In October 2006 — insinuating that the long prison sentences handed to Sydney’s Lebanese gang-rapists for attacking young teenage girls in the year 2000, were unfair — he compared Australian women who do not wear the Islamic veil to meat left uncovered in the streets and then eaten by cats. During his long career, Hilali also praised suicide bombers as heroes and called the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States “God′s work against oppressors” and “the work of 100 percent American gangs”.

At the time, Hilali’s principal adviser and spokesperson, Keysar Trad, wrote, “The criminal dregs of white society colonised this country and… the descendants of these criminal dregs tell us that they are better than us.” Trad subsequently served as president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils — the national umbrella organization, which represents Australian Muslims at national and international level — from July 2016 until May 2017.

According to Australian senator Cory Bernardi:

“In 2009, the New South Wales Supreme Court found that Mr. Trad ‘incites people to commit acts of violence’, ‘incites people to have racist attitudes’ and is a ‘dangerous and disgraceful individual’… When talking about the gang rape of young women in Sydney by a group of Lebanese men… Mr. Trad … described these types of perpetrators as ‘stupid young boys’… Mr. Trad did not condemn Sheikh Hilali’s disgraceful comments about women being ‘uncovered meat’ in a speech about rape. Instead Mr. Trad chose to defend that speech and the sheikh’s comments”.

In February, Trad told Sky News presenter Andrew Bolt that an angry husband can beat his wife as “a last resort” but should only use his fists against her once he sees that “counselling” — chocolate and flowers, according to Trad — does not work.

Trad also called for the introduction of polygamy in Australia. He said that taking a second wife was “an alternative to divorce”, as, “in our religion, god hates divorce”.

Recently, in May 2017, after an emergency election, Rateb Jneid replaced Trad as president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.

Since 2011, Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, who does not speak English and relies on translators, has been the Grand Mufti of Australia. In 1995, before moving to the West, Abu Mohamed wrote:

“The West does not bring to us any good, all they bring are their diseases, their designs and their shortcomings… They insist to impose on us their corrupt values, and their philosophy and mannerism, the very things which brought disease, fear, crime and stress to them, the very things which severed ties and broke relationships.”

According to the Daily Telegraph:

The Grand Mufti’s views were also laid bare… with the release of details of a book he wrote saying non-Muslims wanted their women to walk around ‘exposed as a piece of sweet pastry … ­devoured by the eyes of men'”.

In December 2012, Abu Mohamed led an Australian delegation of Muslim scholars to the Gaza Strip, where they met senior Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh. Abu Mohamed told local news agencies:

“I am pleased to stand on the land of jihad to learn from its sons and I have the honor to be among the people of Gaza, where the weakness always becomes strength, the few becomes many and the humiliation turns into pride”.

In 2013, Grand Mufti Abu Mohamed visited sheikh Yusuf al-Qara­dawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, in Qatar. Qaradawi advocates suicide bombings; has urged the world’s Muslims to fight in Syria and has said that killing people who leave Islam is essential, as Islam would otherwise disappear.

After the Paris attacks in November 2015, Abu Mohamed implied that the ISIS atrocities were partly caused by “Islamophobia”, saying:

“It is… imperative that all causative factors such as racism, Islamophobia, curtailing freedoms through securitisation, duplicitous foreign policies and military intervention must be comprehensively addressed.”

With Muslim leaders such as former Grand Mufti Hilali, former president of the Association of Muslim Councils, Kayser Trad, and current Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, it should hardly come as a surprise that sharia — and indeed jihad — have made significant inroads in Australia. In 2011, the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils sent a submission to the Federal Parliament’s Committee on Multicultural Affairs, asking for Muslims to be able to marry, divorce and conduct financial transactions under the principles of sharia law. Sharia law, the president at the time of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils ludicrously argued, far from discriminating against women, “guarantees women’s rights that are not recognised in mainstream Australian courts”.

Although polygamy is illegal in Australia, a study in 2011 found that, “Valid Muslim polygynist marriages, lawfully entered into overseas, are recognized, with second and third wives and their children able to claim welfare and other benefits”. When former Prime Minister Tony Abbott called for action after learning about the issue, he was told that it would cost more to pay the wives the single parent benefit. Centrelink, the Australian authority responsible for welfare and other benefits, said that it did not hold data based on polygamous relationships or religion, and that Islamic marriages are not registered. The problem of unregistered Islamic marriages and social welfare fraud is a familiar issue in Europe.

Last year, a 14-year-old Melbourne girl was forced to marry Mohammad Shakir, 34, in a ceremony at a Victoria mosque. In March, Shakir pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of forced-marriage. Ibrahim Omerdic, the Melbourne imam who performed the Islamic wedding ceremony, is also due to appear in court on criminal charges.

Muslim Australian girls, some allegedly as young as nine, have also been taken overseas, or are being threatened with it, and forced to become child brides. A nine-year-old girl reported that she would be taken to Afghanistan to marry, while others were told they would be forced to marry cousins of their parents when they turned 13. In 2012, a 16-year old refugee girl from Afghanistan was flown to Pakistan for a “family holiday” and forced to marry a man she had never met.

The Australian Federal Police investigated 69 incidents of forced or under-age marriage in the 2015-16 financial year, up from 33 the previous year. In the 2013-14 financial year, only 11 cases were investigated. Government agencies are said to consider the figure of 69 potential recent cases the tip of the iceberg, with many girls “too fearful to contact police”. A government child-welfare hotline has received more than 70 calls for help in the past two years, mainly from concerned teachers, counsellors and school principals. Forced marriage was criminalized in March 2013 in Australia. However, the law is not retroactive and marriages entered into prior to the law are beyond the authorities’ jurisdiction, meaning those girls are almost certainly lost.

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is another Islamic practice that has recently come to public notice in Australia. In March 2016, three people, among them the mother and a Muslim cleric, were sentenced in Sydney for their role in the female genital mutilation of two seven-year-old sisters. While there are no official numbers, it is estimated that there are 83,000 women and girls in Australia who may have been subjected to FGM. 1,100 girls are born every year to women who may have had FGM, which means that their daughters are also at risk of being subject to FGM.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, which has spent the past four years probing numerous religious organizations, including Catholics, Anglicans, Pentecostals, Jews, Jehovah’s Witnesses and obscure cults numbering a negligible amount of members, such as new age ashrams, has made no inquiries into Islam. The commission has held 6,500 one-on-one private interview sessions with survivors or witnesses making allegations of child sexual abuse within institutions, but only three sessions in relation to Islamic institutions.

Four Islamic terrorist attacks, including the Lindt Café siege in Sydney in December 2014, in which the manager and a mother of three were killed, have taken place in Australia. Eleven attacks have been foiled, including planned public beheadings. This statistic does not include the January 2017 car-ramming in Melbourne. The driver, Dimitrious Gargasoulas, murdered six people, including children, and wounded 20 others, when he plowed his car into pedestrians. Even though a witness claimed that Gargasoulas was shouting “Allahu Akbar”, police refused to treat the event as a terrorist attack and even allegedly told a reporter to remove her interview with the witness from the internet. Gargasoulas had apparently converted to Islam prior to the attack and told the judge in a subsequent court hearing, “Your Honour, did you know the Muslim faith is the correct faith according to the whole world?”

Recently, Australia adopted stricter vetting rules for immigrants to avoid admitting those who harbor hostile Islamic views. Evidently, this measure comes several decades too late: Those who harbor hostile Islamic views were let in a long time ago. Now, what will Australia do about those who are there?

A mosque minaret in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cole Bennetts/Getty Images)

 

Europe: Denying the Threat of Islamic Imperialism

May 11, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It was an attempt to project power.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Germany: Migrant Crime Spiked in 2016

May 2, 2017

Germany: Migrant Crime Spiked in 2016, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, May 2, 2017

None of this seems to be having an impact on the German elections set for September 24, 2017. Polls show that if the election for German chancellor were held today, Angela Merkel, who is largely responsible for the migration crisis, would be re-elected with 37% of the vote. Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate who has pledged to increase migration to Germany even further, would win 29% of the vote and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany would win 8%. For now, German voters appear to believe that the alternatives to Merkel are all worse.

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Although non-Germans make up approximately 10% of the overall German population, they accounted for 30.5% of all crime suspects in the country in 2016.

Nearly 250,000 migrants entered the country illegally in 2016, up 61.4% from 154,188 in 2015. More than 225,000 migrants were found living in the country illegally (Unerlaubter Aufenthalt) in 2016.

The Berlin Senate launched an inquiry into why migrants disproportionally appear as criminals in the city-state compared to Germans.

An official annual report about crime in Germany has revealed a rapidly deteriorating security situation in the country marked by a dramatic increase in violent crime, including murder, rape and sexual assault.

The report also shows a direct link between the growing lawlessness in Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow in more than one million mostly male migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The report — Police Crime Statistics 2016 (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, PKS) — was compiled by the Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) and presented by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière in Berlin on April 24.

The number of non-German crime suspects (nichtdeutsche Tatverdächtige) legally residing in Germany jumped to 616,230 in 2016, up from 555,820 in 2015 — an increase of 11% — according to the report. Although non-Germans make up approximately 10% of the overall German population, they accounted for 30.5% of all crime suspects in the country in 2016, up from 27.6% in 2015.

In this year’s report, the BKA created a separate subcategory called “migrants” (Zuwanderer) which encompasses a combination of refugees, pending asylum seekers, failed asylum seekers and illegal immigrants.

According to the BKA, the number of migrant crime suspects (tatverdächtiger Zuwanderer) in Germany in 2016 jumped to 174,438 from 114,238 in 2015 — up 52.7%. Although “migrants” made up less than 2% of the German population in 2016, they accounted for 8.6% of all crime suspects in the country — up from 5.7% in 2015.

In terms of non-German crime suspects residing legally in Germany, Turks were the primary offenders in 2016, with 69,918 suspects, followed by Romanians, Poles, Syrians, Serbs, Italians, Afghans, Bulgarians, Iraqis, Albanians, Kosovars, Moroccans, Iranians and Algerians.

In terms of migrant crime suspects, Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Albanians, Algerians, Moroccans, Serbs, Iranians, Kosovars and Somalis.

Police in Bremen, Germany frisk a North African youth who is suspected of theft. (Image source: ZDF video screenshot)

The report’s other findings include:

  • Violent crime surged in Germany in 2016. These include a 14.3% increase in murder and manslaughter, a 12.7% increase in rape and sexual assault and a 9.9% increase in aggravated assault. The BKA also recorded a 14.8% increase in weapons offenses and a 7.1% increase in drug offenses.
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 2,512 rapes and sexual assaults in Germany in 2016 — an average of seven a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Iranians, Algerians, Moroccans, Eritreans, Nigerians and Albanians. German authorities have repeatedly been accused of underreporting the true scale of the migrant rape problem for political reasons. For example, up to 90% of the sex crimes committed in Germany in 2014 do not appear in the official statistics, according to André Schulz, the head of the Association of Criminal Police (Bund Deutscher Kriminalbeamter, BDK).
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 11,525 robberies in Germany in 2016 — an average of 32 a day. Moroccans were the primary offenders, followed by Algerians, Syrians, Georgians, Tunisians, Albanians, Afghans, Serbs, Iraqis and Iranians.
  • Non-German crime suspects committed 56,252 aggravated assaults in 2016 — an average of 154 a day. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis, Iranians, Moroccans, Algerians, Somalis, Albanians, Eritreans and Pakistanis.
  • Bavaria was the German state most affected by non-German criminality, followed by North Rhine-Westphalia, Baden-Württemberg, Hesse, Berlin, Lower Saxony, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony, Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Saxony-Anhalt, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Saarland, Bremen and Thüringen.
  • Berlin was the German city most affected by non-German criminality, followed by Munich, Hamburg, Frankfurt, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Hanover, Stuttgart, Dortmund, Bremen, Leipzig, Nürnberg, Essen, Duisburg, Mannheim, Karlsruhe, Dresden, Freiburg im Breisgau, Chemnitz, Aachen, Bielefeld, Wuppertal, Augsburg, Bonn, Bochum, Gelsenkirchen, Wiesbaden, Münster, Kiel, Halle, Krefeld, Braunschweig, Mainz, Lübeck, Mönchengladbach, Erfurt, Oberhausen, Magdeburg and Rostock.
  • The BKA also recorded 487,711 violations of German immigration laws (ausländerrechtliche Verstöße), up 21.1% from 402,741 violations in 2015. Nearly 250,000 migrants entered the country illegally in 2016, up 61.4% from 154,188 in 2015. More than 225,000 migrants were found living in the country illegally (Unerlaubter Aufenthalt) in 2016.

The new data contradicts claims made by the BKA in December 2016 — just four months before the current report — that migrant criminality was actually decreasing.

During a press conference in Berlin on April 24, Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière admitted:

“The proportion of foreign suspects, and migrants in particular, is higher than the average for the general population. This cannot be sugarcoated. There is an overall rise in disrespect, violence and hate. Those who commit serious offenses here forfeit their right to stay here.”

Separately, officials in Bavaria revealed that the number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees there increased by 58% in 2016. They accounted for 9.6% of all crimes committed in the state, up from 3.2% in 2015 and 1.8% in 2012. Syrians were the primary offenders, followed by Afghans, Iraqis and Nigerians.

“The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.

At the same time, officials in Baden-Württemberg noted a 95.5% increase in the number of physical assaults involving at least one migrant in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Berlin Senate launched an inquiry into why migrants disproportionally appear as criminals in the city-state compared to Germans. In 2016, 40% of all crime suspects in the German capital were non-Germans.

None of this seems to be having an impact on the German elections set for September 24, 2017. Polls show that if the election for German chancellor were held today, Angela Merkel, who is largely responsible for the migration crisis, would be re-elected with 37% of the vote. Martin Schulz, the Social Democrat candidate who has pledged to increase migration to Germany even further, would win 29% of the vote and the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany would win 8%. For now, German voters appear to believe that the alternatives to Merkel are all worse.