Extremist Islam is very vocal throughout Europe, Asia, Australia and other places, in spite of not being mainstream Islam. It also attracts a fair amount of converts, what is the attraction? Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty featured the following interview on the subject:
Islam: Radicalism In Europe Reflects ‘Spiritual Void’
|What makes converts to Islam, such as two of the suspects recently arrested in Germany, so susceptible to radicalism? |
September 16, 2007 (RFE/RL) — The recent arrest in Vienna of three alleged Al-Qaeda sympathizers — all Austrian citizens — has again raised concerns across Europe about the threat posed by homegrown Islamic extremists.
Edwin Bakker, head of the Netherlands Institute of International Relations and an expert on the subject, spoke with RFE/RL correspondent Valentinas Mite about the threat of Islamist terrorism in Europe and about why some Europeans choose to convert to radical Islam.
RFE/RL: There are millions of Muslims in Europe who have either migrated to the continent or are the children of earlier migrants. In their overwhelming majority, they have no connection to extremism. But a few appear to be turning to radical brands of Islam. Who are they?
Edwin Bakker: [They are] youngsters who are attracted to a very strict interpretation of Islam, a very militant Islam, partly as a consequence of discrimination, their backward socioeconomic position, but most of all by their search for identity. They are in Europe. They are very much integrated — they speak Dutch, Danish, German or whatever [is] the language of their country, but they are not accepted as Dutch, Danish, German, etc. So many of them are seeking a new identity as being a Muslim, not a Moroccan, not a Turk or whatever. They go and look for material on the Internet and they find this very radical and very appealing Salafi stream of Islam, which is very strict, very extreme.
RFE/RL: The problem of religious radicalism does not seem to exist among other immigrant groups, like the Chinese or Vietnamese communities. What makes people with Islamic roots potentially more radical than other migrants?
Bakker: There is this idea in the air, there is this hype, there is this 9/11 appeal to youngsters; this ideology is there. And it is not the case for China. If you are Chinese in Europe, you still can be proud to be from China. China does not have this perception [that a] crusade [is being waged] against China or this perception of a fight. These Muslims identify themselves as Muslims and then they identify themselves as victims of aggression against Muslims, for instance in Chechnya, Afghanistan, Iraq. So this identity is linked to identifying with [perceived] fights against Islam.
RFE/RL: But Iranians living in Europe, who are Muslims, seem to integrate well in European society and generally have not isolated themselves as much as people coming from the Middle East or Pakistan. Why is there such a difference?
Bakker: The Iranians who came to Europe are mostly highly educated. So there are many professors, doctors among them. And that is how they integrated better. They integrated into their new communities, communities of scholars, communities [of other professionals], and so on. And their numbers are a little bit smaller so they cannot organize themselves in such close-knit communities. There is also a big difference between Iranians and other [Muslims in Europe], Moroccans and Turks, for example. Most Moroccans [although they live] in Europe [tend to] marry somebody from their [home] village. Iranians marry either Iranians who also fled to Europe or they marry local [Europeans].
RFE/RL: How can you explain the fact that some Europeans by origin are converting to radical brands of militant Islam? Can we speak about some tendencies in this case?
Bakker: We have good contacts with, for instance, local police working in troublesome neighborhoods [in the Netherlands], so they see the same problem among Muslims but also among non-Muslims. This is a sense of [lack] of identity, purpose [in life] — these kind of things. I think that this holds [true] for many Western European countries.
There are also quite a number of women, actually, who convert to Islam. It’s of course something new. It is an underdog religion, so it has an appeal to some people, who are attracted by such a religion, that is so much bashed and therefore perhaps more interesting to them.
RFE/RL: What trends in Islam do converts usually choose?
Bakker: I studied [the cases] of all those [Muslims] who have been arrested and have been convicted of terrorism in Europe and about 5 or 6 percent are converts. Actually, many groups have at least one or two converts among them. In general, there is a problem with converts in that they want to overcompensate for the fact that they are new to a community. They want to be “holier than the pope.” And this is a general phenomenon with radicals or with converts.
RFE/RL: But radicals make up only a very small part of all Muslims. Why don’t more European converts choose mainstream Islam?
Bakker: Because they are new to the religion, they are very susceptible to very radical interpretations. They don’t know the other interpretations. So if you are new to Islam, you are not familiar with the fact that Islam is a very complicated religion, that it has a lot of different approaches. And if you are in the hands of the Salafi — this very fundamental, traditional, puritan group — you have no checks and balances, and there is nobody who would tell you, “But that’s not true.” So you are falling into the hands of the most radical views or radical preachers. So being new to religion also does not give you the mind-set and the knowledge to resist very extreme views.
Disenchantment, low self esteem, and vulnerability are the perfect personality ingredients that Salafists look for in potential converts. By bringing these individuals into a highly disciplined environment, by forcing strict rules of conduct upon those who heretofore had little purpose to their lives, these individuals are given a much craved for sense of belonging and self worth. Such recruits then become as, or more, fanatical than their mentors. What do they get for their troubles? Most are considered fully expendable by the extremists they’ve joined, mere instruments in the furtherance of the group’s agenda. CNN has an article on that very expendability, as evidenced in the case of an idealistic foreign fighter for Al-Qaeda in Iraq:
Failed suicide bomber turns on al Qaeda
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia — Ahmad al Shayea is the rarest of truck bombers — he survived his suicide mission in Iraq even though the blast from his bomb was strong enough to kill 12 bystanders.
Ahmad al Shayea survived his truck bomb attack, but not without scarring to his face and hands.
Al Shayea, who was disfigured during the attack, claims al Qaeda tricked him into becoming a bomber by asking him to deliver a tanker truck, which they had rigged with a bomb.
“They told me to take it to an address in Baghdad. As soon as I got there the truck exploded,” said the native of Saudi Arabia. He survived by jumping out of the truck.
Al Shayea renounced terrorism and returned to Saudi Arabia, where he works to convince would-be insurgents and terrorists to give up their deadly ways.
“I think God took me out of death to show others what can happen,” he told CNN. “If you join al Qaeda, they will use you, and maybe you will die.” Hear why al Shayea turned his back on al Qaeda »
Al Qaeda propaganda videos glorify so-called foreign fighters in Iraq like al Shayea. It has recruited them from countries all across the Middle East.
Some Iraqi officials say more Saudis than any other nationality have responded to al Qaeda’s call. Saudi officials and the U.S. military deny that claim. But Saudi sources do admit that more than 800 young Saudis have gone to Iraq to fight. That’s far more than the Saudi government has acknowledged until now.
Since 9/11, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis, the oil rich kingdom has been accused of spreading radicalism. It’s a claim that stings this longtime U.S. ally, which also finds itself in al Qaeda’s cross hairs.
So now, Saudi officials say they are escalating their fight against homegrown al Qaeda militants. Former insurgents and terrorists like al Shayea are their chief weapon in the battle for the hearts and minds of young Saudis.
“The reality behind it is the religious misunderstanding of Islam, so we have to correct the ideas,” said Dr. Turki Al-Otayan, a psychologist.
Al Shayea and hundreds of other Saudis who were aligned with terrorists are being re-educated in prisons and rehabilitation centers. They are taught that al Qaeda’s emphasis on a violent approach to Islam is wrong.
The program offers early release from prison. It’s available only to captured jihadis who demonstrate a willingness to change over the course of repeated interviews with specialists. Al Shayea said he was questioned by security forces, then clerics, then psychologists.
“They looked at my mood, listened to me. They were nice,” he adds.
Al-Otayan said the review is thorough.
“We make sure he understands dialogue. We make sure he is not just lying. So it is not an easy job I can assure you,” he said.
The Saudi government says more than 1,000 former al Qaeda recruits have been through the program. Seven hundred of them are now free. Critics, mainly from the country’s security forces, fear mistakes could allow some al Qaeda fighters back on the street.
A native of Saudi Arabia, al Shayea was just 19 when he went to Iraq to fight for al Qaeda against American forces. He was angered, he said, by scenes of U.S. troops killings his fellow Muslims.
“I went to Iraq with Saudi men because jihad is a duty for every Muslim,” he said. “I went to Iraq to fight the jihad and kill Americans.”
He was hoping to take up arms against Americans, but said he never envisioned himself as a suicide bomber. After his truck bomb exploded, al Shayea was captured and paraded on Iraqi TV. Burned and bandaged, he was blamed for the death of 12 bystanders. He confessed.
Iraqi security officials deported him to Saudi Arabia. Today, with the backing of the Saudi government, al Shayea gets his anti-al Qaeda message out on fliers that include pictures of him before and after his bombing. He has become the anti-Al Qaeda example.
“I learned my lesson, and others will learn as well,” he said.
It is one thing to take someone, however misguided, who is ready and willing to become a suicide bomber and another very different one to dupe someone into becoming a suicide bomber. The manipulation of the individual is repulsive in both cases! To take an unwitting recruit and send him to a certain death and then claim and praise him as someone who “willingly” gave his life for Allah, shows that these extremists, these hate filled barbarians, not only have contempt for the life of their target(s), but for the life of their own recruits as well. Such cynicism, such disregard for human life, is totally incompatible with the mores of the Western world and yet The Brussels Journal tells us:
The EU Wants to Increase Muslim Immigration and Internet Censorship
A few months ago, the EU’s Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini worried about what to do with illegal immigration. To no-one’s surprise, he appears to have settled for surrendering and making it legal. The skilled glossocrat Frattini has already banned the use of the phrase Islamic terrorism: “You cannot use the term ‘Islamic terrorism,’” he insisted. “People who commit suicide attacks or criminal activities on behalf of religion, Islamic religion or other religion, they abuse the name of this religion.” He now thinks we shouldn’t use the word “immigration,” either, we should talk about “mobility.” Moreover, the “Asian” and “African” immigrants in this case generally come from the predominantly Muslim countries of North Africa and the Middle East, with some additional ones from Pakistan and similar nations. The EU has thus decided to flood Europe with tens of millions of Muslims, at the same time as peaceful Europeans demonstrating against the Islamization of Europe were brutally harassed by the police in the EU capital of Brussels.
In the future, the next time Islamic Jihad terrorists, I mean mobile workers enriching us with their presence when they are not abusing Islam, massacre scores of Europeans, the EU will assure us that they did everything in their power to stop this, and then they will continue facilitating the Islamization of the continent as if nothing has happened. The sensible option would be to point out that we had no Muslim terrorism in Western Europe before we had Muslim immigration. The key to ending Muslim terrorism should then logically be to end and preferably reverse Muslim immigration. The EU’s solution to this is to continue and even increase Muslim immigration while stopping web searches for the word “bomb.” The scary part is that once the infrastructure and principle of Internet censorship has become firmly established, it could be widened to include other kinds of illegal or unwanted activities, for instance “racist” and “xenophobic” websites criticizing Islam or mass immigration. And make no mistake about it: They will do so. They are probably planning this as we speak.
Notice how EU officials announce sweeping and potentially irreversible changes, proclaim that they are “inevitable” and that we may just as well adapt and get used to it. Resistance is futile. This is a lie and it always has been. The entire European Union has been created by such lies, repeated year after year. The gradual destruction of formerly independent nation states was carefully planned and executed, and the introduction of mass immigration from non-Western countries has been and still is a crucial component of this plan. Notice how Frattini specifically singles out Italy, which has so far received less immigration than many other countries in Western Europe, for attention. He also mentions Hungary, one of the newer EU members from the former Communist bloc, meaning that these countries, too, are now supposed to receive a dose of Multicultural diversity, whether they like it or not. The purpose of this immigration, not just between European countries but from Muslim and non-EU countries as well, is to dilute and destroy the established nation states and their culture, until the natives in the Netherlands, Italy, Germany, Britain, Spain etc. are too weak and demoralized to resist the creation of a pan-European superstate. Opposition to this policy should be banned as racism and hate speech.
Muslim immigration is destabilizing the entire European continent. Since the EU, which should more properly be called the anti-European Union, is facilitating this, the continued existence of the EU now constitutes a mortal threat to the very survival of European civilization. Every day the EU exists brings Europe one step closer to the grave.
EU told to accept 20m migrant workers
The Financial Times, 12 September
Europe must relax its immigration controls and open the door to an extra 20m workers during the next two decades, the European Union’s justice chief will say on Friday. Franco Frattini, justice commissioner, is to tell the bloc’s immigration ministers in Lisbon that the EU should stop erecting barriers and instead build safe pathways for Africans and Asians who risk their lives heading to the continent to find a job. “We have to look at immigration not as a threat but – when well-managed, and that is our new task – as an enrichment and as an inescapable phenomenon of today’s world,” he will say. He will suggest the word immigration should be dropped in favour of “mobility”. Germany, Italy and Hungary, with their ageing populations, are most in need of immigrants. The reforms could lead to a more than doubling of the EU’s foreign-born population by 2030.[…]
I guess that in the great humanitarian mind of EU’s Justice and Security Commissioner Franco Frattini, the only way to solve a problem is to aggravate it! Such idiocy stems from arrogance, the elitist arrogance of Socialists who still persist in appeasing, appeasing, appeasing. Somehow they are so enamored of their bankrupt, disproved ideas that they believe that once these IslamoFascists experience enlightened Europe, they will change their ways and quickly integrate. It hasn’t happened, it will not happen!
These European Union politicians seem to ascribe to their followers a code of conduct as that exemplified by the Age of Chivalry in Medieval times, but without the religious or the honor aspect. It hardly worked then, the Arthurian legends notwithstanding, It is even more unlikely to work now especially with people who despise the West, with people to whom nothing is sacred as long as a despicable maneuver furthers their goal. But… this arrogant socialist elitism running the EU is blindly leading Europe and the West towards a bloody war whose outcome is dreadfully uncertain…
Crossposted at: Freddom's Cost
Labels: 9/11, al-Qaeda, barbarism, christian europe, Eurabia, Europe, ex-terrorists, Iraq, Islam, Jihad
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