Is al-Qaeda on the loose in US?

Is al-Qaeda on the loose in US?

Rick Moran
The arrests by British police in the “Doctor’s Plot” has yeilded some interesting – and alarming – intelligence about al Qaeda in America.

E-mail addresses for American individuals were found on the same password-protected e-mail chains used by the United Kingdom plotters to communicate with Qaeda handlers in Europe, a counterterrorism official told The New York Sun yesterday.

The American and German intelligence community now believe the secure e-mail chains used in the United Kingdom plot have provided a window into an operational Qaeda network in several countries. “Because of the London and Glasgow plot, we now know communications have been made from Al Qaeda to operatives in the United States,” the counterterrorism official said on condition of anonymity.

“This plot helps to connect a lot of stuff. We have seen money moving a lot through hawala networks and other illicit finance as well.” But this source was careful to say that at this point no specific information, such as names, targets or a timeline, was known about any particular plot on American soil. The e-mail addresses that are linked to Americans were pseudonyms.

Should we put two and two together and take a very close look at the arrest of the two “Middle Eastern men” this past weekend in South Carolina who were stopped on the highway and found to be carrying bomb making materials?

Two men are being held in the Berkeley County Detention Center after police find explosive making devices in their car. The quantity of explosive making materials in that vehicle is unclear.

The FBI (website) reports that there is no known link to terrorism. The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office believes that among materials in the car’s trunk were a bomb and bomb making materials that include chemicals, fuses, and igniters.

The men 21-year-old Yousef Megahed and 24-year-old Ahmed Mohamed were pulled over Saturday evening during a routine traffic stop near Myers Road and Highway 176. Few details about the suspects are known at this time. They are believed to be students at a Florida college. They are of Middle Eastern descent and are not US citizens.

Yeah, but it’s a “bumper sticker war,” remember?

What does the Pew poll actually tell us?

What does the Pew poll actually tell us?

Patrick Poole
The establishment media has been giddy this week reporting the results of a recently-released Pew Research Center poll which finds support for suicide bombings declining in parts of the Muslim world. This trend in itself should be heartening, and it can probably be tied to the fact that since 2002, when the last Pew poll to measure results on this question was taken, Muslims themselves have become the largest group of victims of this bloody tactic by their fellow co-religionists.
But what does this poll really tell us? There are some statistical reasons for some skepticism. As Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser notes in an NRO symposium on the Pew poll, “Suicide Reversal?”, the results are “dangerously oversimplified”. Indeed, the devil is in the details.
What’s most striking is that no follow-up question was asked by Pew. One recent study that asked about suicide bombings in a real-world context, in addition to the hypothetical, was the December 2006 Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) report, which polled American and Iranian opinions on a number of questions.
The PIPA poll  posed a question similar to Pew (though I have previously noted there are a few methodological problems with the PIPA study, “Lies, Damned Lies, and CAIR’s Statistics“):
Q-I23: Some people think that bombing and other types of attacks intentionally aimed at civilians are sometimes justified while others think that this kind of violence is never justified. Do you personally feel that such attacks are often justified, sometimes justified, rarely justified, or never justified?
                                                                                         Iranians              Americans
Often justified…………………………………………………               3%                   5%
Sometimes justified…………………………………………..              8                      19
Rarely justified…………………………………………………              5                      27
Never justified………………………………………………..                80                    46
Refused/Don’t know…………………………………………              5                      2

This, of course, makes Americans out to be bloodthirsty terror supporters – a point some Islamist apologists have attempted to draw. But when you look at the following question, it reveals a startling shift in Iranian opinions:
Q-I24: For each of the following types of attacks please tell me if you personally feel that these are sometimes justified or never justified?
Q-I24a: attacks by Palestinians against Israeli civilians?
                                                                                       Iranians             Americans
Sometimes justified…………………………………………                53                    13
Never justified………………………………………………..                41                    80
Refused/Don’t know…………………………………………              7                      7

When put in the real world context of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, the Iranian attitudes shifted dramatically. In the first question, 80 percent of Iranians said suicide bombings would never be justified. But the very next question finds that 53 percent of Iranians would justify suicide bombing attacks against Israeli civilians, which seems to nullify, or at least call into question, the findings of the previous question. Also worth noting are the 13 percent of Americans who also justify bombings against Israeli civilians.
The devil is in the details, details the Pew researchers apparently weren’t interested in discovering. Dr. Jasser’s skepticism and his warning of the “dangerously oversimplified” results of the Pew study on this issue of support for suicide bombings in the Muslim world have some basis in fact, as shown in the earlier PIPA results. The Pew poll might be telling us something, but Pew has not bothered to ask enough questions to find out exactly what that is.

Fear the Terrorists, Not President Bush — On the left, my former party of choice, feels that the biggest issues confronting America are corporate greed, “the culture of corruption” (as if this does not occur on both sides), Wal-Mart, “big business,” churchgoing Christians, global warming and an assault on the civil liberties of us and terrorists. To deny this would be scandalously untrue — The “Drive-by” big city media feels the need to rant about how we “torture” terrorists, keep “secret prisons,” check phone records of suspected terrorists, regress back to Katrina whining, yada, yada and yada. The ACLU, “peace organizations,” the legal world, academia and Hollywood, not surprisingly, fall for this flawed, inane logic too. History has always proved these acrimonious fools wrong, and will again this time… if we’re not killed first by our enemies because of their devious behaviors.

Fear the Terrorists, Not President Bush
October 31st, 2006

Next Tuesday is midterm election day. When you cast your vote – if you choose to partake in this most honorable American tradition – please remember what is at stake.

On the left, my former party of choice, feels that the biggest issues confronting America are corporate greed, “the culture of corruption” (as if this does not occur on both sides), Wal-Mart, “big business,” churchgoing Christians, global warming and an assault on the civil liberties of us and terrorists. To deny this would be scandalously untrue.

On the right, my current “fearmongering” party of choice feels the biggest issue (singular) is to eliminating and freeing the world of Islamo-fascist Nazis. There is no denying this, and the sooner we, as in all other world wars, are free to do this, the better. My party wants to save the non-Muslim world, America, Israel and especially “liberal values” like sexual and gender freedoms (not just libertinism, but the freedom of women) freedom of religion, speech and of the press.

Unfortunately, aside from Radical Muslims, we have many domestic factors working against us:

The “Drive-by” big city media feels the need to rant about how we “torture” terrorists, keep “secret prisons,” check phone records of suspected terrorists, regress back to Katrina whining, yada, yada and yada. The ACLU, “peace organizations,” the legal world, academia and Hollywood, not surprisingly, fall for this flawed, inane logic too. History has always proved these acrimonious fools wrong, and will again this time… if we’re not killed first by our enemies because of their devious behaviors.

President Bush, sadly as of late, has fallen prey to dangerous political correctness and multi-cultural balderdash as he tries to unite this country. He has attempted to make good on his promise to be the great uniter, and the man has undeniably been more liberal than conservative the past year.

There is no need to do this, Mr. President.

This country was divided long before President Bush took office, and he has done his best to unite it. But many who hypocritically seek “redistribution of wealth” spend their weekends picking up wheatgrass at Whole Foods on their way to Nantucket, do not want to be united with Americans who attend church on Sunday, wave the flag, and enjoy Nascar, Applebee’s and saving money at Wal-Mart. Too bad for them. These arrogant, misguided folks have chosen to regressively look back, to sacrifice their platform to go after Mr. Bush (who is not up for re-election, by the way).

Fatuous liberals like Paul Krugman — who saw nothing wrong with comparing the backlash against the Dixie Chicks to the rise of Nazism — or the countless jabberers who have over the years denounced William F. Buckley Jr., Barry Goldwater, Sean Hannity et al. as fascists are difficult to respect, much less take seriously. As Jonah Goldberg wrote in September,

“One gets the sense that today’s liberals — beyond their phobia of offending the coalition of the oppressed (in this case, the Muslims of CAIR) — are reluctant to let Bush use “Islamic fascism” because they don’t want to give up their monopoly on the F-word.”

George Bush needs to stop trying so hard to make “peace” with those who despise us within our nation and are more concerned with meaningless impeachment than saving our world. His efforts have never been appreciated, but someday, like Reagan and those before him, perhaps they will. 

Thankfully, by the grace of G-d, the patriotic men and women of the military will save this nation as they always have. They will not get thanks from the coastal elites, but this is expected.

It’s not just that the wrong party could take power, but this party’s leaders, some of those who would be in charge of essential committees like Ways and Means, the Judiciary, Commerce, etc, are variously on record as not supporting Israel (and being proud of it!), raising taxes, ending free trade, drilling in ANWR (animals are more important than people, usually) and naturally, impeaching Bush. That will surely take our attention away from the Islamic Nazis, North Koreans and by October of next year, as opposed to fraudulent filmmakers who dream of Bush being dead, we all could be in severe peril. I’d personally put it at 50/50.

I hope that most Americans will take a deep breath, realize Bush had noble, correct intentions for freeing tens of millions from a madman and then remember that unemployment is the lowest in five years; the Dow is over 12,000 points. Inflation is 2.1 percent, the deficit is being dramatically reduced, and gas prices are falling. Let’s just hope that if the GOP maintains control, we don’t waste time, effort and money on Democrat protests and recounts. Which state this time? Indiana? Missouri? Do I hear Maryland?

Vote accordingly, and consider whether you want to tell your grandchildren you defeated carbon dioxide emissions or Islamo Nazi Fascists who threatened the free world.

Ari Kaufman is a freelance writer in Indianapolis, regularly contributing to the Indianapois Star and the Jewish Post and Opinion. He’s also the co-author of an upcoming book on educational reform. His archived work can be accessed here.

Ari Kaufman

Dark Ages, Live from the Middle East — The most frightening aspect of the present war is how easily our premodern enemies from the Middle East have brought a stunned postmodern world back into the Dark Ages.

Dark Ages, Live from the Middle East
By Victor Davis Hanson
The Washington Times | October 30, 2006

The most frightening aspect of the present war is how easily our premodern enemies from the Middle East have brought a stunned postmodern world back into the Dark Ages.Students of history are sickened when they read of the long-ago, gruesome practice of beheading. How brutal were those societies that chopped off the heads of Cicero, Sir Thomas More and Marie Antoinette. And how lucky we thought we were to have evolved from such elemental barbarity.

Twenty-four hundred years ago, Socrates was executed for unpopular speech. The 18th-century European Enlightenment gave people freedom to express views formerly censored by clerics and the state. Just imagine what life was like once upon a time when no one could write music, compose fiction or paint without court or church approval?

Over 400 years before the birth of Christ, ancient Greek literary characters, from Lysistrata to Antigone, reflected the struggle for sexual equality. The subsequent notion that women could vote, divorce, dress or marry as they pleased was a millennia-long struggle.

It is almost surreal now to read about the elemental hatred of Jews in the Spanish Inquisition, 19th-century Russian pogroms or the Holocaust. Yet here we are revisiting the old horrors of the savage past.

Beheading? As we saw with Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl, our Neanderthal enemies in the Middle East have resurrected that ancient barbarity — and married it with 21st-century technology to beam the resulting gore instantaneously onto our computer screens. Xerxes and Attila, who stuck their victims’ heads on poles for public display, would’ve been thrilled by such a gruesome show.

Who would have thought centuries after the Enlightenment that sophisticated Europeans — in fear of radical Islamists — would be afraid to write a novel, put on an opera, draw a cartoon, film a documentary or have their pope discuss comparative theology?

The astonishing fact is not just that millions of women worldwide in 2006 are still veiled from head-to-toe, trapped in arranged marriages, subject to polygamy, honor killings and forced circumcision, or lack the right to vote or appear alone in public. What is more baffling is that in the West, liberal Europeans are often wary of protecting female citizens from the excesses of Shariah law — sometimes even fearful of asking women to unveil their faces for purposes of simple identification and official conversation.

Who these days is shocked that Israel is hated by Arab nations and threatened with annihilation by radical Iran? Instead, the surprise is that even in places like Paris or Seattle, Jews are singled out and killed for the apparent crime of being Jewish.

Since September 11, 2001, the West has fought enemies who are determined to bring back the nightmarish world we thought was long past. And there are lessons Westerners can learn from radical Islamists’ ghastly efforts.

• First, the Western liberal tradition is fragile and can still disappear. Just because we have sophisticated cell phones, CAT scanners and jets does not ensure we are permanently civilized or safe. Technology used by the civilized for positive purposes can easily be manipulated by barbarians for destruction.

• Second, the Enlightenment is not always lost on the battlefield. It can be surrendered through either fear or indifference as well. Westerners fearful of terrorist reprisals themselves shut down a production of a Mozart opera in Berlin deemed offensive to Muslims. Few came to the aid of a Salman Rushdie or Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh when their unpopular expression earned death threats from Islamists. Van Gogh, of course, was ultimately killed.

The Goths and Vandals did not sack Rome solely through the power of their hordes; they also relied on the paralysis of Roman elites who no longer knew what it was to be Roman — much less whether it was any better than the alternative.

• Third, civilization is forfeited with a whimper, not a bang. Insidiously, we have allowed radical Islamists to redefine the primordial into the not-so-bad. Perhaps women in head-to-toe burkas in Europe prefer them? Maybe that crass German opera was just too over the top after all? Aren’t both parties equally to blame in the Palestinian, Iraqi and Afghan wars?

To grasp the flavor of our own Civil War, impersonators now don period dress and reconstruct the battles of Shiloh or Gettysburg. But we need no so such historical re-enactment of the Dark Ages. You see, they are back with us — live almost daily from the Middle East.

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Euro-Humanity Upon the Wane

Euro-Humanity Upon the Wane
October 29th, 2006

People have needs.  When your liberal friend tells you that, he imagines that he’s justified the whole panoply of liberal social programs.  Stop being selfish and pay up.

But after a century of paying up, you get something like modern Europe.  With all basic needs taken care of, the average Euro doesn’t get the point of life.  So s/he doesn’t produce any life—children that is.  That is the argument of Mark Steyn in his book America Alone. When all your needs are met by the European welfare state then you live life as any adolescent living in a family welfare state.  You buy toys and entertainment with your allowance, and you complain while all the important decisions are made for you.

But is Steyn right?

Fortunately, in the remarkable series documentary project,  filmmaker Michael Apted has provided us a historical record of just what happens over the long term to a people living under the welfare state.  This month, in the weeks before the latest DVD debuts in mid November, you can see the latest episode in this amazing chronicle. The movie 49 Up is playing in selected theaters around the United States.

The documentary features interviews with a group of Britons who we first got to see as seven-year-olds in 1963 in the Granada TV documentary Seven Up.  The project was conceived as a melodrama about the British class system.  It featured three adorable little working class girls from a government elementary school in the East End of London contrasted with three insufferable upper-class West End prigs from a swank Kensington private school.  Now these children of the Sixties are forty-nine.

It’s a pity the whole think blew up in the filmmakers’ faces.  But it blew up for an interesting reason.  In the mid-1960s the Labour Party reformed the British secondary school system and gutted the ancient grammar schools that provided a challenging academic program to children who could pass the “Eleven Plus” test.  Instead the government decreed that every child would go to a new expert-designed comprehensive school where there would be no “selection by ability.”

Maybe it’s just a coincidence.  The Up Series children who ended up as angry and bitter adults all went to comprehensive schools.  The children who ended up divorced or as single parents went to comprehensive schools.  The children who ended up on “incapacity benefit,” or “job-seekers allowance,” went to comprehensive schools.

“Bog standard” comprehensives is what they call them today.

OK, so the public schools aren’t as good as they should be.  But how can we hope to educate the children of the poor without universal, compulsory, expert-designed government education?  People have needs!

We could ask the Third World.  We could ask Professor James Tooley, who’s done research on educational systems throughout the Third World.  What he has found is that private school systems thrive precisely in the teeming slums where government education does not reach. The Old City of Hyderabad in India is a slum of 800,000 people.  Tooley writes:

“our team found 918 schools: 35 percent were government run; 23 percent were private schools that had official recognition by the government (“recognized”); and, incredibly, 37 percent slipped under the government radar (“unrecognized”). The last group is, in effect, a black market in education, operating entirely without both state funding and regulation.”

If we assume that of the 800,000 people about 200,000 are school-age children, then there is one school for every 218 children.  In fact Toomey’s survey team found that the average unregulated school had about 8 teachers and 170 students.  So it seems that the black market in schools provides an adequtate number of seats for the Old City slum children.  But what about performance?

“In Hyderabad, students attending recognized and unrecognized private schools outperformed their peers in government schools by a full standard deviation in both English and math.”

So what, you ask?  We are just establishing a very small point.

Contrary to the received notion, it appears that the urban poor are not too poor, or too ignorant, or too feckless to send their children to school—or to pay for it.

And we are idly tossing into the air another very small idea, as inadvertently suggested by the documentary Up Series.  What if children suckled at the teat of government schools generally grow up to be adult adolescents, don’t bother to marry, and don’t bother to have children?

They would be well on the way to the status of H.G. Wells’ Eloi inThe Time Machine, “humanity upon the wane,” shortly to fall into the clutches of the Muslim Morlocks.

For when society sets itself

“steadfastly towards comfort and ease, a balanced society with security and permanency as its watchword,” it has no need to develop “intellectual versatility… the compensation for change, danger, and trouble,”

until it is too late.

People have needs, but they must need struggle to meet them.

Fiddling While Europe Burns

Fiddling While Europe Burns
By Aaron Hanscom
FrontPageMagazine.com | October 23, 2006

“It has become politically correct to attack Islam, and this is making it hard for moderates on both sides to remain reasonable.” 

That’s the opinion of Imam Wahid Pedersen, a Danish convert to Islam, quoted this month in a New York Times article. 

Where has Pedersen been these past few years? The truth is that today any criticism of certain aspects of Islam — whether coming from a documentary film, Danish cartoons, the Pope, or the former British foreign secretary — results in seething Muslim rage and feeble Western obsequiousness. Indeed, contrary to the laments of sensitive Muslims, recent events have shown that it has actually become politically correct to celebrate Islam at every opportunity. 

There is no better time to celebrate than a holiday, which is why the CNV trade union federation in the
Netherlands wants a Muslim feast to be introduced as a bank holiday.  The free day would allow Muslims to celebrate the end of Ramadan during the Sugar Festival. By “offer[ing] Muslims the freedom to practice their faith,” CNV vice chairman Rienk van Splunder wishes to “create freedom and respect for one another.” Van Splunder seems to be unaware that the Dutch government already funds schools, mosques, and community centers where Muslims are able to practice their religion. The main barrier to the harmony Van Splunder seeks comes from the fact that a great many of the one million Muslims in the
Netherlands desire the freedom to live under Shari’a law.

Taking a cue from Dutch politicians like Piet Hein Donner, who has said that he sees no objection to undemocratic Shari’a law in the Netherlands provided it is imposed by “democratic means,” the CNV apparently wants to speed up the process by creating a national Muslim holiday in the Christian nation. To make room for the Sugar Festival, the federation is willing to sacrifice Whit Monday or Easter Monday. Van Splunder may in fact have been correct when he said that these Christian holidays have lost their meaning in an increasingly secularized nation. But replacing them with the celebration of the Islamic month of fasting would be viewed by Muslims as nothing less than a complete rejection by the Dutch of their own traditions. 


Spain is one county that knows a thing or two about sacrificing their traditions for the benefit of Muslims. The Spanish newspaper El Pais recently reported that several towns in the
Valencia region have made some curious changes to their traditional festivals commemorating the liberation of
Spain from more than 700 years of Muslim domination.  Apparently, last year’s angry response by Muslims to the publication of the Danish cartoons spooked some Spaniards so much that certain customs practiced during the celebration of the Reconquista have been abandoned.  Exploding Mohammeds — made by packing the head of a wood-and-cardboard Mohammed dummy with fireworks — will no longer be seen in the

village of
Bocairent. The mayor of Bocairent, Antonio Valdes, explained his reasoning: “It just wasn’t necessary, and as it could hurt some people’s feelings, we decided not to do it.”
 

The mayor’s sentiments are not uncommon.  Mayor Alfredo Sanchez Monteseirin of
Seville has suppressed the festive character of the “Feast of San Fernando” because a joyful celebration of the reconquest of the city in 1248 by King Ferdinand III of Castille might upset Muslims.  Meanwhile, there has been opposition to the “Toma de Granada,” which celebrates the arrival of the Catholic Kings to the last Muslim holdout on the
Iberian Peninsula.
 

The Spanish town of
Badajoz has figured out a politically correct way for festivals to be a blast without actually blasting Mohammed dolls: celebrating its founding by Arab invaders.  At this year’s Al-Mossassa festival there was no suppression of traditions, perhaps because it featured veil dancing and not flamenco. 

Former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar talked about the newest double standard in a speech last month at the Hudson Institute: “It is interesting to note that while a lot of people in the world are asking the pope to apologize for his speech, I have never heard a Muslim say sorry for having conquered Spain and occupying it for eight centuries.” 

Aznar might have added that the only apologies are coming from guilt-stricken individuals who believe that “Islamophobia” is the biggest threat to world peace. Explaining the genesis of the “Venise et l’Orient” festival now running in
Venice, organizer Marie George Nida told Islam.net: “The exhibition highlights cross-fertilization between the West and Islam to counter war mongering clichés that now make international headlines.” Nida’s premise is flawed: International headlines tell of countries like
Italy continuing to arrest Islamic terrorists intent on attacking the West.  An Italian city deciding to host an exhibition celebrating Islamic contributions to Western civilization and arts isn’t likely to change any holy warrior’s mind.
 

The real malleable minds are those of young children, which makes a story out of
Nyssa, Oregon, so disturbing. A local school district has been teaching the “five pillars” of Islam and having students learn Muslim prayers and dress as Muslims. Concerned parent Kendalee Garner told WorldNetDaily.com that her 13-year-old-son is being “indoctrinated that Islam is a religion of peace, and being dressed up as a Muslim, being taught prayers, and scriptures out of the Quran.”  Superintendent Don Grotting assured parents that students were learning about the “contributions to math, science, medicine, and the arts by the Muslim population.”

But it is the automatic celebration of all aspects of Islam that is so disturbing. Honest assessments of Islam, especially from Muslims and their Western apologists, are what will bring about a much-needed reformation in Islam.  Until that day, the gulf between the West and the Muslim world will only widen. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in
Britain.
The British government has long tried to win favor with Muslim minorities by celebrating their differences.  According to the London Telegraph, multicultural favors like using tax dollars to fly Muslim scholars to
Britain and encouraging financial institutions to comply with Islamic requirements are only deepening the rift.  A document released by the Church of England revealed the effects of such policies:

Indeed, one might argue that disaffection and separation is now greater than ever, with Muslim communities withdrawing further into a sense of victimhood, and other faith communities seriously concerned that the Government has given signals that appear to encourage the notion of a privileged relationship with sections of the Muslim community.

Here is the uncomfortable truth facing Islam’s Western apologists: Politically correct concessions to the Islamic community, instead of encouraging moderates, have only empowered the extremists.

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EU’s fight against radical Islam — Religious leaders, politician say only if Muslim immigrants accept western values tensions would subside — (DUSSELDORF) – Henrik Broder, a prominent Jewish journalist in Germany, recently published a book titled, “Hooray! We Surrender!” which criticizes what the author refers to as ‘Europe’s weakness in its battle against Islam.’

Gil Yaron Henrik Broder, a prominent Jewish journalist in Germany, recently published a book titled, “Hooray! We Surrender!” which criticizes what the author refers to as ‘Europe’s weakness in its battle against Islam.’“We must define what sets us aside as a society, and what values we must uphold in our struggle against Islam,” Broder tells Ynet. Broder’s remarks come amid the ever-increasing tension in Europe between the traditional values and those of radical Islam, which are beginning to spread throughout the continent. It began with the Madrid terror attack, which was carried out by a cell of immigrants from North Africa and the Middle East and continued with the London bombings, which were carried out by UK-born Muslims, and the attempts to attack airliners in Britain and trains in Germany. In the interim there were the violent riots in response to the prophet Muhammad caricatures, the outrage and threats over Pope Benedict XVI’s accusations and the public outcry following the UK veils affair.
Muslim Europeans protesting Muhammad cartoons (Photo: AFP)With the end of the Cold War 17 years ago, Europe was able to unite around values of democracy, individualism and a free market. But lately the atmosphere ion Europe has begun to change, and tolerant Europe has started to organize against radical Islam (and some say Islam in general), an ideology that is being referred to more and more as ‘an enemy of modern western society’s lifestyle.

Until recently political correctness reigned in Europe, and those who dared point an accusatory finger at minorities were ostracized. When immigrants attacked their host-countries in Europe, the Europeans blamed western society for ‘inadequately absorbing them.’

Dialogue, not confrontation was the solution to the absorption difficulties of immigrants; criticism of the Muslim minority, part of which refused to accept the social ideals of the majority, was dismissed as racist – and so the Muslims in Europe did not integrate with the western population.

Muslim quarter in Brussels (Photo: Roee Nahmias)

But following Madrid and London attacks, as well as the Muslim riots over the Mohammad caricatures, there are more and more signs indicating that the European Union is beginning to view Islam and the Muslim immigrants as an existential threat.

Mission: Intelligence

About 15 million Muslims live In Europe today, which constitute about 3-4 percent of the population in most European countries. In France, Muslims make up and estimated 10 percent. Police forces across Europe have already started to focus efforts on collecting intelligence information among their countries’ Islamic communities.

For German intelligence, for instance, this is virgin territory. German police, who confer regularly with Jewish officials to assess the threat to their safety, admitted to them that they have know idea of the goings-on in Germany’s Muslim communities.

Senior police officials themselves confessed to Ynet that, “There are whole areas in German cities that in our view are ‘out of bounds’, and we don’t enter them anymore. For too long we thought that as long as we let them manage themselves, they won’t bother us. Now this attitude is taking its revenge on us.”

Germany Defense Ministry official Christian Schmidt, a member of the governing Christian Democrats party (CDU), told Ynet that among the Muslim community in his country, “Thousands tend towards extremism and pose a threat to us.”

He said that contrary to absorption processes in other communities, among Muslims future generations become more fanatic, with “the third generation being the most extremist.”

Currently various German states are considering legislation to obligate imams to carry sermons in German, to “increase the transparency of Muslim communities and abate concern and suspicion.” In effect, this reflects the shortage of Turkish and Arabic speakers in the German intelligence community and the difficulties hindering them from collecting crucial information from this sector.

Tensions between communities have been rising since last summer’s thwarted terror attacks in Britain and Germany. Two and a half month ago plans to blow up two trains in Koln failed to materialize due to technical failures in the makeshift bombs hidden in two suitcases.

German authorities nabbed a number of suspects and the mastermind of the attempted attacks, which prompted a debate about whether the government should make it obligatory for transportation operators to install CCTV cameras on trains.

In Britain a plot to blow up a number of US-bound planes using liquid explosives, shook a nation that was still trying to come to terms with the July 7 attacks two years earlier.

Relations between 1.8 British Muslims and the rest of the country suffered another set back as tension grew and a wide-scale arrest raids conducted against Muslim terror suspects across the country only added fuel to the fire.

The government said it is weighing plans to cut public funds to Muslim schools, although no such plans were considered for the 36 Jewish and 7,000 Christian schools in the monarchy.

In another dramatic development, the Ministry of Education announced new regulation to the higher education system which would make it obligatory for British universities to keep track of the activities of Muslim students and report any suspicious behavior to law enforcement authorities.

Many countries did not suffice with discussions: The governments of Germany and Britain launched dialogue with Muslim organizations in the hope that a European form of Islam – one that is pragmatic and pacifist – would emerge.

In Berlin, the home of many Germans of Turkish origins, Turkish kindergartens would be forced to adopt the German language as the only communication tool in the hope to inoculate minority children with the values of democracy and civil rights.

In Switzerland meanwhile, where Muslims constitute less than one percent of the population, referendums held in a number of cantons reflected the will of an overwhelming majority to limit the spread of Islam. More so, strict immigration laws were introduced, and in many areas the construction of new Mosques has been banned.

Debate on values

But for many this is not enough. While individualism has been a supreme value in Europe for many decades, common European values have been subject to intense debate especially to the backdrop of Turkey’s impending membership in the European Union.

“We need to start public discussions about our values, which we have to communicate in a resolute manner,” Michael Geller, a member of the European parliament representing Germany’s CDU told Ynet.

“Islam is not a threat yet, but a challenge that forces us to define our common values. Citizen rights and the status of women especially are things that should be assimilated among Muslim immigrants,” he said.

Henrik Broder however is a skeptic. “I don’t think Europe know to do something besides to surrender. People have no idea what they are fighting for. We can’t set the clock back, and I don’t want Europe to give up on its Muslims. But when the Dutch justice minister says it is possible for Sharia to become the basis for Dutch laws and when in England there are independent Sharia courts – that’s the end of European society as we know it,” he said.