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.


Nato troops party while British die on the front line — Mianland Europe still doesn’t get it

Nato troops party while British die on the front line

By CHRISTOPHER LEAKE Last updated at 22:00pm on 7th October 2006  


On the front line: British troops have endured hardships while Nato troops party


Nato troops in Afghanistan are staging nightly drinking and karaoke sessions as British soldiers are dying on the front line. Exhausted British Paras returning from four months of battles against the Taliban – while enduring meagre rations and shortages of clean water – have been ‘disgusted’ to find other European troops partying at Kabul International Airport, known as KIA. The Paras have even dubbed the base “KIA Napa” after Cyprus’s notorious party resort, Ayia Napa. Most Nato troops in Kabul are not sent to the front line because their governments have refused to put their lives at risk. They protect the airport and the capital instead. British soldiers from 3 Para Battle Group, who have seen 41 comrades die in Afghanistan since the spring, say the airport is a ‘haven’ for parties for Italian, Hungarian, French, German and Belgian troops. They are held in giant tents designed to cover military aircraft, or in huge containers that are transformed into makeshift nightclubs. One Para sergeant who stayed at the airport last week after a tour in Helmand Province said Kabul was “like something out of a Vietnam war film where everyone is oblivious to what is going on elsewhere”. He added: “The clowns at the airport had no idea of what was going on in Helmand. An Italian invited us to a party where he said there would be a lot of chicks and plenty of action, then his French mate tried to pick a fight. I told my boys to keep away from them – losers. “At a bar in the airport, soldiers sat in their pressed uniforms with beer in one hand and women in the other. We stood there with our mouths open. What a waste of rations.” Another British officer said: “The situation is causing a major split in the Alliance, as the UK, the US and a handful of other nations are seen to be doing all the work.” And a corporal with 3 Para said: “It is an insult to the rest of us who are mixing it with the enemy at close quarters. These people should just go home. They are on the lash every night and delivering very little to the operation.” But Mark Laity, Nato’s spokesman in Kabul, said comments made by British troops were “highly exaggerated”, “inaccurate” and “misleading”. He added: “Alcohol is not banned and it is common to find women in Nato forces. It should therefore be no surprise that in off-duty hours, men and women mix together while sharing a drink.” British General David Richards, commander of Nato’s force in Afghanistan, added: “Away from the front line, living conditions are inevitably better, although still austere. “The troops are still separated from their families and still work long hours. So when their day’s work is done it would be churlish to begrudge them a break from their duties that is as pleasant as possible. “But bad behaviour and excessive drinking will not be tolerated and are subject to disciplinary action.”


Enough of the U.N.

Enough of the U.N.Anne BayefskyNew York Sun, September 12, 2006 

Today marks the opening of the 61st annual session of the United Nations General Assembly…  Just last Friday the U.N. gave the world its answer to 9/11. The General Assembly adopted its first-ever “Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” The title is grand. The substance was not: it called for the [implementation] of a General Assembly resolution from 1991, which draws a distinction between terrorism and the “legitimacy of the struggle of national liberation movements.” The document was also telling for what it omitted: a definition of terrorism, a reference to state sponsorship of terrorism and a call to sanction states that harbor and assist terrorists. Worst of all it began, not with defeat of terrorists, but with “measures to address conditions conducive to the spread of terrorism, which it describes as “prevent[ing] the defamation of religions, religious values, beliefs and cultures,” “eradicate[ing] poverty” and reducing youth unemployment… The previous post-9/11 record was just as bad. Shortly after 9/11 the U.N. created a new body to take the lead on responding to terrorist threats — the Security Council’s Counter-Terrorism Committee. To this day, the CTC has never named a single terrorist, terrorist organization, or state sponsor of terrorism. What does such a record do for the war effort? It leaves the stewardship of the war against terrorism in the hands of an agent that cannot define it. 

The U.N.’s top human rights body for six decades, the Commission on Human Rights, was charged with identifying and responding to human rights abuse. During that time, 30% of all its resolutions condemning a specific state for human rights violations were directed at Israel, while not one resolution was adopted condemning states like China, Syria, or Zimbabwe. In recent years, Libya served as Chair. In the name of enhanced credibility, the Commission was replaced this past spring by a Human Rights Council. Its members include Cuba, China, and Saudi Arabia. Since June, the Council has adopted three resolutions and held two special sessions critical of human rights violations in specific states. Now 100% of them are on Israel. In the meantime, thousands die in killing fields and deserts and torture chambers around the world…

 Last weekend U.N. Secretary General, Kofi Annan, decided to go to Iran and shake hands with President Ahmadinejad. The message Annan delivered, in his own words, was that “The international community should not isolate Iran.” Mr. Ahmadinejad has embraced genocide, called for the eradication of a U.N. member state, denied the truth of the Holocaust even though its ashes form the cornerstone of U.N. itself, and broken his treaty obligations to end the pursuit of nuclear weapons. Yet the Secretary-General still believes the President of Iran does not deserve isolation. What does such a message do for winning the war [on terror]? It tells us to appease, apologize, and run away. The U.N. system produces hundreds of reports, resolutions, letters, journals, and circulars critical of human rights abuse by particular states… Of the top ten countries of human rights concern to the U.N. in 2005, Israel was first and America was 10th. Iran was 18th. The human rights actions statistics for 2006 are even starker. So far Israel is first and America is 3rd — of all 192 countries on earth… Time and again the United Nations has stood opposed to America’s attempts to ensure a decent world order, for itself, and for others. America has tried to galvanize legal and political forces by calling the millions dead, displaced, and dying in Sudan “genocide.” But the U.N. reported last year that events in Darfur didn’t meet their criteria for genocide. America has called for immediate sanctions to stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But the U.N. Security Council called only for another report. Published a week ago, the International Atomic Energy Agency said that it “remains unable to…verify the correctness and completeness of Iran’s declarations with a view to confirming the peaceful nature of Iran’s nuclear programme.” And we’re meant to wait. America has named Hezbollah a terrorist organization. But the U.N. refuses to do so—notwithstanding the 3,900 missiles directed at Israeli civilians this summer. On the contrary, said Deputy Secretary-General Mark Malloch-Brown, “It is not helpful to couch this [Lebanon] war in the language of international terrorism”—this because Hezbollah is “completely separate and different from Al Qaeda.” America has worked arduously to support the nascent democracy in Iraq. But the U.N. has dragged its feet responding to appeals to train Iraqi judges and prosecutors… Who are these opponents, wrapped in the U.N. flag, who inculcate the view that American unilateralism and non-cooperation is the root cause of the world’s ills? [They] include U.N. staffers like the secretary-general and his deputy, who claim they are hapless functionaries operating at the mercy of member states — notwithstanding self-motivated trips to Iran, handshakes with Hezbollah, “doing business” with Saddam Hussein, and blaming middle American ignorance for the credibility gap. They are the 45 “Not Free” nations — to use Freedom House labels — who pass judgment on others in the General Assembly. These are the state sponsors of terrorism. The ones who don’t let women vote or drive, or who kill them in the name of “honor.” The ones who raise their children to die while murdering as many others of a different faith as possible… The ones who claim that authoring a cartoon, a movie, or a book can justify a death sentence. They are also the 58 “Partly-Free” countries. Some of these are cronies, others are just cowards. Some are like-minded with their more notorious neighbors, others are very dependent. Together, these nations represent the majority of the 132 developing states and the majority of 192 U.N. members. They are unified not by a desire to democratize, or even to develop, since many are quite content with kingdoms and with servitude in their own backyards. They are a team because they are adroit at U.N. politics, and they have learned that the cartel is good for business. This holds true particularly for the largest single bloc amongst them — the 56-member Organization of the Islamic Conference… There is an alternative, an antidote to the self-doubt and moral relativism planted in our midst by Turtle Bay. Senator Frist calls it a “council of democracies outside of the U.N. system … [that would] truly monitor, examine and expose human rights abuses around the globe.” Such a gathering is an idea whose time has come: the United Democratic Nations — an international organization of democracies, by democracies, and for democracies. It is time to say enough. (This material is drawn from Anne Bayefsky’s remarks yesterday at a Hudson Institute conference.) 

Another shameful UN momentEditorial, Jerusalem Post, Sep. 20, 2006 Mahmoud Ahmadinejad did not bang his shoe on his desk at the UN General Assembly, as did Soviet leader Nikita Krushchev in 1960. He did not address world leaders wearing a pistol, as did Yasser Arafat in 1974. The Iranian leader’s appearance may well, however, be recorded as an even more shameful moment in the checkered history of an organization supposedly dedicated to advancing international peace and security. The leader of Iran is a Holocaust denier who, not surprisingly, also denies Israel’s right to exist. From other podiums, Ahmadinejad has called for “wiping Israel off the map.” This is incitement to genocide, and he continued it, albeit in more polite terms, from the UN podium. A good part of his speech was dedicated, not to opposing Israel’s policies, but to decrying the “tragedy” of its establishment… In [Kofi Annan’s] final speech as secretary-general to the gathered leaders, he [said:] “We might like to think of the Arab-Israeli conflict as just one regional conflict among many… But it is not. No other conflict carries such a powerful symbolic and emotional charge among people far removed from the battlefield… “As long as the Security Council is unable to end this conflict, and the now nearly 40-year-old occupation, by bringing both sides to accept and implement its resolutions, so long will respect for the United Nations continue to decline. So long, too, will our impartiality be questioned… And so long will our devoted and courageous staff, instead of being protected by the blue flag, find themselves exposed to rage and violence, provoked by policies they neither control nor support.” With this, the UN’s leader waved not a blue flag, but a white flag of surrender to the very forces he hoped to combat. Why is he blaming “both sides” for a war, not to establish a Palestinian state, but to destroy Israel? Why does he imply that Israel is provoking “rage and violence” against UN forces, rather than condemning that violence and the Arab war to destroy Israel of which it is a part? The Security Council has indeed failed to enforce its resolutions because, time and again, it has stood silent as Israel is attacked and leapt into action to stop Israel from defending itself. The UN’s silence in the face of Iran’s open calls for Israel’s destruction is an abdication not only of its responsibility to enforce its own calls for peace with Israel, but a mockery of its own charter and the Genocide Convention. The prospect of removing Iran from the UN or at least denying its leader the UN’s most prestigious podium has not been considered, let alone acted upon. Not only was Ahmadinejad allowed in the UN, but Annan himself met with him just weeks ago in Teheran. When bullies and terrorists crush their peoples and feel free to lecture the leaders of nations at the UN, it is a bad sign for the forces of freedom in the world. Speech, whether on our side or theirs, cannot obscure the stark reality as described by eminent historian Bernard Lewis: “Either we bring them freedom, or they destroy us.” 

Same old UNIFIL?Editorial, Jerusalem Post, September 25, 2006 

Since the cease-fire took effect a month ago in Lebanon, the existing 2,000-member UNIFIL contingent has expanded to about 5,500 troops, and it is expected to grow to 8,000 in November. Time and again, Israel and the US were assured that the new, more robust UNIFIL would be nothing like the old, discredited force, which acted as human shields for the massive Hizbullah weapons buildup that led to the recent war.

Signs are already growing, however, that the “new” UNIFIL, though larger and better armed, will not act appreciably differently to the “old” UNIFIL that has existed since 1978.

 …UNIFIL commander Maj.-Gen. Alain Pellegrini [has] explained that UN Security Council Resolution 1701 resulted in new rules of engagement for UNIFIL. Previously, UNIFIL could only open fire to defend itself. Now, it is authorized to use force to implement Resolution 1701, which requires the disarmament of Hizbullah. 

Yet when asked whether UNIFIL would intervene against Hizbullah forces on their way to attack Israel over the international border, Pellegrini said that UNIFIL was in Lebanon to “assist the Lebanese army…and to inform them and advise them how they can do their job.” UNIFIL was not there to disarm or engage Hizbullah, and if it saw “something dangerous” unfolding, it would “inform the Lebanese army” and would take action only if asked to do so by the Lebanese army.

Pellegrini was less circumspect when it came to Israel. Speaking of continued Israeli intelligence-gathering overflights of Lebanon, he called them “unacceptable and dangerous…violations [of 1701 that] are not justifiable with the deployment of the Lebanese army and the enhancement of UNIFIL.”

For the first time in 40 years, the Lebanese army has been deploying along the border with Israel. On Thursday, however, hundreds of Hizbullah supporters marched up to the border fence near Metulla, waving Hizbullah flags…

If there is any lesson to be learned from the last war, it is that the only way to prevent a renewed conflict is to prevent Hizbullah from being in a position to start one. This means disarming Hizbullah, and keeping it away from the border, not just “sharing” that border and standing by as it becomes a potential flashpoint. It is hard to see how this can happen if UNIFIL refuses to use its new capabilities to fulfill its new mandate.

Preventing the next war also means UNIFIL actively working to at least report violations of 1701 by Lebanon, Hizbullah and Syria, not just violations by Israel. These Israeli violations are necessitated by the failure of Lebanon and UNIFIL to fully implement that resolution’s essence, namely preventing the recreation of a tinderbox.

Enough Apologies

Enough Apologies

Excellent observations from Anne Applebaum in, of all places, the Washington Post (thanks to Jeffrey Imm):

…we can all unite in our support for freedom of speech — surely the pope is allowed to quote from medieval texts — and of the press. And we can also unite, loudly, in our condemnation of violent, unprovoked attacks on churches, embassies and elderly nuns. By “we” I mean here the White House, the Vatican, the German Greens, the French Foreign Ministry, NATO, Greenpeace, Le Monde and Fox News — Western institutions of the left, the right and everything in between. True, these principles sound pretty elementary — “we’re pro-free speech and anti-gratuitous violence” — but in the days since the pope’s sermon, I don’t feel that I’ve heard them defended in anything like a unanimous chorus. A lot more time has been spent analyzing what the pontiff meant to say, or should have said, or might have said if he had been given better advice.All of which is simply beside the point, since nothing the pope has ever said comes even close to matching the vitriol, extremism and hatred that pour out of the mouths of radical imams and fanatical clerics every day, all across Europe and the Muslim world, almost none of which ever provokes any Western response at all. And maybe it’s time that it should: When Saudi Arabia publishes textbooks commanding good Wahhabi Muslims to “hate” Christians, Jews and non-Wahhabi Muslims, for example, why shouldn’t the Vatican, the Southern Baptists, Britain’s chief rabbi and the Council on American-Islamic Relations all condemn them — simultaneously?

CAIR, eh? Once again: don’t hold your breath, Anne.