Germany: Muslims 'an economic burden'

Germany: Muslims 'an economic burden'

Via Expatica:

A majority of Germans believe the country's roughly four million Muslims are an economic burden, a poll showed Thursday, adding further fire to a raging
immigration debate in Europe's top economy.

The survey, by the Allensbach Institute for the Financial Times Deutschland, showed that 55 percent of Germans thought Muslims "cost considerably more socially and financially than they produce economically."

Only one fifth of those polled believed the opposite.

Anti-Muslim feeling was strongest in economically depressed East Germany, where 74 percent had a negative view.

(more)

Norway: Terrorists intended to shoot Mohammed cartoonist, attack Chinese embassy

Norway: Terrorists intended to shoot Mohammed cartoonist, attack Chinese embassy

More confessions from the Norwegian AQ terror cell.

Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak (37) confessed that he had planned to buy a gun and kill a cartoonist, most probably Mohammed cartoonist Kurt Westergaard (75).

Meanwhile, co-suspect Mikael Davud confessed to planning attacks on Chinese interests in Norway, possibly the Chinese embassy in Oslo. His two co-suspects did not know about this plan.

Source: VG (Norwegian)

Amsterdam: Salafis pose threat to Muslim women, says alderman

Amsterdam: Salafis pose threat to Muslim women, says alderman

Though orthodox Muslims might not be a danger to society, they're a threat to the personal freedom of Muslim girls and women, Amsterdam diversity alderman, Andrée van Es (GroenLinks), said in response to a recent study on Salafism.

The report concluded that strictly orthodox Muslims are not a threat to Dutch society. This is also due to the enormous social control in Salafist communities: the faithful consistently check each other, and continuously speak of what is allowed and what isn't.

Norway: Terror cell confesses to planning attack against Danish paper

Norway: Terror cell confesses to planning attack against Danish paper

Trond Hugubakken, spokesperson for the Norwegian security service PST, says that he can confirm one of the suspects in the case confessed the cell had planned terror attacks. VG reports the suspect is Shawan Sadek Saeed Bujak (37). Hugubakken told VG that the target was most probably not Norwegian.

Q: Was the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten a target?

A: Yes, from what he explained, it seems that the paper was their target.

The Norwegian cell was part of the European al-Qaeda network.

Source: VG (Norwegian)

EU: "All the lights are red. They are flashing from everywhere."

EU: "All the lights are red. They are flashing from everywhere."



The American led cell which planned to attack the Danish Mohammed cartoon newspaper Jyllands Posten is still at large.


Finland: Immigrants go abroad to Jihadi training camps

Finland: Immigrants go abroad to Jihadi training camps

The Finnish Security Police say that immigrants in Finland have gone to take part in combat training, reports Turun Sanomat.

Supo's deputy director Petri Knape told the newspaper that they suspect that people living in Finland had gone to crisis areas to participate in training camps. Knape did not say which countries or how many people. He told the paper that the threat of terrorism is directed at Europe as an entity. There is still a small risk of terror attacks aimed at Finland.

Supo will send more detectives to Finland's embassies abroad. Knape says that thanks to their contact people in embassies they've been able to prevent several people classified as dangerous from entering Finland. In the future these contact people will be present during family reunification interviews.

Source: Vasabladet (Swedish)

Netherlands: Radicalism level higher among Moroccans

Netherlands: Radicalism level higher among Moroccans

According to a study by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (University of Amsterdam) and Statistics Netherlands (CBS), 8% of the Dutch Muslims see themselves as very religious: 12% of Moroccans and 5% of Turks. This comes out to 24,000 very orthodox Moroccan Muslims and 12,000 very orthodox Turkish Muslims. [ed: See below for a breakdown, these percentages only apply to those who define themselves as Muslim.]

These people do not shake hands with people of the opposite sex, don't listen to non-religious music and prefer not to go to places where both men and women are present. They support a theocracy and distinguish themselves by accepting violence.

EU: 50 terror attacks averted

EU: 50 terror attacks averted

Security services foiled fifty big terrorist attacks of Muslim extremists since September 11, 2001. Countries targeted included the Netherlands, UK, France, Germany, Italy and Spain, terrorism experts Glenn Schoen of Ernst & Young and professor of Strategic Studies at Leiden University Rob de Wijk told AD. The two based their calculations on reports by security services, government documents, their own research and sources.

In the Netherlands the attacks include the Hofstad Group and a suicide attack by a Pakistani student who was part of a cell from Barcelona which planned attacks in Europe.

The targets of Muslim extremists included military bases, airports and shopping malls. In most cases the terrorists wanted to cause as many victims as possible, says Schoen.

According to Europol, 110 suspects of Muslim terrorism were arrested last year. They did not make the data about the criminal cases public.

Source: AD (Dutch)

Italy: Muslims appeal to president over 'discrimination' in north

Italy: Muslims appeal to president over 'discrimination' in north

Via AKI:

Muslims in Italy have written to the country's president Giorgio Napolitano claiming their constitutional rights are being violated by the anti-immigrant policies of the Northern League party.

A lack of mosques and halal food outlets in the north were especially serious problems, said the letter to Napolitano (photo), written by the union of Islamic communities in Italy (UCOII). Adnkronos International received a copy of the letter.

"I write to you as the custodian and guarantor of the Italian constitution the Italian's Republic's highest judge, to draw to your attention the day-to-day difficulties faced by Muslims in a large area of the country," said the letter signed by UCOII's president Ezzeddin Elzir.

Law-abiding Muslim immigrants and foreign residents who have strived to integrate in Italy's northern regions and who do not present any real security threat, are being treated as second-class citizens, according to UCOII.

(more)

Yemen: German 16 year old charged with terrorism (UPDATED)

Yemen: German 16 year old charged with terrorism

And he might have been 14 when he received al-Qaeda training.

Via M&C:

A 16-year-old German boy was among four teenage defendants charged at a Yemeni state security court on Monday with plotting attacks on foreign and government targets in the Arab country.

The 16-year old, whose mother is Yemeni and is not named for legal reasons, appeared at the courtroom with three 15-year-old Iraqi co- defendants.

The four were charged with planning suicide attacks against tourists, foreign interests, state and military vital facilities.

Prosecutors told the court that the defendants had received training by an al-Qaeda leader in Marib province in 2008.

(more)



Updated:

AP reports the suspect, Rami Hans Harman, claims the authorities extracted a false confession from him.

Jih@d blog adds (DE) that Harman is the son of a German businessman and a Yemeni woman. It's unclear whether he really has German citizenship. Harman said in court that he never met his father, whom he says lives in Germany, and that he wants to move to Germany to start a "new and safe life".

Netherlands: Salafi Muslims don't believe in violence

Netherlands: Salafi Muslims don't believe in violence

Yet another study which comes to the conclusion that Salafists are not radical, they're just an 'average Orthodox movement".  Which I suppose is true, since about a third of all religious Muslims in the Netherlands are "receptive to Salafism".  Can't get more average than that.


See also: Netherlands: Salafism stagnating

Rotterdam: Fewer Moroccans suspected of crimes

Rotterdam: Fewer Moroccans suspected of crimes

Antilleans and Moroccans in Rotterdam are most often suspected of crime than other groups.  The number of Antilleans who were suspected of a crime in 2009 was 7.2%, compared to 4.6% of Moroccans.  The average for all Rotterdam residents was around 2%.

This according to the most recent data from the Antilleans and Moroccan Rotterdamers Monitor 2010, sent by mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb to the municipal council Thursday.  Though Antilleans and Moroccans still lead in city crime, there is a drop compared to last year.



Netherlands: Turks, Moroccans need different approach to medical care

Netherlands: Turks, Moroccans need different approach to medical care

Medical personnel should keep in mind that Turkish and Moroccan patients don't need to know everything.

Providing all information is so important for Dutch medical personnel, that they're sometimes forced to withhold information, according to the study "Communication and decision making in palliative care for Turkish and Moroccan cancer patients" (NL PDF) by NIVEL.  Moroccan cancer patients and their families often have different view about communicating the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment, according to the report.

UK: 6 arrested for posting Koran-burning online

UK: 6 arrested for posting Koran-burning online

(YouTube warns viewers - in both English and Arabic)

Germany: Integration debate is racist 19th century talk, says Turkish scholar

Germany: Integration debate is racist 19th century talk, says Turkish scholar

Via The Local:
A leading Turkish scholar has likened elements of the latest German debate on integration to racist 19th century notions of “primitive” immigrants who breed uncontrollably.

The new head of the centre for Turkish Studies and Integration Research at Essen University, Haci Halil Uslucan, said the Sarrazin debate appeared to have flushed out old ideas about race that did not belong in the 21st century.

“Take the now-revived discussion of migrants’ ‘high fertility,’" he said. "Debate about it is like the 19th century racist discussions about ‘primitives’ who could not control their drives,” he told Wednesday’s edition of daily Der Tagesspiegel.

His remarks came as Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger warned of a rising fear of Islam and the view that “Muslims and their religion are regarded as threatening.”

“It would be wrong to see it this way: here, the Western, enlightened and liberal Europeans, there the fundamentalist migrants,” she said on Wednesday at the opening of the German Legal Congress.

Uslucan said that people from poorer rural areas typically had larger families for social reasons, yet such clear-headed analysis was missing from much of the debate in Germany.

(more)

Germany: SPD Boss Calls for Tougher Integration Measures

Germany: SPD Boss Calls for Tougher Integration Measures

It's interesting to see Gabriel's response to the question "what does integration mean to you".  He seems to hold by Tariq Ramadan's standard (integration = law, language, loyalty).  He doesn't mention values, which I think is much more basic.

Via Spiegel:

The head of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party, Sigmar Gabriel, has told SPIEGEL ONLINE that the country should get tough on immigrants who are unwilling to learn the language and integrate. He says they should be supported, but that the government and society should also make demands.

Sigmar Gabriel, the head of Germany's center-left Social Democratic Party, is calling for tougher integration policies in his country. In an interview with SPIEGEL ONLINE on Monday, he said that immigrants who refuse to participate in programs offered by the government to help foreigners integrate are as unwelcome as hate preachers who have found homes in some of the country's mosques and receive their funding from abroad.

The SPD leader's comments attracted criticism from the Green Party. Veteran Green politician Volker Beck described his words as the "beating of the drum against immigrants with cheap populist politics."

Germany: Greens propose integration solidarity tax

 Germany: Greens propose integration solidarity tax

The deputy chairman of the Greens fraction in the German parliament, Josef Winkler, told the Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung that the solidarity tax for the former East Germany should be gradually changed into an 'integration-solidarity tax' for integration and education.

Winkler: We should invest in the integration of the new population groups.  Part of the solidarity tax should be spent on better education and language education for migrants.

Winkler wants mother-tongue education for Turkish children and other migrant children all over Germany.  "If you don't speak your mother-tongue well, according to researchers you will also have problems learning German."

Source: NRP (Dutch), translated from Rheinische Post (German)

Austria: Majority approve debate following Sarrazin's claims

Austria: Majority approve debate following Sarrazin's claims

Via Austrian Independent:
A majority of Austrians regard Thilo Sarrazin’s controversial ideas a "justified approach" to re-discuss integration issues, a poll has shown.

Viennese researchers Karmasin found 51 per cent of Austrians said the outgoing Deutsche Bundesbank executive board member’s statements were a good starting point to kick off a discussion about Austrian immigration and integration issues. Only 39 per cent said they did not agree, magazine profil reports today (Mon).

German pollsters said recently six in 10 Germans consider the German Social Democrat’s (SPD) remarks – made in his new book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany Abolishes Itself) – a justified bid to start a fresh debate about immigration and integration of Muslims and other ethnic groups.

 (more)

Milan: Catholic Church backs Muslim struggle to build mosque

Milan: Catholic Church backs Muslim struggle to build mosque

Via CS Monitor:
Milan, the northern Italian city famed for finance and fashion, is home to about 100,000 Muslims, mostly migrant workers from North African countries. But within city limits, there isn't a single mosque.

Local Muslims say they have been unsuccessfully seeking permission to build one for years, perhaps due to growing Islamophobia, which is particularly strong in Northern Italy, where the anti-immigration Northern League has its stronghold.

Now, the Catholic Church is backing the Milan Muslims' quest.

“Milan civil institution must guarantee everyone religious freedom," Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, the church's highest authority in town, told La Repubblica daily newspaper on Sept. 4. "Muslims have the right to practice their faith while respecting the law. Often the mosque issue has been distorted for political reasons, while it could become a instrument for civil coexistence."

Cardinal Tettamanzi's call reflects a wider view among Catholic leaders, says priest Davide Milani, a spokesman for the Milan diocese. “The Bishop's conference is behind Tettamanzi, [the Catholic Church] cares about religious freedom for everyone.”
 
(more)

UK: Ethnic pupils overtake white Britons

UK: Ethnic pupils overtake white Britons 

Via Daily Mail:

Pupils from ethnic minorities match or outshine white British children in exams at age 16 despite lagging behind at five, a study shows today.

School league tables may encourage teachers to pay greater attention to pupils from black and Asian backgrounds, the research found.

It also suggested that peer pressure may influence how well different groups work at their studies.

Germany: Milli Gorus cleared of charges

Germany: Milli Gorus cleared of charges

Via Deutsche Welle:
After being accused of fraud and supporting terrorism, one of Germany's largest Islamic groups, Milli Gorus, has been cleared of all charges. Milli Gorus' General Secretary said the process had a "political background."


The Munich prosecutor has dropped all serious charges against top officials of the Muslim group Milli Gorus and several other Muslim organizations.

Six officials had been charged with fraud, money laundering, the support of terrorist organizations and association with criminals. In the spring of 2009 there were extensive raids.

According to the German daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, the 19 month investigations into the groups have been discontinued.

The General Secretary of the organization, Olaz Ucuncu said he suspected there was a "political background" to the investigation. The investigators "found nothing," he said.


The allegations were so severe that at the time, the Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere excluded the Islam Council from the government-sponsored Islam Conference. Milli Gorus is one of the dominant groups in the Islam Council.

(more)

Sweden: Map of Sweden Democrats votes

Sweden: Map of Sweden Democrats votes

The percentage of the votes the Sweden Democrats got in counties and municipalities across Sweden:

(SGB)

Paris: Alert of possible suicide bomber

Paris: Alert of possible suicide bomber

Via AP:

France has stepped up its vigilance against terror threats, a top official announced Monday amid reports of various new threats, including one against the Paris transport network.

"The terrorist threat is real and today our vigilance, therefore, is reinforced," Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said during a visit to the Seine-et-Marne region east of Paris. He did not elaborate on the additional security measures taken.
(...)
RTL radio, citing sources close to the Interior Ministry, reported Monday that French authorities received information early Thursday about a possible suicide bombing attack by a woman apparently on the Paris transport system. Authorities received the alert from French and North African sources, RTL reported.

(more)

Netherlands: No male prison guards for women who have to remove their headscarves

Netherlands: No male prison guards for women who have to remove their headscarves

Muslim women who are arrested and have to give up their headscarf in jail, should not be confronted with male guards, according to a recent decision by the national ombudsman.  The ombudsman responded to a complaint by a woman held in custody who had to hand her headscarf to two female guards while two male colleagues looked on.

The woman saw this as a serious breach of her integrity and beliefs.  The ombudsman ruled that the police indeed failed to respect the freedom of religion, and said the conduct was improper.

A headscarf has to be given up for security reasons.  In 2004 there was a case of suicide with a headscarf.


Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

Brussels: No pork served in half of Dutch speaking schools (UPDATED)

Brussels: No pork served in half of Dutch speaking schools

Update: If I understand correctly, about two thirds of the schools don't serve pork.  Half don't serve pork, and the rest serve only halal food.

Vlaams Belang checked how many school kitchens have adapted to 'the multicultural context' in the Dutch-language educational system in Brussels.  Slightly more than half of the 61 schools they've surveyed do not serve pork, so as not to disgust the Muslim community.  12% of the schools serve halal exclusively.

"Appaling," says Brussels fraction chairman Dominiek Lootens, who calls halal slaughter 'barbaric".  Vlaams Belang says it's unprecedented that non-Muslim children are forced to eat halal meat, often without their or their parents' knowledge.  Lootens says this is yielding to the pressure of radical Muslims who demand that people blindly follow Sharia.

Source: GvA (Dutch)

Netherlands: Moroccans want more attention for discrimination against Moroccans, Muslims

Netherlands: Moroccans want more attention for discrimination against Moroccans, Muslims

Farid Azarkan of the Cooperation Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SNM) says that Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin should pay specific attention to inicdents against Dutch Morocans and Muslims in his action proram against discrimination.  On Thursday the cabinet sent the action program on discrimination to Parlimaent.  It does not deal specifically with discrimination and violence against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims, which the SMN says is a real problem.

The SMN is also critical about the presenation of police figures about discrimination, which were also sent by Hirsch Balin to Parliament.  The main conclusion in the attached police letter said that discrimination against gays and Jews incraesed sharply in 2009, and that got a lot of attention in the media.  Another importnat point in the report did not appear in the letter: the biggest categroy of incidents is of those based on ethnicity and origin - including those against Dutch Moroccans.

The attached letter was therefore incomplete and gives a biased picture of the police figures, says SMN.  "This bias in the presentation of the research ultimately influences the images formed in society."

The SMN says that many people get the idea that it's mostly Jews and gays who are discriminated, and that this is often done by Dutch Moroccans.  Discrimination of the latter group is, on the other hand, underexposed.  The SMN says they are against all forms of discrimination.  Azarkan says that the fact that Jews and gays are increasingly becoming vitims of discrimination and violence, is a sad and alarming devleopment.

Source: Telegraaf (Dutch)

Netherlands: Suspected British Somali terrorist arrested at airport

Netherlands: Suspected British Somali terrorist arrested at airport

Dutch authorities arrested a British Somali man this morning at Schiphol airport.  The police are currently investigating if the man is linked to a foreign terror organization.

The man was on a flight from Liverpool (UK) to Entebbe (Uganda) via Schiphol.  The police arrested him in a plane which was ready to depart.


Source: AD (Dutch)

UK: Halal at schools, hospitals, sporting venues

UK: Halal at schools, hospitals, sporting venues

Via Mail Online:

A Mail on Sunday investigation – which will alarm anyone concerned about animal cruelty – has revealed that schools, hospitals, pubs and famous sporting venues such as Ascot and Twickenham are controversially serving up meat slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic law to unwitting members of the public.

All the beef, chicken and lamb sold to fans at Wembley has secretly been prepared in accordance with sharia law, while Cheltenham College, which boasts of its ‘strong Christian ethos’, is one of several top public schools which also serves halal chicken to pupils without informing them.


Italy: North League introduces anti-burka bill

Italy: North League introduces anti-burka bill

Via AKI:
Italy's anti-immigrant North League party on Friday introduced a bill to the lower house of parliament that would ban the burqa. Wearing the burqa will be punishable by a year in prison, fines of 150 to 300 euros for the wearer and 30,000 euros for anyone forcing a woman to don the face-concealing Islamic garment.

Anyone coercing a minor or a disabled woman into wearing a burqa will be eligible for a 60,000 euro fine.

Merkel: Germans should get used to mosques

Merkel: Germans should get used to mosques


In the past Merkel said that immigrants should get used to Germany's way of life and that mosques should not be higher than churches.

Belgium: Apartheid in school

Belgium: Apartheid in school

An elementary school in Lokeren has several immigrant-only classes, reports East Flanders broadcaster TV OOST.   The school, whose student body is 70% immigrants, wants to fight the decrease in the number of Flemish children.  Some parents say this is pure discrimination.

Principal Luc Audenaert says that this was by request of the parents, who prefer their children sit in class with friends they also see after school.

Flemish Education Minister Pascal Smet wants to first investigate the issue, but says that it seems evident that children should be in mixed classes.

Some Flemish parents think the division is shameful and the mother of one immigrant girl asks how can the children learn Flemish this way.

Source: HLN (Dutch)

See also: Denmark: Danish apartheid and Denmark: Danish apartheid 2

BREAKING: Bomber intended to mail letter bombs to Jyllands-Posten

BREAKING: Bomber intended to mail letter bombs to Jyllands-Posten


Time for another flip-flop.  This morning, Doukaeiv didn't have a religious motive, though there was some evidence he was upset at the Muhammed cartoons.  By afternoon: Jyllands-Posten was the target.

Police investigation shows that Lors Doukaiev was preparing letter bombs (DA) containing TATP and steel balls.  The bombs were apparently meant for Jyllands-Posten.

Doukaeiv also bought a Nintendo game, apparently in order to use the plastic it was packed in.

Sweden: Blogger organizes pro-immigrant strike

Sweden: Blogger organizes pro-immigrant strike


Via The Local:

Swedish blogger and author Damon Rasti has called on all Swedes with immigrant backgrounds to take a five minute break from their work at 2pm on Thursday to underline the importance of all Swedes in the society.

Rasti has opened a Facebook page entitled "Inga Invandrare" (No immigrants) in a call to Swedes with an immigrant background to protest against "dark forces that want to scare us about immigrants."

"I want to remind Sweden of all the good things that immigrants contribute with. That we are more than just thieves, rapists and trouble-makers," Rasti told the Aftonbladet daily.
 
(more)

Antwerp: Discount for Muslims who stun their sheep before slaughter

Antwerp: Discount for Muslims who stun their sheep before slaughter

Muslims who will stun their sheep before slaughter on Eid al-Adha will receive a ten euro discount from the city of Antwerp.  Usually Muslims pay 25 euro for using the municipal slaughterhouses, but whoever uses a new slaughterhouse with stunning equipment will pay just 15 euro.

"Brilliant initiative," says Michel Vandenbosch, head of animal rights group Gaia and member of the Antwerp advising council on animal welfare.  He calls this a 'win-win situation', but adds that this is a transitional measure and that next year it should be the rule for everybody.

Mohammed Chakkar of the Federation of Moroccan Associations is less enthusiastic.  "This won't have much success.  People think that the animal doesn't suffer if it's properly slaughtered."   He says animal welfare is being cited as the reason, but that the city just wants people to sacrifice their animals differently.


Source: Nieuwsblad (Dutch)

Sweden: Sweden Democrats 3rd biggest party

Sweden: Sweden Democrats 3rd biggest party

In the same way that Islam is Europe's second largest religion.

According to a recent poll, the Sweden Democrats will be Sweden's third biggest party after the next elections, with 7.5% of the vote.  The two biggest parties are the Social Democrats (40.9%) and the Moderates (30.6%).

The other parties are not far behind: Liberal People's Party (7.2%), Greens (7.2%), Centre Party: (6.2%), Christian Democrats (5.7%), Left Party (5.2%)

1,585 people participated in the poll, which was conducted by Synovate September 2-13.  Margin of error is 1.5%.

Source: Politiken (Danish)

Paris: Imam invents portable mosque

Paris: Imam invents portable mosque

Via Reuters:

A Paris imam and part-time inventor has created a portable mosque to help the faithful concentrate better on their prayers wherever they are.

Named the Mirhbox, the 2 meter (yard) high structure when deployed takes the form of a mirhab, a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca, which Muslims should face when praying.

"I realized that when I'm in the mosque, I concentrated better at my prayers more than when I am at home. So I thought of recreating the mirhab which creates a better environment for meditation in isolation," Aubervilliers Imam Hassen Bounamcha told Le Parisien newspaper.

(more)

Netherlands: Fundamentalists easily get subsidies

Netherlands: Fundamentalists easily get subsidies

According to the recent annual report of the Dutch intelligence Service, AIVD, Salafist center have a wide network of traveling youth preachers who give lectures and open small centers all over the Netherlands.  They know how to professionally claim subsidies from local and national authorities, by saying they help the youth with their homework, organize cultural and sports events or give social assistance.

During a parliamentary debate on the report with the Dutch minister of internal affairs Ballin, a parliamentary majority consisting of the CDA, VVD and PVV parties demanded that something be done about the ease with which Muslim fundamentalists get municipal subsides.
 

BREAKING: Mystery bomber from Chechnya?

BREAKING: Mystery bomber from Chechnya?

Update: The bomber lived in Belgium.  More updates here.


Danish newspaper B.T. reports that they've managed to do what the police couldn't: they found a French-speaking sports trainer who says that he knows the bomber (DA). The trainer identifies him as L.D., 24 years old, from Chechnya. He says that for five years, the bomber used to come to his club.

Previously on this story:
* Copenhagen: Jyllands-Posten possible target of terror attack
* Denmark: Police can't identify terror suspect (UPDATE: Jyllands-Posten not target)
* Denmark: Mystery bomber reading religious literature
* Denmark: TATP found on mystery bomber

Paris: Eiffel Tower bomb threat

Paris: Eiffel Tower bomb threat

The Eiffel Tower and a train station were evacuated tonight after police received an anonymous bomb threat. Thousands of people were evacuated from the tower and the surrounding area while police searched the building floor by floor.

The Twitterverse is linking this to the Burka-ban vote, but if this is a real bomb, I don't know of any case where Muslim terrorists warned of their attack ahead of time.

Update: False alarm.

UN: Seek refuge in churches

UN: Seek refuge in churches

A new game from the UN's Refugee Agency (UNHCR) - Against All Odds - lets you play a political dissident who must escape his country and seek refuge elsewhere. Besides teaching the prospective refugee to turn against his friends and neighbors, the agency also points out the only place to seek refuge in the unnamed country: the local church.


The hardest part of the game? Matching inventions to their country of origin. Apparently it was important for the UNHCR to point out that Americans did not invent everything. I'm sure that's useful to refugees.

Update: In this segment of the game, the refugee already crossed over to a neighboring country and needs to find shelter for the night. Besides the welcoming church he meets racists, thugs and people who are afraid to help.

BREAKING: French Senate approves burka ban, 246:1

BREAKING: French Senate approves burka ban, 246:1

The French Senate passed the anti-burka bill into law today. 246 Senators voted for, 1 against. The bill prohibits wearing the burka in public and fines all violators.

The bill was approved by the lower house in July. It's next hurdle will probably be the Constitutional Court.

Denmark: TATP found on mystery bomber

Denmark: TATP found on mystery bomber

(Police published current pictures of the bomber)


The investigators can still not identify the man, but they are sure of his intentions. Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reports that traces of TATP were found (NL) on the man's body. Danish police did not want to comment on that.

There are various theories floating around: that he has military and/or spy training. Meanwhile, the police have given up on trying to trace him through his artificial leg. They continued to search the park where he was caught, so far, supposedly, without any success. The man had spent two hours in that park before he was caught.

The man bought two envelopes (DA) about an hour before he blew himself up. The man had the envelopes, as well as a cardboard box, when he blew up.

See here, here and here for more on the mystery bomber.

Question: Is there some country somewhere that knows who this guy is? What about his family and friends?

Iceland: Slaughterhouses to offer halal slaughter

Iceland: Slaughterhouses to offer halal slaughter

Via Iceland Review:
This fall, slaughtering according to Islamic tradition will take place in a number of Icelandic slaughterhouses, ruv.is reports. Not much must be altered regarding the slaughtering methods, but with the so-called Halal method in use, new markets will open for Icelandic mutton all around the world.

This fall, the method will be applied partially or entirely in various slaughterhouses including those in Selfoss, Hvammstangi and Saudárkrókur.

According to the slaughterhouse manager at Hvammstangi, it is a common misconception that the Halal method is inhumane. Quite on the contrary, it fulfills every standard regarding the humane treatment of animals as well as the handling of alimentary products.

This fall, all sheep slaughtering at Sláturfélag Sudurlands at Selfoss will be done according to the Halal method. During the process, a Muslim will be present, reciting a prayer out loud or in silence. With all the meat thus certified, the slaughterhouse’s goal is to enter large new markets in the Islamic world

(more)

UK: Iranian gang sold virgins to wealthy Arabs

UK: Iranian gang sold virgins to wealthy Arabs

Via Daily Mail:

A sex trafficking gang offered to sell the virginity of underage girls to wealthy businessmen for up to £150,000 each.

The three women and a man were offering girls as young as 13 but were arrested in an undercover Scotland Yard operation after staff at a luxury hotel tipped off police.

Rome: Chinese youth try to behead Bangladeshi

Rome: Chinese youth try to behead Bangladeshi

Via AKI:
Italian police on Monday arrested a 19-year-old Chinese immigrant after he allegedly attacked a Bangladeshi immigrant with a machete on the outskirts of Rome. The Chinese suspect told police a Chinese compatriot paid him 1,000 euros to behead the Bangladeshi after the man had sacked him.

The Bangladeshi was admitted to Rome's Sandro Pertini hospital with several machete gashes and is expected to be discharged in about 10 days.


(more)

Netherlands: 13 honor murders a year

Netherlands: 13 honor murders a year

About 13 people are killed in the Netherlands in honor murders every year, according to new figures from the police, reports De Pers.

By definition it is difficult to get data about honor murders. A murder case can look like a fight about drugs, but only after further inspection it turns out to be about insulting family honor.

When honor is the issue, for example, when the daughter acts 'licentiously' or a wife wants to leave her husband, honor has to be restored, via exclusion, forced marriage or violence if need be. Because the motive is the deciding factor in whether it's honor murder, there's always a subjective element.

Denmark: Mark Steyn interview

Denmark: Mark Steyn interview


Mark Steyn was recently interviewed by Danish TV when he was in Denmark to receive the Sappho Award from the Free Press Society.

In this interview he brings up several points I agree with: the fact that Europeans constantly degrade their own culture and are afraid of nationalism and patriotism, but then expect immigrants to assimilate into this self-hating culture, for example.

Brussels: Another Iranian diplomat defects

Brussels: Another Iranian diplomat defects

According to the Green Wave opposition movement, the Iranian press attache in Brussels, Farzad Farhangian, defected Friday and is seeking asylum in Norway. He is the third Iranian diplomat in Europe to defect this year, after the consul in Oslo and the deputy head of the mission in Helsinki.

Amsterdam: Mecca pilgrims taking unnecessary health risks

Amsterdam: Mecca pilgrims taking unnecessary health risks

The Amsterdam Public Health Service (GGD) says that three quarters of the pilgrims to Mecca take unnecessary health risks.

Their travelers' department advises a thousand pilgrims every year. Just a quarter get the non-compulsory, but strongly recommended, vaccinations. Saudi-Arabia requires every pilgrim to be vaccinated for meningitis.

The GGD also advises to get vaccination against other infectious diseases: tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and typhoid fever.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

Netherlands: Wilders, the Movie

Netherlands: Wilders, the Movie

Dutch filmmakers Joost van der Valk and Mags Gavan made a movie about Geert Wilders. The trailer is available with English subtitles:




The whole movie (in Dutch) is available here.

Helsinki: Iranian diplomat quits, applies for asylum

Helsinki: Iranian diplomat quits, applies for asylum

Earlier this year, the Iranian consul in Oslo resigned and requested asylum in Norway. Now his Finnish counterpart decided to follow in his footsteps, via YLE:

Hossein Alizadeh, an Iranian diplomat in Helsinki who resigned from his post last week, wants to remain in Finland. Speaking at a press conference on Monday he said that he will apply for political asylum in Finland.

Before leaving his post, Alizadeh was the second-highest ranking official at the Iranian Embassy. On Saturday he announced that he had resigned in protest against the anti-democratic policies.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry has said that Alizadeh’s term at the embassy had concluded already in August, and said that he wanted to stay in Finland because his children are in school here.

(more)

'Islamophobia in Europe is deep-seated'

'Islamophobia in Europe is deep-seated'
Via Teheran Times:

Islamophobia in the United States is shallow and temporary while Islamophobia in Europe is deep-seated because of Europeans’ long history of warfare with the Muslim World, Dr. Muqtedar Khan says.

Muqtedar, an associate professor at the University of Delaware who teaches Arab and Middle Eastern politics, politics of development, globalization, and Islam in world affairs, made the remarks in an email interview with the Tehran Times on Sunday.

Netherlands: Escort agency enjoys Ramadan business

Netherlands: Escort agency enjoys Ramadan business

A Dutch escort agency reports that during Ramadan their Muslim clientele increased threefold.

The Muslim clientele of Society Service usually makes up about 13%, several dozen a month. During Ramadan it went up to 40%.

Owner Marike explains that she goes by the names. A businessman from Egypt or the Emirates named 'Mohammed', where almost everybody is Muslim, is probably Muslim as well.

Sweden: Sweden Democrats politician wants to ban practice of Islam

Sweden: Sweden Democrats politician wants to ban practice of Islam

Via The Local:

A local politician from the far-right Sweden Democrats argued during an election debate on Thursday that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to practice their faith in Strömsund in northwestern Sweden.

“I don’t think someone should be allowed to be a practicing Muslim in Strömsund,” Sweden Democrat Mikael Säbom said on Thursday during a live election debate broadcast on Sveriges Radio Jämtland.

Since 2006, the town of just over 4,000 residents has taken in scores of Muslims from Uzbekistan in the wake of a 2005 crackdown by Uzbek government troops in Andijan in which hundreds of protesters were killed, although the exact number of casualties remains in dispute.

At the time of the incident, known as the Andijan massacre, the Uzbek government claimed the demonstrations were organized by the Islamic radicals.

Strömsund has seen a rise in hate crimes, from racist graffiti to the burning down of a mosque in the city two years ago.

(more)

Paris: Ramadan Nights

Paris: Ramadan Nights



Via RFI:
As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan draws to a close, Paris has been burning the midnight oil by way of a festival that hopes to tighten the gap between Islam and the West. This year marks the fifth edition of Les Veillées du Ramadan, or Ramadan Nights festival. The theme "Muslims in Europe" is heartily explored through art, music, workshops, debates and, not least of all, food.

The aim is to promote exchanges between Europe’s 32 million Muslims and their non-Muslim neighbours. It’s about tolerance – and showing how Islam has continually fed European art, culture and philosophy throughout the ages.

It all kicked off 10 days ago at l'Institut des Cultures d'Islam (the ICI), an unassuming venue tucked away in the Goutte d'Or (drop of gold) neighbourhood in Paris's 18th arrondissement. Thanks to the area’s large numbers of African and Arab residents, it is also known as Little Africa.

(more)

Florence: Blueprints unveiled for new mosque

Florence: Blueprints unveiled for new mosque


Via AKI:
Muslim leaders in Florence have unveiled a blueprint for a mosque that aims to blend in with the city's renaissance architecture, with minarets that resemble the cathedral's bell tower designed by Giotto.

"Florence needs to have a mosque that rivals the city's historic beauty and cultural wealth," said the central Italian art city's imam, Elzir Izzedine.

"The project is almost complete and will soon be presented to the mayor of Florence, Matteo Renzi to plan its construction, Izzedine added.

(more)

Germany: New anti-Islam 'Freedom' party

Germany: New anti-Islam 'Freedom' party

René Stadtkewitz, a Berlin parliament member, founded a new party, Die Freiheit (Freedom). The party is anti-Islam and calls for more freedom and democracy.

Kosovo: Violent clashes between Albanians, Serbs

Kosovo: Violent clashes between Albanians, Serbs

Radio Srbija reports seven people were injured, some by firearms.

Via RFE/RL:

Ethnic Serbs and Albanians clashed in the ethnically divided city of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo.

Trouble started when youth from the mainly ethnic Albanian south of the city celebrated Turkey's victory over Serbia at the World Basketball Championship.

Chanting "Turkey, Turkey," the youth tried to cross a bridge into the mainly ethnic Serbian northern part of the city. That sparked stone throwing and local and European Union police had to intervene to keep the two sides apart.

(more)

France: Authorities foil two attacks a year (UPDATED)

France: Authorities foil two attacks a year

Via AP:

The head of France's counterespionage agency says the risk of a terrorist attack on French soil has "never been higher" and that "objectively, there are reasons for worry."

Bernard Squarcini says France's history as a colonial master in North Africa, its military presence in Afghanistan and a proposal that would ban full-covering face veils in public make the country a prime target for certain radical Islamist groups.

Speaking in an interview with Saturday's Journal du Dimanche newspaper, Squarcini says French authorities foil an average of two planned attacks per year, but "one day or another, we're going to get hit."

(more)

Squarcini says the threats come (FR) from radicalized French converts, the Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and the French Jihadists who fight in Afghanistan, Yemen or Somalia and might come back tomorrow to continue fighting in France.

Among the attacks the French managed to avert he mentions top French physicist Adlène Hicheur, who worked at CERN and offered his services to AQIM and a suicide bomber who planned to attack a fundraiser in Paris for the Israeli army. The man was recently arrested in Egypt.

Squarcini says there are 6 million Muslims in France, out of which only 300 pose problems, and that of the 1800 mosques, only about 30 are problematic.


Update:

Philosemitism blog updates that the man who planned the Paris attack is a Belgian citizen.