When immigration fails

Much has been written about the failure of Muslim immigrants to integrate in Europe. A lot of it has to do with the Muslim culture, the failure on the part of the immigrants themselves to want to integrate into the general culture. But that is only a part of the general issue of immigration and integration.

What people don't realize is that no matter how much both sides would try their hardest to make it work, the chances are likely massive immigration would fail. When both sides don't want it to work, it is doomed from the start.

I once saw an article asking "how would the US react if a French community came over, and opened their own French gaming centers all over" etc. But the question is even simpler.. how would a US community react if a French community came over?

Immigration to Israel has always been a special case. Many Jewish immigrants to Israel feel that they're coming back to their homeland. The native population, for its part, is interested in them coming and goes out of their way to help the new immigrants, welcoming them back home.

A small village in Israel has in the past few years accepted dozens of Jewish-French families. Immigration to Israel from France has been picking up the past few years due to rising anti-semitism and Muslimization of France. In this case, the village community wanted to help out the immigrants. Each French family was supplied with two "adoptive" Israeli families and the community extended as much help as they could offer. The French, on their part, wanted to integrate into the general community. There was no issue of "they came to take our jobs" or any of the social issues plaguing Europe. It was simply two groups, who share a lot in common but have a different culture and language, who wanted to get along with each other and put in the effort to do so.

However, overall, the 'experiment' failed. The village was overwhelmed by the French, and the French had a hard time integrating when they had so many French neighbors around them. Some of the French left for other parts of Israel while the native villagers were left with a bitter feeling.

This might be a special case. It might have to do with the people involved. But I think it's really a matter of numbers. Massive immigration is hard for both sides. Israel managed to somehow do it throughout its history, but when it comes to Europe - when there is no goodwill on either side, what are the chances it would work?

Germany: Tougher test for Muslim immigrants

The German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg is considering giving Muslim immigrants a tougher immigration test. The Muslim will face intensive questioning aimed at seeing whether they truly mean to hold by the oaths they take to uphold German law.

The ministry said that Germany's 16 federal states must be permitted to learn whether potential new citizens truly accept the country's Basic Law, to which they are required under federal law to deliver an oath.

"There have been findings that Muslims can face a conflict and deliver an oath that does not correspond with their personal beliefs and thus does not fulfill the immigration requirements," the statement said.

The note on the bottom, btw, is completely wrong:
Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations – unlike the symbolic Christian crucifixes or Jewish Kappas.

Religious Jewish women are as obligated to cover their hair as religious Muslim women and for the same reason - modesty. This has not become an issue in Western countries since the Jews are aware that they are a minority that has to abide by the cultural norms of the majority and have therefore found solutions such as wearing wigs or relaxing religious restrictions.

Source: Islam Online (English)

We just went shopping.. in Baku

The three Dutch Muslim kids who disappeared supposedly off on Jihad and were found in Azerbaijan claim they had just gone on vacation. First spending time in Turkey, they decided Azerbaijan was much better. "The stores in Baku are just like in the Hague."

In an interview, one of the kids, Ramazan Keskin, aged 21, claimed they were told about the beautiful hills and valleys of the Caucasus Mountains and Caspian Sea. The proximity to nearby Chechnya, where a full blown Jihad is taking place, was just a coincidence.

Their trip ended when they tried buying a ticked back to Istanbul, just in time to use their return ticket to Amsterdam. Keskin's visa was still valid, but that of his two friends had expired. The Azerbaijanis weren't understanding and the three were not treated gently. Needless to say, they're all happy to be home, back in non-corrupt Holland.

The three left without notifying their parents, leaving their phones at home ("we didn't want to be found") and overstayed their visa in Azerbaijan. It sounds like they were having too much fun they forgot about their responsibilities. They simply had no idea their parents would be worried after a few weeks of them gone!

This would be somehow believable if they were teenagers, but they are not little kids. The youngest is 18, which is old enough to be responsible for your actions in any country. The interview ends when Keskin hurries off to prayer at the mosque. We did say responsible kids, didn't we?

Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)

Italy: warning against marrying Muslims

An article on the BBC shows the confusion arising between trying to be politically correct and being realistic.

Church officials in Italy and the Vatican bring up issues which are worthwhile to discuss. Any 'mixed-culture' marriage is bound to have difficulties. When those two cultures don't see eye to eye on the position of women in society, there might be even greater difficulties.

This has nothing to do with promoting inter-faith and cultural dialogue.

Source: BBC (English)

European women and Islam

Young, angry Muslim men across Europe are worrying security services, but an even greater threat is on the horizon. Many Europeans are converting to Islam, the majority of them women. As shown by Muriel Degauque, the Belgian that recently blew herself up in a terror attack in Iraq, these new converts can be very dangerous. Looking European and acting European, new converts are a prime recruitment target for Muslim terrorists. A convert might be looking for penance, feeling the need to atone for the sins of their former life. In the case of Degauque, a suicide attack might fit exactly that need.

What causes women to convert to Islam? Contrary to popular opinion, it seems, it’s not usually due to marrying a Muslim. Western society offers many things, but it also offers uncertainty, loose moral values.

Fallot, a French woman who converted to Islam three years ago says: “When I told my colleagues, the first question was if I had a Muslim friend. They couldn’t believe that I did it out of my own free will. But Islam brings you closer to Allah. The teachings are very simple, because they’re more explicit. I was searching for structure, people need rules that they can follow. Christianity didn’t offer me that.”

A religion which offers stability, a set of rules to live by, promising to treat them as a person and not as a sex object, can be very luring. Today’s world demands so much from women – expecting them to raise a family and develop a career and expects women to accept it all willingly.

“Islam spreads a message of love, tolerance and peace.” This opinion is echoed by many who have turned to Islam since the September 11th attacks and their numbers are only growing. With Islam today being the driving force behind world terror, what is it that causes people to truly believe that Islam means peace?

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

Weekly roundup

The Dutch court freed Rachid B., one of the suspects in the Hofstad Group case. Rachid was in jail for the past 13 months and the court expects that by that he will have finished his sentence already.

Spanish police uncovered six ‘underground’ mosques, suspected of inciting terrorism.

In the Netherlands, Rabobank tries to atttack new immigrant clients – the bank is offering deals on transferring money to Turkey, Morocco, Suriname and the Dutch Antilles.

Last October, an Afgahn asylum seeker threw his Dutch girlfriend and then her 8 year old son from the 5th story, before committing suicide himself.

The complaint against Vlaams Belang is getting bogged down by a judicial maze.

When police discovered plans by youth to set fire to the local mosque, the mayor of Zuid-Scharwoude tried to get things out in the open, organizing a citizen’s meeting to air out complaints.

Kader Abdolah, an Iranian asylum seeker living in Holland, is now putting out his 10th book – The House of the Mosque.

[I will translate more on any story upon request]

Pork soup

Soulidarieta (solidarity), an extreme-right French group has opened up a new soup kitchen in Nice. In order to make sure that none of Nice's many Muslims don't drop by, they pass out pork soup.

I do not agree with what this group is doing, but I don't understand the uproar over it:
1. Nobody can force people who give charity to give it in any special way. What's next? Requiring vegan options?
2. No religion forces a person to starve to death.
3. There is a Catholic charity group distributing vegetable soup outside their church right next door. The poor are not thrown out, but have the option to choose what they want.

"This pork-based soup kitchen is pure discrimination, it's an in-your-face way of telling people who don't eat pork - you can stay in your cardboard boxes and starve," said Teresa Mafeis, holding back tears of anger."After the holidays, we're going to set up our own soup kitchen and there will be shorba for everyone," she said, using the Arabic word for soup.

Again, nobody is forcing her to come to these specific soup kitchen, and nobody is preventing her from taking care of the Muslim poor right now (why wait till after the holidays?). Besides, when they do open their own soup kitchen, is the Muslim community going to make sure it's kosher?

Source: Haaretz (English)

Community service sentence

The residents of the Wateringse Veld neighborhood of the Hague have complained for a long time that a group of immigrant kids were extorting the neighborhood kids. In July a man attacked his son's assailant. The skirmish quickly escalated and the police were called in.

The man then ran back home and fetched a knife, supposedly to scare off his son's assailant, and was arrested when he refused to follow the police orders and put it down.

The man recently got 60 hours of community service or 7 days in jail for threatening a police officer.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Three Dutch Jihadists back home

The three Dutch kids who disappeared from their homes, supposedly to join the world Jihad, are back home. The three were caught by police in Azerbaijan, interrogated there and put back on a plane. They three ages 18-21 claimed they were just on vacation. After arriving in Holland they were allowed to go home and spend the holidays there.

The article does not say what they were caught doing in Azerbaijan.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Belgium suffering from Dutch "family reunification" tourism

The tough immigration laws in the Netherlands are bringing many Dutch to use the Belgian Route. The Belgians are much more accommodating then their Dutch neighbors when it comes to immigration and family reunification. The Belgian wanting to bring in family members needs to show a lower salary than his Dutch counterpart, can do so at on earlier age and pays much less for the permits needed. Belgian law doesn't require the incoming family members to pass an integration course as they would need to do in Holland. EU laws allow for the Dutch to move to Belgium, bring in their family members under the Belgian family reunification laws and after a 6 month stay, move anywhere else in the EU.

The total number of Dutch in Belgium is constantly rising, from 11,381 in 2002 to 22,000 in 2004. In 2005 there will be 37,000 Dutch registered in Belgium

Belgium is preparing to strengthen its own immigration laws, but calls for an encompassing European solution.

Source: De Morgen (Dutch)

Belgium: 1/3 of immigrants celebrate Christmas

According to a study by the Flemish Center for Popular Culture, 1/3 of non-ethnic Belgians celebrate Christmas.

The kids express the holiday especially by buying gifts. They see it as a family feast, as compared to a religious Christian holiday.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Banning the burka in Holland

A majority of the Dutch parliament wants to ban the Burka. The reasons brought for it are two fold - mainly the fact that the burka covers the face and prevents identification, as well as the women's rights issues involved.

Haci Karacaer, the director of Milli Görüs, a conservative Turkism Muslim organisation:

"I agree that women who walk around in the burka do not have a great future in this country but I think they should be allowed to dress as they want in a constitutional state. People should have the right to choose to exclude themselves from society."

People indeed have the right to excluse themselves from society. They do not have a right to pose demands, though, to that same society they want to exclude themselves from.

The article does bring up a good point. Women barely wear the burka, so why make a big fuss over it?

But I think that this is the essence of the issue. The Dutch are not voicing their real fear: that the burka will become prevelant if it's not forbidden. That more and more women will wear, or be forced to wear, the burka and that there will come a time when even they are forced to do so. (as happens in Saudi Arabia)

Source: Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (English)

The Americans Are Living in a Movie - The full article

Below is a full translation of the Ynet article. I think it is interesting, as it gives an "insider" view that is usually not seen.

The Americans Are Living in a Movie

Journalist Itai Angel spent two weeks in torn and bloodied Iraq for the show “Uvda” [fact]. He walked about the cities of Fallujah and Baghdad with a camera, with the American forces, with which he also drove over a bomb, and with the new Iraqi army and citizens. The conclusions that he brings point to a grim future for a country that the Bush government is shaping in the media as a “democracy on the way”

by Itai Angel

I’m approaching the dozens of citizens clustered on the corner of the Fallujah market. For that I leave the American forces – and I’m petrified with fear.

I’m afraid because every day somebody is abducted here. Especially foreigners and journalists. What a change compared to what I experienced the last time I got to Iraq two and half years ago. Then I was in Najaf with the Shiites, in Sunni Tikirt with the relatives and supporters of Saddam. Whole days with no soldiers around. Just me and them. And talking. Everything was ok. Even pleasant. There were good conversations. Some were happy with the change in Iraq and the overthrow of Saddam. Others, naturally those who had won preferred living conditions under the old regime, were totally depressed. But it was possible to sit and talk with everybody. After a day or two, sometimes even after a few hours, it was also possible to tell them I’m Israeli and it would go down smoothly because we were already friends and it seemed that nobody really has any strength to go on fighting. The dominant feeling was that this was it. It’s over. Whether it’s suitable or not, there’s nothing more to do. It’s over.

What over? Very quickly it would turn out that the real war was going to be run less by Iraqis, and more by strangers. Jihad.

The idea of Jihad is a holy war of every Muslim that may be against a foreign conqueror. Within a short period of time close to 100,000 warriors streamed into Iraq. It’s very easy to enter Iraq. The borders are open. Thousands of trucks cross the border every day and they don’t pass through a rigorous security check. Anybody can come in. Inside the country there’s enough weapons for everybody. The Jihad fighters come especially from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Chechnia, Pakistan and Yemen, with the aim of killing and destroying anything that is Iraq under American rule. That is, to hurt not just American soldiers, but also every Iraqi who enlists in the army or volunteers for the police force, to blow up oil, water and sewage pipes, cafes and even mosques and to kill every Iraqi who feels they can profit from the new situation – meaning especially the Shiite majority. The main idea is to create a daily existence that is so atrocious that even those who supported overthrowing the regime will now have to admit and say that even under Saddam Hussein life was better.

Journalists and foreign citizens were marked among the targets of this system. Almost every week you can see a home video of an abducted citizen begging for his life and in most cases, a later announcement about his execution. Because of this I didn’t really plan on leaving the American forces. It’s just that if I wanted to try and do more serious journalist work, I had no choice.

America Good? They should get out of here

The feeling I got when I went around with the American army in Baghdad or Fallujah is that the Americans are living in a movie. I don’t know if to despise them or admire them, but they are really convinced that they’re the liberators of Iraq, the people who brought light and joy to the citizens of Iraq, that everybody loves and admires them and not less important, they’re sure that this Iraq, in which Sunnis, Kurds and Shiites kill each other even without the help of foreign fighters, will become a Western democracy.

When a citizen from Fallujah, the Sunni city that conducted the toughest battle against the American army, sees a division of marines and next to them a journalist asking him questions he will immediately answer: “America good. America good.” He will just want to get out of this in one piece. The Americans, by the way, are convinced his answer’s authentic. After I saw some “America good” like that and saw the accompanying fake expression, I understood that to really hear the citizens of Fallujah I’ll have to talk to them alone. Just me and them.

When I got to them I said I’m an American, but not a soldier, just a journalist who wants to talk and hear them. After some clarifications from their side about me, they started to put it all out: “The Americans are a bunch of murderess. They kill women and children without blinking, bomb mosques and piss on Koran books. They’ll get out of Iraq, and until that happens we’ll kill as many as possible.”

Fallujah was quiet that day. I had a feeling that those same citizens where more excited than expressing a practical modus operandi. Five days after I left I heard a report that a roadside bomb exploded in the city and killed 15 marines. That was the single most deadly terrorist act against American forces since August of last year.

I got “my” roadside bomb in southern Baghdad. To be precise, the “Hummer’ in front of me got it. When I taped the second of the explosion, through the shaking of the vehicle in which I was sitting, I was sure that everybody who was sitting in the Hummer that got it, had been killed. Immediately it turned out that luckily, only one soldier had been lightly injured, since the charge had been set off once the rear wheel got to it. If it would have exploded a quarter of a second earlier, it would have ended bad.

Once the Americans get a bomb, they immediately leave their movie and enter a new one. In this movie – everybody is the bad guys. All the men are terrorists. All the women are accomplices to terror. All the boys and girls know what’s happening and lie because that’s their culture. The Americans shout to them all “fuck”, “mother fucker” and “fucking bitch”. The Iraqis, on their part, never open their mouth. [This can be seen in the accompanying movie, btw].

On the one hand, you can understand the Americans’ frustration. The way the war is going on today, they don’t see their enemy and it drives them crazy. A roadside explosive charge is activated from a distance of several hundred meters, usually from a village on the side of the road, and in the minute or two that pass till they get to it, the operator of the charge already got rid of the cell phone or wires that activated it and managed to pick a hoe and work peacefully in the field.

In my case, the Americans took out all their rage on the tractor from which the charge was set off by remote control. We’re talking about a tractor that would be completely out of commission if a box cutter would cut its wheel. But the American army, who’s already gone amok, launched Apache helicopters to the region, that will send down missiles, each of which costs as much as a particularly fancy American car.

An Army? Wait till they leave

The Iraq I saw and filmed was hallucinatory.

The most hallucinatory was the training of what’s called “the new Iraqi army”. Accepting the fact that one day they’ll leave, the Americans are now trying to train an Iraqi army that will fill the void. The Americans, again, either due to naivety or to a vision I hadn’t grasped, or in the framework of that movie they’re in, are convinced that all Iraqis whoever they may be will abandon his fanatical aspirations as Shiite, Sunni or Kurd and enlist for one common goal that was drawn up in Washington.

Just by looking at the training once can understand how complicated the business is, not to say groundless.

A marine was teaching a group of 30 Shiites how to shoot a machine gun. For this purpose he was using an Iraqi-Kurdish translator. When the marines weren’t listening, the Shiites told me how much they can’t stand the Americans and want them to get out of Iraq. When the Shiites weren’t listening, the Kurdish translator told me he hopes the Shiite soldiers won’t comprehend what he’s teaching them – because if they will, one day they’ll use it against his family and all the Kurds.

Source: Ynet (Hebrew)

“The Americans are living in a movie”

This is not about Islam in Europe specifically, but I think it’s an interesting article that is worth translating.

Itai Angel, an Israeli reporter, spent two weeks in Iraq and the picture he got was that the Americans are dreaming if they think they're building a new democracy in the Middle East. The Iraquis have learned to despise them, and are just waiting for the moment when they'll finally leave.

Things had changed drastically since the last time he was in Iraq, 2.5 years ago. Then, he could speak freely with the people, walk around without an army escort. Today – westerners are being abducted left and right.

It didn’t take long to realize that the real war was going to be run less by Iraqis, and more by strangers. Jihad.

The idea of Jihad is a holy war of every Muslim that may be against a foreign conqueror. Within a short period of time close to 100,000 warriors streamed into Iraq. It’s very easy to enter Iraq. The borders are open. Thousands of trucks cross the border every day and they don’t pass through a rigorous security check. Anybody can come in. Inside the country there’s enough weapons for everybody. The Jihad fighters come especially from Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Chechnya, Pakistan and Yemen, with the aim of killing and destroying anything that is Iraq under American rule.

“America good” is what the Iraqis say when asked anything by a reporter standing around with a marine company. Itai left the unit he was with to interview people, and got a different picture. The Iraqis he talked to were very forthcoming:

“The Americans are a bunch of murderers. They kill women and children without blinking, bomb mosques and piss on Koran books. They’ll get out of Iraq, and until that happens we’ll kill as many as possible.”

He was with the US army when the Hummer they were in drove over a bomb. It was pure luck that only one soldier was lightly injured

Once the Americans get a bomb, they immediately leave their movie and enter a new one. In this movie – everybody is the bad guys. All the men are terrorists. All the women are accomplices to terror. All the boys and girls know what’s happening and lie because that’s their culture.

The Iraq I saw and filmed was hallucinatory.

The most hallucinatory was the training of what’s called “the new Iraqi army”. Accepting the fact that one day they’ll leave, the Americans are now trying to train an Iraqi army that will fill the void. The Americans, again, either due to naivety or to a vision I hadn’t grasped, or in the framework of that movie they’re in, are convinced that all Iraqis whoever they may be will abandon his fanatical aspirations as Shiite, Sunni or Kurd and enlist for one common goal that was drawn up in Washington.

Just by looking at the training once can understand how complicated the business is, not to say groundless.

A marine was teaching a group of 30 Shiites how to shoot a machine gun. For this purpose he was using an Iraqi-Kurdish translator. When the marines weren’t listening, the Shiites told me how much they can’t stand the Americans and want them to get out of Iraq. When the Shiites weren’t listening the Kurdish translator told me he hopes the Shiite soldiers won’t comprehend what he’s teaching them – because if they will, one day they’ll use it against his family and all the Kurds.

Source: Ynet (Hebrew)

Danish Diplomats Bash PM Over Anti-Prophet Cartoons

Danish Diplomats are joining in the debate about Mohammed cartoons published in Jyllands-Posten, criticizing the way their gov't (A good review of the entire story can be found on Fjordman).

A cohort of high-ranking Danish diplomats on Tuesday, December 20, joined the heated debate about the controversial anti-Prophet cartoons published by the country's mass-circulation daily, criticizing Premier Anders Fogh Rasmussen's handling of the crisis.

Twenty-two former ambassadors, including many who have served in Muslim countries, chastised Rasmussen for snubbing a meeting request by eleven Muslim ambassadors accredited to Copenhagen, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

In October, The ambassadors of eleven Arab and Muslim countries, including Egypt, Palestine, Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Indonesia, wrote a letter to Rasmussen requesting a meeting to discuss twelve provocative cartoons of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) published by the Jyllands-Posten.

In a written reply, the premier snubbed the request, telling the diplomats they can take the paper to court.

Flemming Rose, the head of the culture section at Jyllands-Posten who authorized the cartoons publication, has repeatedly defended his decision.

He said it fell within the absolute freedom of expression provided for in the Danish constitution.

Playing the same tune, Premier Rasmussen said the freedom of expression "is the very foundation of the Danish democracy ... (and) the Danish government has no means of influencing the press".

Reiterating respect for freedom of expression, Al-Azhar, the highest seat of religious learning in the Sunni world, vowed to raise the issue of the provocative caricatures with the UN and international human rights organizations.

While Al-Azhar is going to the UN and human rights organizations, did any Muslim actually follow what Rasmussen is saying and sue the paper? Or do they know that it would be thrown out of court?

Rasmussen never said that such cartoons are 'ok'. He is saying, and rightfully so, that in a democracy, it is not the Prime Minister who decides what a newspaper should or shouldn't do. Had Jyllands-Posten advertised antisemitic cartoons, the issue would have ended up in court, not in a meeting by the Prime Minister, as can be seen by this story, where The Independent published a cartoon showing a naked Ariel Sharon biting off the bloodied head of a Palestinian child as helicopter warships hovered overhead blasting out "Vote Sharon" . (That cartoon won a prize).

I truly hope human rights organizations would stick with human rights, such as my right to live without being blown up for belonging to a different race or creed, rather than to Danish cartoons.

Source: Islam Online (English)

Danish Muslims are offended by cookies

A group of Danish Muslims refuse to eat traditional “Jewish” cookies because they feel offended by the name.

According to the daily Danish newspaper B.T., Ole Poulsen, head of the public food consumer department said that the Muslim refusal to buy the cookies could have an effect on sales.

"If this will be the case, then we would be obliged to do something about it," he declared.

He added that changing the product name was a possibility, as had in the past been done with the “Negroes’ kiss” cakes, which were rebranded with a more neutral name.

Mr Poulson is missing the point. The name for Negroe's kiss cakes wasn't changed because somebody complained that they hate Negroes so much that eating something with that name disgusts them. Such a complaint would be considered ridiculous and disregarded.

Denmark’s chief rabbi, Bent Lexner, said that he did not see any problem in a name change.

“There is nothing Jewish in it and I wouldn’t mind another name, but I think that it would be better to educate Muslims to respect the culture of the majority in Denmark, if they want the majority to respect their culture".

Rabbi Lexner, on the other hand, nails it right on the head.

Source: European Jewish Press (English) (hat tip, Free Republic)

Germany redefines 'life without parol'

A deal in the making between Germany and terrorist group Hezbollah?

BEIRUT - Germany has secretly released a Hezbollah member serving a life sentence in prison for killing a U.S. Navy diver. He was returned to Lebanon despite an extradition request from the United States, Lebanese political sources said on Tuesday.The sources said Mohammad Ali Hammadi, convicted of killing Navy diver Robert Dean Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of a TWA flight to Beirut and sentenced to life without parole, was flown back to Beirut last week.

Source: Haaretz (English)

'A terrorist can be found in anybody'

A new book by the Dutch social psychology professor, Roel Meertens, claims that anybody can be a terrorist, but that sect members have a greater chance of becoming one.

Terrorists are normal people, without any mental problems. However, they feel they are discriminated against (and how can we forget the Israeli/Palestinian conflict?). They're uncertain about their social identity - are they Moroccan Muslims? Muslim Dutch? Moroccan Dutch? Some find the answers in a sect. Once they isolate themselves, they are lost to society and become radicalized.

How does he explain the fact that there are Christian and Muslim sects, but only the Muslim "sects" produce terrorists? "Only the radicalized Muslim kids have at this point strong enough role models, such as Bin Laden”.

He suggests offering kids more possibilities, like setting up sports clubs.

Mohammed Bouyeri wanted to build a community center for Moroccan kids, but was turned down. After that, he turned radical. According to Meertens, had that community center been built, Theo van Gogh might be alive today.

But the true question remains.. if anybody can be a terrorist, and all it takes is a little discrimination and being upset, why are almost all terrorists today Muslim?

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

Rotterdam: Moroccans demand pedophile investigation

The Moroccan community in Rotterdam is calling for an investigation following revelations by Peter R. de Vries, a Dutch journalist/politician, that Pim Fortuyn had sex with minors of Moroccan origin. Fortuyn had never been prosecuted, due to lack of evidence.

"I know of stories about kids that were offered 1000 euro per hour," says Rotterdam councillor Brahim Bourzik, "The mayor says 'it's impossible' but that is nonsense. It happens."

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Moroccan-made Dutch cheese

Marco Kranenburg, a 34 year old Dutchman, has been spending a lot of time flying to Morocco, and one thing he noticed was that Dutch Moroccans going on trips back to Morocco usually brought with them Dutch cheese.

The next step, for him, was to build up a cheese making factory, in the northeast of Morocco. The factory which will produce gouda cheese, will save people the trouble of carrying back the cheese, and help develop the economy of the region.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Weekly Roundup

Young migrants are underrated – teachers are more likely to direct migrant kids towards a trade education, while sending Dutch kids with the same prospects to higher education. (Het Parool, Dutch)

Half of integration campaign costs will go to media – About half of the 10 million Euro spent on the 3 year long campaign to enhance integration in the Netherlands will be on media advertising. The rest will go to organizing events, PR and office costs for the consortium that was developed for the campaign. (De Telegraaf, Dutch)

Two kids, ages 13 and 14, were arrested by police for posting discriminatory remarks about two fellow Turkish pupils who had recently died. The two had cheered their deaths and celebrated that now Netherlands had two less Turks.
(Het Parool, Dutch)

First Mosque in The Netherlands celebrates 50 year jubilee – though not all Muslims consider this a true Mosque, as it belongs to the Ahmadiyya branch of Islam, the Mobarak Mosque, which was built in 1955, has the distinction of being the first mosque in the Netherlands.
(Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, Dutch)

Islamic group holds protest march – 8000 Muslims from across the UK took part in a march against the proposed anti-terror laws. The march was organized by Hizb ut-Tahrir, an organization dedicated to returning the Halifate. (BBC, English)

German Muslims Dream of Trouble-free Hajj – About 5000 Muslims from Germany intend to make the Hajj trip this year. (Islam Online, English)

The Belgian social inspection has caught 1,669 illegal immigrants in 2004. (De Standaard, Dutch)

France revises ‘colonial praise’
Jacques Chirac has given orders to look into revising a law passed by the French parliament that intended to give a positive spin to French colonialism. (Het Parool, Dutch)

Darfur slaughter not serious enough for asylum policy – according to current European policy victims of the Darfur genocide are turned away. (Which begs the question: if the refugees of a Muslim massacre are turned away, who isn’t?) (Nederlands Dagblad, Dutch)

Canadian phone companies accomplices in terror

A recent lawsuit in Canada shows the way terrorists use phone fraud to conduct business, with the help of Canadian phone companies.

Ms. Drummond, who had just returned from a month-long trip to Israel, went numb as she looked at the stupefying figure, which was more than 160 times higher than her typical monthly bill of about $75. The Rogers Wireless bill included a five-page list of calls charged to her phone, almost all of them to foreign countries that included Pakistan, Libya, Syria, India and Russia.

Ms. Drummond quickly determined what had happened: Someone had stolen her phone while she was away. She called Rogers Wireless, which told her there was nothing it could do, and she would have to pay the entire amount.

Since making that call to Rogers last August, Ms. Drummond and her partner, Harry Gefen, have been researching the cellphone giant, yielding some unexpected discoveries, among them that the phones of senior Rogers executives, including Mr. Rogers himself, were repeatedly “cloned” by terrorist groups that used them to make thousands of overseas calls.

Rogers Wireless didn't shut off her phone, despite having an automated system to do exactly that, enabling them to have higher profits. However, by not shutting down Drummond's phone, by keeping silent when their own phones are cloned, Rogers Wireless are knowingly aiding a terrorist organization!

Shouldn't the Canadian government be investigating this issue, instead of letting its citizens fend for themselves by taking the big companies to court?

Source: The Globe and Mail (English)

Britain: Family sent to jail for 'honor' killing

In the summer of 2004, Manna Begum was in love with Arash Ghorbani-Zarin, a young Iranian studying in the city of Oxford. Her Bangladeshi parents had arranged for her to be married, but she wanted nothing of it. Ms. Begum's parents forbade her to see Mr. Ghorbani-Zarin, but she ignored their wishes. Upon discovering in August that she was pregnant, Begum and her boyfriend decided to get married.

In November of last year, his body was found in his car, with 46 stab wounds. His girlfriend was paid off to have an abortion.

A High Court judge told Chomir Ali, 44, that there was “no honour in murder” and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. His two sons, Mohammed Mujibar Rahman, 19, and Mamnoor Rahman, 16, were jailed for a minimum of 16 and 14 years respectively.

The older boy held the victim down while Mamnoor, who was only 15 at the time, stabbed him so furiously that the tip of the knife snapped. (Letting minors commit the actual murder is a regular practice since minors are treated less harshly in Western countries.)

While "crimes of passion" against wayward spouses occur worldwide according to a 2000 report by the UN Population Fund, premeditated honor killings originate specifically in Middle Eastern and South Asian countries where they are often both illegal and socially acceptable.

The number of such "honor killings" carried out in Britain is unknown. But in late 2004, British police began reexamining 117 murders to see how many were motivated by honor.

"A tiny percentage of the community carries out honor killings," says Humera Khan, who advises An-Nisa, a respected Muslim women's group she helped to found in 1985. "It's just like the bombings — Muslims see a lot of police resources get put into [honor killings] and then say why is nothing done about Islamophobic attacks? This gives the community a feeling of double standards."

Why are honor killings not considered anti-Islamic???

Supposedly it should be in the interests of the Muslim community to protect their own daughters from such attacks. Any excuse just shows that the community accepts these murders. Honor killings would not be taking place if the murderer wouldn't feel vindicated by the community.

Honor killings are not the only crime committed in the name of 'social norms'. Forced marriages are another, and while the British government is considering making forced marriages a criminal offence, Reunite, a charity which campaigns to stop child abduction, estimates that around 1,000 British Asian girls are forced into marriage each year. Between a third and a half are minors.

Source: Times Online, CBS News, l'express (English)

Hofstad trial: couple claimed they were terrorized into participating

On the 8th day of testimony in the Hofstad trial, a couple - Hanan and Lahbib - testified against Nouredine el Fahtni.

Hanan and Lahbib had let El Fahtni into their residence. They had rented a residence for him in Brussels, let him keep his weapons in their house, and smuggled them with them to Belgium, without asking questions. "Maybe I was afraid of the answer," says Lahbib. "I was afraid that would declare me and my wife non-believers." El Fahtni had told him many times that a Muslim should shun any contact with a non-believer and that he may steal from them.

Lahbib was afraid he'd be killed, but one time he had the courage to say something. When El Fahtni was handling a "Rambo" knife, he asked "what is that needed for?" El Fahtni said: "To kill unbelievers" and made motions as if he's cutting somebody's throat.

Sobbing, Hanan told of a walk in the Amsterdam woods. Suddenly El Fahtni took out a gun and shot a tree. "Here, shoot," he turned to Lahbib and Hanan.

"I saw that he meant it. I shot." says Lahbib. "I was terribly afraid," says Hanan, "also that I would be shot." El Fahtni said that watching television was forbidden for "true Muslims". "Television is Satan in the house." True Muslims didn't need Western decadent things either. Hanan and Lahbib had to remove suits, radio and other furnishings.

Hanan's lawyer says, "my client was searching in that time. She was busy with the question: can I be a Muslim in the Netherlands? She also wore a veil then."

The two had been arrested as part of Samir Azzouz's terrorist network.

Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)

UK: Council apologizes to Muslims for food 'mishap'

Despite the fact that there are less than 4% known Muslims living in Cardiff and less than 1% throughout Wales, the council of Cardiff, has decided this year to ensure that Muslim pupils across Cardiff and Wales receive Halal foods at lunch. According to the Cardiff City Council site:

For a number of years, there have been schools in Cardiff with a high Muslim population where the menu has been changed to reflect the requirement dictated by religious needs. For example, no pork enters the school at Mount Stuart Primary. And Cardiff Catering has also provided selected schools with Halal meals for over 2 years.

And yet, the Cardiff City Council now has a new crisis:

Parents of Muslim pupils at a Cardiff school have received an apology after their youngsters were served sausage rolls by dinner ladies, it has emerged.

The mistake was noticed before any of the pupils at Mount Stuart Primary, Butetown, ate the food.

A Cardiff City council spokeswoman apologised for the mistake, blaming "a lapse of supervision".
She said members of the local authority's schools catering service were to have a further meeting with parents, teachers and governors to discuss the incident at the school to ensure it was not repeated.

Councillor Mohammed-Sarul Islam said he wanted the next full council meeting to explain how the mix-up

He said: "Some children came home and refused to go back to school because the dinner ladies served them sausage rolls.

"This has caused deep upset and is absolutely outrageous. How can a mistake like this happen?"

There is a Muslim school in Cardiff. A religious person who wants to follow the dictates of his religion, should not leave things up to people who are not versed in that same religion. If Muslim parents in Cardiff want to make sure their children eat Halal foods, they can send them lunch.

One Muslim mother complained to the BBC:

Mother Jacqueline Maria Haque said it was very important for Muslim children to have halal foods, as they can go hungry if they are not given a halal choice.

"They do give halal foods in school, but not every day - they give vegetables, which not all children like," she said. "They would like western foods - like burgers, sausages and nuggets."

Source: BBC (English)

Muslim and Western ethics

Professor Shahul Hameed, a consultant on the IslamOnline site, recently answered a question about the difference between Islamic and Western ethics.

To bring a few quotes (bold in the original):
The core of the Western ethics is supposed to be Judeo Christian values. But, the real Judeo-Christian ethics has little difference from the Islamic ethics. This is because Muhammad (peace be upon him) came in the same line of prophetic religion, as Moses and Jesus; he taught the same morals, within the same framework of Semitic tradition. Muslims worship the same--One and Only--Creator, as Jews and Christians do. If we adopt a more inclusive "Abrahamic" view, Islam can no more be considered "the other"

In short, there is little difference between the core ethics of the West and Islam. This is despite the materialism and utilitarianism is now dominant in certain circles, which is abhorrent to Islam. But, in fact, it is abhorrent to the real Judeo-Christian tradition too..

Hameed goes on to explain why there is no real difference between Islam and Western ethics, though relating to his arguments will require a whole different article. More basic, is to understand what Hameed is doing here. He’s playing with the terms used so they will fit his view. Of course, once you ignore the meaning of ‘Islam’, ‘Judeo-Christian’ and ‘Western’, you can come to the conclusion that their core ethics are the same.

Hameed is right that the core of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, is similar. They are all based on the same Messianic laws that developed around 3000 years ago. However, the big difference between Judeo-Christian laws and Islamic laws is that the Judeo-Christian society developed.

Jewish scholars throughout the ages did not shy away from reinterpreting the Messianic laws in accordance with the current norms. And so, if it says in the Torah “an eye for an eye”, the Jewish scholars explained that this is merely an issue of payment.

Laws which were relevant to an earlier type of society, such as Levirate marriages (a custom which required that a man marry his brother's widow if the deceased died childless) are now simply forbidden according to Jewish law.

It is enough to take a look at another one of Hameed’s answers about stoning to understand that in Islam that is not the case. If stoning was prescribed 1400 years ago as the punishment for adultery, then it will be the punishment today, no matter how barbaric it seems.

Hameed can go on and on about why stoning will only be used in certain cases and why adultery is so bad that it is requires stoning. That has nothing to do with ethics. Nobody today claims that adultery is 'good'. However, stoning as a punishment, is seen as barbaric. No Jew today would consider stoning a person to death, despite it being clearly written as punishment in the Torah. In fact, death as punishment is not accepted today by Judaism, and the Jewish state does not punish serious offenders, such a serial murderers and terrorists, with the death sentence.

I think that in that, lies the core difference.

Amsterdam Mosque minaret disagreement solved

A disagreement over the size of an Amsterdam Mosque minaret has finally been solved, after 13 years. Originally Milli Görüs, the Turkish-Islamic association, wanted a 42 meter minaret while the local residents associations, Bort, wanted the minaret not to top 34 meters. The final agreement achieved by an arbitrating committee is a 40 meter minaret.

The planned building will include the mosque, 111 rentals, 2200 sq meters for businesses, stores, restaurants and offices as well as an underground garage.

The mosque will open in 2008.

Source: Het Parool (Dutch)

Weekly Roundup

The articles I had no time to post:

Disappearing students – a new phenomena is on the rise of students who disappear from the Dutch school system. Especially by immigrant kids, whose family just up and goes, in most cases to the UK (Dutch)

Municipalities withdraw their support for asylum policy – the municipalities feel that asylum seekers are thrown out on the street with no solutions. (Dutch)

Nouredine el Fahtni (known as El F) is suspect in Azzouz case – Azzouz is currently on trial for trying to murder various Dutch politicians. Despite being in jail, he still manages to keep on making headlines about all his other terror attempts. (Dutch)

Dutch cities are becoming poorer – Ethnic Dutch are still fleeing the big cities, leaving them poorer by 194 million euro. (Dutch)

Bouyeri’s statement – Mohammed Bouyeri testifies that he and only he knew that he was going to kill Theo Van Gogh. (Dutch)

The 'Hofstad' trial - the perils of punishing terrorist thoughts – a review of the Dutch anti-terrorism laws and how they apply to the Hofstad Group trial. The headline is really misleading.. the article doesn’t deal with the perils of punishing terrorist thoughts, but rather with, how the laws don’t deal with such issues. (English)

Belgian security services are trying to deal with radicalism in prisons - no real details given on how.

40% rise in illegal immigrants refused entry into Spain – but illegal immigrant arrests are down 37% compared to last year. Does this mean more immigrants are arrested before entering Spain? (English)

Turkish youth nurture their own folk dancing culture – folk dancing is not popular in the Netherlands, but that doesn’t stop Turkish youth from enjoying their own. (Dutch)

On being politically correct

In today’s political climate, saying anything, against any minority, is considered ‘out of line’. What the PC prophets don’t understand is that by putting everybody into the same basket, and making it difficult to express valid opinions they are actually causing more damage.

Today’s political climate means that everybody who dares talk about the dangers of mass immigration is called a neo-Nazi. It means that somebody who talks about the problems brought on by immigrants who move to Europe without realizing that they’re moving into a different culture and that they should adapt to it and not the opposite is considered ‘bad’.

Are the immigrants better off this way? I doubt it. The way I see it, there are two possible outcomes. Either people cave-in to the PC pressure and come to the conclusion that if they don’t want to be neo-Nazis, they can’t have or voice such ideas. In such a case, people will feel bad having these opinions. Or else, they cave in to the PC pressure that says such opinions are racist, and stop seeing the essential difference between those opinions which express valid criticism and those which are pure, evil racism. This leads to such a party as the Belgian Vlaams Belang, for example, who feels the need to excuse the racists who join its ranks, instead of ousting them.

In either case, the immigrants are the last ones to lose.

'I was extremely pleased with Van Gogh's death'

The Dutch are still surprised that the Muslims want them dead.

Jason W, one of the suspects in the Hofstad Group trial, does not even try to hide it."Everybody was happy," he says, "Every moslim had a solid dislike for Van Gogh, because he insulted our prophet. So yes, when you hear that he's dead, you're quite happy."

Jason, an American-Dutch, is a convert to Islam.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

kids 'on vacation'

The three Dutch-Muslim kids who disappeared, supposedly after having been recruited to the global Jihad movement, had made contact by web-chat with one of the families. The three were seen by webcam and claimed that they were 'just on vacation' and unaware that their families were so worried.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

The Hague: Imam claims he's being threatened

Jneid Fawaz, an imam in the Assoenah mosque in the Hague, claims he was threatened by the mayor. This incident supposedly happened in a talk with the mayor in which the mayor told the imam to shut his mouth or else he'd be forced to keep silent 'our way'. The imam said he was threatened with being kicked out of the country.

Politicians in the city council do not believe the mayor could have acted that way, and say that imam himself has been using language which is not fit for a spiritual leader.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Threatening letter wasn't a surprise

According to the testimony of a police officer working on the Hofstad Group case, the letter pinned by Bouyeri to Van Gogh's chest was already familiar to the suspects. "It was not widely available," says the police officer, "but these kids already had it."

One of the suspects also testified that he saw the letter over the internet, and his lawyer confirmed that it passed from hand to hand within the group.

Such testimony is very important to the prosecution, who needs to prove that the Hofstad Group was indeed a network, and not just a general collection of people.

Source: De Trouw (Dutch)

Possible attack on Hirsi Ali thwarted

Danish police arrested two Arab looking men in the Copenhagen airport. The two wanted to go on a KLM flight with a toy gun and razors. Hirsi Ali was also on the flight.

The two were released a day later and continued their trip.

Source: Blik Op Nieuws (Dutch)

Hirsi Ali can keep security

A court in the Hague decided that Hirsi Ali can stay in her current apartment, with all the security involved, though the state will have to provide more security for the neighbors as well.

Ali's neighbors are scared that Ali's presence will attract terrorists and that a possible attack on Ali will hurt them as well.

The court follows by that the conclusion of the gov't which says that there is currently no great risk of attack and that if Ali would be truly threatened, she would be brought to a safe house.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Dishes to go

The Antwerp housing company Onze Woning (our house) has applied for a permit to put up central dishes on the roof of one their buildings, in preparation of doing the same in their other housing complexes.

According to the manager, the current antennas are not aesthetic or safe.

Onze Woning has 4,800 housing units, 80% of which are rented by immigrants. The residents will be connected up to the central antenna.

The company sees this as a chance to promote Dutch, enabling access to Dutch TV broadcasters.

Onze Woning has also decided to see the renters as collectively responsible for pollution. If anything is found in the stairwell and the owner can't be traced, all families will pay 5 euro ''cleaning up fee".

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

"The goal is the growth of the total number of true Muslims"

An article with an Muslim who has no trouble saying what he thinks. Following is my translation, my comments are in red:

Redouan (24) is steadily getting stronger in his belief, since his brother, Mohammed Fahmi, was arrested a year ago as a terrorism suspect. Because the Hofstad group, against whom the trial begins today, consists of reliable Muslims kids, according to Redouan.

Redouan's cell phone rings. "Later," Redouan stops the conversation. "Really, later." His cousin of 16 is on the line. "That I am trying to also get serious," says Redouan, "He just sits by his computer, listening to rap. It's bullshit, that rapping about sex and money. You must make the most of your time. In Islam you must do nothing that's useless."

"That I looked for Islam, that came because I saw the first generation Moroccans and thought: what are you busy doing? Only earning money."

"That's also why I have such admiration for Nouredine el F." This Moroccan illegal is also suspected justly of being a member in the Hofstad group. “Nouredine went to Europe when he was 15,” knows Redouan, “But he saw that materialism, and he knew that that that won’t make him happy. Therefore I find him very exceptional.”

You yourself have on a shirt of Calvin Klein

“This shirt is old. But you are right.” Pointing to his shoes, “I have Botticellis too. I’m not going to wear that anymore. Only clothing costing 5 euro. It’s better to buy books with that money, or give it to the mosque or orphans. Now I don’t come here to the center any more. Only in my neighborhood. House, work and mosque.”

Redouan speaks on a terrace in Amsterdam. He had already spoken to Trouw once this summer. Then he sat in the gallery in the case against his brother. He says that it’s his duty, and that of every other Muslim to kill Ayaan Hirsi Ali, because she insulted the prophet.

The graduate of vocational training came to the Netherlands seven years ago. From the Morrocan coast city of Al Hoceima. “With the most beautiful beach in the world.” He found the culture shock enormous. In Amsterdam he was struck by the great tolerance for other cultures. [Tolerance that he doesn't possess]

Redouan doesn’t go around much with Moroccans. From television he got the impression that they were all criminals. His father, who was already living here, says that too. Redouan prayed, didn’t drink alcohol and didn’t eat pork meat. But he did go to McDonald’s, smoked a joint sometimes and went out with girls.

“I was altogether not serious in the belief. Yet some Moroccan parents in the mosque told me: we are proud of you, our own kids are lost in this society, addicted to drugs. I say: that is your fault. You must support your kids in school, inform them if there are problems. You catch them just as the police stands in front of the door. What do you do in the mosque? Drink some tea, not more than that.

“My own father also didn’t care if I went to the mosque or to the disco. He only said: you must have money, money decides who you are. But that isn’t so. The prophet Mohammed - peace be upon him – was born and died poor [did he? after all those caravan raids?]. What you know of it, my father said than, we’ve worked in the mines, always had it hard.”

He must laugh hard. “My father always exaggerates.” Redouan laughs much and often.

Why did you seek your refuge in Islam?

“I’ve read a lot. About liberalism, humanism, socialism, Darwinism. I read a quality Saoudi paper. My father finished basic school, my mother is illiterate. But I could already read and write before I went to school. I consider it a gift.”

“My break also had to do with September 11 [Trouw would like to think that it was the Dutch persecution of this brother that caused him to turn to Islam. It fits in with what we hear all the time, the persecution leads to hate. They simply ignore what he tells them]. I still know it precisely: I came home in the afternoon and saw the pictures, that the Americans were attacked. I got goose bumps. Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, that is the first thing that you say.”

I had no time to be happy. I went to reflect. You see people that are highly educated, aren’t poor. They can have what they want and they do something like this. Why? I found it impressive.”

Didn’t you think it was terrible for the people in those buildings?

“No, not at all. After several days I was just happy. I saw how pathetic and weak those people were. Why were they so pathetic? You’re hard put about the dead. If you’re a Muslim, you believe your death is already fixed. God knows it. When, how. Death matters nothing to me.”

“You forget that America was in a war. Also before September 11, 2001. Take the Palestinian issue [America was at war with Palestine?]. And that American presence in Saudi Arabia. Osama Bin Laden stated it clearly, and other great imams too [Bin Laden is a great imam]: the occupying forces must withdraw from Saudi Arabia. We don’t want it, the people.”

Say now that America wanted a war against Islam, wouldn’t it have gone about it on a large scale?

“No, because the Americans have too much to lose. Muslims see the struggle as a blessing from God. Everyone would like to die as a Mujahid. For that men leave behind them their wife, children, job and house. There are seven paradises. In the first are the prophets. Mohammed, Jesus, Abraham. In the second paradise, a level under it, are the Mujahids.”

"You don’t have to blow up. You can also go there with your Kalashnikov and do your best. If you die than, you come too into the second paradise. You do need your parents consent. In the beginning they say maybe: no, don’t do it. But after a bit of time they say: go try it. They think though that you won’t really do it.”

“The Netherlands is also at war, for that matter. You are searching for Bin Laden in Afghanistan, between the rocks, by orders from America. That Afghanistan is now safer, that girls and women go to school and want to work, is just propaganda. I hear that in the Islamic media. And Muslims don’t perpetrate propaganda. [of course not]”

“Why don’t the Dutch demonstrate against the military operations? Yes, several of the young idealists with painted hair. Most Dutch support it. Also attacks on Dutch citizens can happen by it." [if the Dutch don't dispose of their gov't, they are liable to be punished for it. They are no different than the soliders]

Wouldn’t the Jihad get nowhere if you kill me?

“That can be an option If you’re a Muslim you must in principle do dawah (send invitations) [AKA proselytizing]. But if a land is at war with Islam, there’s no point in it. Some people will never convert [and therefore must be killed]. That’s mentioned already in the Koran.”

How did you come by your ideas?

“I’ve been several times in the Arrahmane Mosque in the Amsterdam neighborhood de Pijp.” That mosque appeared in the news several years ago because suicide attacks were cheered there. “The way of preaching pleased me terribly. I also came once in such usual mosques with Moroccans, but mostly only the last ten minutes. I have no interest in this nonsense. The imam there says literally what happened hundreds of years ago. I live now, I have other problems. I also got books from my brother.”

“That Hofstad group, it is simply friends that visit each other. I’ve spoken to them several times and they are truly very good. They are stronger in the belief than I am. They don’t follow an imam for no reason, they base themselves only on the Koran and the Sunnah, the prophet’s path in life. I always ask them questions. For example, why are women stoned. And they tell me: it happens only with adulterous women. And four witness must determine the adultery. I find that convincing answers.”

“Before my brother was a typical Moroccan from Oost. Playing football, fighting, jeering at people in Berbers, running away without paying. It was truly a mess. But he got other friends. The brothers are truly reformed. They are relatively very relaxed, truly terrific.

“Listen, when Mohammed Bouyeri killed Theo van Gogh, he had the chance to crash down all Amsterdamers. He didn’t do that. While one of those people yet spared him too.”

Where must the struggle lead to?

“The goal is the growth in the total number of true Muslims. Nowhere in the world can we enforce all Islamic rules. Sadly there are yet not many true Muslims. [That is, the goal is clear, once there will be enough Muslims, Islamic law will prevail]

Thus it doesn’t go so well with this project? [Project??]

“You can also say that the true Islam never truly died out. If God wants it, everybody will become Muslim. But he doesn’t want it yet.

Why wouldn’t Allah want that everybody become Muslims immediately?

Laughing, he says something about the eye-eyed devil that will come, after which everybody will resort to Allah [Trouw thinks it's a joke].

Sometimes it seems as if you don’t take this belief wholly seriously.

With a sincere look: “Oh yes, I’m perfectly ok. People think that a Muslim is always miserable, but that is not so. These people of the Hofstad Group say it too: you are even more terrible then your brother, who also laughs so much. But that’s how we are.”

Redouan thinks it’s a good idea to speak more often with the paper, he says: “But,” he asks himself half-jokingly, “where would that end? If just now I will come with several bombs to Amsterdam Central Station [again, Trouw thinks he's joking, enabling him to actually say what he's planning]. You’re come then to stand next to me to ask: How do you feel now?”

Source: De Trouw (Dutch)

Malika stays silent

The trail against the Hofstad terrorist group opened today in the Netherlands. The 17 year old main witness for the prosecution, known only as Malika, has informed the court that she will not be giving testimony and will only answer questions about her personal details.

Malika was married to one of the suspects, Nouriddin El F, by a Muslim ceremony.

She had earlier testified by the police that Nouriddin had demonstrated how to slash people's throats. He had convinced her that she should die a martyr, and had also told her that she would crash into a mall in a car filled with explosives.

Nouriddin also told Malika that Theo van Gogh and Hirsi Ali must be killed, although nothing concrete had ever been discussed among the suspects, according to her.

Source: De Volkskrant (Dutch)

Related article: Hofstad witness held by the court

On Umma and national culture

"I doubt that Bouyeri looks upon Holland as his home. The mere fact that he disconnected from Morocco does not make him embrace Dutch society. He sees himself as a citizen of a non-geographical community, the Muslim Umma. Bouyeri does not have friends who are secular Dutch. The Dutch friends he does have are converts. You have to stop thinking in national societies to understand this phenomena" (Snouck)

Discussing this issue over email, I got the following response:

It is necessary to recognize a "homeland" other than the one he was physically born in. sometimes it can be even an imaginary one like Palestine , Kurdistan or pre-1948 Israel (that's the essence of political Zionism).

Generally, a country emerges either through the principles of administration or culture.

An example for administration would be the US where a philophoy of organizing society was turned into a national creed (ie, "the American way"). In the case of culture, a group of people with a distinct culture is defined as a "nation". Their culture becomes the "national culture". They achieve self rule, often culminating with rule over other groups conveniently labeled as "minorities", and "upgrade" the culture to define the country's culture.

Most countries are of the latter group. That does not mean that people not of the original group cannot be citizens, but the national group (ie, the "majority") develops defensive labels and attitudes, such as "us" and "them", which lead to either animosity (perpetual strife), separation (levels of autonomy) or assimilation.

On the other hand a "national culture" can evolve, being influenced by the "other" culture it interacts with. This must be a gradual process , accepted willingly be the "majority" group.

European islamists want the best of both worlds. Obviously they wouldn't live long enough to do anything comparable in any Islamic country. They wouldn't give up the benefits European countries "award" them. But more than that - Europe is composed of mainly "cultural" countries. However, American social culture ("PC"), which has replaced European national feeling, asserts such identity to be "wrong". But still, rights that islamists would never get in America, they get in Europe , due to its cultural heritage.

They're committing the crime they accuse Zionism of doing - bringing a people with a distinct, defined culture to a land that already has one. They exploit the principle of "administration",which in Europe is relatively incidental, trampling the principle of culture, which is that which rationalizes and defines the very existence of the European nations. On one hand European culturalism is weak and they've introduced Moslems to the culture of bureaucratic-nationalism ("you can get anything if you fit the right criteria"). Islamic culture, ie the Umma, is so strong that rigid western concepts are trivially incidental for it. The Umma sweeps across the globe, learning the obstacles on its way, and adapting.

Dutch parliament wants answers

Donner, minister of Justice, will need to explain to the parliament how Mohammed Bouyeri managed to get his pamphlet out. Donnor had been asked by the parliament in the past to explore ways in which Bouyeri could be prevented from running his Jihad from prison.

According to the current rules, prison employees may listen, watch and read with the prisoners. A prisoner may be isolated and his letters checked if there's danger to the establishment. However, the current laws do not deal with prisoners of conscience, such as Bouyeri.

According to the minister's spokesman, prison personnel have been specially trained for dealing with terrorist-prisoners special personnel and there does exist a special regimen for them. However, no details were given about it.

Bouyeri had earlier objected to the extra security measures taken against him, but his objections were rejected.

Source: Het Parool (Dutch)

Antwerp: Muslim kids like going to school

A recent survey among 495 Muslims kids in Antwerp, aged 15 to 25, shows that 60% enjoy going to school. That is a higher rate than among Belgian kids. On the other hand 30% had considered stopping school.

Additional findings show that:
36% had felt they were treat discourteously by the management or by teachers.
Belief is central in the lives of 89%
22% would like to marry a person from their homeland.
7% find homosexuality acceptable
40% think that the norms of Flemish society clash with those of Islam.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Resigned for a burqua

As this story shows, the choice between your religious convictions and general society is not always easy.

The Bilal school is an elementary Muslim school in Amersfoot. With a student population of 330, consisting of 70% Turkish students and 20% Moroccans, it's the only Muslim school in the area.

But even at a Muslim school, it seems, there are limits. Jus Quarda, a teacher's assistant at the Bilal school, has decided to wear a burqua and she must therefore leave the school. The decision has serious consequences. She will not be able to continue teaching at the school where she so loves to work, and it is in fact ending her teacher's training.

However, for her it feels 'right'. She must do this.

As the principal says: "She decided this week to fully cover herself. A veil is not a problem. She had walked around till now with a head covering, but that must be so in an Islamic elementary school. But fully covered, that is not allowed."

The principal had tried finding a solution. "She was prepared to stand in class without a face covering, but not in the corridor. But children and parents can see her there too. That doesn't work. They must be able to see her face. It's a pity, but we respect her choice."

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

Weekly Roundup 2

Not really weekly anymore, but things I found interesting...

Enough houses for large families - Rotterdam municipality pledges to put in extra effort to ensure enough houses for large families with a low income (AD.nl, Dutch)

Turkish fashion designer to Rotterdam - Erol Albayrak, a Turkish fashion designer, is planning to set up house in Rotterdam, by request of the mayor.

Islam according to the Ahmadiyyas - The Ahmadiyya movement is re-translating a book that explains their customs and traditions. The book is called "The religion of Islam". The Ahmadiyya branch of Islam is practiced mainly by Muslims from Suriname, Pakistan and Indonesia. (AD.nl, Dutch)

suicide bombers go global - An opinion article by Assaf Moghadam, who's under the impression that the terrorists of yesteryear only wanted a state of their own. (International Herald Tribune, English)

Jeans in Koran school - The Dutch kids who accompanied the royal couple on their visit to Morocco were surprised to find kids like them over there. (Radio Nederland Wereldomroep, Dutch)

Weekly Roundup

News is endless, and sadly - time is limited. There are always more posts I would like to put up, then I actually have the time to do. Below is a general roundup of news I saw the past week or so. If you would like me to translate a specific article, let me know.

No money for French rioters - French parents will have to sign a ' contract of responsibility' (De Volkskrant, Dutch)

Samir Azzouz did not want Belgian female terrorists - according to a Belgian terrorist caught in Morocco, he had met with Azzouz, but Azzouz refused to deal with female terrorists (Trouw, Dutch)

New website to conciliate between Muslims and Copts - a Dutch sociologist in Egypt is trying to get Muslims and Copts together (Trouw, Dutch)

Mecca signs won't work - Rotterdam councilor Bourzik drops his idea to place signs around the city pointing to Mecca, after seeing reader responses (AD.nl, Dutch)

Poverty hits especially immigrants - Poverty in the Netherlands is growing, and the toughest hit are the immigrants (Het Parool, Dutch)

Flemish and Dutch bishops come out with a new magazine - the magazine is meant to explain Christian customs and traditions. (De Morgen, Dutch)

Unrest over possible sale of F-16's to Pakistan - political opposition in Belgium to selling warplanes to Pakistan (De Morgen, Dutch)

Brother of terror suspect Wesam Al D. killed - The brother of Wesam Al D, a Dutch national wanted by the US for terrorist activities in Iraq, was killed in Iraq by a bomb attack. Another brother was injured. (De Volkskrant, Dutch)

Hirsi Ali neighbors fear for their safety - Ali's neighbors are complaining the extra security in their neighborhood will attract terrorist (Spits, Dutch)

I will try to put out a further roundup to catch up with other interesting news.

Hofstad witness held by the court

An important witness in the Hofstad Group trial is being held by the court for refusing to give testimony. Malika, 17, denies that her decision not to stand witness is due to feeling threatened by a letter.

The letter, that she received in October, says that Muslims may not work together with the Kufar (the unbelievers). The letter ends by saying "may Allah lead you, or else break your back."

Malika had given testimony to the police this summer against several members of the Hofstad Group. She was married for a short time to Nourdine el F, in a Muslim ceremony that was held by Mohammed Bouyeri. The couple spent their wedding nights watching beheading films. Nourdine was arrested in June with a pistol.

Her husband had convinced her to die as a martyr. She told the police that "I also truly believed then, that it would be a good deed to commit an attack."

Her lawyer would not say why Malika's now keeping silent. She's aware of her obligation by law to give witness and accepts the consequences. It is apparently the first time that a court arrest a minor.

The counsel for one of the suspects says, on the other hand, that her testimony can't be used anyway, as it hasn't been released to the defense.

This article manages to bring together almost everything the Dutch gov't had recently reported - the usage of women by radical Muslims and the 'convenience' marriages done by such groups.

Source: De Volkskrant (Dutch)

Dutch gov't is worried by homemade Muslims

A report prepared by the cabinet for the Dutch parliament brings up several alarming facts.

A growing number of Dutch kids are attracted to a radical brand of Islam. The number of women in radical networks is also growing. Police frequently gets reports of dutch converts to Islam that are quickly radicalizing. Two dutch have already spent some time in prison for alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

The growth in the number of women is attributed to the many informal Islamic weddings entered into by radical kids. The wife is then also dragged into the extremist circles. The parents and other family members are often not aware of the ceremonies. The informal weddings legitimize sex between the two, but the relations don't last long. Such weddings were also done by the Hofstad group.

Dutch prime minister Balkenende is quoted as saying in response: "A wedding is a beautiful thing. But if it goes hand in hand with motives that have nothing to do with love, that there is definitely a danger there for Dutch society."

Another issue brought up in the report is that relatively educated kids are now being recruited by extremists. This is a phenomenon also witnessed in other countries.

Source: Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch)

Bouyeri put our new pamphelt from jail

After twice having his writing intercepted, Mohammed Bouyeri finally managed to get out a pamphlet from the prison hospital in Scheveningen.

It's unclear if it escaped attention or whether police saw nothing wrong with it.

The pamphlet was written under a pseudonym - Abu Zubair - and named "Jesus is the spirit of God". In it Bouyeri attacks moderate Islam, saying it is being abused by the Dutch gov't in order to thwart the message of Jihad. The pamphlet was passed on to Bouyeri sympathizers and is already making the rounds in extremist Muslim circles.

According to the pamphlet, it was prepared by the "Lions of Tawheed", a name that was used by suspected members of the Hofstad group.

Source: NRC Handelsblad (Dutch)

Muslim woman gets injuction against Amsterdam police

The Amsterdam municipality has recently started following up Muslim 'suspects' and 'harassing' them, a new method in its fight against terrorism. One of these suspected was a Dutch woman who converted to Islam and was going around with a man who had ties with the Hofstad group.

The police followed her around, causing her inconveniences, made surveillances in her street and observed her house. The woman turned to the courts, saying she was being harassed for no reason. The police claim to have found cassettes calling for Jihad in her house, but no charges have been put up against her and the woman denied ownership of the tapes.

The court called the municipal harassment measures: out of proportion and therefore illegal.

source: Het Parool (Dutch)

Dutch imam agrees to leave

An imam from a mosque in the southern town of Eindhoven has been detained awaiting expulsion. He is one of three imams who discredited the al-Fourqaan mosque with their inflammatory sermons. The Dutch intelligence service says he inspired young Muslims to wage jihad, or holy war.The imam, a Sudanese from Bosnia, had filed an appeal when his residence permit was revoked earlier this year, but it was rejected by the immigration authorities. He has announced he will leave the country voluntarily and await the outcome of a second appeal against his expulsion abroad.Of the other two imams of the al-Fourqaan mosque, whose residence permits were also revoked, one left the Netherlands several months ago. The other has filed an appeal but will probably be deported soon.

Source: Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (English)

What is the 'crossing the line'?

A Belgian newspaper starts off with a headline: Teacher fired for crossing the line of humor.

The Dutch and history teacher, 25, was given an option - be fired or quit - after sending a "racist" email. The email was about a Moroccan Monopoly edition. All the blocks said "to jail", and had "social services" instead of "lucky cards".

The principal is quoted as saying "We have a very clear attitude. We forbid teachers and students from wearing a veil. On the other side, we are even more strict: we do not allow racism. Criticism and humor are ok, and are needed in a democracy. But such an email is base racism." He was disturbed that the email, which was sent to some of the students, was sent only to ethnic Belgians. If it was not racist, he reasons, the mail would have been sent to Moroccan kids as well.

Is such an email really racism? what would be considered critical humor in this case?

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

More Belgian suicide bombers

In yesterday's operation, Belgian police arrested a couple who were about to leave to Iraq, to commit a suicide attack there. The pair, from Antwerp are of Moroccan origin.

Belgian's first suicide bomber, Muriel Degauque, 38, and her husband Aissan, came to Iraq to commit suicide attacks. Muriel blew herself up on Nov 9th by an American army convoy, but she was the only casualty. Her husband was killed by US soldiers before he could commit his attack. Five of his friends were arrested.

Muriel converted to Islam after she married an Algerian. Five years ago she married a Moroccan. She became more extreme after her recent marriage, starting to wear a burka and black gloves. The couple moved to Brussels and several months later traveled to Iraq by way of Syria and Turkey. Muriel last called her parents from Syria.

Another of those arrested in the police operation is the son of a Tunisian koran teacher, who was expelled from Belgium in 1991 for incitement.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Belgium: Teacher dismissed for racist email

A teacher from Denderleeuw was fired after he received a racist email and sent it on to his friends. The email got to the school board, the Royal Atheneum in Anderlecht, where 60& of the student body is of an ethnic minority.

The teacher admits he's made a mistake, but think that firing him is blowing things out of proportion.

Source: De Morgen (Dutch)

Terrorist arrests - France, Belgium, England

  1. A 27 year old man was arrested in Paris, in relation to the Belgian suicide terrorist that blew herself up in Iraq November 9th. The man is thought to have ties to a cell that sent Muslims fighters to Iraq, mostly from Belgium, but also from France. According to another source, the man is an acquaintance of the woman's husband.
  2. The Belgian federal police arrested 14 people in Brussels, Antwerp, Carleroi and Tongeren. Most of those arrested are Belgian, two of Moroccan origin and one from Tunisia. They are suspected of belonging to a terrorist organization in Belgium.
  3. British police arrested a 28-year old man suspected of buying weapons to commit a terror attack. The man was arrested in South Mimms, Hertfodshire.

De Morgen (Dutch) - 1, 2, 3

Belgian police raid homes in probe of Iraq suicide bomber

Belgian police raided a number of homes early on Wednesday of people suspected of links to a woman thought to be the first European female suicide bomber in Iraq, the federal prosecutors office said.

"Searches have been carried in connection with an investigation into a Belgian woman who carried out a suicide attack in Iraq," said Leive Pellens, a spokesman for the prosecutors office. She declined to give more details.

She said that sweeps were underway in the capital Brussels, Antwerp to the north, Charleroi in the south and Tongres in the east. At least one person was detained in Brussels.

According to Belgian media, up to six people were killed in the suicide attack in the Baghdad region a few weeks ago. The woman is believed to have converted to Islam shortly after marrying a religous extremist.

Police are believed to have been watching the woman's family for some time but apparently speeded up their operation after information about her was revealed on French radio on Tuesday.

Pellens said the bomber was not previously known to police.

A man was also arrested in the Paris region in connection with the probe, sources close to the case said in the French capital. Two other people living with the man were detained.
The man is suspected of being "in contact with a cell" helping to send potential fighters or bombers to Iraq, where attacks on US troops and civilians are a daily occurrence almost two years after the war to oust Saddam Hussein.

The woman, who had married a Muslim, had travelled with him to Iraq. She was trying to blow up a US army convoy, but no soldiers were killed in the attack.

IC Publications (English)
De Standaard (Dutch)

Alleged Jihad recruiter denies accusations

The man accused of recruiting three Dutch kids to join the Jihad is denying those accusations. The man, 35 years old, is known only as Ibrahim.

"I talk a lot with young people, and if you call somebody who tells kids that they should stay on the right path, a recruiter, yes, than I'm a recruiter.

According to him, he doesn't give Koran lessons. He merely translates the holy book into Dutch.

And that he speaks to kids?

"I do that, because parents ask me to. Their son has no work, goes around with girls, drinks or uses drugs. They ask me to explain that that is not good for them."

He spoke to the three kids just a day before they disappeared. Meanwhile, he's as concerned about them as their parents. "My heart is open to them. I am curious how it goes with them."

Related articles:
Three Dutch recruited for Jihad
Missing kids learned Koran by terror suspect

France: Gov't wants to tighten immigration laws

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin proposes tightening immigration laws. For example: foreigners marrying a French citizen will have to be married longer before attaining French nationality. He also wants to toughen requirements on giving visas for students and family members of foreigners working in France. He called to fight polygamy.

Source: Volkskrant (Dutch)

Radical Muslims arrested in France

In an action against Muslim radicals, French police have arrested around ten people in western and central France this morning. Among them, two former chaplains and a guard in Muslim prisons(*). They are accused of money laundering and were questioned as well about trips taken to lands such as Pakistan, and activities such as conversion. The arrested are members of the Tabligh movement.

(*) Are there special prisons in France for Muslims?

New anti-smoking campaign

“If you smoke, you’re a man,” a man says at a Turkish coffee house. And another adds: “All Turkish man smoke, because you’re being offered cigarettes all the time. Going around with a packet, that gives status.” A status which is today achieved with a cell-phone by many of the younger generation.

Among the Dutch, both men and women, about 33% smoke. Smoking among Turks stands at around 60% by the man, and 30% by the women (coming to a general average of 45%). In Turkey, only about 15% of women smoke.

Many times, smokers have no idea about the dangers of smoking, and the damage they cause, for example, to fetuses. STIVORO, an anti-smoking organization, has therefore decided to pay special attention to non-ethnic Dutch, and especially to Turks. They have put out 150 people to explain to the non-Dutch community about the dangers of smoking.

3200 non-ethnic Dutch have participated in STIVORO sponsored meetings so far, 2500 of which were Turkish. Several hundreds said they’ll stop smoking, though it’s unknown how many succeeded.

Missing kids learned Koran by terror suspect

The three kids who disappeared, apparently on their way to Iraq or Chechnya to join in Jihad, took Koran lessons by a man who's been accused in the past of terror activities. The man had been arrested in 2003 along with 12 others for recruiting for Jihad, but has since been released due to lack of evidence.

He was not allowed to speak in the As-Sunna Mosque, where two of the kids used to pray. The man is now denied entrance to the mosque. The man gives Koran lessons especially to young, unbalanced Moroccan kids.

The three kids disappeared, taking with them only their passports and money.

Iraq: Belgian blows herself up in Iraq

A Belgian woman, who converted to Islam after her marriage to a Muslim, recently blew herself up in Iraq.

More women are joining the fight in Iraq, and apparently - they're non-Iraqi. In the past 25 years, about 10% of suicide attacks were committed by women. Till now by women exclusively from the Middle East or South East Asia.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Norway: 'Immigrants More Accpeted'

Norwegians have gradually become more positive towards immigrants in recent years, according to a new study from Statistics Norway (SSB).

The percentage who believe that it should become more difficult for refugees and asylum seekers to gain residency in Norway has declines by 8 percent points in the past year.
Now 39 percent believe that there should be stricter admission regulations to gain entry to Norway. The number who want it to become easier to live in Norway has risen from 6 to 9 percent while 49 percent are happy with the way things are.

The percentage who feel that immigrants enrich Norway's cultural life has increased by five points, with 71 percent now partly or completely in agreement with this sentiment.

Those who believe that most immigrants abuse Norway's social welfare system are down three percent points to 37 percent.

New terrorist group in the Netherlands

A new movement of young Muslim extremists is starting off, in the wake of the Hofstad group. The so called “Tafkif-light movement”, that deviates little ideologically from the original Hofstad group, is very active on the internet.

Unlike the Hofstad group, however, the new movement is much easier to join.

The flexible admission requirements and the quick online distribution of Jihadic material provides feeding grounds for potential terrorists. Documents such as those by Mohammed Bouyeri are quickly translated and spread

According to various sources, Samir Azzouz worked together with representatives of the new movement.

The group consists of about a hundred youth, living especially in Amsterdam. Some meet together to learn radical theology, others meet each other in chatgroups and via email.

According to Ruud Peters, an Arabist that analyzed documents for the Hofstad trial, the new movement is circulating new material. For example: 45 appeals for the fights of the Dutch Muslim Oem Qataadah and material validating the fight against Americans outside Iraq.