Who is Israel fighting?

Top: Those from the party of Allah are the victorious ones
Bottom: The Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon
Middle, in green: Hizballah (Party of Allah)

This is the flag waved by "anti-war" protestors. An AK-47, the whole world in the background. Doesn't it say peace all over?

Source: Wikipedia (English)

Netherlands: More and more mosques

Soon there will be 450 mosques in the Netherlands, not including unofficial prayer spaces. About 70 mosques will be built or enlarged in the upcoming 4 years. In Rotterdam a mosque is being built that will hold 2000 people.

The total number of Muslims in the country will pass the 1 million mark this year.

Source: Reformatorisch Dagblad (Dutch)

Brussels: Muslim protest

10,000 people demonstrated yesterday in Brussels against the Lebanon war. The protest was organized by the "Alliance for Dignity and Freedom". The mostly Arab protesters included also members of the Arab European League and some people had come from the Netherlands and France to join the protest.

The protesters called out against Israel as well as the United Nations and the European Union, which they claim is not doing enough to stop the violence. To underscore their abhorrence of violence they also waved Hizballah flags and pictures of Nasrallah.

Source: VRT (Dutch)


According to De Standaard, the number of protesters stood at 5,000.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Belgian antisemitism

It is not unusual to read editorials in Belgium calling for the destruction of the Jewish state. After all, the claim goes - anti-Zionism is not the same as anti-Semitism. Right? Just because you're calling for the annihilation of the only Jewish state and supporting violence and war (to quote a De Morgen editor: I wish the intifadah to succeed) doesn't mean you're anti-Jewish. You don't want anything to happen to Jews.

Except, now somebody in Belgian journalism slipped up. The following is taken from De Morgen, but was written and sent out by Belga, the Belgian news agency, and appears in all main Belgian news sites.

It is a news article about the fighting in Lebanon. After quoting Israeli military sources it goes on to say:

"According to Jewish military sources 50 Hizballah fighter and eight Israeli soldiers were killed in the fighting by Bint Jbeil". [ed. the part about the Israeli soldiers was a later addition].

No editor thought it was weird or wrong to phrase things this way.

Israeli = Jewish. Zionism = Judaism.

If you have a problem with Israelis, the Jews are the address.

The Israeli army is not composed only of Jews. Unlike Hizballah (Allah's Party) which is built up only of Islamic fighters dedicated to an extreme fanatic Islamic dogma, the Israeli army is composed of soldiers of many different kinds - religious Jews, non-religious Jews, Druze and Bedouin. What unites them is the wish to protect their country.


I searched through my files and found the example I bring above. This appeared in De Morgen, Nov 9th, 2005 and was written by Walter Pauli, assistant editor. Remember, this appeared in the Belgian press, not in Arab or Muslim propaganda.

"Indeed, before misunderstandings arise, I am personally an anti-Zionist. Truly, I support the annihilation of Israel - not of the Jews, but of the Zionist state. I believe that over time, only a land where Jews and Palestinians live with equal social and political rights, has a future [...] If not, than I always hope that at least there will be an initifida that succeeds"

The issue, btw, was whether Israel has a right to put up a stand in the Antwerp Book Fair. This editorial 'supported' the Israelis. Pauli ignores the fact that there is only one land where Jews and Arabs already live together with equal rights. That country is, of course, Israel.

Update 2:

Belga's Dutch langauge editorial office can be reached at redactie@belga.be

BBC: Faith, hate and charity

Faith, hate and charity - a Panorama program on Islamic charities and the terrorist organizations they support.

JOHN WARE: I'm curious about that little sign up there. What exactly is it?

HASHEM RJOUB, ORPHANAGE DIRECTOR: 'Do not disappoint the orphan.' This is a Koranic verse. The Koran encourages us to protect the orphan.

JW: And that red colour coming down the arm and spilling over the world? What does that signify?

HR: By God... It's not clear whether it's blood or not, but in truth it looks like it might be.

JW: It conveys to me a picture of Islam dominating the world, and if necessary through bloodshed.

HR: It's true. This picture expresses the vision of the person who drew it. This doesn't necessarily mean that these things exist. I want to stress that Islam has ruled most of the world without blood. There was no blood, it was through persuasion.

Panorama, a BBC One program, will be following up UK charity donations and how they are used by Hamas. The program airs Sunday, July 30th at 22:15 GMT and will be available for viewing both live and afterwards on the Panorama website.

Belgium: Call to ban Abou Jahjah

Shortly after war broke out between Israel and the Hizballah, Dyab Abou Jahjah, the head of the Arab European League, wrote that he will be leaving for Lebanon to fight for Hizballah.

Now, Filip Dewinter, leader of Vlaams Belang, demands that Abou Jahaja be banned from returning. A Belgian law from 2003 forbids Belgian citizens from joining armed militias. Abou Jahjah did not even claim that he's going to join the Lebanese army, but rather wrote openly that he's going to join a terrorist organization.

Filip Dewinter wants the Belgian gov't to declare Abou Jahaja as persona non grata in the country and to check whether his Belgian nationality can be revoked.

(as a side note: Abou Jahjah came to Belgium as asylum seeker under false pretenses. He later married a Belgian woman and divorced her once he got his citizenship)

Source: Reformatorisch Dagblad (Dutch)

See also: Our homeland is calling

Oslo: Stabbing spree by Kurdish youth club

Five persons were stabbed in downtown Oslo on Thursday afternoon. A police van had been taken into use as an ambulance to move victims to hospital.

The attacks took place around Grønlandsleiret 5, just a few blocks from the main police station in Oslo.

"The man used a kitchen knife with a 30 centimer (12-inch) blade and stabbed several people with it. He gave it to one of the ten or so people standing around outside the youth club before disappearing from the scene with three other people," an eyewitness told Aftenposten.no. The eyewitness estimated the perpetrator to be about 30-35 years old.

Four of the victims had been taken to Ullevål Hospital. The seriousness of their injuries was not yet officially known to police. A fifth person was being treated for minor cut wounds at Oslo's downtown emergency ward.

One person was being held at the emergency ward on suspicion of a connection with the incident. He arrived there with blood on his shirt but was unharmed.

"All of the persons involved are both victims and suspects in the case," said Britt Homb-Døviken, operations leader at Oslo police headquarters.

The assailant is still at large.

"All available officers in Oslo are now looking for a man in a green T-shirt. We have no idea where he is," said field operations leader Anette Gultvedt.

Police have received information that the stabbings were related to a dispute at a Kurdish youth club in Grønlandsleiret. There were signs of a brawl at the scene and a large kitchen knife was reportedly used in the attacks.

"Ten to twelve men at Grønlandsleieret were getting ready to fight. It looked like they were divided into two groups. Two persons were bleeding from the head and one had his shirt torn. One of the men had a large kitchen knife in his hand," said NTB news agency journalist Audun Kolstad Wiig.

Eyewitness Wiig estimated that the men in the group were between the ages of 25-50. The man with the knife fled towards central Oslo with one other man, Wiig said.

Aftenposten's reporter said that the sidewalk outside the Kurdish youth club was splattered with blood.

The victims were found in two locations, the youth club, and near the central bus station several blocks away. The injured had been driven away from the bus station in a police van after the attacks.

Source: Aftenposten (English)

Lebanon: Problems with immigrants

Lebanon also has a problem with Muslim "immigration".

President Emile Lahoud was interviewed by Spiegel. Besides showing strong support for Hizballah, the terrorist organization that has taken over the country, he mentions the problems Lebanon has with the Palestinian refugees. (They have been refugees for the past 60 years).

SPIEGEL: The United Nations want to defuse the problem through a massive deployment of international troops in southern Lebanon.

Lahoud: That is an old proposal, which is hardly achievable. As long as the conflict between Lebanon and Israel remains unresolved, no international force will help, however large it may be. The problems smoulder on: the undetermined status of the Schebaa Farms, the Lebanese prisoners in Israel and above all the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

SPIEGEL: Why the Palestinians?

Lahoud: We have today around half a million Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, their birth rate is three times higher than the Lebanese. That is a time bomb. It is the basic problem of our country, it led to the outbreak of civil war in 1975 and still remains unsolved today. Everybody today is talking about UN resolution 1559, but nobody mentions resolution 194, which recognizes the Palestinians' right of return (to Israel). Lebanon is small and can't integrate the Palestinians.

Source: Spiegel (English)

Belgium: Immigrants not registering to vote

The new-found right to vote at October's local elections has failed to excite Belgium's foreign residents, who have stayed away from registration centres in droves.

Less than a week before the deadline, just 2,338 non-EU nationals living in Flanders have registered to vote. That represents just 5.48 percent of the target population.

Left-wing Spirit Senator Fouzaya Talhaoui said the figures were "miserable" and accused the government of taking insufficient action by failing to invest in information campaigns.

On a local level, she said cities with Socialist SP.A mayors made some efforts to address foreign residents, but cities with Liberal VLD mayors deliberately opted against urging foreigners to vote.

But Flemish VLD Interior Minister Marino Keulen rejected the criticism, claiming that foreign residents are simply disinterested in voting, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Tuesday.

He said in Wallonia — where an active government information campaign was waged — the registration drive also met with little success.

The federal Parliament approved at the start of 2004 legislation granting non-EU nationals who have lived in Belgium for five years the right to vote once they have registered with electoral authorities.

Among the Flemish parties, only the Socialists and Spirit supported the controversial legislation. The green party Groen! was not represented in the federal parliament.

But the registration figures have disappointed. Leuven and Ghent have performed best with 10 percent of eligible foreign voters registering. Antwerp came in second with 6 percent.

Municipalities such as Mechelen,Oostende and Sint-Niklaas recorded zero percent, while in Genk, the 3 percent figure was also disappointing

Source: Expatica (English)

Netherlands: Turkish imam require integration exam

The Dutch immigration service now requires Turkish imams to pass an integration exam and course. Eighteen mosques are waiting for an imam, causing the Turkish gov’t to ask for clarification from the Dutch Embassy in Ankara.

Meanwhile, Yusuf Kalkan, in charge of Religious Matters in the Turkish Embassy in The Hague and head of the national mosque association Diaynet, is saying that they’re considering taking legal steps. According to him, all the imams have done a 3 month course in Rotterdam, on the association’s expense.

Dutch Immigration admits that the course the imams have done may be more extensive, but that they will only accept the exam as done by the embassy in Ankara.

Source: AD.nl (Dutch)

UK: Law and forced marriage

A police officer in Britain speaks up against the lack of special laws dealing with forced marriage. The headline of this article "Despair as forced marriages stay legal" - is very misleading.

Forced marriages are not legal in the UK. They can be combated using current legal means - there are laws against rape, laws against assault, laws against abduction etc.

I do not think there has to be a law against forced marriages specifically, just as I do not think stigmatizing a community should be an issue here. I do think the claim that if there's no such law then forced marriages are legal is completely off the mark and worse than that, focuses on a trivial aspect of the issue.

If every case of forced marriage would be treated like rape within the family. If anyone who forces a marriage on anybody else, or who takes part in such would be treated as a criminal or accessory to rape and abduction. If the partner in question would be locked up for 20-30 years.

Then there would be no need for specific laws and yet everybody would understand that such a thing is illegal.

To take an example - rape by a husband used to be non-punishable in Britain. And yet now it isn't and everybody knows it's illegal, and not because there's a special law against it.

A clear signal should be sent. That signal is putting criminals in jail. Not making the legal system more complicated.

THE lives of young women might be ruined by the Government’s failure to make forced marriages illegal, a senior police officer has warned.

Commander Steve Allen of the Metropolitan Police said that a decision by ministers last month to drop proposed legislation had been greeted by some ethnic minorities as a signal that forced marriage was acceptable.

Between 2003 and 2005, 518 forced marriages were recorded in London, and in 2005 more than 140 in Bradford. Campaigners say those are merely the tip of the iceberg.

Most cases in Britain involve Muslim families, although the practice is not restricted to any particular religious or ethnic group. Most victims are aged between 16 and 20 and many suffer physical assault, death threats and false imprisonment, usually at the hands of close family members.

Suicide rates among young Asian [ed. Muslim] women are more than three times the national average and about 12 women every year die as a result of so-called “honour killings”.

Source: Times Online (English)

A short analysis

This comes from Rudi:

The question is asked why Israel hadn't managed yet to eliminate the rocket bases of the Hizballah when they have so many technical means and even satellites.

The answer is obvious after the reaction of Kim Howell, UK Minister of State Middle East and Jan Egeland of the UN, which was shown on CNN, but not on "the politically correct" European televisions, naturally: The Hizballah had hidden their rocket launchers in apartment buildings. Israel cannot bomb everything and must first know for sure from where those rockets were fired.

Currently Hizballah always fire their rockets quickly and it is hard to trace their origin. They certainly do this from civilian targets and after launching, the "curtains" are quickly drawn shut again.

If this were to happen from isolated military bases, then they would be very quickly located and bombed.

When looking at the damage that had been done in some places to "civilian targets", it's a mystery to me why there are "only" 300 "civilian casualties", although every death is one too many. The only explanation is that there were NO civilian targets.

It is therefore certain that our press is again keeping silent about what is really going on, for the simple reason that they want to be good dhimmis for when Eurabia would be the reality here.

And indeed, when was the last time cities and towns were "bombed without discrimmination" and the civilian death count was so low?

Just for comparison:

In the Battle of Mogadishu, fought during two days by US marines and UN forces and intending to capture leaders of Aidid's militia:

Casualties on the Somali side were heavy, with estimates on fatalities from 500 to over 2000 people. The Somali casualties were a mixture of militiamen and local civilians, who were used as human shields.

Often estimated around 1,000 killed, with a few thousand more wounded or missing and presumed dead. There are numerous accounts of local hospitals and clinics completely overwhelmed and flooded with wounded and dead for weeks after the battle had ended. Due to the Islamic Law of burying bodies before sundown and the almost complete lack of any official tally or records, the numbers will almost certainly remain unknown.

Denmark: what is 'morally wrong'

Supporting a terrorist leader, holding signs with explicit pictures of injured kids and bringing kids to such protest, all in the middle of Denmark's capital city - no problem.

Interviewing a refugee kid on TV - morally wrong and traumatizing.

It was a mistake to run a news story featuring a crying boy who had just returned from the conflict in Lebanon, said the head of TV2, Per Mikael Jensen on Monday.

'It was a feature that crossed the lines of what we should show. I could imagine a situation where we interview a 10-year old boy about what he had experienced in a war situation, but not under these circumstances where the boy clearly had problems managing the situation,' Jensen told daily newspaper Urban.

The feature, which aired on TV2's evening news on 17 July, showed a 10-year old boy talking about what he experienced in Lebanon with tears streaming down his cheeks.

Nybroe had defended the decision to air the piece after criticism from the National Board of Health's director Jens Kristian Gøtrik. Gøtrik said the exposure could lead to a more intense trauma reaction to the events that could have long lasting psychological consequences.

Jensen did acknowledge that the news programme had not done anything wrong as they had received parental consent, but said airing the piece was morally wrong. He said the station would avoid such reports in the future.

What am I missing here?

Wouldn't seeing pictures of bloodied kids be a bit more traumatizing?

The pictures shown on Muslim sites and waved about in Muslim protests are very explicit. Pictures of body parts, of dead or injured kids with missing limbs. All brought to me courtesy of the Muslim "anti-violence" sites and the Muslim "anti-violence" protests.

What is more traumatizing?

Source: Jyllands-Posten (English), Pics from Polemiken (Danish)

Belgium: Support for asylum seeker protests in schools

This seems to me a very cynical use of the school system. The organizers of these protests are not starting them now, when school is closed, but waiting for September, when the schools will open up for students. But they're not protesting against the kids who will have to suddenly share a school with entire families. They're protesting against the gov't.

The Catholic education system will accept school sit-in protests from September by illegal immigrants demanding residency in Belgium, but the public school system is fiercely opposed to the actions.

The director of the Catholic school system, Mieke Van Hecke, is prepared to fully support schools that opt to give asylum to illegal immigrants.

The decision comes after a primary school in Eeklo (near Brugge) started giving shelter to a family of rejected asylum seekers from Yemen and Azerbaijan.

Van Hecke has backed the initiative, newspaper 'De Standaard' reported on Monday.

"Actually, it is not the first time that a school has launched an action to gain a residence permit for a family of which the children are at school and are well integrated," she said.

"It shows that there is broad social support for a humane asylum policy." Van Hecke will not encourage other schools to carry out a similar campaign, stressing that every school must make a decision itself. [Ed. I did not find this last sentence in the original article. Instead the article says that Van Hecke "will applaud" any school that opens its doors to asylum seeker protests.]

But the chief of the public school system, Urbain Lavigne, is opposed to schools granting asylum to illegal immigrants.

Public schools are part of the nation's official education system, which is part of the government. School sit-in protests would then be a protest against the same government.

Lavigne also said there is more to the issue, however, stressing that it is not the role of schools to give shelter to refugees or to bring government procedures into doubt.

The organisation that supports protesting refugees, UDEP, is currently contacting school boards and parents committees to ask whether they will provide asylum from the start of the new school year in September.

Illegal immigrants are already staging sit-in protests and hunger strikes at various churches across the country, but the government has rejected calls for a general amnesty granting them residency.

According to a reader poll in De Standaard, 85% voted against schools accepting asylum seeker protests.

UDEP, the organization that supports illegal immigrants is now very busy meeting with school management and PTAs in order to start an illegal immigrant protest in September. This will come as follow up to the church protest, which have slowly died down in most cities.

Patrick Dewael, Minister of the interior is asking for respect for just approved asylum law.

Source: Expatica (English), De Standaard 1, 2, 3 (Dutch).

Denmark: Muslim cemetery desecrated

There is a bit of a difference between swastikas and driving through what must look like an empty field. Is there no fence around it?

I do not understand why any vandalism is preventing a cemetery from opening. Intolerant and racist people will always be around, and all you can do is your best to prevent harm. After all, the Muslim community isn't saying they won't build community centers or schools until there won't be vandalism, and rightly so.

An uncertain future looms for a Muslim cemetery which has been dogged by vandalism The first Muslim cemetery in Denmark has already been struck by several incidents of vandalism - before it has even been opened.

The cemetery plot in Brøndby, southwest of Copenhagen, has had swastikas painted on it. Similar vandalism has also taken place at the Islamic religious community centre in Copenhagen.

The planned cemetery has already had its first test grave dug and the Islamic Burial Foundation is searching for a gardener to care for the property.

'This is a very, very bad start,' said Kasem Ahmad, chairman of the foundation, to daily newspaper Politiken. 'I am losing faith that this project will ever be realised.'

Ahmed said a car has also been seen on several occasions driving recklessly across the field and that rumours have been circulating that it is being used to race on.

The vandalism has cast an uncertain future over the cemetery, according to Ahmet Deniz, deputy chairman of the foundation. He said the cemetery would not be put into use until the foundation could be certain that the vandalism would be stopped.

'It must be very intolerant people who can't accommodate anyone other than themselves. They aren't thinking about the fact that they are ruining their own land and the opportunity to live in a country with different types of people,' said Deniz.

The Islamic Burial Foundation has only contacted the police on one occasion. Members of the foundation are now trying to find the funds to hire a security crew to monitor the location.
Bertel Haarder, minister of Ecclesiastical Affairs approved the request to establish the cemetery in April 2006.

Source: Jyllands-Posten (English)

True Friends

It is very strange that our government has decided to back the Lebanese in this conflict, when only a couple of months ago, the Lebanese wanted nothing more than to see us burn in hell. That was in fact the case during the height of the “cartoon crisis” earlier this year. Peace loving Lebanese citizens, 15 000 to be exact, took part in a mass demonstration that resulted in the torching and pillaging of the Danish embassy in Beirut. The Norwegian embassy in Damascus suffered the same fate. Norwegian citizens who were unfortunate enough to be visiting the area at that time, were urged by the Norwegian government to stay indoor and keep a very low profile. God knows what could have happened to them if the mob had gotten hold of them. The word lynching comes to mind. Demonstrations also took place in Norway, and “peace loving” Lebanese citizens, who’ve been given all the opportunities that this country has to offer, took part in these demonstrations against the infidel Norwegians.

A great post on Norwegian News.

Sweden: fight the honor culture

This was originally part of the post below, but I think it deserves its own posting.

A leading Swedish Liberal has called for all schoolgirls to undergo a gynecological check to see whether they have been circumcised. Nyamko Sabuni has also demanded a ban on headscarves for Muslim girls under 15 and for an end to state support for religious schools, as part of a program to tackle what she calls an honour culture.

Sabuni, a member of parliament and a board member of the Liberal Party, quoted a study from Stockholm University which claims that 100,000 girls and young women live under so-called 'honour oppression' in Sweden.

Writing in Expressen, Sabuni said that all public funding should be withdrawn from religious schools, as they could not guarantee to respect children's right to equality.

Introducing compulsory gynaelogical checks would reveal when girls have been subjected to circumcision, or genital mutilation. Such checks should be part of the medical checks given to all Swedish schoolchildren during high school, Sabuni argues.

"Such examinations not only function as checks, but also give an opportunity to discuss sexuality, women's private parts and typical female diseases," she writes.

On the question of headscarves, Sabuni says that they should not be allowed until girls are at least 15.

"The Prophet himself is supposed to have said that girls should first hide themselves when they start puberty. Today girls are already wearing headscarves in nursery school."

"We need to tear down the foundations that honour culture lies on in Sweden," writes Sabuni. She wants to introduce the term 'honour-related violence' into Sweden's penal code, make it possible to launch prosecutions for female circumcision even many years after the crime was committed, and to forbid doctors from providing 'virginity certificates'.

Other proposals put forward by Sabuni include criminalizing child marriage and forced marriage, and imposing limits on dowries."

The government's 'investment' of 180 million kronor to strengthen efforts to combat honour-related violence is not having the desired effect," Sabuni writes.

"Local municipalities that were expected to initiate projects and match central government's investments have shown no great interest," she adds.

Source: The Local (English)

Immigrant news from Sweden

A roundup of news from Sweden.

Swedish government foots evacuees' bills

The Swedish government on Friday said it was putting up another 50 million kronor to cover all return costs for those who decided to leave Lebanon this week. The government has now promised a total of 107 million kronor of taxpayers’ money for the evacuation.

Some 5,000 Swedish citizens have left Lebanon and many remain.

Usually, those who are evacuated are responsible for paying for their own costs, with the Foreign Ministry’s costs regarded as more of a loan.“But in this situation an exception is being made due to the scope of the evacuation,” Jan Janonius, Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Visa extensions for Lebanese visiting Sweden

Lebanese nationals who are currently visiting Sweden will be allowed to extend their visas after they expire, the Swedish Migration Board said on Thursday, citing the conflict in Lebanon.The visas would be extended for a maximum of three months, the board said, noting that the extensions would not be automatic and Lebanese citizens would have to apply at Migration Board offices.

The offer was also valid for permanent residents of Lebanon, even if they are not Lebanese citizens, it added.

And on the topic of asylum..

Asylum seekers in Kiruna suicide threat

A couple from Turkey seeking asylum in Sweden threatened to set themselves on fire in the Board of Migration's offices in Kiruna on Monday.After hours of negotiations the pair eventually left the building at around 10pm.

"It was completely undramatic. They came out calmly and have now been taken to a doctor," said Kiruna police spokesman Lage Wuotilainen.The couple were said to be in their thirties. Their two children, a boy and a girl, were released just before 6pm after drawn-out negotiations with officers.

(why is Sweden giving Asylum to Turks?)

Riot after Stockholm Israel protest

Some 2,000 people demonstrated in central Stockholm on Saturday against Israel's offensive in Lebanon, with two people arrested after clashes with police, police said.

The demonstration began calmly in the early afternoon at the Kungsträdgården park, with protestors waving Lebanese flags and carrying signs reading "Israel out of Lebanon".

The demonstrators then marched to the Israeli embassy, chanting slogans. After the demonstration was formally concluded, several hundred protestors clashed with police, throwing stones and objects at police officers. (what percent of the demonstrators would that be?)

"Two people have been arrested," a Stockholm police duty officer told AFP.

Liberals condemn demo swastika

Palestinian groups demonstrating in Malmö on Saturday against the war in Lebanon carried placards displaying swastikas. Now politicians in the city are calling for official funding of the Malmö Palestinian Association to be frozen.

"I think that we should talk to the Palestinian Association's leadership about the values of their members, before they get more subsidies," Liberal Party councillor Iva Parizkova Ryggeståhl said to Sydsvenskan.

One placard at the demonstration compared the swastika to the star of David.

A spokesman for the Palestinian Association of Malmö dismissed Ryggeståhl's criticisms when called by The Local.

He denied that his organization was responsible for the swastikas, adding that the Palestinian Association had not organized the demonstration. But he also dismissed the Liberal Party's attacks on the use of swastikas in the march.

"They believe in freedom of speech when it comes to the Muhammad cartoons, but not in this case. Why not?"

Bomb threat against Malmö synagogue

A bomb threat written on paper was taped to a synagogue on Betaniaplan in Malmö on Thursday evening.“We consider this very serious,” said a source in the Jewish group, according to Svenska Dagbladet.

“This is the second time in a week that we have received a threat of this caliber, compared with more traditional threats

The note is being analyzed by police.

Security at the synagogue was bumped up last week, but with the latest threat, additional measures will be taken. The source at the synagogue would not comment on what steps would be taken.

Police are discussing increased protection for the church.

"This is the second threat in two weeks and we think this has a direct connection with the ongoing crisis in Lebanon and Israel,” said Göran Billberg, spokesman with Malmö police, according to Sydsvenskan.

[How many Lebanese Hizballah members in Sweden had been threatened?]

Centre politician quits after immigrant comments

A Centre Party politician has stepped down after saying that immigrants accused of crimes should get a “kick in the butt” and leave the country.

Ingemar Pettersson, who was standing in September’s local election in Landskrona, is bowing out even before voting takes place because of an unpublished article in a local newspaper.

Pettersson talked about energy policy, immigration, and crime. He is reported to have said foreign citizens who commit crimes should be deported before trial.

“It’s just a kick in the butt and out with them,” he said in the interview, according to Svenska Dagbladet.


Summer's here, and with it a general lack of news.

Of course, there's the Israeli war against Hizballah in Lebanon, which is getting lots of media attention. I have brought several reports on anti-Israel protests (it's hard to call them 'pro-peace' when people carry signs calling for the annihilation of the Jewish state). There are, of course, pro-Israel protests, like tonight's protest in London, which brought in 7000 protestors, but they do not say much for the Muslim community in Europe.

I will be using the next few weeks to go over my blog and try to start categorizing various articles, as well as write up various general articles that I'd been planning on doing.

I'd be glad to get any suggestions or comments.

Copenhagen: Hizb ut-Tahrir protest

Hizb Ut-Tahrir (Party of Liberation) organized a demonstration in Denmark. More pictures can be seen at the polemiken blog (Hat tip, Infidel Blogger's Alliance)

Copenhagen had been the lighting rod of Muslim protests barely a year ago, but now these protests are not directed at the West. Or are they?

Here are a few select quote from the Hizb ut-Tahrir book "Dangerous Concepts to attack Islam and consolidate the Western Culture", which can be freely downloaded from the party site. The booklet was put out in the UK.

It is incumbent on Muslims to be clear that the task of the Islamic State after its establishment is restricted to Shar'a. Whether it is internal such as looking after the affairs of the people and implementing theHudood (penal code), or external such as conveying Islam though Jihad to the all mankind and destroying the material obstacles that are a barrier to the implementation of Islam.

This mercy [ed. The Koran] is clearly shown by the implementation of the rules of Islam. There is no difference between prayer (Salah) and Jihad, between Du'a and frightening the enemy. There is no difference between Zakah and cutting the hand of the thief, nor is there a difference between helping the grieved and killing those who commit aggression against the sanctities of the Muslims. All of them are Shara’i rules which the Muslims or the State will implement in practice and when its time comes.

They [ed. the Kufar] began adopting certain thoughts and promoting concepts, such as nationalism, socialism, democracy, pluralism, human rights,freedom and free-market policies, whose fallacy and danger have already been explained. (See book ‘The American Campaign to Destroy Islam’)

They painted certain capitalist thoughts in glowing tones to the Muslims and promoted them by claiming that they do not contradict Islam to such an extent that some Muslims considered them as part of Islam, such as democracy, freedom, pluralism, socialism and others. On the other hand, they denounced certain Islamic thoughts and described them as uncivilised and out of date, such as Jihad, the Hudood, polygyny and other Shara’i rules.

Therefore the Muslims must adopt and perfect the necessary tools of struggle, which are manifested in the re-establishment of the Khilafah State that will embark on an intellectual and material struggle to spread the sublime Islamic Hadharah [ed. civilization] and remove the false and corrupt Hadharahs.

This viewpoint [ed. supporting interfaith dialogue] supports the so-called peace process in the Middle East and the normalisation of relations with the Jews. This is to accept one part of the Jewish and Western conspiracy against Islam and the Muslims by usurping Palestine and al-Masjid al-Aqsa; and by implanting a poisoned dagger in the heart of the Islamic Ummah. This also justifies the participation of the Jews, Christians and Muslims in their guardianship over Jerusalem (Al-Quds), which contains the holy sites, in their capacity as Muslims who all belong to one religion - the religion of Abraham (peace be upon him), the fatherof the Prophets.

This term [ed. compromise] did not appear amongst the Muslims until the modern age. It is a foreign term whose source is the West and the Capitalist ideology, that ideology whose creed is based on the compromise solution.

Last time Muslims came out marching it was against those who insulted Islam. Now it's to protest the Israeli attacks in Lebanon. Is there a difference between the two?

Syria: Dutch kids ask Queen for help

Sara and Ammar Hafez have been sitting in the Dutch Embassy in Damascus for four weeks. The two kids, who had been abducted by their Syrian father two years ago and have fled to the Embassy, are now waiting for the diplomats to settle things between their father and the Syrian gov't in order to enable them to go back home to their mother in the Netherlands.

Now Sara has written a letter to Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Balkenende, asking for help.

In her letter Sara asks for help in getting back to her mother in the Netherlands, and adds that her grandfather is sick and she would like to see him. She says that she had tried to stab herself with a knife. According to their mother, she has been on medicine since. Their mother says this letter is a cry for help and that the children worry that due to the situation in Lebanon they will be forgotten in the embassy for months or years to come.

Source: De Telegraaf (Dutch)

See also: Syria: Abducted Dutch kids flee to embassy, Syria: Update on Dutch kids

Rotterdam: extra security for carnival

More security is requested at the Antillianse Summer Carnival to take place next week after the carnival queen, a Moroccan, and her sponsors received threats. The reason being the the carnival queen will be scantily dressed and according to the threats will ridicule the Islamic belief.

Source: Parlementaire Nieuwsbrief (Dutch)

Denmark: Crisis counseling for Lebanon refugees

Accordining to Jyllands Posten this is the largest evacuation program since World War II.

Thousands of Danish citizens evacuated from Lebanon need crisis counselling after returning from war-like conditions. Children evacuated from open war in Lebanon will need major crisis counselling upon return to Denmark, posing a challenge to the health care system.

'It will be a new challenge for our health care system and a task that requires comprehensive professional competence,' said Henrik Nielsen, medical coordinator with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 'We have to anticipate that the task will be difficult because we have never had to evacuate so many children at once.'

Nielsen estimated that 40 percent of the 5000 Danes brought home from Lebanon are children.

The State Hospital in Copenhagen has already begun working on a crisis strategy to treat the children who will have scarred souls from seeing the violence break out in conflict between Israeli military forces and Hezbollah militants, reported daily newspaper Urban.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an emotional reaction to deeply shocking or disturbing events. Outbursts of anger and anxiety, even in everyday situation, are common symptoms of the disorder. Children can become intensely frightened by someone speaking loudly, for example.

Thousands of foreign citizens have been evacuated from Lebanon since fighting broke out last week. Some 57,000 foreign residents in the country have been evacuated by planes, busses, and ships.

Source: Jyllands Posten 1, 2 (English)

Amsterdam: Another anti-Israel protest

Several thousand people took part in a demonstration against Israel, this time in Amsterdam.

The demonstration came under the title "Stop the War" and was directed at Israeli and US policy. With slogans being shouted such as "George Bush terrorist" and "Intifada-Lebanon-Palestine Free" (anti war, did we say?)

More pictures can be seen on the Wij Blijven Hier site (scroll down a bit).

Source: AD.nl (video of the march/protest can be seen on the site).

Denmark: Demand to check refugees

The Danish People's Party calls for a check of evacuees' employment status upon their return from Lebanon. Opposition parties call the proposal 'cold-hearted' A call to check the employment status of evacuees returning from Lebanon has been met with scepticism and criticism from labour market officials.

Søren Espersen, the foreign affairs spokesperson for the government's support party, the Danish People's Party, suggested that unemployment agencies investigate whether the approximately 5000 people evacuated from southern Lebanon this past week have collected unemployment benefits.

Labour regulations require people receiving unemployment benefits to remain in Denmark and to be available for work with one day's notice.

Espersen considered the evacuation 'a unique chance' to confirm or challenge the myth that foreigners with a Middle Eastern background take advantage of the social welfare system in Denmark.

All of the evacuees were registered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs upon arrival. Checking those lists with unemployment registries would be a simple affair, said Espersen.
'Without carrying out an additional investigation, we have the chance to confirm this once and for all.'

The proposal has not received support from the minister of employment, Claus Hjort Frederiksen, however. He remains hesitant to put an investigation into motion.

'I expect that unemployment agencies and municipalities know whether unemployed people travel abroad for longer periods of time,' he told national public broadcaster DR.

The proposal cannot expect the support of social workers either, Bettina Post, the vice president of the Danish Association of Social Workers, told daily newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

'It says a great deal about Søren Espersen that when he sees people being evacuated, he sees potential cheaters.'

The opposition also criticised the proposal. Looking into people's employment status as they return from a war zone seemed 'callous', according to Per Clausen of the opposition's Red-Green Alliance. 'It seems so incomprehensible that you would think the man was misquoted,' said Clausen. 'Just when you think the Danish People's Party cannot become any more unpleasant, they go a little farther.'

Source: Jyllands Posten (English)

Samir Azzouz accused of recruiting for Jihad

Samir Azzouz continues to make headlines in the Netherlands. Last week he was transferred from one prison to another because of complaints that the guards were harassing him. The 19 year old Moroccan-Dutch terrorist also celebrated the birth of his 2nd daughter.

This week, he's being accused of recruiting at least three people for the global islamic war, a punishable offence from August 2004. He's also accused of attacking a reporter after he was freed from prison in April 2005.

Sources: AD.nl (Dutch), Telegraaf (Dutch)

Previous posts on Samir Azzouz (partial list):
Plot in Holland - Shoot Down El-Al Plane
Samir Azzouz planned more attacks
Samir Azzouz acquitted
Samir Azzouz asked Belgian to commit suicide attack

Antwerp: trying to shut down "belgium route" site

If you can't fight the phenomenon, then how about trying to shut down the people who are promoting it? The "Belgium route" is not illegal. It is a very valid way of using Belgian laws to bypass Dutch laws. Trying to close down a web site just because you don't agree with it, when it is not doing anything illegal, is absurd.

The Antwerp City Council is investigating whether it can take legal action against the website buitenlandsepartner.nl, which advises Dutch residents to bring their foreign partners into the Netherlands via Belgium.

Visitors to the site can find a handbook advising people who wish to bring foreign family members to the Netherlands to take up (temporary) residence in Belgium first. That way, they can sail around the Netherlands' tight immigration laws.

A short stay in Belgium, for example Antwerp, means the less strict Belgian laws regulating residency permits for a partner from Morocco or Turkey, for example, are applied.

The 'Handbook for the Belgium route' gives a detailed overview of Belgian laws and regulations regarding registration, marriage, family unification migration and social security. It also gives practical tips.

"In Belgium, you don't need to satisfy an absurd income demand for family unification or undergo chaotic integration," the website says.

Antwerp Population Alderman Erwin Pairon said the website — which is administered by the group Stichting Buitenlandse Partner — is "riff-raff" material, Dutch and Belgian media reported on Tuesday.

He said the number of Dutch nationals registering as residents in Antwerp in recent years has increased markedly, blaming the 'Belgium route' as one of the prime reasons.

In January, Dutch Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk and Belgian Interior Minister Patrick Dewael had reached an agreement aimed at closing the loophole in regulations.

Source: Expatica (English)

See more on the Belgium route here:
Belgian family reunification immigration sharply rising, Belgian suffering from Dutch "family reunification" tourism, Belgium and Holland band against abuse of immigration rules, The Belgian Route

Netherlands: Anti Israel demonstration

Pictures from an anti-Israel protest which took place in The Hague in front of the Israeli Embassy. The pictures are from the Dutch language Wij Blijven Hier blog (we're staying here).

The demonstation, which looked rather small, called for Palestinian Freedom, though I'm not sure where.. Lebanon is not a Palestinian state, yet. Gaza is free, and as a free "non-country of their own choice" they have been busy bombarding Israel.

I'll translate the first comment on this posting:

Where were these people when Lebanon was occupied by Syria?
Where were these people when Lebanese were abducted by Syria?
Where were these when Hizballah would not put down their weapons?
Where were these when Hizballah threatened a civil war if the Lebanese gov't would disarm them?
Where were these when Syria, Iran and Hizballa thwarted every possible democratizing?

Correct, nowhere!!

And now my second homeland is onder fire, because of the fact that Hizballa wackos pick up their own weapons and impose their will on 85% of the Lebenese people that do not want Hizballah. No, these demonstrators would better not demonstrate for Lebanon. Let them demonstrate for Hizballah, but not for Lebanon. Too hypocritical..

And the answer to this comment is very simple. They do not seem to be demonstrating for Lebanon at all. Besides a couple of Lebanese flags here and they, they are not there to cry out for Lebanon. It is obvious where their loyalties lie. It is not the Lebanese whom they really care about.

Norway: Krekar not to be deported

Krekar, a threat to national Norwegian security, is not being deported because he might face the death penalty in Iraq.

A few questions that come to mind:

Does this mean that Norway won't deport a serial killer who might face the death penalty back home? How far should a country take this "asylum" policy?

Didn't Krekar show that he was in no danger when he himself traveled back to Iraq? And how did he get back into Norway?

See my article: The case for asylum seekers

Norwegian authorities have begun forcibly deporting around 400 refugees from northern Iraq whose applications for asylum were rejected. Mullah Krekar, however, continues to remain in Norway until Iraq guarantees he won't be executed upon return.

Krekar, who came to Norway as a refugee in the early 1990s but repeatedly violated the terms of his asylum, faces deportation after a lengthy court process. The Norwegian government has ordered him sent out of the country, after determining that the former guerrilla leader in northern Iraq represents a threat to national security.

The Norwegian authorities, however, won't deport any persons who face a death penalty in their homeland. The authorities also want guarantees that Krekar will be treated in accordance with the European convention on human rights.

Negotiations between Norway and Iraq are being handled through the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, but a spokesman told newspaper Aftenposten on Wednesday that there's nothing new regarding Krekar's deportation.

Krekar, the former head of guerrilla group Ansar al-Islam in Iraq, has claimed all along that his life is in danger back in Iraq, even though he traveled back and forth several times on his own before the Norwegians charged him with asylum violations.

Around 400 other Iraqis who have lost their bid for asylum in Norway now face forced deportation. Three Iraqis were sent back to Erbil in northern Iraq last week, reported Aftenposten.. A few others have returned voluntarily.

The cases of another few hundred Iraqi Kurds are expected to be decided this fall, after they were granted residence permission for a year last autumn by the former leadership of Norway's immigration agency UDI. Among them was Krekar's mother-in-law.

The residence permission was granted in defiance of government directives, and led to a political controversy that resulted in a major shake-up at UDI and reprimands of UDI officials.

Source: Aftenposten (English)

Berlin: Muslim anti-Israel protest

Thousands of people rallied at Berlin's historic Brandenburg Gate to condemn Israel's ongoing brutal military onslaught of innocent civilians in Lebanon and Gaza.

Chanting 'Death to Zionists', 'Zionists Are Fascists' and 'Allah o Akbar', protestors -- among them Iranians, Arabs, Turks and Germans -- carried banners which read 'Stop Israel', 'Support for Resistance Against Zionist Regime', 'Freedom for Palestine', 'Stop Israeli Terror Against Civilian Population' and 'Stop the War in Lebanon'.

The protestors urged Germans not to remain silent in the wake of Israeli military crimes against the civilian population in Lebanon and Gaza.

Dozens of police were deployed near the rallying site.

Meanwhile an unnamed organizer of the rally said, "With this first step we want to condemn Israel's military actions against the people of Palestine and Lebanon." He added a communique will be submitted to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, calling on him to do everything possible to halt Israel's military attacks in Lebanon and Gaza.

There are also plans for a demonstration on Saturday, the organizer said.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency (English)

Update July 17th, 2006:

More than 1,000 Lebanese and Palestinians staged an anti-Israeli protest at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate on Monday, police said.

A Reuters witness said demonstrators were chanting "death to Israel" and "death to Zionists", while some carried placards bearing the image of Hizbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Source: Reuters (English)

Our homeland is calling

With these words Dyab Abou Jahjah, Lebanese refugee in Belgium and self proclaimed saviour of Europe's Muslims, declared this past Thursday that he was going to Lebanon to fight for the Hizb-allah forces.

Which makes one wonder, why did he ask for refugee status to begin with, if the minute Hizb-allah strongholds are being bombed he returns to fight.

This might be the last text I will write before going home on a trip that might be my last, I want to thank all the comrades who shared the struggle with me here for equal rights and for justice, as these are the same values we struggle for everywhere. I would like to tell them that you can not postpone the moment of truth for ever; one moment in which one makes a stand in the face of oppression is more precious than a life time of triviality.

What is this homeland he is talking about? I originally assumed he meant Lebanon - his country of origin. However, looking at the map provided with the article, it is easy to see that he means much more than that. His homeland includes all of Israel, but doesn't include such Muslim countries as Iran or Turkey. That is, it includes only countries under Arab (not Muslim) control, even those where Arabs are minority. Israel, it seems, is a temporary issue.

Our enemy in this fight is also one and the same, the colonialist Zionists are the spiritual children of the Racists in Europe and both are the products of capitalism and its global system of exploitation and slavery.

When oppression rises above the sun to cover it, and injustice defies the wind and the Wicked and the Evil feast on the Flesh of innocent men, women and children. From within the darkness and the orgy of blood, a sword will shine, and the brave will murmur: “What a beautiful day to die” .

When Muslims would care about the daily injustices in their own countries, when they would care more about their own country then about a terrorist group who couldn't care less about the citizens it uses as shields, when there will be a middle class in Arab countries and not the amazing disparity that exists today between rich and poor, when Arab countries put more effort into educating their citizens and bringing up the average lifespan to a normal level instead of putting their money into weapons, when Arabs will be able to talk about peace and not about the glory of death - only then will the clouds of oppression disappear and the sun will be able to shine again.

But this will have to wait, as those who claim to fight for the Muslims of Europe are obviously busy elsewhere.

Source: AEL Website (English), thank to Rudi for pointing this out to me.

Britain: "honor" killing sentence of 20 years

A man in London has been sentenced to 20 years in jail for the brutal "honor killing" of his sister in April 2005.

Azhar Nazir, 30, and the sibling's 17-year old cousin, Imran Mohammed, attacked 25-year old Samaira Nazir in the family's Southall home, stabbing her 18 times, This Is London reported.

The family became outraged at the young woman after she rejected arranged marriage plans in favor of an Afghan man who was reportedly not from a wealthy family. When she asked permission to marry, the brother apparently felt the need to honor the family by murdering her. [Esther: he 'apparently' felt the need to restore the family honor, not honor the family]

The teenage cousin was told he would spend 10 years in jail for his participation in the crime.
The victim's 61-year-old father was also arrested in the murder, but he reportedly fled to Pakistan after being released on bail.

From Wikipedia:

In England and Wales, a life sentence is a prison term of indeterminate length. Formerly, the Home Secretary reserved the right to set the "tariff", or minimum length of term, for prisoners sentenced to life imprisonment, but since the Criminal Justice Act 2003 only a judge may set the tariff. The Act specifies three broad categories of murder with three "starting point" sentences. A "Whole Life Tariff" (known in the US as "life without parole") exists for multiple murders which involve sexual abuse of children or terrorism, as well as any murderer who had come out of prison and killed again. If such a sentence is handed down, then a prisoner is unlikely ever to be released from prison. A starting point of 30 years exists for people convicted of single murders involving sexual or sadistic conduct, killing using a firearm, during the course of a robbery or the killing of a Police Officer. For other murders the minimum starting point is a life sentence with a minimum of 15 years.

Samira Nazir was held down by her father, brother and cousin, who then tied a scarf around her neck and stabbed her three times. All this, with her mother and her two little nieces, who were 2 and 4 years old at the time, watching.

On its face, this is a strong statement by the UK courts against so called "honor" murders. These murders, which bring shame on the whole of society. And yet - I believe that in this case, the courts could have done much more.

It is up to the courts in the UK to decide whether they're coming down on "honor" murders. Whether these murders constitute abuse of children (a minor child was involved in the murder and two very young children were forced to watch). Though handing down a long sentence for the murderer - the minor was given a reduced sentence due to his age, the mother who was there during the murder was freed and the brother was given only a minor punishment compared to what he could have received according to UK law.

Source: Political Gateway (English)

See also: Britain: Verdict in honor killing case - includes more background info on the story.

Amsterdam: Youth arrested for assaulting doctors

Almost a month ago several doctors were assaulted by a group of drunken kids, when they stopped to help them out.

Police arrested 10 youth this week on suspicion of participating in the attack.

Source: AT5 Nieuws Amsterdam (Dutch).

See here for a video of police presence at the pool.

See also: Amsterdam: doctors assaulted

Trouble in Maassluis

About 40-50 elementary school kids of Moroccan origin misbehaved during an outdoor playing day in May in Maassluis. The kids started pestering the volunteers and were told to behave themselves.

Ria Derwort, president of neighborhood committee De Flat called it a real revolt. “Our volunteers were then called names ‘cancer whore’, ‘cancer Jew’ and “dirty Christian dog”. That ticked off some of our older volunteers. Stuff was thrown and about 40 to 50 Moroccan kids of 8 to 12 years old cursed at us and we were pelted with stones.”

“I continue to dedicate myself to all residents of the neighborhood; I’m not going to bow my head before 4th and 5th generation Moroccans that have no respect for women.”

The same kids also misbehaved later in a soccer game organized by Moroccan volunteers. They had no control over the kids either, says Henry Heesbeen of De Flat, “It’s really a shame that they can’t revert back to the roots, to the parents”, he says over the fact that many Moroccan parents don’t feel responsible for what their kids do outside.

Koos Karssen, the mayor, had kept things under wrap for a month in order to try and deal with the problem on his own. When it came up in the council meeting he tried to hush up the unrest.
Karssen has spoken with schools and intends to speak with the imam and talk to both kids and parents. He also arranged talks between De Flat and Ummah Wahidah (One Nation). Ummah Wahida condemns the behavior of the kids but did not come out to say so publicly.

Nieuw Rechts (New Right), an extreme right wing party, responded by advertising gift coupans for a free one-way trip to Morocco.

This “playful action”, according to Michiel Smit president of Nieuw Rechts, was a reaction to the events of the day and to the mayor’s responses.

Smit: “It’s foolish that he wants to keep the dear peace. Like the Cohen method: drink tea and think that it will all turn out alright. While stone throwing is criminal behavior. We think that people that don’t adapt themselves should be sent back to Morocco.”

As a side note: Though Maassluis had a Jewish community 1700’s, mostly because it was one of the only regions where Jews could live, by WWII, there were only 8 Jews, none of which returned to the city after the war.

Source: AD.nl 1, 2 (Dutch), Wikipedia (Dutch)

Brussels: Teachers fired for wearing veil

Two Muslim teachers in Brussels have been fired for wearing a Muslim head covering.

According to Jacky Goris, the general manager of the school, the school had decided in April 2005 that teachers and students may not wear outstanding religious symbols. The two teachers began the school year in September 2005 by accepting that rule. But around the New Year’s they suddenly began to wear a notable veil, which is a violation of the contract.

He says that there was no problem with them wearing the veil during Islam class, just like priests do during religion classes, and that outside the class, they could wear a discrete shawl or cap.

He denies any racism, reminding that last year a teacher was fired for sending a racist email to students.

The Brussels Minister of Education , Guy Vanhengel, supports the rule that teachers may not wear outstanding religious symbols. The Flemish minister of Education, Frank Vandenbroucke, thinks that every school should decide for their own whether they allow wearing a veil.

The teachers have appealed the decision and a decision is expected by the end of the month.

Source: De Standaard (Dutch)

Antwerp: imam calls for blood donations

Nordin Taouil, imam in Antwerp, has called on the Muslim community to donate blood this Friday, saying that Flanders can make good use of Muslim blood.

He would like to see a Red Cross tent put down next to the mosque where Muslims can donate their blood. He says that many immigrants are ready to do so.

Taouil says that the Red Cross is not doing enough for the immigrant community in Flanders. The people would like to help - in Belgium there's a shortage of blood donors - but don't know where to turn to, due to language problems.

The Red Cross denies that it ignores the Muslim community and says it is in talks with their representatives, with the aim of recruiting not only blood donors, but also volunteers.

Source: De Stentor (Dutch)

Syria: Update on Dutch kids

Slightly more than two weeks ago, two Dutch kids - Sara, 11, and her lightly autistic brother, Ammar, 13 - fled to the Dutch embassy in Damascus. The kids, who have been abudcted by their Syrian father two years ago, want to go back to their mother in the Netherlands. Sara and Ammar ran away when they were visiting their grandparents, stopped a taxi and asked to be taken to the Dutch embassy.

As long as the kids stay in the embassy, or inside diplomatic cars, they are safe. However, once they step foot outside Dutch protection, even on their way to the plane, they can be returned to their father.

The Dutch have therefore been trying the diplomatic method. The Dutch ambassador has been trying to convince the Syrians that since the kids are Dutch and have been abducted from the Netherlands, by whose laws they should be under their mother's care, they should be returned. However, Syrian law says that the father should have custody, and the Syrians aren't signed on anything that obligates them to return abducted kids.

There is currently no solution in sight, and the Dutch embassy is preparing to have the two kids stay over for a long time.

In a similar case two Belgian-Iranian sisters, Yasmine and Sara Pourashemi, fled their father to the Belgian embassy in Iran. They stayed there for 154 days until finally they were allowed to return home.
Currently, the father demands to see a delegation from the Netherlands and continues to blame the embassy for kidnapping his kids.

Last year, a team from the TV show Vermist (Missing) tried making contact with the kids, and setting up a meeting with their mother. The father agreed, as long as the mother doesn't come. However, when the show team showed up, he called the police, saying they tried to abduct the kids with a gun. It turned into a diplomatic incident with the Dutch ambassador coming to apologize.

This is a link to a news video about the case. It is in Dutch, but even non-Dutch speakers might find it interesting, as the pictures speak for themselves.

It includes a short home video of Sara, begging to come home. She says that she doesn't like it in Syria and wants to go back to the Netherlands. That her father doesn't allow it and that he hits her whenever she asks about it.

Sources (in Dutch): Vermist (1, 2) , NOS

See also: Syria: Abducted Dutch kids flee to embassy

Sweden: Theme park forced to change uniform regulations

The largest theme park in Sweden changed its uniform regulations after a Muslim female worker who was banned from wearing the Hijab reported her managers to the discrimination ombudsman, SR International reported.

The Muslim worker was denied a summer job at the Liseberg amusement park in Gothenburg because she refused to take off her Islamic headscarf and long-armed top.

According to the local newspaper Göteborgs Posten, the woman has been given just two thousand dollars in compensation after reporting her bosses to the discrimination ombudsman, which ruled that she can wear a tailored-made Islamic dress in the theme park’s colors.

A recent survey by the National Integration Board showed that veiled Muslim women in Sweden aren’t only discriminated against but are also violently attacked.

Source: Garowe Online (English), Islam Online

France: First Muslim high school

The first French Muslim High School is seen as a big step, but this is what the Jewish community has been doing for many years. Since it is very hard to be religiously Jewish in French public schools, the Jewish community has opened up its own schools. This is also the reason why they have not been as affected by the hijab ban.

Btw, does France support homeschooling?

The first batch to graduate from France's sole Muslim secondary school has scored impressive final results, with hijab-clad students topping the chart.

"Success rate reached more than 75 percent, thank God," Ammar Al-Asfar, the principal of Ibn Rushd school, told IslamOnline.net on Sunday, July 8.

Of the 20 alumni, fifteen male and female students have succeeded, he said, adding that a majority of 12 hijab-donned students had scored excellent remarks.

The first batch of graduates tossed their graduation hats into the air on Friday, July 7.
In July of 2003, the French government approved the establishment of Ibn Rushd school in Lille, where Muslims make up 25 percent of the one million population.

Seventy students are enrolled in the school, which came as a source of relief for Muslim girls, who had to leave their state-run school because of their hijab.

Asfar said that the anti-hijab law cut both ways as it badly harmed French Muslims, but prompted them to establish their own schools like other minorities.

The controversial law forced many French Muslim girls to enroll in schools in neighboring European countries or at private schools at home.

Belgium, Switzerland, Turkey and Britain are among the countries that were sought by a growing number of hijab-clad students.

Others have opted for charge-free tutorials provided by French Muslims.

A number of private schools have also opened special sections for hijab-clad students shunned by state schools.

The second Muslim secondary school is expected to open next academic year in Lyon, central France.

Source: Islam Online (English)

Allochtonen Weblog Roundup

Allochtonen Weblog is a Dutch language blog that collects news about the immigrant community in the Netherlands. Here’s a few interesting stories they’ve had this week.

Judicial Assistance

New research shows that foreigners who are kept in custody often don’t get judicial assistance. The often don’t see a lawyer within 24 hours and lawyers sometimes fail to appear to court sessions.

Due to the results of the research, councils for judicial assistance will pose stricter demands from their lawyer members.

"Black" school getting blacker (and blacker)

For the first time in 10 years, the number of “black” school is going down – 536 such school this year compared to 580 in 2002. However, those schools are becoming “blacker”. The number of schools with 70% or more immigrant population has gone up from 322 to 337.

Black schools are schools with a student population of 50% or more immigrants.

In Amsterdam, for example, the number of ‘black’ schools has gone done from 119 to 104, but 75 of those are schools with 70+% immigrants.

In smaller and middle sized communities, the Christian schools promote segregation. The result is that usually only one or two schools in the area receive immigrant children, bringing up the percentages of immigrant populations in those schools to 90+%

Immigrants not finding internship spots

Immigrant education students cannot find a place to do their internship many times, causing them to drop out. 8% of students are immigrants, and of those 46% drop out within the first year (compared to 27% by ethnic Dutch). Barely 35% get a diploma within five years (compared to 57% by ethnic Dutch).

Parliament member Leerdam has been speaking with mayors, students and school boards in the four big cities about this problem. He says it’s hard to speak about racism or discrimination, though he’s sure the students feel that way.

Many schools who refuse to take on immigrant interns do so because of parental opposition to head covering, or because the Muslim interns do not “fit the atmosphere and culture” of the school.

France: A couple of weeks to turn out an extremist Muslim

According to Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, head of the French secret service, recruiters for fundamental Muslim groups can change young Muslims around within weeks – from youth who have little interest in belief to extremists.

A potential threat comes from volunteers who go to Iraq via Syria to take part in the rebellion and then come back to Europe to wage Jihad.

Nine French have been killed in the fight in Iraq, after joining the rebel forces, with about another 10 still fighting. Two others have been arrested.

There are 5 million Muslims in France (officially), with about 5000 supporters of radical Islam. 400 of these group are converts.

Documents on integration

Allochtonen Weblog has 2 documents in English concerning the integration of ethnic minorities in the Netherlands. Both articles are written by dr. Chan Choenni.

National government policy for ethnic minorities; the case of the Netherlands 1975‑2005

Facts and figures Integration ethnic minorities 2005 in the Netherlands

Italy: Citizenship within five years

Giuliano Amato, Italian Minister of the Interior, has announced that legal immigrants will be able to get citizenship after five years. This new policy, which is yet to be implemented, is supposed to affect about 3 million people.

The government has also announced earlier that there is a willingness to help the hundred thousands of illegals attain legal status. This policy diverts from the general European policy which attempts to stem immigration.

New Moroccan soccer teams in Amsterdam

Two Moroccan female soccer teams are supposed to start off in September, with about 30 applicants. An earlier attempt failed to attract applicants.

Denmark: Ties to US terror plot

An al-Qaeda loyalist accused of plotting to attack underground train tunnels in New York has been taken into custody by US officials

Assem Hammoud, a Lebanese man accused of masterminding a plot to destroy Hudson River train tunnels in New York, had been in contact with al-Qaeda recruiters in Denmark, according to US and Lebanese security sources.

A US intelligence official told the Los Angeles TimeS that authorities in the US, Lebanon, Denmark and other countries were trying to unravel threads of the alleged plot that could give them a clearer picture of the suspected terrorists' intentions.

An Islamic al-Qaeda recruiter in Denmark is said to have asked Hammoud to find apartments, money and weapons in the US, as well as to recruit people to commit the planned attack, writes the New York Daily News. No more information has been released concerning the recruiter.

Hammoud was arrested by Lebanese officials following his attempt to acquire visas to Pakistan and Canada, where he had previously been enrolled in university. Acting Lebanese Interior Minister Ahmed Fatfat said information found on the 31-year-old's personal computer contained "very important" information concerning the planned attack.

"It contained maps and bombing plans that were being prepared," Mr. Fatfat said in a local television interview.

Eight people are suspected of being involved in the plan to bomb the train tunnels. So far at least two people have been taken into custody, according to the FBI.

Source: Jyllands-Posten (English)

Bakri: Flag of Islam to fly from Big Ben

Islamic fundamentalist cleric Omar Bakri has warned that "the day will come that the flag of Islam will fly over the Big Ben and the British Parliament."

Bakri made the comments during an interview with the London-based Arabic-language daily al-Sharq al-Awsat.

The interview was published over the weekend when Britain marked a year since the terror attacks on the London Underground.

Bakri, who is originally Syrian, was the leader of al-Muhajiroun. He escaped London after the 7/7 attacks, and was banned from returning to Britain.

Bakri presented himself as a spokesman for the World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders, headed by Osama Bin Laden.

Bakri's organization supported Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the territories, and also held contacts with Hizbullah.

In a document released by the media analysis organization MEMRI, Bakri's ideology is presented, according to which believing Muslims living in Britain will turn the country into Islamastan.

Bakri elaborated that "what is called today Londonistan is actually Kufferstan, in other words the land of infidelity. I think that loyal Muslims in Britain will turn it on the day of days, with the help of Allah, into Islamastan, in other words into Dar al-Islam (Land of Islam), as the first Muslims did in Ethiopia and Indonesia. Then the big Islamic dream will be realized, and we will see the flag 'there's no god other than Allah' flying from the Big Ben and the British parliament, with the help of Allah."

'Don't assimilate into infidel society'

When asked what his advice was for Muslim youths in Britain and his students who life far away, he answered: "I advise Muslim youth in general, and to my beloved students especially, not to assimilate into the ignorant British society, but at the same time not to become distant from the people. They must work to make the hearts turn to Allah, to instruct on doing good and forbidding the evil, to obey Allah and to keep away from the infidels."

Asked whether he thought London was safe today, after the disappearance of most of the movement's fundamentalist sheikhs, Barki answered: "The finding of the wise of Islam and the advertisers of the Islamic movement is the valve of security of Britain and not the opposite, as the naive people think."

"Britain is not thought of as safe since it advertised the anti-terror laws in 2002. There's no doubt that the disappearance, arrest, or expulsion of most of the scholars of Islam and its advertisers will turn Britain into an unsafe country, in danger of attacks by those who think it must be fought, due to its participation alongside the Untied States in the war of the global crusaders against Islam and Muslims."

When asked whether he planned to return to Britain any time soon, Bakri answered: "I don't think of returning to Britain as long as it does not retract its terror laws, through which it is applying terror on peaceful Muslims in Britain, with the excuse of fighting terror. The return of people like myself is forbidden according to Islamic law, since it calms under the act of 'surrendering as a hostage.' Islam has forbidden Muslims from surrendering as a hostage… to the infidels."

Source: Ynet (English)

MSNBC: Islamic radicalization feared in Europe's jails

MSNBC has an interesting article about Muslims in European prisons. I bring here excerpts.

Milan, Italy - "In prison you only think about waking up, cleaning your cell, and praying," said a Moroccan inmate serving time in a prison on the outskirts of this city.

During a recent visit to the Bollate prison, 25-year-old Hakimi Abd Elfattah said he was a non-observant Muslim before being incarcerated, but "there's nothing to do in here, so I learn a little of the Quran."

Around 30 percent of Bollate's nearly 900 inmates are Muslim, and many of them pray together in various Arabic dialects and other languages four times a day in small, carpeted cells located on each floor and wing of the prison. They pray alone in their cells at night and gather together for large Friday afternoon services.
While religion can assist prisoners in bettering their lives, there is a growing fear that radical Islamists are using jails to find recruits, with some analysts saying that al-Qaida is specifically targeting inmates for indoctrination.

Alarmed by the possibility, the European Union has made the prevention of recruitment and radicalization in prisons a counter-terrorism priority for the first time.

For her part, Bollate prison director Lucia Castellano said she has never suspected any inmates of recruiting for or planning terrorist attacks in her prison. But, she acknowledged that with so many languages spoken within the prison's walls, it would be impossible for guards to know what was being discussed.

'Criminality and Islamism'

"The connection between criminality and Islamism is very tight in Europe," said Michael Radu, a terrorism analyst at the Foreign Policy Research Institute.

"Every (terrorist) attack has converts, and most of them have criminal records and were converted within prisons," he said, noting the cases of British "Shoe Bomber" Richard Reid and José Emilio Suárez Trashorras, the Spaniard who supplied the explosives used in the 2004 Madrid bombings — both of whom converted while incarcerated.

Like the young Moroccan held in the Bollate prison, analysts noted that the majority of Europe's prisoners were not actively engaged in any religion before being locked up, but their confinement often spurs a religious awakening or reawakening.

In Florence, Italy, an Arabic cultural mediator said that by introducing Islam into the lives of inmates held at Tuscany's Soliciano prison, he saw a huge change in their personalities.

None of the prisoners from Islamic countries prayed when he began visiting them several years ago, but now dozens pray together and those who were using drugs, starving or mutilating themselves have all stopped, according to Mourad Abderrezak.

Overrepresentation in jails

The United States has not been immune to Islamic radicalization in its jails, but the situation this side of the Atlantic is underscored by the overrepresentation of Muslims in prison.

Muslims account for an estimated 50 percent of France's prison population, with some jails on the outskirts of Paris hitting 80 percent, while Muslims only account for six to ten percent of the total population. (No concrete statistics exist because it is illegal to ask a person to declare their faith in France.)

"Muslims tend not to be in prison in the U.S. because they're middle class, educated, and don't have the pathologies of the European Muslims," terrorism analyst Radu said.

By contrast, Muslims in France often live in impoverished ghettos where criminal activity is common, and the country's terrorism-related arrests date to the early 1990's when members of Algeria's Islamic Salvation Front began arriving as a civil war took hold of the north African country.

In England and Wales, Muslims represent 8 percent of the inmate population, but they only account for 2 to 4 percent of the whole U.K. population (which includes Scotland and Northern Ireland).

Fourteen percent of Italy's prison population is Muslim, 98 percent of whom are foreign nationals, while Muslims only account for one percent of the total population.

In the cases of countries such as Italy and Spain, many Muslims are illegal economic migrants who arrive clandestinely with great hopes, but do not have the skills or legal right to work to support themselves. "The only avenue they can follow is crime; there's nothing they can do that's legal" said Castellano, the Italian prison director.

In England and Wales, "prison governors are aware of the risks of radicalization," the U.K. Home Office wrote in a prepared statement.

"There is no evidence that this is widespread although we suspect some prisoners have covertly attempted to radicalize prisoners, both during their prison sentence and after release," the statement said, noting that 23 full time imams, 12 part-time imams, and 120 sessional imams who visit once a week, and who have all had vigorous security checks, "are prohibited from preaching or facilitating extremist messages and activities."

The program keeps an eye out for possible extremist activity, but it also sparks "curiosity and to some degree pressure from fellow inmates to take part in chaplaincy activities," said sociology professor Beckford.

While generally viewed as positive measures, special provisions such as Islamic literature, prayer halls, halal food, evening Ramadan meals, and headscarves for women, can also entice Muslims to seek advantages and separate themselves from other inmates, forming a sort of clan mentality, according to Beckford.

However, in France, which does not recognize or regulate religious activity in prisons, provisions are only offered on an ad hoc basis, dependent on the personal preferences of prison directors and wardens. Qurans are available in some prisons, but incarcerated Muslim woman are often denied the right to wear headscarves and halal food is not offered."

"In the French case, fundamentalism can be more pronounced than in Britain because it is a way for many Muslims to draw a divide between them and a society which does not tolerate Muslim habits and customs through its "laïcité" system," Farhad Khosrokhavar, another co-author of "Muslims in Prison" wrote in an email interview.

Source: MSNBC (English)

Germany: headscarves ban overturned

A German state's ban on women teachers wearing Islamic headscarves was ruled void by a court Friday.

The Baden-Wuerttemberg administrative tribunal ruled that the state had no right to order a 55-year-old German woman who has been Muslim since 1984 to teach bareheaded.

Judges said this was discriminatory, because Baden-Wuerttemberg did not require Catholic nuns to teach in public schools without veils.

The state had argued that teachers in public schools had to demonstrate political and religious neutrality.
The plaintiff has taught since 1973 in a combined primary and secondary school where 60 per cent of the pupils are non-German.

She told judges she always wore a scarf tied around her head like a hat, with her throat visible. In this form it was not an overtly religious symbol at the school in the industrial city of Stuttgart.

"There has been no criticism of the scarf at the school for the past 10 years," she told the tribunal.

Muslim schoolchildren and parents were glad to have a teacher of their own faith to discuss special needs with, she added.

The state's legislation does not expressly ban scarves, but forbids "outward expressions that undermine the neutrality of the government or peace between political and religious creeds in school."

The ban did not apply to children.

Source: Expatica (English)