Tagged: Muslims

French study: Average jihadist is young under-educated, petty criminal born in migrant-heavy suburbs

(BREITBART) — by Chris Tomlinson

A study conducted by the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri) examined 137 individuals convicted of radical Islamic terror offenses to create a profile of the average French jihadist.

The average radical Islamic extremist is a young man in his 20s, likely born in one of the country’s poorer migrant-heavy suburbs, with a background in petty crime, broadcaster Franceinfo reports.

Of the 137 convicted Islamic extremists, the average age is 26 and the vast majority, 131, were men with only six women convicted between 2004 and 2017.

Around 40 per cent of the convicts came from heavily-migrant populated poor suburbs, 90 per cent came from large families, and around half didn’t have a degree-level education. Over one third, 36 per cent, were unemployed while a further 22 per cent were employed in part-time or occasional work.

While all the convicts were Muslims, 74 per cent of them had been born into the Islamic faith and 26 per cent had been French converts to Islam. Most of the convicts, 69 per cent, were born in France but a majority — 59 per cent — had at least one parent from the “Maghreb region”, or North West Africa.

Few of the convicts had become radical Islamists overnight, with the process taking several years for many. The idea that Muslims were being radicalized solely due to the internet was also questioned as many of the convicts described having a community of fellow believers in the real world.

[READ MORE]

Sweden welcomes jihadis, but wants to deport Christian refugee, who received death threats, to Iran

(VOICE OF EUROPE) — Aideen Strandsson, a Christian woman from Iran, is facing deportation from Sweden after her asylum application was denied by authorities.

The woman converted from Islam to Christianity, after having a dream about Jesus and has already received threats from Muslims because of her conversion.

Aideen came to Sweden in 2014 and received a public baptism. When she pleaded that she could face the death penalty in Iran as an apostate, she got told by Swedish officials that “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, it’s your problem”.

CBN reports that experts say, Aideen as a Christian, faces certain rape and possible death by the radical Islamic regime, if she is deported back to Iran. This is a clear breach of the Geneva convention on human rights, that says “refugees should not be returned to a country where they face serious threats to their life or freedom”.

Aideen was recently offered a job at the technology giant Ericsson as a technology developer, but wasn’t allowed to take it because she is in Sweden “illegally” according to the Swedish government. Aideen did appeal for a temporary work permit, but it was denied and she has therefore no way of supporting herself.

Meanwhile in Sweden, returning jihadis who have fought for ISIS in Syria, are receiving tax-payer funded driving lessons, free housing and even debt cancellation.

The Swedish government is also giving special status and protected identities to returning jihadi’s to keep locals from finding out who they are and also help them to get new jobs. This is normally only done under very special circumstances in Sweden to people facing serious threats.

Swedish minister for culture and democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke, has said that returning ISIS fighters should be integrated into society. It appears that Sweden is deporting Christian refugees fleeing persecution in Muslim countries, but returning terrorists are given everything needed to integrate into Swedish society.

After the case with Aideen was made public by CBN, the case has taken a new turn with Hungary offering her asylum in the country. Hungary has refused much Muslim migration into the country.

“We protect Hungary from the invasion of migrants, but we help genuine refugees, those whose lives are in danger because of their religion, nationality or political opinions” says Vice Prime Minister Zsolt Semjén, on the Hungarian government’s website.

Zsolt Semjén points out that they differentiate what they call economic migrants and genuine refugees. He also says that Christian people can easily be integrated in European countries in contrast to Muslims which he says don’t want to integrate. He adds that it is Hungary’s moral and constitutional duty to help Christian migrants seeking a safe haven.

[READ MORE ]

Sweden is preparing for a “civil war”: PM wants to deploy army in no-go zones

(ZERO HEDGE) — Tyler Durden

For the first time since World War II, Sweden is preparing to distribute a civil defense brochure to some 4.7 million households, warning them about the onset of war.

The booklet will serve as a manual of “total defense” in case of a war, and provide details on how to secure basic needs such as water, food, and heating, the FT reported. The manual also covers other threats such as cyber attacks, terrorism, and climate change.

“All of society needs to be prepared for conflict, not just the military. We haven’t been using words such as total defense or high alert for 25-30 years or more. So the knowledge among citizens is very low,” said Christina Andersson, head of the project at the Swedish civil contingencies agency.

The survivalist manual or better known by some as a preppers guide is called “If Crisis or War Comes,” will be published by the government in late spring. Its publication comes at a time when the threat of war from Russia is high, well, possibly, but that is what the mainstream media has conditioned many to believe.

What if the threat is not from Russia, but one that is domestic?

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said that Sweden would do whatever it takes, including sending in the army, to end the wave of gang violence situated in the no-go zones around the country. Sweden’s murder rate has been relatively low over the years, but thanks to the migrant crisis, police are powerless in many areas across the country.

“It’s not my first action to put in a military, but I’m prepared to do what it takes to ensure that the seriously organized crime goes away,” Lofven said after the party leadership discussion in parliament.

“But it is also obvious that there are social problems. Last year 300 shootings occurred, 40 people were killed. The new year has begun with new launches. We see criminals with total lack of respect for human life, it’s a terrible development I’m determined to turn around,” he added.

Even the Swedish Democrat leader Jimmie Akesson “declared war” against organized crime and suggested that Sweden should deploy the military to no-go zones to counter the out of control violence.

“People are shot to death in pizza restaurants, people are killed by hand grenades they find on the street,” Akesson said in parliament on Wednesday.

“This is the new Sweden; the new, exciting dynamic, multicultural paradise that so many here in this assembly … have fought to create for so many years,” he said sarcastically.

Peter Imanuelsen, an independent journalist in Sweden, summed up the recent developments in a timeline:

Government sends out leaflets to 4.7 million households telling them how to prepare for war
Leader for Swedish Democrat party says “A war is being waged on Swedish society”
Swedish PM is considering deploying the army in no-go zones. I think I am starting to figure out what’s going on here…
The Swedish government just talked about the possibility of putting the army on the streets to deal with the no-go zone criminal gangs.

To sum up, the Swedish government is preparing for a destabilizing event, while the mainstream media continues to use Russia as the scapegoat. Meanwhile, high ranking government officials in Sweden have echoed in unity that military intervention in dozens of no-go zones across the country is a high probability. At the same time, the government is preparing to hand out millions of survival manuals to their citizens indicating a destabilizing event is nearing.

Late on Wednesday we reported of even more chaos in Sweden when a hand grenade was tossed at a police station in Malmo, resulting in a “huge explosion” according to local media reports.

And lastly, while the three biggest political parties in Sweden urge for a military intervention in the no-go zones, the Swedish civil contingencies agency is frantically trying to print millions of survival manuals to protect the citizens for what appears to be a turbulent future in 2018.

[READ MORE ]

Swedish policeman: We’ve lost control and many have no idea how serious the situation is

(VOICE OF EUROPE) — Recently, Swedish journalist Katerina Janouch interviewed the Swedish policeman Peter Springare, who in 2017 made headlines in Sweden, when he posted on the current state of the kingdom on Facebook.

In a longer interview he now admits that he is even more worried, that mayhem in fact is coming, and that people in general have no idea what will hit them.

What do we see is happening in Sweden now?

– I am deeply concerned about the development. And I’m wondering how far it must go before people in decision-making positions and politicians wake up and see where we are heading. One continues to put the head in the sand. In Helsingborg, but also here in Örebro, one goes out and say we have full control. It’s the other way around, we’ve lost control. And in the next breath one says that this just spurts us, that we do not give in. That we’ll will work even harder. But that’s not the case either. Because I know how one is affected when exposed to threats. It certainly affects. It affects the police operations, both the business and individual police officers. And then the debate will be, is it worth it, should we expose ourselves … I know there are a number of police officers in Örebro who do not want to go to work for example in Vivalla. Because it is unpleasant. When we reach that point, we are in really, really bad shape. When the police end up in a situation where one is afraid to end up in an ambush, then it has gone very, very far and we are in trouble. To me, it’s a mystery how police chiefs to the public persists that we have full control. What do they want to gain?

[READ MORE ]

Islam: A giant step backwards for humanity

(CREEPING SHARIA) — by William Kilpatrick

One of the big mysteries of our day is how so many supposedly enlightened Catholics have managed to get it so wrong about Islam for so long. It’s understandable that in the 1960s, when the Islamic world was relatively quiescent, Catholics might entertain the high hopes for Islamic-Catholic relations expressed in Nostra Aetate. But this is 2017 and in the intervening half century a lot of water has passed under the bridge.

Given all that has transpired in the interim—9/11, daily terror attacks, the accelerating Islamization of Europe, and the development of nuclear weapons by Pakistan and Iran—it seems that Catholics deserve to know more about Islam than the brief treatment presented in Nostra Aetate or the even briefer treatment in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catechism’s forty-four words on the subject end with the reassurance that “together with us they [Muslims] adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day” (842). Unfortunately, that has been interpreted by a good many clergy and laymen to mean “go back to sleep and don’t worry about a thing.”

To get an idea of how nonchalant the Church leadership has been about providing guidance on Islam, consider that the Catechism devotes about five times as much space to a discussion of man’s relationship with animals than it does to the Church’s relationship with Muslims.

It’s not just that many clergy and lay Catholic leaders fail to appreciate the deep differences in theology between Islam and Christianity, they fail to grasp the deep cultural and human differences that flow from the theological differences. To put the matter bluntly, Christianity is a humanizing religion and Islam is not. That statement needs some qualifying, of course; but there is enough difference between the Christian vision of the human person and the Islamic vision, that Catholic leaders should be extremely careful before declaring common cause with Islam. The many declarations of commonality and solidarity with Islam that now routinely issue from the lips of Church leaders only serve to confuse and mislead Catholics.

Theologically, the most significant fact about Islam is that it is an anti-Christian movement. That’s one of the main themes in Nonie Darwish’s book, Wholly Different. Darwish who grew up in an Islamic society and subsequently converted to Christianity, contends that Islam is a counter-revolutionary faith: a rejection of core Bible beliefs. As she puts it:

[Muhammad] didn’t just quietly reject the Bible. Instead, he launched a ferocious rebellion against it… Islam is a negative religion, consumed with subversion. It is a rebellion and counter-revolution against the Biblical revolution.

The Biblical revolution was not only a revolution in our thinking about God, but also a revolution in our thinking about man. The most revolutionary moment occurred when God took on our humanity and became one of us. As Pope St. John Paul II observed, the Incarnation not only reveals God to man, it reveals man to himself.

In rejecting the Incarnation, Muhammad also rejected the heightened status of humanity that flows from it. This is not to say that this was his intention from the start. Islam didn’t begin as an anti-Christian theology, but it was almost inevitable that it would develop that way. Muhammad considered himself to be a prophet, and he wanted very much to be recognized as such. The trouble is that a prophet has to have a prophetic message. And, after Jesus revealed himself as the Son of God and the fulfillment of all prophecy, there wasn’t much left to say in that line.

Realizing this, Muhammad set about to retell the story of Jesus, recasting him not as the Son of God but as another—and lesser—prophet. This demotion of Jesus thus cleared the way for Muhammad’s claim to prophethood. (Faced with a similar problem, the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church, came up with a similar solution. In his telling, Jesus failed in his assigned task of marrying and creating a perfect family, thus leaving it up to Moon to carry out the unfinished mission.)

Jesus is in the Koran, but he has, in effect, been neutralized. He is not divine, he was not crucified nor resurrected, and he plays no role in the redemption of the human race. In fact, there is no suggestion in the Koran that mankind needs to be redeemed. One has to believe in Allah and his messenger (Muhammad) and obey Allah and his Messenger, and Allah will probably (there is no certainty) admit him to paradise. But one does not have to be born again.

We talk about “radical” Islam, but, in a sense, there is nothing radical about Islam. It does not require a radical transformation of the self as does Christianity. In Islam, man is not made in the image of God. Consequently, there is no call to holiness, no requirement that “you … must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt. 5:48). The radical transformation in Christ which prepares one for communion with God is not necessary since man’s destiny is not union with God, but union with maidens in paradise. There is no need of spiritual transformation because heaven is simply a better version of earth.

That’s one way of looking at human destiny. But the Christian view is altogether different. Saint Paul wrote “we … are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another” (2 Cor. 3:18), and “though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed everyday … preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Cor. 4:16-17).

Whatever one may think of the truth of the Christian message, the message is that humans have a very high calling. The difference between this vision of man and the rather low estimate of human potential contained in the Koran is profound. It’s a wonder that so many Catholics are willing to dilute that vision for the sake of creating an illusory moral parity with Islam.

Islam’s lack of interest in human transformation begins with the lack of human interest in the Koran. Although it was composed some 600 years after the Gospels, it contains none of the drama of the Gospels—no divine drama and no human drama. Instead, it is a collection of disconnected statements, warnings, and curses, interspersed with Muhammad’s own versions of stories borrowed from the Bible.

Even when he retells these stories, Muhammad seems largely incapable of infusing the prophets and heroes of the Bible with personality. Indeed, the only character in the Koran that Muhammad seems truly interested in is himself.

In order to emphasize his humility, Islamic apologists like to say that Muhammad is only mentioned four times in the Koran. I haven’t counted but that seems about right. Nevertheless, Muhammad manages to mention himself on nearly every page—sometimes as the “Messenger,” sometimes as the “Apostle,” sometimes as the “Prophet,” and nearly always as the indispensable intermediary between Allah and men. This repeated emphasis on his role as a prophet is also found in the hadith collections. For example, “I have been sent to all mankind and the line of the prophets is closed with me” (Sahih Muslim, book 004, number 1062).

Other than Allah, Muhammad is the main person of interest in the Koran. Which brings us back to the place of Jesus in the Koran. The truth is, he plays only a minor role. He is mentioned as one of the prophets on several occasions, and on a few other occasions he is given some lines to speak. On one of these occasions he assures Allah that he did not ever claim to be God: “I could never have claimed what I have no right to” (5:116).

Jesus has a place in the Koran, but only because he knows his place. His role is to remove the main obstacle to Muhammad’s claim of prophethood. Who better than Jesus to renounce Jesus’ claim to Sonship and thereby clear the way for Muhammad to be the seal of the prophets?

But, in stripping Jesus of his divinity, Muhammad also managed to strip him of his humanity. The Jesus of the Koran is simply not an interesting person. Indeed he hardly qualifies as a person. He seems more like a disembodied voice.

When Christians hear that Jesus is in the Koran, they assume that he must be someone like the Jesus of the Gospels. Thus they can reassure themselves that although Muslims don’t accept Christ’s divinity, they will at least become familiar with his life. Anyone who bothers to read the Koran, however, will be quickly disabused of that notion. There is no life of Jesus in the Koran. There is no slightly altered version of the gospel story. Indeed, there is no story at all—just a few brief appearances in order to make the point that Jesus is only a man, not the Son of God.

This abbreviated treatment of Jesus in the Koran is matched by a diminished view of the human person. In Islam, man is little more than a slave of Allah. He can achieve paradise, but paradise is essentially a heavenly harem. According to the Christian vision, man’s destiny is union with God. According to the Islamic vision, man’s destiny is to copulate.

In rejecting the Christian doctrine of the Incarnation, Muhammad also rejected the Christian vision of a redeemed humanity. The fact of the Incarnation raised the status of man immeasurably—“no longer a slave but a son, and if a son then an heir” (Gal. 4:7). That’s why Christmas carols are so full of joy. As one hymn reminds us, the night of our Savior’s birth becomes the moment at which “the soul felt its worth.” Thanks to Muhammad’s dismal vision, however, all this is missing in Islam—no “joy to the world,” no “hark the herald angels sing,” no “ding-dong merrily on high.”

In light of the comparative bleakness of the Islamic vision, it is difficult to understand why so many Catholic prelates and theologians insist on identifying Islam as a fellow faith with which we have much in common. Likewise, it’s not easy to comprehend why so many of them want to declare their solidarity with Islam.

Theologically and humanly, Islam represents a giant step backwards. It would take us back to a time when the idea of human dignity was considered laughable—to a time when slavery was unremarkable and women were valued less than men and sometimes less than animals.

[READ MORE ]

Austrian voters concerned about immigration, Islam

(ABC NEWS) — Wrapping up a bruising political campaign season, Austrian political parties were counting down to an election Sunday that could turn the country to the right amid voter concerns over immigration and Islam.

The vote is coming a year ahead of schedule after squabbles led to the breakup last spring of the coalition government of the Social Democrats and the People’s Party. A total of 16 parties are vying for 183 seats in the national parliament and will be chosen by Austria’s 6.4 million eligible voters. But less than a dozen parties have a chance of getting seats.

The People’s Party, which has shifted from centrist to right-wing positions, is leading in the pre-vote polls after an image make-over by its leader, 31-year-old Sebastian Kurz.

Austria’s traditionally right-wing, anti-migrant Freedom Party is expected to come in second and the center-left Social Democrats are thought to be trailing in third place.

Others that may clear the 4 percent hurdle needed to get into parliament seats are the Greens, the liberal NEOS, and Liste Pilz, led by former Greens politician Peter Pilz.

Favoring the People’s and Freedom parties is distrust of migrants and Muslims among many Austrian voters.

The 2015 influx of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing the war in Syria and poverty elsewhere into the EU’s prosperous heartland left Austria with nearly 100,000 new and mostly Muslim migrants. That has fueled fears Austria’s traditional Western and Christian culture is in danger. As a result, voters are receptive to the anti-migrant platforms of both the People’s Party and the Freedom Party.

[READ MORE]

Saudi textbooks ‘teaching hatred’ of Jews and other faiths

(JERUSALEM POST) — Saudi Arabian secondary school pupils are taught that the day of resurrection will not come until Muslims kill Jews, Human Rights Watch found during a recent review of textbooks that also revealed hateful and disparaging references to Christians, Shi’ites and Sufism.

“As early as first grade, students in Saudi schools are being taught hatred toward all those perceived to be of a different faith or school of thought. The lessons in hate are reinforced with each following year,” Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, said in a press release last week. The New York-based group reviewed 45 Saudi textbooks and student work books produced by the Education Ministry for the primary, middle and secondary education levels.

As part of the curriculum on tawhid, or monotheism, a textbook explains one of the markers by which one can recognize the approach of the Day of Resurrection with the following passage: “The hour will not come until Muslims will fight the Jews and Muslims will kill the Jews. The Jew will hide under the rock and tree and the rock or tree will say O Muslim, servant of Allah, this Jew is behind me, kill him.”

The passage is from a hadith, or saying, attributed to Muhammad.

Moderate Palestinian Islamic thinker Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi described the hadith as a “fabrication,” and condemned Saudi Arabia for teaching it. “The prophet couldn’t have said that and it contradicts the text of the Koran. The prophet said anything attributed to me not in harmony with the Koran is not true. This can’t be true because it totally contradicts the text of the Koran. Teaching this to children is incitement and antisemitic. Saudi Arabia and any other Arab countries teaching such nonsense should stop and this should be eliminated from the educational systems.”

Human Rights Watch noted that the Saudi curriculum describes Jews, Christians and people of other faiths as kuffar, or unbelievers. In one fifth-grade textbook, the curriculum calls Jews, Christians and al-wathaniyeeen [pagans] the “original unbelievers” and declares that it is the duty of Muslims to excommunicate them. It says: “For whoever does not [excommunicate them] or whoever doubts their religious infidelity is himself an unbeliever.”

The vitriol also extends to fellow Muslims. Human Rights Watch found that a secondary school textbook describes Sufism as “a perverse path that began with the claim of asceticism or severe self-discipline, then entered into illicit innovation, misguidedness and exaggeration in reverence to the righteous.” Other books condemned Sufi and Shi’ite practices of visiting graves of prominent religious figures, saying this will lead to eternal damnation and that those who turn such tombs into worship sites are “evil natured.”

A fifth-grade book condemns Sufis for celebrating the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. “Celebrating the prophet’s birth in the spring of every year is prohibited, for it is a new innovation and is in imitation of the Christian celebration of what is known as the birth of Christ.”

Human Rights Watch said that after the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which 15 of the 19 perpetrators were Saudi citizens, Saudi officials said they would carry out educational reforms. But the textbook review shows they did not keep their promises, the NGO said.

“The Saudi government’s official denigration of other religious groups, combined with its ban on public practice of other religions, could amount to incitement to hatred or discrimination,” HRW said. It added that international human rights law requires countries to prohibit “any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence.”

[READ MORE]

Reporting on the Rohingya: “The tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation”

(NEW ENGLISH REVIEW) — by Hugh Fitzgerald

Aung San Suu Kyi, the leader of Myanmar, is now all over the news, being taken to task for “not speaking out” against the mistreatment of the Rohingya, the Muslim minority in Myanmar, almost all of whom live in the western Rakhine State of Myanmar. 365,000 people have signed a petition demanding she be stripped of her Nobel Prize for not speaking out and denouncing the Buddhists of Myanmar; in Pakistan, a country renowned for its humane treatment of minorities, her photograph has been publicly burned; Al Jazeera has denounced her, and so has that champion of justice Tariq Ramadan.

In the last month, the world media reports, 250,000 Rohingya have now fled the latest cycle of violence, that began with Rohingya attacks on the military in mid-August, for Bangladesh. In fact, Aung San Suu Kyi has spoken out, but not in the way that many expected. They wanted her to categorically denounce the Burmese military and to depict the Rohingya as entirely innocent victims of Buddhist attacks; this she has refused to do. She believes the story of the Rohingyas in Myanmar is more complicated than the outside world believes. She has noted that “fake news” about atrocities in Myanmar have been relied on by much of the world’s media. More than a few of the stories about the Rohingya have indeed been accompanied by photos purportedly showing the violence against them, but which, in fact, have turned out to be photos of other atrocities experienced by other peoples, having nothing to do with Myanmar. Even the BBC’s south-east Asia correspondent, Jonathan Head, concedes that “much of it [the photos, and the coverage] is wrong.” A closer look reveals that many of the pictures supposedly from Myanmar have come from other crises around the world, with one of those tweeted by Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Simsek even dating back to the Rwandan genocide in 1994.

Jonathan Head discusses at the BBC website four of the most widely-circulated photographs, ostensibly showing Rohingya victims of current Buddhist violence, that are examples of “fake news.” The first photograph, showing a number of bloated corpses, “does appear on several websites dated last year. This suggests the image is not from the recent violence in Rakhine state.’’ “Suggests” is British understatement for “clearly shows.”

The BBC has ascertained that the second photograph, of a woman mourning a dead man tied to a tree, was taken in Aceh, Indonesia, in June 2003, by a photographer working for Reuters.

The third photograph, of two infants crying over the body of their mother, is from Rwanda in July 1994. It was taken by Albert Facelly for Sipa, and was one of series of photos that won a World Press Award.

It has also been difficult to track down the fourth image, of people immersed in a canal, but it can be found on a website appealing for funds to help victims of recent flooding in Nepal.

In other words, not one of the four photographs widely distributed as examples of Rohingya suffering has anything to do with the Rohingyas. This is what the BBC’s south-east Asia correspondent has confirmed. Surely that ought to be made widely known, and just as surely, it won’t.

This “fake news” is, according to Aung San Suu Kyi, “simply the tip of a huge iceberg of misinformation calculated to create a lot of problems between different communities and with the aim of promoting the interest of the terrorists.”

Let’s refresh our memories of what has been going on in Myanmar this last month. All the news reports coming from Myanmar (Burma) tell the same story: tens of thousands of the Rohingya, a Muslim minority, have been fleeing into Bangladesh, to avoid the sudden upsurge in violence from both Burmese military and civilians. The Rohingya are presented as the innocent and long-suffering victims of “racist” Burmese Buddhists (Islam being, for propaganda purposes, a “race”). Only a handful of the reports mention, and only briefly, as if in passing, that the current violence began when, in mid-August, Rohingya fighters attacked 30 different police stations and an army base, as part of their campaign to stake their claim to Rakhine State, in western Myanmar, and showing themselves able “to strike terror in the hearts” of the Infidels to get it. The attacks left more than 70 dead, Muslims and Buddhists.

The Rohingyas unleashed still other attacks, and the Burmese army then retaliated, and the Rohingya continued to strike back during the last two weeks in August, and then there was more retaliation from the Buddhists. Many Rohingya have fled the retaliatory violence — a violence which they began — for Bangladesh, but it is their flight, and that retaliation by the Buddhists, which is getting almost all of the attention in the Western press, complete with photographs of victims of other conflicts who are presented as Rohingya (the “fake news” of which Aung San Suu Kyi complained), rather than what prompted it.

Seldom mentioned is that the August attack by the Rohingyas was preceded by a similar attack, last October, by the Rohingyas on the Burmese (Buddhist) police, and again, it was not their initial attack, but almost exclusively the retaliation by the Buddhist army, that was the focus of reports in the foreign press last fall. Reports of Rohingya villages being burnt down are reported uncritically. The Myanmar authorities have claimed that Islamic militants, having infiltrated Rohingya communities, have themselves been setting fire to houses in Muslim villages in order to get the world even more on their side. Instead of assuming these claims must be false, why not investigate them?

According to most of the world’s media, an unfathomable tragedy has been unfolding in Myanmar. The Buddhist majority, inflamed by rabble-rousing anti-Muslim monks, has been persecuting, killing, even massacring, members of the entirely inoffensive Muslim Rohingya minority in the western state of Rakhine (formerly, and in some places still, known as “Arakan”). An example of this hysterical coverage can be found in a report from, unsurprisingly, the pro-Muslim Guardian. It describes a sinister senior monk, Shin Parathu, who is repeatedly accused by the Guardian of “stoking religious hatred across Burma. His paranoia and fear, muddled with racist stereotypes and unfounded rumors, have helped to incite violence and spread disinformation.” One might note that no examples of these “racist stereotypes” are ever given. Could it be that the “stereotype” that this monk is accused of spreading has to do with depicting Muslims as intent on Jihad in the path of Allah, unwilling and even unable to integrate into a Buddhist society, and with a history, going back to 1942, of violence against Buddhists, that is the Rakhine people of Arakan State, and even attempting to join part of East Pakistan, and through the late 1950s, and in the 1970s, and again in the 1990s, conducting a low-level insurrection against the Burmese state — all of which is true?

And while the Guardian insists that the Rohingya are never the instigators of violence, the policemen they attacked without warning and nine of whom they murdered last October, and the people they killed in 31 coordinated attacks in mid-August, and those Buddhists they have killed since, might beg to differ. The Western press remains resolutely unsympathetic to the Buddhists of Myanmar, unwilling to find out why those Buddhists might have reason to be alarmed.

The Western media have uncritically repeated the Rohingya claim that they have inhabited Arakan for many centuries or “since time immemorial.” Others beg to differ, among them a well-known historian, and author of many works on Burma, Professor Andrew Selth of Griffith University in Australia. He has stated categorically that the name “Rohingya” was taken by “Bengali Muslims who live in Arakan State…most Rohingyas arrived with the British colonialists in the 19th and 20th centuries.” It is true that a handful of Bengali Muslims drifted down to Burma over the centuries, but Professor Selth makes the important point — unknown to Western reporters — that the vast majority of Rohingyas are recent arrivals, their great migration made possible by the fact that Burma was administratively part of British India until 1937, which meant there was no formal border to cross.

Particularly disappointing for many in the West (not to speak of the reactions of Pakistan, Al Jazeera, and Tariq Ramadan) has been what they regard as the unforgivable silence of Aung San Suu Kyi, currently the head of the Myanmar government. For Aung San Suu Kyi was formerly the leader of the nonviolent opposition to the Burmese military, placed under house arrest by the generals, then freed, and awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991. For more than two decades she was, for her continued defiance of the generals, and willingness to endure that house arrest, a darling of the international media. Since the end of military rule, which she helped to bring about, she has held a number of important government posts, and is now the State Counselor (equivalent to Prime Minister) in Myanmar.

But in her continuing refusal to condemn outright the attacks on the Rohingya, and in her insistence that in Myanmar there has been “violence on both sides” — for which there is ample evidence — Aung San Suu Kyi is now seen by many outside Myanmar in quite another light. Many have criticized Aung San Suu Kyi for her silence on the 2012 Rakhine State riots, when, after the rape and killing of a Buddhist woman by three Rohingyas, Buddhists retaliated, and then the violence escalated when hundreds of Rohingyas went on a rampage following Friday prayers at a mosque, throwing rocks and setting fire to houses and buildings. Four Buddhists, among them a doctor and an elderly man, died of multiple knife wounds. Recent accounts in the foreign media ignore all that. For the Western media, the narrative remains the same; the Rohingya are always the victims, and the Buddhist violence against them is always unwarranted.

The outside world deplores Aung San Suu Kyi’s refusal to condemn the Buddhists and what they see as her general indifference to the ongoing mistreatment of the Rohingya by Burmese Buddhists. Twenty-three Nobel laureates and other “peace activists” signed a letter in November 2016 asking Aung San Suu Kyi to speak out about the Rohingya: “Despite repeated appeals to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, we are frustrated that she has not taken any initiative to ensure full and equal citizenship rights of the Rohingyas,” their Open Letter states. “Daw Suu Kyi is the leader and is the one with the primary responsibility to lead, and lead with courage, humanity and compassion.” But perhaps she has an understanding of the situation, based on an intimate knowledge of her country’s history, that the outside world does not possess.

Aung San Suu Kyi has refused to address accusations that the Muslim Rohingya may be victims of crimes against humanity, and in an interview with the BBC’s Misha Husain in March 2016, she refused to condemn violence against the Rohingya and denied that Muslims in Myanmar have been subject to ethnic cleansing. She insisted that the tensions in her country were due to a “climate of fear” (among the Buddhists) caused by a “worldwide perception that global Muslim power is very great.” And apparently, according to some reports, she was angry that the BBC had chosen a Muslim to interview her. Given the BBC’s history of pro-Rohingya advocacy, can you blame her?

What shall we make of this attitude from someone who had previously been put on a Nobel Peace Prize pedestal? Has she metamorphosed from being a moral exemplar to becoming a moral monster who needs correction, someone who, as researchers on state crime at St. Mary’s University in London claim, is “legitimizing genocide”? It is genocide if you attempt to kill all the members of another racial or religious group; it is not genocide if you seek to expel them from your country because of the threat you believe they pose. When Eduard Benes in Czechoslovakia attempted to remove several million ethnic Germans from his country after World War II, based on what they had done before and during the war, in taking Germany’s side, and what he feared they might someday do again should Germany again become a threat, it was not “genocide,” and the Benes Decree, as it was known, was accepted by the West.

It’s not surprising that for the giddy globe’s Great and Good, as the Economist put it, her “halo has even slipped among foreign human-rights lobbyists, disappointed at her failure to make a clear stand on behalf of the Rohingya minority” and to “give details on how her government intends to resolve the violence faced by the long-persecuted Muslim minority.” Or might it just be conceivable that the well-educated Burmese liberal Aung San Suu Kyi knows more about the Rohingyas, and the past history of Muslims in her own country, Myanmar, than do her critics, and that that knowledge makes her more studied and nuanced in her judgments, less credulous about the Rohingya claims of innocent victimhood, and more sympathetic to the fears of the Buddhists of Myanmar?

If we examine the last 150 years of Burmese history, we may find that Madame Suu Kyi has more of a point than her foreign critics think. It is that history that is in the minds of, and explains the behavior today of, the Buddhists of Myanmar. In 1826, after the Anglo-Burmese War, the British annexed Arakan (Rakhine State), where almost all of the 1.1 million Rohingyas now in Myanmar still live, to British India. And they began to encourage Indians, mainly Muslims, to move into Arakan from Bengal as cheap farm labor. They continued to encourage this migration throughout the nineteenth-century. The numbers of Bengali Muslim migrants is impressive. In Akyab District, the capital of Arakan, according to the British censuses of 1872 and 1911, there was an increase in the Muslim population from 58,255 to 178,647, a tripling within forty years. At the beginning of the 20th century, migrants from Bengal were still arriving in Burma at the rate of a quarter million per year. In the peak year of 1927, 480,000 people arrived in Burma, with Rangoon in that year surpassing New York City as the greatest migration port in the world. And many of these migrants were Bengali Muslims who joined the Muslims already in Rakhine State, renaming themselves the Rohingyas. The Buddhists continued to call them, as they still do today, “Bengalis.” And the immigration of Bengali Muslims continued for decades. In a 1955 study published by Stanford University, the authors Virginia Thompson and Richard Adloff concluded that “’the post-war (World War II) illegal immigration of Chittagonians [i.e., Bengali Muslims from Chittagong in East Pakistan] into that area [Arakan state] was on a vast scale, and in the Maungdaw and Buthidaung areas they replaced the [Buddhist] Arakanese.”[READ MORE]

Top Muslim scholar: Stop pretending orthodox Islam and violence aren’t linked

(TRUTH REVOLT) — Yahya Cholil Staquf, 51, is one of Indonesia’s most influential Islamic leaders. The general secretary of the Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s biggest Muslim organization (about 50 million members strong), Yahya advocates a modern, moderate Islam, and he pulls few punches about the relationship of violence and fundamentalist Islam in an interview reposted in TIME magazine recently.

Below are translated excerpts from the interview, first published on Aug. 19 in German in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. Check out how Yahya confounds the interviewer, who is clearly uncomfortable with the Islamic leader’s frank answers about the “religion of peace”:

Many Western politicians and intellectuals say that Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam. What is your view?

Western politicians should stop pretending that extremism and terrorism have nothing to do with Islam. There is a clear relationship between fundamentalism, terrorism, and the basic assumptions of Islamic orthodoxy. So long as we lack consensus regarding this matter, we cannot gain victory over fundamentalist violence within Islam.

Radical Islamic movements are nothing new. They’ve appeared again and again throughout our own history in Indonesia. The West must stop ascribing any and all discussion of these issues to “Islamophobia.” Or do people want to accuse me — an Islamic scholar — of being an Islamophobe too?

What basic assumptions within traditional Islam are problematic?

The relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims, the relationship of Muslims with the state, and Muslims’ relationship to the prevailing legal system wherever they live … Within the classical tradition, the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims is assumed to be one of segregation and enmity.

Perhaps there were reasons for this during the Middle Ages, when the tenets of Islamic orthodoxy were established, but in today’s world such a doctrine is unreasonable. To the extent that Muslims adhere to this view of Islam, it renders them incapable of living harmoniously and peacefully within the multi-cultural, multi-religious societies of the 21st century.

A Western politician would likely be accused of racism for saying what you just said.

I’m not saying that Islam is the only factor causing Muslim minorities in the West to lead a segregated existence, often isolated from society as a whole. There may be other factors on the part of the host nations, such as racism, which exists everywhere in the world. But traditional Islam — which fosters an attitude of segregation and enmity toward non-Muslims — is an important factor.

And Muslims and the state?

Within the Islamic tradition, the state is a single, universal entity that unites all Muslims under the rule of one man who leads them in opposition to, and conflict with, the non-Muslim world.

So the call by radicals to establish a caliphate, including by ISIS, is not un-Islamic?

No, it is not. [ISIS’s] goal of establishing a global caliphate stands squarely within the orthodox Islamic tradition. But we live in a world of nation-states. Any attempt to create a unified Islamic state in the 21st century can only lead to chaos and violence … Many Muslims assume there is an established and immutable set of Islamic laws, which are often described as shariah. This assumption is in line with Islamic tradition, but it of course leads to serious conflict with the legal system that exists in secular nation-states.

Any [fundamentalist] view of Islam positing the traditional norms of Islamic jurisprudence as absolute [should] be rejected out of hand as false. State laws [should] have precedence.

How can that be accomplished?

Generations ago, we achieved a de facto consensus in Indonesia that Islamic teachings must be contextualized to reflect the ever-changing circumstances of time and place. The majority of Indonesian Muslims were — and I think still are — of the opinion that the various assumptions embedded within Islamic tradition must be viewed within the historical, political and social context of their emergence in the Middle Ages [in the Middle East] and not as absolute injunctions that must dictate Muslims’ behavior in the present … Which ideological opinions are “correct” is not determined solely by reflection and debate. These are struggles [about who and what is recognized as religiously authoritative]. Political elites in Indonesia routinely employ Islam as a weapon to achieve their worldly objectives.

Is it so elsewhere too?

Too many Muslims view civilization, and the peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths, as something they must combat. Many Europeans can sense this attitude among Muslims.

There’s a growing dissatisfaction in the West with respect to Muslim minorities, a growing fear of Islam. In this sense, some Western friends of mine are “Islamophobic.” They’re afraid of Islam. To be honest, I understand their fear … The West cannot force Muslims to adopt a moderate interpretation of Islam. But Western politicians should stop telling us that fundamentalism and violence have nothing to do with traditional Islam. That is simply wrong.

[READ MORE]

Germany: What a Christian translator hears in asylum centers and mosques is frightening

(CREEPING SHARIA) — Source: Germany: Shocking revelations when Christian woman infiltrates mosques and asylum centers posing as Muslim – Diversity Macht Frei

This is from an article published on the German Catholic website kath.net. The original report was made to an Evangelical Christian news agency by a 39-year-old Eritrean woman who came to Germany as a refugee in 1991. She works in the refugee camps and is taken for a Muslim because she has dark skin and speaks Arabic fluently.

According to her, security staff and translators are almost all Muslims. The 39-year-old says they make a very nice impression at first glance: “They have mostly grown up here, have often studied and have reputable professions, and they seem to be liberal-minded.” But that changes as soon as they are “among themselves”: “Then they show their true face and say things like ‘Germany must be Islamized’. They despise our country and our values.” The young woman was upset and for a long time did not want to admit it. She keep silent about the fact that she is a Christian in order to learn more.

Among other things she visited Koran instruction in various mosques: “Pure hatred of people with different beliefs is preached there. Their children are taught it from an early age here in Germany.” It’s the same in the asylum centers. She noticed how Muslim boys refused to play with Christians. The translator tried to mediate: “You’re a Muslim, he’s a Christian. What difference does it make?” The five-year-old answered: “I don’t play with Christians. My parents hate them too.”

She also tried to build up contacts with Muslims. Despite their young age, many of them already have several children. Cautiously she tried to explain contraception methods to them. “Many women said to me: ‘We want to increase our numbers. We must have more children than the Christians. It’s the only way we can destroy them.‘ When she objected and said but it is the Christians who are helping you, she was rejected. Defending Christians is a sin, they said.

The Muslim interpreters also lie in such a way as to disfavour asylum applications from Christians.

The European Mission Community (Penkun/Vorpommern) has also experienced the power of the Muslim translators. Its chairman, Frank Seidler, reports that, at hearings in the Federal office for Migration and Refugees, they often incorrectly reproduced the statement of Christian refugees during the asylum process. Therefore a Persian-speaking employee now accompanies the refugees to the interviews, so that he can intervene when needed: “Since then things have gone better.”

Christians often do not know about their rights

According to Kurt, the asylum seekers also have the right to a back-translation of the German questionnaire into their mother tongue. However, some translators did not even tell the Christians. On the other hand, the interpreters reported that the interviewee had renounced a back translation: “This reduces the chance for Christians to get a long-term recognition on asylum here.” The language barrier is also a problem in the accommodation. A Christian is beaten by a Muslim because he eats pork in the common kitchen – and the interpreter goes on to the leadership that there has been only a general dispute over the use of the kitchen. “

[READ MORE]