Tagged: radicalization

Struggling to prevent terrorist attacks, France wants to ‘reform’ Islam

(WASHINGTON POST) — by James McAuley

PARIS — Speaking alongside the flag-draped coffin of a police officer killed in a terrorist attack in southern France, President Emmanuel Macron last month laid blame on “underground Islam­ism” and those who “indoctrinate on our soil and corrupt daily.”

The attack added further urgency to a project already in the works: Macron has embarked on a controversial quest to restructure Islam in France — with the goal of integration but also the prevention of radicalization.

He has said that in the coming months he will announce “a blueprint for the whole organization” of Islam. And those trying to anticipate what that will look like are turning their attention to Hakim El Karoui, a leading voice on how Islamic traditions fit within French culture.

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Swiss Parliament votes to ban foreign-funded mosques and Arabic preaching

(BREITBART) — by Liam Deacon

Switzerland’s legislature has voted to ban the foreign funding of mosques, including from Saudi Arabia, as well as to force mosques to use local languages instead of Arabic or other foreign tongues.

The Swiss National Council, the parliament’s lower house, voted by a narrow majority to ban the financing of mosques from abroad and for generally increasing the transparency of how mosques are funded.

If the law passes the Senate, individual mosques will need to declare who they are backed by as well as preach in one of Switzerland’s official languages, namely German, French, Italian, or Romansch, Neue Zuercher Zeitung reports.

The vote took place on Tuesday, and according to the Federal Assembly’s website, 94 members of the parliament voted in favor, and 89 voted against.

The new law is said to be inspired by a similar law enacted in Austria in 2015, which was designed to encourage a distinctly “European Islam” and to deter radicalization and foreign influence on the nation’s Muslims.

The legislation is not backed by the federal government, however, which claims it unfairly discriminates against Muslims by placing them under suspicion and fuels extremism.

They also oppose making mosques use local languages, insisting that it is an issue of freedom of language.

Last year, the federal government managed to block a law voted for by the Council, proposing the banning of the full-face Islamic face veil.

However, a ban on Islamic minarets was voted for in a referendum in 2009 and was approved by nearly 58 per cent of the population.

Saudi Arabia is well known for funding the spread of its radical, Wahhabist interpretation of Islam in Europe, including financing the construction of Finsbury Park Mosque in London. The mosque was notorious for its links to hate preacher Abu Hamza, shoe-bomber Richard Reid, and 9/11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui before it was reformed and reopened in 2005.

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Muslim population in Latin America grows 25% amid radicalization concerns

(BREITBART) — Islam had an estimated 3 million adherents in Latin America and the Caribbean as of the end of last year, marking an increase of nearly 25 percent from the 2.3 million who were residing there in 2010, a Breitbart News analysis of U.S. Department of State (DoS) data shows.

Among the Muslims in the region are people who emigrated from Muslim majority countries – including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, and Pakistan – and locals who converted. Most of them are recent migrants and descendants of those who made the journey years and even generations ago, namely Palestinians, among others.

The most recent data found in the International Religious Freedom Reports issued annually by the DoS reveal that there were at least an estimated 2,990,000 Muslims residing in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2015.

In 2010, the number was about 2,290,000. That means the Muslim population grew by nearly 700,000 (23 percent) between 2010 and 2015. Some experts have indicated that Shiites outnumber Sunnis in the region. Iran’s growing influence has sparked concern within the U.S. government.

DoS, also known as State, did not include estimates for all the countries in Latin America and Caribbean, so the actual number of Muslim residents there could be much higher.

Various sources, including State, show that in 2015 there were concentrations of Muslims across the region: in Brazil (1.5 million); Argentina (750,000); Colombia (10,000); Venezuela (100,000); Panamá (14,000); Suriname (81,200); and Trinidad and Tobago (60,000).

Breitbart News’ analysis comes nearly a month after the top U.S. commander in Latin America and the Caribbean warned that the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) is actively recruiting and radicalizing converts in his area of responsibility.

In fact, Navy Adm. Kurt Tidd, chief of U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM), revealed earlier this year that “hundreds” of Muslims from countries in the region, primarily Trinidad and Tobago, have traveled to the Middle East to fight on behalf of ISIS. Some of those nations have expressed concern about the possibility of such individuals returning radicalized and launching attacks.

They are also worried about self-radicalization in the region. Panama became the first Latin American country to join the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS.

Both SOUTHCOM and the State Department have recently warned that ISIS and the Lebanese Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, an Iranian proxy, are operating in the region.

Moreover, the U.S. military has sounded the alarm about human trafficking groups that specialize in bringing in individuals from terror-linked countries into the United States. Hundreds of them have been recently apprehended trying to sneak across the southwest border and into the U.S. It remains unknown how many actually got through.

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Extremist literature common in many mosques and Islamic school libraries in Canada, study says

(NATIONAL POST) — OTTAWA — Many mosques and Islamic schools in Canada are placing young people at risk by espousing — or at least not condemning — extremist teachings, a new study says.

Co-authors Thomas Quiggin, a former intelligence analyst with the Privy Council Office and the RCMP, and Saied Shoaaib, a journalist originally from Egypt, base their findings on research conducted quietly in mosque libraries and Islamic schools.

The study says what worried them was not the presence of extremist literature, but that they found nothing but such writings in several libraries.

“Further research is required to determine the depth and breadth of this problem,” the study says.
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The authors say openly available material and analysis of social media postings helped confirm their views that many Canadians, including leading politicians, are turning a blind eye to the dangers.

They argue the issue is too important to ignore, given that a number of young Canadians have become radicalized to violence.

Canadian Muslims with humanist and modernist outlooks are being drowned out by those with extreme views, the study says. “The struggle for the soul of Islam between Islamists and humanists goes on in Canada and the U.S., not just in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia.”

The Canadian Council of Imams did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Liberal government plans to announce details soon of its plans for a national office of counter-radicalization to carry out research and co-ordinate activities across Canada.

One year ago, the Senate defense and security committee issued a report saying some foreign-trained imams had been spreading extremist religious ideology and messages that are not in keeping with Canadian values, contributing to radicalization.

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