Europe: Combating Fake News by Fjordman

  • If present demographic trends continue, in a few decades, native Swedes could easily become a minority in their own country.Swedish ambulance personnel want gas masks and bulletproof vests to protect their staff against the escalating attacks, similar to equipment used by staff working in war zones.

  • Most dangerous, however, is our inability to deal forcefully with problems undermining Western societies, because some Western media refuse to admit that the problems exist.

In January 2015 The New York Times denied that there are “no-go-zones” — areas that are not under the control of the state and are ruled according to sharia law — dominated by certain immigrant groups in some urban areas in Western Europe. The American newspaper mentioned this author, alongside writers such as Steven Emerson and Daniel Pipes, for spreading this alleged falsehood. The article was published shortly after Islamic terrorists had massacred the staff of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015. Other established media outlets such as the magazine The Atlantic also dismissed claims of no-go-zones.

Fox News issued an unusual on-air apology for allowing its anchors and guests to repeat the suggestion that there are Muslim “no-go zones” in European countries such as Britain and France.

Regarding the subject of “no-go-zones,” this is largely a question of semantics. If you say that there are some areas where even the police are afraid to go, where the country’s normal, secular laws barely apply, then it is indisputable that such areas now exist in several Western European countries. France is one of the hardest hit: it has a large population of Arab and African immigrants, including millions of Muslims.

I have been writing about the problems in Sweden and the rest of Europe for many years. The problems are unfortunately all too real. Here are a few facts:

Sweden surpassed ten million inhabitants in early 2017. The recent population growth is almost entirely due to mass immigration. If present demographic trends continue, in a few decades native Swedes could easily become a minority in their own country. The economist Tino Sanandaji suggests that this transformation could happen within the coming generation.

Statistics from January 2017 indicate that for people born in Sweden, the unemployment rate is 4.3%. Yet for people born abroad, the unemployment rate is a staggering five times higher, at 22.1%. This constitutes a huge economic and social burden for the taxpayers. The famous Swedish welfare state has been quietly cut back for many years.

In an essay published in February 2016, Stockholm police inspector Lars Alvarsjö warned that the Swedish legal system is close to collapse. The influx of asylum seekers and ethnic gangs has overwhelmed the country and its understaffed police force. In many suburbs, criminal gangs have taken control and determine the rules. The police, fire brigades and ambulance personnel in these areas are routinely met with violent attacks.

Malmö, Sweden’s third-largest city, houses over 300,000 people, as of 2017. Despite its modest size, the town has a crime rate equal to that of vastly larger cities. The local police are barely able to investigate murders. Less serious crimes often go unpunished. Malmö probably has the highest percentage of Muslim immigrants of any city in Scandinavia. The most Islamic city in Scandinavia also happens to be the most criminal and the most violent.

In November 2016, Malmö’s chief prosecutor Ola Sjöstrand publicly admitted that his office was approaching a total collapse in terms of criminal investigations. “If people are hit by crimes which then aren’t investigated, they will lose faith in the rule of law,” Sjöstrand told the regional newspaper Sydsvenskan.

During New Year’s Eve celebrations at the beginning of 2017, parts of central Malmö resembled a war zone. Young immigrants shouted “Jihad!” while throwing fireworks at people. Swedish teenagers gathered in a large group to avoid being robbed.

A janitor in Malmö was shot and sustained life-threatening injures while clearing snow in February 2017. Police detained several suspects, understood to be linked to gang violence, for questioning. A 15-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

Meanwhile, officials at a local electrical firm announced that they would no longer expose their staff to risk by taking jobs in Malmö; there is just too much violent crime in the city.

Beginning in March 2017, the emergency ward at the hospital in Malmö will lock the doors at night. This is a security precaution that became necessary due to repeated violent threats from certain gangs or clans against patients and staff.

In July 2015, the police in Malmö asked for assistance from the national police to stop the wave of violence. Apparently, even that response was not enough. In January 2017, the police chief, Stefan Sintéus, publicly appealed to residents in Malmö for help in containing violent crime and deadly gang shootings: “Help us to tackle the problems. Cooperate with us.”

Peter Springare, a police officer in the town of Örebro in central Sweden, finally vented his frustration in February 2017. Migrants are to blame for the vast majority of serious crime in Sweden, causing the police force to become overloaded, he wrote on Facebook. When dealing with drug crimes, rapes, robberies, aggravated assaults, murders, extortion or violence against the police, the suspected perpetrators very often have names such as Ali, Mahmoud or Mohammed. They usually have a family background from Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia. Others do not have valid papers.

Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city, has been for several years one of the most important recruitment centers in Europe for jihadists seeking to join the terrorist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). A survey carried out in 2016 showed that about one in nine school students aged 12-18 in certain Gothenburg suburbs openly expressed sympathy with militant Islamic groups.

Nordstan in Gothenburg is one of the largest shopping malls in Sweden, located in the heart of the city. 3,250 crimes were reported to the police from Nordstan in 2016. That number is from a single shopping mall in one year. Aggressive groups of Muslim immigrants, especially young men from North Africa, Syria or Afghanistan, partly dominate the mall. “I’ve had people in front of me that look like they are 35, but who claim to be 15. I can’t prove they’re lying so we have to release them,” Rikard Sörensen from the police said.

Stockholm suburbs such as Husby, Rinkeby and Tensta house large concentrations of recent immigrants. These districts are riddled with crime, violence and social problems. The Swedish police have repeatedly been attacked by criminal gangs there, even with hand grenades.

One day in December 2016, shopkeepers in Husby closed their stores as a protest. Salam Kurda is the chair of the local shopkeepers’ association. He says he has had enough after his shop was burgled. Politicians and the police have abandoned Husby to the criminals, states Kurda, who plans to give up his shop. He says it is not profitable and he doesn’t feel safe.

In December 2016, the American Jewish documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz told the story of his venture into Husby. A few seconds after they arrived, five men approached them. They said “You guys gotta get out of here right now.” The film crew, being Swedish, turned around and ran for it. Horowitz decided to stay and try to figure this thing out with the men.

The five men then immediately attacked Horowitz, punching, choking and kicking him. Nobody came to his aid, even though this attack took place in a public area outside Stockholm. Horowitz recalls his assailants saying something in Arabic as they beat him to the ground.

“Let’s define what a ‘no-go area’ means, really, at least in Sweden,” Horowitz says.

“What’s interesting is, there’s an actual debate out there whether or not these places even exist, right? You go to CNN, the BBC, and you listen to people discuss no-go areas in France, in Belgium, in Sweden, in Germany. And there’s an actual debate whether this is real or the figment of the conservative imagination. I can tell you for a fact they exist. And in Sweden what that means is, and this is what the police tell me, they use the words ‘no-go area.’ They said, in their words, ‘If we’re chasing a suspect, and they cross into this no-go area, we simply stop pursuit.’ And if we want to enter this area, we have to go in with an armed convoy, as if you’re going into like the kill zone in Afghanistan.”

In 2014, the Swedish police themselves estimated that there were 55 areas in which they are no longer able to uphold law and order. That number is increasing. The country also experiences shocking levels of violence against ambulance personnel in some areas. Swedish ambulance personnel want gas masks and bulletproof vests to protect their staff against the escalating attacks, similar to equipment used by staff working in war zones.

In February 2017, the local police chief Erik Åkerlund in Botkyrka near Stockholm denied that “no-go zones” exist in Sweden. This claim does not sound very credible.

When dissident writers such as this author wrote about these issues 10-15 years ago, the real problems we raised were falsely dismissed as the “xenophobia” of alleged “right-wing extremists.”

Unfortunately, the “multicultural” problems in Sweden have grown so large and visible that some international media now regularly write about them. Swedish authorities apparently find this hugely embarrassing. They try to conceal this unpleasant reality as much as possible. In 2016, the Swedish embassy in London complained that Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper was running a campaign against Sweden’s immigration policy.

In February 2017, U.S. President Donald Trump made some critical remarks about the situation in Sweden, regarding immigration and security. This triggered protests from the Swedish government and the mass media. At the same time, violent riots once again erupted in Rinkeby, a Stockholm suburb with many Muslim immigrants. A Swedish press photographer was assaulted by around 15 people when arriving in Rinkeby to report on the riots.

Cars burn during a riot in Stockholm, on February 20, 2017. (Image source: YouTube/gladbecker82 video screenshot

Two leading politicians from the Sweden Democrats supported Trump’s comments in the Wall Street Journal. Immigration, they argued, has indeed caused major problems in Sweden.

In Malmö, violent crime is no longer limited to districts such as Rosengård. Gang-related shootings happen in different parts of Malmö, and in other cities such as Gothenburg.

A survey from 2016 indicated that nearly half of all Swedish women are afraid to go outside after dark. 46% of women feel very unsafe or somewhat unsafe when they exercise alone in the dark — an indication that there is a widespread sense of fear and uncertainty across much of the country, not just in a few urban areas. “Feminist” Sweden has very high rape rates.

Swedish women have never had more feminism, and have never been less safe.

In January 2017, Magnus Olsson, a politician from the Sweden Democrats in Malmö, suggested that the military should be deployed in the city. “There is a great lack of police officers in Sweden and Malmö. For this reason, it is perhaps time to let the military and police stand together to reestablish order in the country,” he said.

Sweden’s military forces have been drastically reduced since the Cold War. However, the authorities suddenly seem to have realized that there could be potential for armed conflict in the future. There are now plans to reintroduce compulsory military service.

In early 2017, the Swedish police were instructed to increase their preparations for war. They were not told who this potential war would be against, although the authorities like to talk about an alleged threat of an invasion from Russia.

It is not, however, the Russians who now routinely burn cars and commit gang-rapes in Swedish cities. These crimes are largely committed by recent immigrants, many of them Muslims coming from war zones. These immigrants have for decades been allowed in by the ruling political elites, applauded by the mass media and supported by the EU and the UN.

The Islamic terror threat in Western Europe is now endemic. In late 2016, the police at Brussels International Airport detained 30 terror suspects in one month. That is one potential terrorist per day, at one European airport. Belgium’s highest-ranking police chief warned in February 2017 that the terror threat remains “grave” after the Brussels bombings on March 22, 2016. Because of the many radical Muslims living in Belgium, the authorities are concerned that Belgian citizens may lose their visa-free access to the United States.

Due to the threat of terrorism, robberies and street crime, many Chinese, Japanese and Korean travelers have dropped their holiday plans in France. Chronic instability and violence have damaged the country’s reputation as a travel destination. Even a prolonged state of emergency and large numbers of police and soldiers deployed in the streets are not enough to uphold law and order.

In February 2017, Paris and other French cities were once more rocked by days of rioting by Muslim and African immigrant. The trigger was an allegation of police violence. However, discontent seems to be endemic. Riots among immigrants could erupt again at any moment.

After a firebomb attack on four police officers near Paris in 2016, France’s prime minister insisted there were no no-go zones in the country. However, this is not what the police themselves say.

“Of course there are no-go zones in France where the police cannot intervene and do their jobs in safety,” says Denis Jacob from the union Alternative Police-CFDT.

“And it’s the same for fire fighters or pretty much any representative of the state. The police can’t apply the law in these areas, they are attacked. If the police can’t do their work it’s because there are criminals and delinquents who don’t respect the law.”

Yet it would be very bad for business and tourism if the authorities openly acknowledged this. “Governments will never admit there are no-go zones because it’s a sign of a failed state,” Jacob adds.

As Soeren Kern writes at Gatestone Institute:

“The problem of no-go zones is well documented, but multiculturalists and their politically correct supporters vehemently deny that they exist. Some are now engaged in a concerted campaign to discredit and even silence those who draw attention to the issue.”

What does it take for the New York Times and other established media to define an area as a no-go zone?

It is an indisputable fact that a number of areas exist in several Western European countries where criminal ethnic gangs dominate the streets and where even the police find it very difficult to walk in safety. The number and size of these areas, fueled by mass immigration, seems to be growing.

If the New York Times and other mass media deny this fact, then they are engaged in producing “fake news.” People who truthfully warn about these problems thus risk being unfairly vilified and smeared for doing so.

Most dangerous, however, is our inability to deal forcefully with problems that are undermining Western societies, because some Western media refuse to admit that the problems exist.

Mass immigration from incompatible cultures, particularly from the Islamic world, is gradually undermining law and order in many Western cities. If Western media refuse frankly to acknowledge this fact, they are putting the long-term survival of our societies seriously at risk.

Fjordman, a Norwegian historian, is an expert on Europe, Islam and multiculturalism.

Europe: Christmas Shoppers in Jihadist Crosshairs by George Igler

  • In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a “‘strongly radicalized” 12-year-old boy “of Iraqi heritage” planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November.Previously, the festive shopping tradition of Christmas markets had become “potent symbols of freedom,” with Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, urging people to stick to unserem Leben — “our way of life.”

  • In Birmingham, England, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service, the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is “unprecedented.”
  • French security forces thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.
  • With a pro-Sharia (Islamic law) advocate now secretary of state in the Berlin regional senate, and other Muslims even refusing to shake the hand of the German President Joachim Gauck at events designed to promote integration, Germany’s “way of life” is changing fast.

As the winter nights lengthen, an even darker shadow is falling across the run-up to the Christmas holidays in several European nations. Families in markets and shopping districts across the continent are buying presents in the knowledge that jihadists mean to target them.

On November 21, the U.S. Department of State cited a “heightened risk of terror attacks” in an advisory statement set to expire only on February 20, 2017.

“Credible information,” quotes Newsweek, prompted a warning to American travellers to “exercise caution at holiday festivals, events, and outdoor markets,” given planned attacks by Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

Those attending “large holiday events, visiting tourist sites, using public transportation, and frequenting places of worship, restaurants, hotels, etc.” were likewise urged to exercise vigilance.

On December 16, German media reported that:

“a 12-year-old boy was suspected of planning two different bomb attacks in the western German city of Ludwigshafen. The German magazine ‘Focus’ said he had first tried to target a Christmas market at the end of November, before placing a backpack with explosives near a high-rise building containing both city hall and a shopping center.”

“The suspect was born in Germany but is of Iraqi heritage,” reported NBC News, adding: “the ‘strongly radicalized’ youth was likely ‘incited and instructed’ by an ‘unidentified member of ISIS.'”

This comes just two weeks after a December 2 report, Changes in Modus Operandi of Islamic State Revisited, from the European policing agency, Europol, cited the possibility of “several dozen” attacks against civilian soft targets.

 

In Ludwigshafen, Germany, a “‘strongly radicalized” 12-year-old boy “of Iraqi heritage” planted a bomb at a Christmas market at the end of November. (Image source: Focus video screenshot)

 

With terrorists claiming to act in the name of ISIS already able to plan “relatively complex attacks — including those on multiple targets — quickly and effectively,” according to the Europol report, the tactics of the battlefields of the Middle East, “such as the use of car bombs, extortion and kidnappings,” may well be exported into Europe.

The credibility of such intelligence data has been further strengthened by a wave of arrests and increased troop deployments in several European countries. Germany, for instance, is associated with the ice rinks, outside stalls, and warm spiced wine of Christmas markets; an estimated 1,500 are spread across the country.

The strengthened security followed a credible bomb threat against an international soccer match on November 17, 2015, which forced the lockdown of the northern city of Hanover and a cancellation by Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had planned to attend.

On the basis of attacks in the country to date, the cities of Munich, Ansbach, Berlin, Ochsenfurt, Grafing, Reutlingen and Frankfurt — which contains the country’s largest Christmas market — are Germany’s danger hotspots.

The festive shopping tradition across Europe is causing headaches, however, to security officials in several other nations.

In France, twin swoops against an alleged jihadist cell, operating from the European parliamentary city of Strasbourg and the port city of Marseilles, thwarted attacks planned for December 1, against Disneyland Paris and the Christmas market on the main thoroughfare of the French capital, the Champs-Elysée.

Reports also suggest that this anti-terror operation may have come just in time to intercept a weapons shipment.

As the Europol report explains:

“[A]utomatic firearms still seem to be the weapons of choice of terrorist cells committing large scale attacks, because of their relative ease of access, use and effectiveness. Firearms can be obtained from criminal sources, in some cases from those the terrorists already know from their own criminal pasts.” (p.10)

The Daily Mirror reports: “It is feared that the current military operation on Mosul will force Islamic State to change tactics and rather than hold ground, concentrate on attacking Europe.” With returnees expected as a result of the eventual collapse of ISIS strongholds — 2,000-2,500 jihadists originating from Europe are still said to be fighting in Iraq and Syria — the terror group is predicted to start launching attacks against Europe from bases in Libya.

According to Jean-Charles Brisard, a leading French security expert, despite the more rigorous measures introduced by the French government as a consequence of the major attacks that have struck France since 2015, the capacity of the nation’s latent ISIS networks “has not been affected.” An increased presence of troops on French streets has already given the nation a paramilitary character.

Meanwhile, in Britain, the entirety of the country’s elite Special Forces, the SAS, have had their leave cancelled as a consequence of undercover deployments across the nation’s Christmas shopping districts.

Under Operation Temperer, run by the British Army, 5,000 troops are covertly patrolling busy streets, with police in cities such as London, Manchester and Birmingham all having asked for extra assistance. Outdoor Christmas markets, originally a feature of Germany’s holiday celebrations, have become increasingly popular in recent years across many British cities.

On December 11, officers armed with assault rifles raided locations in London, Burton upon Trent, and Derby, in an investigation believed to center on an ISIS plot to target Christmas markets. In “international terrorism-related” arrests, according to police sources, four men from Derby, aged 22, 27, 35 and 36, in addition to a 27-year old man from Burton upon Trent, have all been detained.

A 32-year old woman from London was also arrested “on suspicion of engaging in the preparation of an act of terrorism,” on behalf of the suspected ISIS terror cell. One of those being detained, according to the Daily Mail, is said to be an asylum seeker, “who may not have been in Britain for long.”

In Birmingham, the Christmas market has concrete barriers installed to deter vehicular suicide bombers. According to the head of Britain’s foreign intelligence service (MI6), the magnitude of the terrorism faced by the UK is “unprecedented.”

“The risks at stake are profound and represent a fundamental threat to our sovereignty,” said the MI6 chief, Alex Younger, who also cited the extreme dangers posed by “hybrid attacks,” in which conventional terrorism is combined with cyber-security breaches. Up to 3,000 Islamic extremists presently reside in Britain, according to Andrew Parker, head of its domestic intelligence agency, MI5.

The porosity of European borders has necessitated the need to ramp up cooperation between domestic and transnational security agencies across the continent. This makes the report issued by Europol instructive, issued as it was under the auspices of its British-born director, Robin Wainwright, as it goes to great lengths to play down the significance of cyber-attacks.

British security officers, however, have “never been under so much pressure, and the lack of agreement and effectiveness of international cooperation may well be one cause why.

Last year, the sense of nervousness was “palpable” among Germans, despite increased police deployed to Christmas markets in the states of Berlin, Baden-Württemberg, Bavaria, Hessen, North Rhine Westphalia and Thuringia.

This of course came before the New Year’s Eve wave of mass sexual assaults, which targeted Cologne, Hamburg and other cities, with the police failures which allowed for the assaults recently described in a new book entitled, The Night that Changed Germany.

Previously, the festive shopping tradition of Christmas markets had become “potent symbols of freedom,” with Germany’s Interior Minister, Thomas de Maizière, urging people to stick to unserem Leben — “our way of life.”

With a pro-Sharia law advocate now secretary of state in the Berlin regional senate, and other Muslims even refusing to shake the hand of the country’s president, Joachim Gauck, at events designed to promote integration, that way of life is changing fast.

George Igler, between 2010 and 2016, aided those facing death across Europe for criticizing Islam.

Europe: Choosing Suicide? by Judith Bergman

  • “We need urgent, wholesale reform of human rights laws in this country to make sure they cannot be twisted to serve the interests of those who would harm our society.” — UK Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, January 2015.

  • Swedish intelligence deemed him too dangerous to stay in Sweden, so the immigration authorities sought to have him deported to Syria. They did not succeed: the law does not permit his deportation to Syria, as he risks being arrested or executed there. Instead, he was released and is freely walking around in Malmö.
  • “It would simply never in a million years have occurred to the authors of the original Convention on Human Rights that it would one day end up in some form being used as a justification to stay here by individuals who are a danger to our country and our way of life…” — UK Justice Secretary, Chris Grayling, January 2015.

After the Manchester terrorist attack, it was revealed that there are not “just” 3,000 jihadists on the loose in the UK, as the public had previously been informed, but rather a dismaying 23,000 jihadists. According to The Times:

“About 3,000 people from the total group are judged to pose a threat and are under investigation or active monitoring in 500 operations being run by police and intelligence services. The 20,000 others have featured in previous inquiries and are categorised as posing a ‘residual risk”‘.

Why was the public informed of this only now?

Notably, among those who apparently posed only “a residual risk” and were therefore no longer under surveillance, were Salman Abedi, the Manchester bomber, and Khalid Masood, the Westminster killer.

It appears that the understaffed UK police agencies and intelligence services are no match for 23,000 jihadists. Already in June 2013, Dame Stella Rimington, former head of the MI5, estimated that it would take around 50,000 full-time MI5 agents to monitor 2,000 extremists or potential terrorists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That amounts to more than 10 times the number of people employed by MI5. In October 2015, Andrew Parker, director general of the Security Service, said that the “scale and tempo” of the danger to the UK was at a level he had not seen in his 32-year career.

British politicians appear to have consistently ignored these warnings and allowed the untenable situation in the country to fester until the “new normal” became jihadists murdering children for Allah at pop concerts.

Given the prohibitive costs of monitoring 23,000 jihadists, the only realistic solution to this enormous security issue appears to be deporting jihadists, at least the foreign nationals among the 3,000 monitored, because they pose a threat. British nationals represent a separate problem, as they cannot be deported. Nevertheless, deportation has been an underused tool in the fight against Islamic terrorism: politicians worry too much about international conventions of human rights — meaning the human rights of jihadists and convicted terrorists, rather than the human rights of their own populace.

According to findings by the Henry Jackson Society in 2015 — as, unbelievably, the Home Office said it did not keep figures on the numbers of terror suspects allowed to remain in the UK by the courts — from 2005-2015, 28 convicted or suspected terrorists were allowed to stay in the UK and resist deportation by using the Human Rights Act. According to both the European Convention on Human Rights and the British Human Rights Act, individuals are protected against torture and inhuman or degrading treatment. As these 28 terrorists are all from countries with poor human rights records, they get to stay in the UK by claiming they would face torture if deported to their country of origin.

Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, said:

“Being unable to deport foreign national security threats is an issue that has plagued successive governments. The coalition government has not shown itself able to resolve problems with the legislation that makes this the case any more than its predecessors. This must change – and quickly.”

There is no mysterious force preventing a change in legislation; all that is needed is the political will to leave the international conventions that currently prohibit or make impossible such deportations. Already in 2015, then Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said:

“It would simply never in a million years have occurred to the authors of the original Convention on Human Rights that it would one day end up in some form being used as a justification to stay here by individuals who are a danger to our country and our way of life.

“I do not believe that we should be in a position where we are hamstrung in a way that makes it more difficult to protect our citizens. We need urgent, wholesale reform of human rights laws in this country to make sure they cannot be twisted to serve the interests of those who would harm our society.”

As UK Justice Secretary in 2015, Chris Grayling said: “We need urgent, wholesale reform of human rights laws in this country to make sure they cannot be twisted to serve the interests of those who would harm our society.” (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Many politicians pretend that those international conventions are eternal, virtually divine, instruments of law to which they are bound forever. This kind of false pretense is not only reckless, but criminal in an age where these conventions have become tools used against the most basic freedoms — physical security, the right to life — of the citizens that they were meant to protect. None of the authors presumably intended these conventions to be abused as convenient tools in “lawfare” to protect terrorists and their supporters.

An example of such abuse is the treatment of a convicted al-Qaeda terror fundraiser, Baghdad Meziane. He had links to the Paris attacks; was jailed for 11 years in 2003 for running a terror support network, and is still residing in the UK after using the Human Rights Act to prevent deportation to his native Algeria. After serving his sentence, he is free to continue his terrorist business in the UK.

A small part of the failure of the UK police forces to deal effectively with the thousands of jihadists lies in flawed priorities, at least going by the latest reports. According to Cambridge News, a police helicopter and 10 officers were sent to a home in Cherry Hinton after a complaint from members of the public that the music was too loud. Initially, one officer was sent to the scene, but more arrived and the helicopter was deployed after the officer apparently “took offence” at a song mocking dead terrorist Osama Bin Laden being played, pressed her “panic button” and called in reinforcements. The people at the small drinking party are, according to the Cambridgeshire police spokesman, now being investigated for committing “an alleged incident of incitement of racial hatred.” What, after all, could be more urgent than investigating a drinking party where a Bin Laden parody song was played, with only 23,000 jihadists out and about on the streets of Britain?

The problem of jihadists on the loose is of course not limited to the UK. Recently, a Syrian who arrived in Sweden as a “refugee” in 2015 was acquitted in court of attacking Shia Muslims with firebombs in Sweden. However, having said in monitored conversations that he sees himself as a jihadist who wants to become a martyr and considering that he has been in touch with ISIS, Swedish intelligence deemed him too dangerous to stay in Sweden, so the immigration authorities sought to have him deported to Syria. They did not succeed: the law does not permit his deportation to Syria, as he risks being arrested or executed there. Instead, he was released and is freely walking around in Malmö. Because in Sweden the human rights of an aspiring terrorist foreigner are evidently more important than the human rights of the citizens he wishes to murder.

In short, the policy of doing nothing about the issue of deportation and its clash with outdated human rights conventions, appears to be a deliberate policy in several European countries. The question arises, is Europe actively choosing to commit suicide?

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

Europe: Allah Takes over Churches, Synagogues by Giulio Meotti

  • In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. In Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel now stands. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers.

  • “The French will not wake up until Notre Dame becomes a mosque.” — Emile Cioran, author.
  • Germany is literally selling its churches. Between 1990 and 2010, the German Evangelical Church closed 340 churches. Recently in Hamburg, a Lutheran church was purchased by the Muslim community.
  • “History teaches us that these transformations are rarely innocent.” — Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, assistant to Marine Le Pen.

Last year, at the famous Biennale artistic festival in Venice, Swiss artist Christian Büchel took the ancient Catholic Church of Santa Maria della Misericordia and converted it into a mosque. The church had not been used for Christian worship for more than forty years. Büchel decorated the baroque walls with Arabic writing, covered the floor with a prayer rug, and hid the crucifix behind a prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca, the holy city of Islam. It was a provocation.

But everywhere else in Europe, the practice of Islam really is outstripping Christianity, while Jews are leaving — not only France but the old continent — en masse.

In January, Zvi Ammar, the president of the Marseille Israelite Consistory, recommended that Jews that stop wearing a kippah (skullcap) when out in the street. Too many anti-Semitic incidents have cast fear into the hearts of Marseille’s 70,000 Jews, who make up a tenth of the city’s population. 500 Jews already left the city in 2015. A few days ago, Mr. Ammar announced another attempt at appeasement: the conversion of a historic synagogue into a mosque.

The synagogue Or Torah [“light of the Torah”] was bought by the Muslim organization Al Badr for 400,000 euros ($456,000). The synagogue was empty, due to rampant anti-Semitism in Marseille, while the nearby mosque, run by Al Badr, was unable to handle the overcrowding every Friday, with the faithful forced to pray in the street (a quarter of the inhabitants of Marseille are Muslim). Muslims in Marseille already have 73 mosques.

A year ago, the Muslim French leader Dalil Boubakeur suggested turning empty churches into mosques. It is the first time in France that something similar happened to a synagogue. “History teaches us that these transformations are rarely innocent,” said Bertrand Dutheil de La Rochère, an assistant to Marine Le Pen, leader of the National Front party. He appeared to be comparing the fate of the synagogue to that of the Hagia Sophia Basilica, which became a mosque in Constantinople (now Istanbul) in 1453, after its capture by the Muslim Ottoman Turks.

The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the grandest cathedral in the Christian world, until it was captured and converted to a mosque by the Muslim Ottoman Turks in 1453. The Middle East is full of churches and synagogues turned into Islamic sites. Today, every traveler in a modern European city can notice the new mosques being built alongside abandoned and secularized churches, some converted into museums. (Image source: Antoine Taveneaux/Wikimedia Commons)

“What should we do?” Zvi Ammar asked this author.

“Security concerns had already pushed the Jews out of the city’s center. We could no longer live in a Muslim area, so the synagogue was empty. Thousands of synagogues in the Arab-Islamic world, from Libya to Morocco, from Iraq to Tunisia, have been converted into mosques. The only difference is that in France, Muslims cannot expropriate a synagogue; they have to pay for it.”

What a sad consolation.

Zvi Ammar, however, is right: not only is the Middle East full of synagogues turned into Islamic sites, but also of churches converted into mosques, such as the Umayyad in Damascus, the Ibn Tulun in Cairo and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. In Hebron and on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Muslim conquerors built their sites atop the Jewish ones.

A few years ago, Niall Ferguson, the brilliant contemporary historian, wrote about Europe’s future as “the creeping Islamicization of a decadent Christendom.” It is easy to find images of the decay of Europe’s Christianity and the growth of Islam in the heart of the old continent. Every traveler in any modern European city can notice the new mosques being built alongside abandoned and secularized churches, some converted into museums.

The most crucial moment in Michel Houellebecq’s novel, Submission, is when the novel’s protagonist, a Sorbonne professor searching for a conversion experience, visits a Christian shrine, only to find himself unmoved. This is a reality in France.

In the French region of Vierzon, the Church of Saint-Eloi has become a mosque. The diocese of Bourges had put the church on sale, and a Muslim organization made a most generous offer to buy the site. In the Quai Malakoff, in Nantes, the old Church of Saint Christopher became the Mosque of Forqane.

In the Dutch province of Friesland, 250 of 720 existing churches have been transformed or closed. The Fatih Camii Mosque in Amsterdam once was the Saint Ignatius Church. A synagogue in The Hague was turned into the Al Aqsa Mosque. The Church of St. Jacobus, one of the oldest of the city of Utrecht, was recently converted into a luxury residence. A library just opened in a former Dominican church in Maastricht.

The main mosque in Dublin is a former Presbyterian church. In England, the St. Marks Cathedral is now called the New Peckam Mosque, while in Manchester, the Mosque of Disbury was once a Methodist church. In Clitheroe, Lancashire, the authorities granted permission to have an Anglican church, Saint Peter’s Church in Cobridge, transformed into the Madina Mosque. It is no longer taboo in the media to talk about “the end of British Christianity.”

Belgium, once a cradle of European Catholicism, is closing dozens of its churches. The Church of St. Catherine, built in 1874, dominates the historic center of Brussels, the only religious building created in the city’s “pentagon” at the end of Ancien Régime, and today one of the most protected in the EU’s capital, especially after the terror attacks there on March 22, 2016. Brussels, however, wanted to convert the church into a fruit market. Only the mobilization of the faithful hindered the city’s plan.

Last month, The Economist explained what is happening in Belgium, once famous for the Madonna of Bruges, one of Michelangelo’s most famous paintings: “If anything holds Belgium together through its third century of existence, Catholicism will not be the glue,” the magazine wrote. That, it noted, will be Islam. In Brussels, half the children in state schools choose classes in Islam; practicing Catholics amount to 12%, while 19% are practicing Muslims.

According to La Libre newspaper, dozens of Belgian churches are in imminent danger of conversion to other uses. The Church of Saint-Hubert in Watermael-Boitsfort is expected to accommodate apartments, while the Church of the Holy Family of Schaerbeek awaits an investor. In Malonne, the chapel of Piroy has been transformed into a restaurant. In Namur, the Saint-Jacques Church was transformed into a clothing store and the Church of Notre Dame, built in 1749 and deconsecrated in 2004, is now a “cultural space.” The square will be redeveloped, with ticketing services and catering. Dozens of exhibitions, concerts and fashion shows have already been held in the church. In Tournai, the Church of St. Margherita has been transformed into apartments.

Eight centuries after its founding, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament at Binche, a majestic building in the heart of a medieval town close to Brussels, was put on sale for the symbolic sum of one euro. In Mechelen, Flanders, in place of a famous church, a luxury hotel has arisen. Catholic arches, columns and windows still soar between menus and tables for customers.

Despite the fact that the “Pope Emeritus,” Joseph Ratzinger, comes from Germany, that Chancellor Angela Merkel is the daughter of a Lutheran minister and the current German president, Joachim Gauck, is a Protestant pastor, Germany is literally selling its churches. Between 1990 and 2010, the German Evangelical Church closed 340 churches. Recently, in Hamburg, a Lutheran church was purchased by the Muslim community. In Spandau, the church of St. Raphael is now a grocery store. In Karl Marx’s town, Trier, some churches have been turned into gyms. In Cologne, a church is now a luxurious residence with a private pool.

The writer Emile Cioran once cast a sinister prophecy on Europe: “The French will not wake up until Notre Dame becomes a mosque.” Five years ago, a French historian, Dominique Venner, shot himself on the altar of Notre Dame, Paris’s most famous Cathedral. This suicide, which the mainstream media dismissed as the gesture of a Catholic crank, was a terrible warning to Europe. But no one was paying attention.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Europe: “The Era of Liberal Babble” by Judith Bergman

  • Uninhibited by the obvious fear of their citizens, the EU nevertheless carries on its immigration policies.Ironically, Western political elites consider this clearly widespread sentiment against Muslim immigration “racist” and “Islamophobic” and consequently disregard it — thereby empowering anti-immigration political parties.

  • “Islam has no place in Slovakia…. [the problem is not migrants coming in, but] rather in them changing the face of the country.” — Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia.

 

Europe, so many years after the Cold War, is ideologically divided into a new East and a West. This time, the schism is over multiculturalism. What Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has termed “liberal babble” continues to govern Western Europe’s response to the challenges that migration and Islamic terrorism have brought, especially to personal security.

The Western European establishment considers arming oneself against terrorists, rapists and other ill-wishers outlandish, even in the face of the inability of Europe’s security establishments to prevent mass terrorist atrocities, such as those that took place in Paris at the Bataclan Theater or the July14 truck-ramming in Nice.

The European Union’s reaction to terror has been to make Europe’s already restrictive gun laws even more restrictive. The problem is that this restrictiveness contradicts the EU’s own reports: these show that homicides committed in Europe are mainly committed with illegal firearms.

In Eastern Europe, on the other hand, it is still normal to want to defend yourself. Last summer, Czech President Milos Zeman even encouraged citizens to arm themselves against Islamic terrorism. “I really think that citizens should arm themselves against terrorists. And I honestly admit that I changed my mind, because previously I was against [citizens] having too many weapons. After these attacks, I don’t think so”.

Since the president’s remarks, the Czech Interior Minister, Milan Chovanec, has proposed extending the use of arms in the event of a terrorist attack. He explained that despite strict security measures, it is not always possible for the police to guarantee a fast and effective intervention. Fast action from a member of the public could prevent the loss of many lives.

Such reasoning, often seen as laughable in Western Europe, reflects an understanding of the fear that has become a recurring theme on the continent. In Germany, a recent poll showed that two out of three Germans are afraid of becoming the victim of a terrorist attack and 10% perceive an “acute threat” to their safety. Among women, the figures were even higher. 74% responded that they sometimes feel unsafe in crowded places, and 9% said they felt permanently threatened and scared.

Western European leaders, on the other hand, pretend not to understand this fear. In 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel was asked how Europe could be protected against Islamization. Merkel, who does not move without her own personal security team consisting of 15-20 armed bodyguards around her, working in shifts, answered: “Fear is not a good adviser. It is better that we should have the courage once again to deal more strongly with our own Christian roots.” In December, she told members of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), who were asking how to reassure the public about integrating migrants, “This could also broaden your horizons.” (This is the same Merkel, who in 2010 said that multiculturalism had “utterly failed”).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (center) was asked how Europe could be protected against Islamization. Merkel, who has a personal security team of 15-20 armed bodyguards around her, working in shifts, answered: “Fear is not a good adviser.” (Image source: Paralax video screenshot)

As Western Europeans are discovering, however, that the state is increasingly unable to protect them, they have begun acting on their fears:

In France, a survey showed an increase of almost 40% in gun license requests since 2011. “Before the beginning of 2015, it was only a vague trend. Since the ‘Charlie Hebdo‘, Bataclan and Nice attacks, [gun license requests] have become a growing phenomenon”, wrote Le Nouvel Observateur.

In Belgium, requests for gun license applications soared in one major province, Liège, doubling in just five years. “The explanation may lie in the current security context, which generates feelings of insecurity among the population”, said officials from Liège’s Arms Service, the state body in charge of granting gun licenses in the province.

In the wake of mass sexual attacks by migrants in Cologne, major German cities all reported an increase of requests for weapons permits. Cologne police estimated that they received at least 304 applications within just two weeks of the mass sexual assaults. In 2015, the city’s police force saw only 408 applications total over the entire year.

Switzerland has also seen a drastic rise in gun permit applications, with all 12 cantons reporting an increase from 2015. Interim 2016 figures show a further escalation. “There’s no official explanation for the rise, but in general we see a connection to Europe’s terrorist attacks,” said Hanspeter Kruesi, a police spokesman in the Swiss canton of St. Gallen.

Gun sellers in Austria also said that interest in weapons grew after a large number of refugees arrived. “Fear is very much a driving force,” said Robert Siegert, a gun maker and the weapons trade spokesman at the Austrian Chamber of Commerce.

Uninhibited by the obvious alarm of their citizens, the EU nevertheless carries on its immigration policies. “I believe Europeans should understand that we need migration for our economies and for our welfare systems, with the current demographic trend we have to be sustainable,” said Federica Mogherini, the EU’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy. She added that the continent “does not and will not close its doors” to migrants.

Mogherini is probably not interested in a recent Chatham House study, in which an average of 55% of the people across the 10 European countries surveyed wanted to stop all future immigration from mainly Muslim countries. Only two of the countries surveyed were from Eastern Europe. A ban was supported by 71% of people in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy. In the UK, 47% supported a ban.

Ironically, Western political elites consider this clearly widespread sentiment against Muslim immigration “racist” and “Islamophobic” and consequently disregard it — thereby empowering anti-immigration political parties.

Several countries in Eastern Europe, such as Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, have refused to take in more migrants, and several Balkan countries have completely closed their borders.

Czech President Milos Zeman has openly stated, “The experience of Western European countries which have ghettos and excluded localities shows that the integration of the Muslim community is practically impossible”.

Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico has dismissed multiculturalism as a “fiction”. He has also refused to accept EU-agreed quotas on relocating migrants saying, “It may look strange but sorry … Islam has no place in Slovakia.” He added that the problem is not migrants coming in but “rather in them changing the face of the country.”

Western Europe has predictably responded with accusations of “Islamophobia” and “fanning hatred towards minorities and refugees”. One EU state, Luxembourg, even suggested expelling Hungary from the EU for its refusal to toe the EU line and, according to Luxembourg, for treating asylum seekers, “worse than wild animals”. Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán, in turn, harbors little respect for the way that his Western European colleagues have shaped politics: “We are experiencing now the end of an era: a conceptual-ideological era,” Orbán told supporters in 2015, “Putting pretension aside, we can simply call this the era of liberal babble. This era is now at an end.”

Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

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