France’s top security official announced that the country has thwarted five terror attacks and dismantled 13 networks affiliated with radical groups in Syria, but stated that the number of young people leaving to become foreign fighters has doubled in the past year.
There are more foreign fighters from France leaving to join extremist groups than from any other European country. France’s government is worried that these fighters will pose security threats when they return to the country.
Minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve affirmed the government’s commitment to stopping radical networks, but stated that 1,200 Frenchmen have already left for Syria. There are currently 400 in the war zone and 200 travelling.
Since August 2013 the government has stopped five attacks but would not state if they were attempted by returning fighters or those who had not left.
In December 2014 two women and their children were prevented from leaving Paris when they attempted to travel to Turkey with the intention of joining an extremist group in Syria.
Cazeneuve also stated that a third of would-be jihadis are converts.
The BBC is failing to address the “awesomely difficult questions” facing Britain, including the economy and the threat of radical Islam, according to the corporation’s former chief.
John Birt, director-general of the BBC from 1992-2000, said its current affairs analysis was falling short. He was not referring to Newsnight, which he described as “a programme of the day, about issues of the moment.” But he said he was “talking about a much more strategic need on all the big questions we face. Every economy bar one in the G7 is more productive than the UK – these are the big issues that go undiscussed,” he told a media conference at London’s City University.
Digital journalism is giving people access to more information than before. “What it is not creating is more quality journalism,” Lord Birt said. “We get more knowledge of things happening around the world but pulling it all together and addressing the big policy questions – what should we be doing in respect of radical Islam, the National Health Service – that’s what we’re not doing very well and nobody’s doing very much.”
He added that the BBC must “get back to those very high purposes which are appropriate to a publicly funded broadcaster”.
Beneath one will find a link to the full speech in the Dutch Parliament by PVV member Machiel de Graaf on the suggested “closure of all mosques” in the Netherlands (with English subtitles). These and other statements on Islam have sparked controversy throughout the country.
Open letters were send by the Collective Against Islamophobia and Discrimination to the Chairman of the Dutch Parliament and fraction leaders of each political party because of recent statements by Party for Freedom (PVV) member Machiel de Graaf. A tremendous amount of critique was expressed throughout the country because of the controversial PVV member’s statements on the closure of all mosques in the Netherlands and in particular the statement that “Islam is not a religion but a political ideology.” De PVV member also stated that the Netherlands would be “a more beautiful country without Islam.”
The Collective demanded a reinstatement of common civility in the parliament and suggested it should undertake measurements against Islamophobic tendencies. De Graaf’s statements are evaluated as encouraging hatred (and sometimes violence) against Muslims and their places of worship. The letters also cites several instances of violent attacks on mosques in support of their claims. The abject and provocative language used by the PVV, the Collective expressed, could easily lead to heavy tensions and even clashes between societal groups and as such are a danger to the stability of Dutch society.
The Municipality of Amsterdam demanded earlier this year that the educational board of the Dutch Islamic Education Foundation (Stichting Islamitisch Onderwijs) should distance itself from a board member who publicly expressed pro-Islamic State (IS) views. After the Municipality had refused a permit to the Islamic Education Foundation for the establishment of a new Islamic high school the organization filed a complaint to the Dutch Court. The Municipality refused to co-operate because a board member expressed views on Facebook in support of the terrorist organization IS, active in Syria and Iraq.
The judge ruled on the demands as being unfounded and unjust on the basis of current Dutch law. The Dutch court also ruled that the Municipality of Amsterdam has to review it’s decisions on the permit within six weeks.
(53) was chosen by the Dutch rightist magazine Weekly Elsevier as Dutch Person of the Year 2014. The city of Rotterdam has had much negative media exposure over the years because of issues related to migration and integration, being one of the cities with the largest migrant populations of the Netherlands. It was also the home of the Dutch politician and Islam critic Pim Fortuyn who was brutally killed by a leftist radical in 2002. The Elsevier editorial board expressed that Aboutaleb deserves the title because he has been the representative face of the city that has been extraordinarily often in the news in positive ways this past year, domestically and internationally.
The editorial board also expressed that Aboutaleb has shown a true example of how a mayor should be, “dedicated, attention for detail, sometimes firm, and always clear.” Aboutaleb has shown, according to the board, that he is not afraid to express his views on multiple societal issues, ranging from Dutch policies on drugs to the so called “polderjihad” (the idea of Dutch Muslim youngsters prone to radicalize religiously or join jihadist movements abroad).