Paris terror attacks: We Muslims must hunt down these monsters who make a mockery of our religion

Twelve years ago, I converted to Islam to marry a Tunisian. It was a purely formal conversion. I remained fundamentally agnostic until 20 months ago, I experienced a spiritual revelation, started to believe in God and to practise my religion of adoption.

We must take the lead in fighting and hunting down extremists, not just beside, but ahead of, our Christian, and Jewish brothers and sisters.

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks earlier this year, I felt it was my duty as a concerned Muslim citizen to express my outrage at having my religion hijacked by mindless thugs.

With several French Muslim theologians and intellectuals, we launched the “Khlass le silence!” (“Enough with the silence!”) movement, which called on French Muslims to take the lead in the struggle against the monsters who make a sordid mockery of our religion.

Despite the emotion felt throughout France and the French Muslim community, our appeal fell largely on deaf ears.

Less than a month later I teamed up with Anwar Ibrahim, the charismatic leader of Malaysia’s opposition; the Palestinian-Austrian theologian Adnan Ibrahim; and a number of other authoritative Muslim figures from all around the world.

In pictures: A night of carnage in France’s capital

Together, we argued that while our natural instinct as Muslims to distance ourselves from the jihadists, saying that the latter have “nothing to do with Islam”, was understandable, it was dubious intellectually and altogether irresponsible to keep our reaction at that.

The last serious attempt at launching a movement of Islamic reform, led by the Egyptian Muhammad Abduh at the turn of the 20th century, ended up in failure and gave way to the creation of the Muslim brotherhood.

To overcome the state of denial described above and the moral decadence that is affecting many of us, nothing less than a new movement of Islamic reform is needed.

Despite some welcome marks of support, our calls continued to go unheeded. Our initiative was attacked or ridiculed by many in the French Muslim community and we were soon branded apostates by Islamic State (my picture appeared along with death threats in their French language propaganda magazine Dar al Islam).

Not a single Muslim leader came to our defence in France when that happened, and barely a thousand of our fellow Muslims manifested their support for our initiative.

On this ignominious day, the time has come for me to repeat with a greater sense of urgency still what my cosignatories and I said earlier this year:

“My dear Muslim brothers and sisters, it is time to make our voices heard: we must rise up massively and tell the barbarians who ordered, executed or condoned the acts of mass murder just committed in Paris that from now on we will take the lead in fighting and hunting them down, not just beside, but ahead of, our Christian, Jewish, or agnostic brothers and sisters.

“We must do so because Muslims are the extremists’ first victims and because we have mustered the courage to take our responsibilities and launch a massive, global movement for Islamic reform.

“If we do not, we must accept that these monsters represent Islam (and us) in the face of the entire world. With obvious consequences in many an forthcoming European election. The choice is ours.”

Seven years prison demanded against Dutch jihad-suspects

The Dutch public prosecutor (OM) has demanded punishments up until seven years during the jihad-lawsuit. According the OM it is proven that all nine suspects are guilty of participating in a criminal and terroristic organization.

The highest punishment of seven years the OM has demanded for Azzedine C. According to the Justice Department he is the instigator and leader of the group. He is the only one that is still in custody.

Against Rudolph H. six years were demanded. He is supposed to be responsible for the website “De Ware Religie” (English: The True Religion), which is inflammatory according to the Justice Department. Ousama C. has to go to prison for five years according to the Justice Department.

Dutch constitution in Arabic for refugees

The Dutch cabinet is going to give the assignment to translate the Dutch constitution into Arabic for refugees. Municipalities can give the translation to people who arrive in refugee centers.

Chapter one which consists of the prohibition of discrimination is already available. The translation of the full constitution will become available next month.

Minister of Interior and Kingdom Relations Ronald Plasterk finds it important that refugees have knowledge of Dutch law. “These people arrive in a country that is foreign to them. I think it is good to teach them in their own language about the basis rules of our society”.

He alluded to the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion. He also thinks it important that migrants realize that men and women are equal and that differences in sexual orientation are accepted in the Netherlands.

Dutch public prosecutor investigates Pediga-speaker for hate speech

The Dutch public (OM) prosecutor is going to investigate if one of the speakers of the Pediga-demonstration earlier this month in the city of Utrecht has uttered punishable statements during a speech. It concerns the speech of Raffie Chohan, a well known speaker at anti-immigrant demonstrations.

Among other things she spoke in Utrecht of “massive inbreeding” amongst Muslims which would cause “huge damage” to their mental health. Furthermore Chohan stated that she “despises and hates Muslims because of their lunatic ideology.”

The OM has taken the initiative upon itself to conduct a more in detail investigation. The whole speech will be analyzed to be able to determine if the speaker has uttered discriminating statements against the Islamic population group, according to an OM-spokesmen.

Eleven men arrested after attack on refugee center in Dutch city

Eleven people were arrested after an attack on an emergency refugee center in the Dutch city of Woerden. All are men between the ages of 19 and 35. They will be held in custody for now.

A total of twenty men were involved in the attack on the refugee center. They pushed over barriers and threw firework bombs and eggs. Security forces of the refugee center calls the police after which the suspects ran away. With the help of bystanders the men could be arrested.

All men were living in and around Woerden. They were clad in black and were wearing balaclavas. The mayor of Woerden Victor Molkenboer thinks the men belongs to a single group. He spoke of a “sick group”.

Mayor Molkenboer says that the refugees were very frightened. “Most of them come from war zones. Hearing explosions gives them a traumatic experience. It has made a deep impression on them”.

According to poll Dutch anti-Islam party biggest of the country

If today elections would be held the Dutch anti-Islam party PVV (Party for Freedom) would win 35 seats in parliament and thus become the biggest party of the Netherlands. It is the second time since the breakaway of PVV-leader Geert Wilders from the Dutch Liberal Party (VVD) in 2004. This emerged out of the opinion poll carried out by Dutch researcher Maurice de Hond.

According to De Hond this record is related to the refugee crisis. In the last tree months the party has won fifteen seats. In the same period the VVD and the SP (Socialist Party) lost six seats and the CDA (Christian Democrats) lost tree seats. But according to De Hond this does not mean that people switched directly to the PVV.

The opinion poll furthermore says that of the 95 percent of people who are now voting for the PVV are of the opinion that the borders should be closed to refugees. Amongst supporters of other parties this percentage is much lower.

Ten arrests at Pegida-protest in the Dutch city of Utrecht

Hundreds of people gathered at the central square of Vredenburg in the Dutch city of Utrecht for a demonstration organized by the German anti-Islam movement Pegida. There was a massive presence of police at the Pegida-demonstration as well as a counter-demonstration by the International Socialists elsewhere in the city. Almost immediately after the initiation of the demonstration disorder and rows started. A total of ten people were arrested.

Wilders calls the Netherlands one big refugee center

According to the Dutch anti-Islam party leader Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom / PVV) the Netherlands has turned into one big refugee center. He called it “terrible” that “three quarters of Dutch municipalities are preoccupied with sheltering refugees.” According to the PVV 293 of 393 municipalities are working for the sheltering of refugees.

During a political campaign PVV-supporters carried flyers with the message “Not one more refugee. Shelter in own region. Close the borders!” Several locals carried banners with the counter-message “No human being is illegal.” Local fractions of other Dutch political parties GroenLinks (GreenLeft), PVDA (Labour Party), and SP (Socialist Party) held a silent protest at a nearby site.

 

David Cameron: Muslim silent majority must tackle Islamist extremism

David Cameron has said it is time for the Muslim “silent majority” to stand up and tackle Islamist extremism in their communities. The Prime Minister said those who have so far failed to confront the fanatics’ ideology can “make all the difference” and must speak up.

He said they were central to challenging their warped views and can show young people how to be proud to be both Muslim and British. Mr Cameron spoke out as he prepared to launch the Government’s extremism strategy designed to tackle fanatics and hate preachers and restrict their activities.

But writing on Facebook, he added: “As a government, I know we must own this problem. But our Muslim communities must own it, too. We have all got a critical part to play, but I strongly feel the currently silent majority can make all the difference.

“They’re central to standing up and challenging the warped interpretation of theology and scripture. They’re central to putting forward a liberal, tolerant and inclusive Islam, and demonstrating how it can work in harmony with democracy, freedom and equality. They can show the boy in East London or the girl in Birmingham how proud you can feel to be both British and Muslim, without conflict or contradiction. And in standing up, by speaking out, I am confident that we will defeat the extremists, and together build the Greater Britain that is within our grasp.”

Mr Cameron will later say that defeating Islamist extremists “will be the struggle of our generation” as he reveals a series of new laws to “disrupt” radicals operating in Britain. Mr Cameron will announce sweeping new powers for the Disclosure and Barring Service to ensure that anyone with a conviction for terrorist or extremist activity is automatically banned from working with children and vulnerable people – in the same way as those convicted of sexual offences against children.

He will also announce Asbo-style restriction orders, named “extremist disruption orders”, designed to restrict Islamist preachers from broadcasting, using social media or speaking at public events. The Government will also extend powers allowing parents to apply for their children’s passports to be removed if they fear they are at risk of travelling abroad to fight alongside terrorists. Under the current rules, parents could apply to have the passports of under 16s removed by the authorities. However, Mr Cameron will say this will now be extending to under 18s amid fears that terror groups such as Isil are using social media websites like Twitter to radicalise teens and convince them to travel to Syria.

Mr Cameron will say that the measures are to be included in a new extremism bill.

He will signal his intention to revive the so-called “snoopers’ charter”, which was blocked by the Liberal Democrats during the coalition and will give the security services tough new powers to monitor telephone and internet communications by suspected terrorists.

UK mom says living under ISIS was worse than she expected

Shukee Begum, 33, who went to Syria with her five children to look for her husband, said the experience of living under ISIS’ stronghold was worse than she expected.  Her husband, Jamal al-Harith, left Britain 18 months ago to fight with the Islamic State. Begum has described her stay at the ISIS dominated city of Raqqa as “not my cup of tea.”

Begum, who is a law graduate from northern England, U.K., said she only went to Syria to bring back her husband and not because she shared the ideology of ISIS.  He joined ISIS militants 18-months ago and asked his wife to join him in Syria, despite her six-month pregnancy. She refused to join him at that time and waited until her child was four weeks old. After repeated pressure from her husband, she then took all her children to Turkey for a holiday and was smuggled across the border into Syria.

“I was seeing on the news at this point that ISIS was going from bad to worse. So I decided that I was going to try and speak some sense into him,” she told Channel 4 News. “My husband is a family man. I’ve always known him. I’ve been married to him for 11 years. I’ve always known him to be a good man with good characteristics.”

Begum later reunited with her husband but he did not help her get out of Syria. An appeal to the ISIS authority too yielded no result as she was refused permission to leave the country. She warned other women who were thinking of going to an ISIS-dominated region that it is not easy to sneak out once someone has set foot on their territory.

Begum was held captive in Aleppo after she was smuggled out of ISIS territory by a group of smugglers. After about three months in captivity, Begum was finally freed with the help of an American journalist, Bilal Abdul Kareem. She is now living at a place near the border with Turkey and is looking forward to return to U.K. soon, as she considers the country to be her home.