Dutch Muslim organization wants ban on demonstration Pro-Patria

The Contact Organization for Muslims and Government (CMO) has emphatically requested the Mayor of the Dutch city of Gouda Milo Schoenmaker to forbid a demonstration by the extreme right organization Pro Patria (English: For the Fatherland). The CMO stated it has received many phone calls by concerned Muslims. Spokesperson Yassin Elforkani said a counter-demonstration was also planned.

Mayor Milo Schoenmaker has decided to allow the Pro Patria demonstration. The extreme right organization stated it is combating Muslim extremist through these demonstrations.

“After the announcement that the demonstration will take place we received a lot of phone calls from Muslims who fear an escalation will take place. I’ve already seen a flyer with a call for a counter-demonstration,” Elforkani said. “It might also be that the action group Identitair Verzet (English: Indentitary Resistance) will take part in the demonstration. The activists belonging to this extreme right group occupied a Dutch mosque earlier this month (http://www.volkskrant.nl/binnenland/moslimorganisaties-bang-na-bezette-moskee-leiden~a3847209/).

“We are very much for the freedom of expression but we are worries about the societal tensions. Therefore we ask the Mayor to take his responsibility,” the spokesperson said. The municipality has announced it is waiting for an official request by the CMO.

Luz: “The majority of Muslims don’t care about Charlie Hebdo”

Charlie Hebdo illustrator Luz stands outside the magazine's offices after it was firebombed in 2011. (Photo: Revelli-Beaumont/SIPA/Rex Features)
Charlie Hebdo illustrator Luz stands outside the magazine’s offices after it was firebombed in 2011. (Photo: Revelli-Beaumont/SIPA/Rex Features)

Luz, the illustrator who escaped the January 7 attack at the Charlie Hebdo office, conducted a video interview with Vice. He recounts what he saw that day and discusses the magazine’s controversial headline.

“I was really lucky. It was my anniversary on January 7 and I stayed in bed with my wife for a long time. As a result, I was stupidly late to the meeting. When I arrived at Charlie, I saw people who stopped me and whole told me ‘Don’t go in there, there are two armed men who just entered the building.’”

Luz saw the two terrorists leave and reenter the building several minutes later. “I began to see traces of bloody footsteps. I understood after: it was the blood of my friends. I saw there were people on the ground. I saw a friend face down on the ground.” He continues between sobs: “They needed belts to stop the bleeding. I realized I didn’t have a belt. So now I wear belts.”

Since the attack there has been controversy surrounding the representation of Muhammad. Several demonstrations against the magazine have occurred in the Muslim world. “I think that the majority of Muslims don’t care about Charlie Hebdo,” says Luz. “I think that people who assume the right to say that the entire Muslim community was offended are people who take Muslims to be idiots.” He adds that it’s “sad” that newspapers such as The New York Times decided not to publish the cover.

Dutch extreme right group organizes anti-Islam demonstration

Pro Patria, a Dutch extreme right group, announced to yet again take to the streets to demonstrate for the freedom of speech and against fundamentalistic Muslims. The organization will hold a “March for Freedom” on Saturday 28 February. The extreme right group says it wants to call upon Dutch political figures to “defend our freedoms.” “Looking away is no longer an option,” Pro Patria writes on her Facebook page.

In August 2014 Pro Patria organized a similar demonstration in the multicultural neighborhood Schilderswijk in The Hague. This resulted in a confrontation with (Islamic) youth. Shortly after the incident the Mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen announced a temporary ban on demonstrations in residential areas of The Hague. The leadership of Pro Patria is thought to consist of members of various extreme right groups that are active in the Netherlands or have been in the past.

Opinion: Attack Will Empower Europe’s Far Right

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By Mabel Berezin

Responding to the massacre at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, President Barack Obama and other public figures such as John Kerry, author Salman Rushdie — even the far-right nationalist French politician Marine Le Pen — have defended the right to freedom of expression as a core democratic value. Huge demonstrations in solidarity with the victims are occurring throughout France and in many European capitals.

The slogan “Je suis Charlie Hebdo” is circulating widely in social media. Twitter is inundated with tweets about the political power of satire. Pictures of demonstrators holding pens in the air abound.

The political mood in Europe has been growing dark. Volatility is becoming more and more constant. In December, the Swedish government went into a crisis triggered by the right nationalist Sweden Democrats, which are vehemently opposed to more immigration and whose leader recently proclaimed that Jews, Kurds and Sami were not Swedish unless they assimilated. A last-minute compromise among the major parties saved the day in Sweden, but the Sweden Democrats — whose electoral share went from 6% in 2010 to 13% in 2014 — are not leaving the scene.

In Greece, where the openly neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has been in the parliament since 2012, the pro-Europe government came apart and the Prime Ministerhas called snap elections for January 25. In Germany, a group called Pegida staged large demonstrations in Dresden against the “Islamification of Europe.” Prime Minister Angela Merkel in her New Year’s address told the group to stop its demonstrations, but Pegida staged another one in Dresden anyway.
And now France.

Le Pen’s goal since she became head of the National Front in 2011 has been to make it a mainstream party. In 2014, it moved from one electoral breakthrough to another. In March it won mayoral races in four French municipalities, including the traditionally socialist city of Hénin-Beaumont. In May, it came in first place in the European parliamentary elections — which saw an uptick in the fortunes of right nationalist parties throughout Europe.

Le Pen has consistently polled well as a contender in the 2017 French presidential elections. Even before the Charlie Hebdo attack, it was more than likely that she would make it to the second round in 2017. In an October public opinion poll, she outpolled French President François Hollande by 15 percentage points. Her closest rival was former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and she outpolled even him.
The international media often present her as a single-issue candidate around xenophobia and immigration, but Le Pen’s and the Front’s positions have expanded considerably. Her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, the former head of the party, began a strong push against further European integration and French involvement in the Economic and Monetary Union. Unemployment outpaces immigration as the leading problem in public opinion polls.

But politicians take opportunities where they see them, and voters tend to remember dramatic events as well as everyday grievances. Nothing could be more dramatic than the public killings of 12 persons in the center of Paris.

They may well become a tipping point — Europe’s 21st-century version of a Sarajevo moment. Europe has been convulsing for the last few years. The sovereign debt crisis, the high youth unemployment rates, the failure to come up with a just and reasonable refugee policy — all these issues may crystalize around of the event in Paris whether they are directly related or not.

The nationalist right has been gaining strength all over Europe on just these issues. The Charlie Hebdo massacre will not only help Marine Le Pen but will be a boon to nationalist parties throughout Europe. From north to south, ordinary European citizens are already voting for parties that they had shunned in the past. If this trend continues, there will be no guns of August — just the silent assault of one nationalist electoral success after another.

In Germany, a new wave of demonstrations against Muslims and refugees

A new alliance called “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the occident” (PEGIDA), have initiated demonstrations in the city of Dresden.

PEGIDA on a Monday "evening walk" in Dresden, November 10, 2014. (Image source: Filmproduktionen video screenshot)
PEGIDA on a Monday “evening walk” in Dresden, November 10, 2014. (Image source: Filmproduktionen video screenshot)

According to police authorities, more than 5000 people participated at the demonstrations. These demonstrations mark a further wave of protests against Muslim immigrants and refugees after the right-wing initiative “Hooligans against Salafists” (HoGeSa), which were demonstrating in Hannover and Cologne last month.

Germans demonstrate in solidarity with Kobane

Throughout October, there have been various demonstrations in solidarity with the tragic situation of Kurds in Kobane. The high point of this was the organization of nation-wide demonstrations scheduled for the 1st November. People in Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne, Hannover or Frankfurt came out into the streets to protest. Approximately 25000 participated at these nation-wide demonstrations organized by Kurdish organizations.

Michele Bachmann thanking the Egyptian military for the coup and crackdowns

Three U.S. lawmakers who have generated controversy for their statements about Islam and Muslim Americans released a video Saturday praising the Egyptian military and thanking it for staging the July 3 and subsequent crackdowns against their “common enemy,” the Muslim Brotherhood. The video, apparently taken a few hours after meeting with coup leader General Abdel Fatah el-Sissi in Cairo, features Rep. Michele Bachmann reading a statement to the camera. She’s flanked by Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert.

The video, posted below, is a doozy. Bachmann, presumably supported by King and Gohmert, offers fulsome praise for the coup and the military-led government’s subsequent actions, describing its crackdowns against sit-ins and demonstrations as “the front lines” in “the war on terrorism.” She described the Muslim Brotherhood as a common enemy and a “great evil,” implying that it had been responsible for the attacks against the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. King and Gohmert offered similar but more tempered remarks.

Bachmann’s remarks appeared deeply consistent with Egyptian state propaganda that has portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as a secret terrorist organization and an internal enemy.

Unity Walk celebrates all faiths in remembrance of 9/11

A microphone reverberated with the deep and sonorous Muslim call to prayer shortly before 2 p.m. Sunday. “Allaaaaaah — uh — Akbar!” An entire congregation bowed its head in prayer — a Jewish synagogue filled with Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hare Krishnas, Mormons, Pentecostals, Greek Orthodox, Baha’i and others.

On Sunday, days before the nation commemorates the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and as a bitterly divided Congress and country debate whether to authorize missile strikes against another Middle Eastern country, hundreds of Washingtonians gathered for the ninth annual 9/11 Unity Walk, seeking to find what people of different faiths share in common rather than what divides them.

Throughout the afternoon, Christians learned to chant with Hare Krishnas, carefully holding laminated mantras on their laps. Sikhs gave turban-tying demonstrations. Others practiced yoga and tai chi or danced in peace circles. The faithful or the plain curious could help the poor by bagging potatoes at St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox church or making trail mix at the Embassy of the Vatican, open to walkers for the first time in honor of Pope Francis and his dedication to the poor.

A Syrian American who would only give his name as Wasim out of fear for his family still in that country, said he would never have imagined as a boy that he would be so comfortable in a synagogue, praying for peace, for an end to war, for President Obama not to drop bombs on his country, with others of so many different faiths.

It was that spirit, he said, that drew him to the Unity Walk. So often, religion is about converting other souls to the “One True Faith,” about destroying others who don’t believe the same things you do.

 

Single Muslim women on dating: ‘I don’t want to be a submissive wife’

Muslim dating has come of age with its own “a modern Muslim woman with an age-old dilemma”. She is seeking Mr Right but with no sex before marriage and no alcohol. In Britain, these women are part of a growing demographic: educated, independent career women, who struggle to find a partner, especially over 30. British Asians have long been early adopters of the technology to find marriage partners. Even the old aunty network of helpful family matriarchs has gone high tech, I’m told, with handwritten notes replaced, with Excel spread sheets of available “boys” and “girls” aged 20 to 55. Though originally Hindu-focused, the biggest marriage websites, such Shaadi.com, have separate Muslim sections. MuslimandSingle.com has a quick checklist on religiosity: Do you conduct salah (the five-times-a-day prayer ritual)? How often? Eat halal?

 

It seems there are reformations and counter-reformations under way in modern Muslim dating: Some websites encourage modern women to embrace the concept of the “submissive” first (or second) wife. Other couples though are quietly using the nikah (Islamic wedding contract) to try out cohabitation before the finality of a civil marriage. Some forward-looking imams want doctrine updated to allow Muslim women to marry non-Muslims, just as Muslim men can. Struck by “the huge numbers of confident college girls wearing wild and elaborate hijabs, loads of makeup and kissing their boyfriends in public”. Many women develop an assertive Muslim identity at university. Some may seem conservative, from their dress and religious practice, but meet and choose their own husbands on demonstrations or political events. They have married men from different ethnicities, challenging their parents’ racism and obsession with family background. After all, in Islam, all are equal. It’s a fascinating new combination of values from faith and the secular society in which they grew up.

 

The women interviewed say the biggest challenge has been to find a man on the same Islamic wavelength; not looking for a “submissive” wife nor so “liberal” that they’re drinking and sleeping around.

International Islamic Terrorism: a statement by Forza Nuova

June 14, 2013

 

Following the arrest of a 21-year old Moroccan in Vobarno accused of international Islamic terrorism, a section of Forza Nuova Brescia decided to give an or rather, post it, and have decided to include it on different banners in protest on the main streets of the town in Sabbia Valley.

They used the slogan “Islam Out of Italy” and “Stop terrorism, no Islam.” But beyond the individual, which can take this as a gratuitous racial slur, we hear what reasons lie behind this gesture: “We decided to use strong words and phrases” says the press note released by Forza Nuova  “why not is to focus on Islam and not create an opportunity for Muslims to become protagonists.”

“The same area of Vobarno” continues the statement “has experienced in the past negative events related to Muslim immigration. Recall, just to name one, the murder of a bartender in 2001, again by an immigrant of Moroccan origin.”

“We therefore call on citizens not to tolerate this type of continuous violence and widespread damage to the Italians, and we make ourselves available for future demonstrations.”