German vice-chancellor accuses Saudi Arabia of funding Islamic extremism in the West

The German vice-chancellor has publicly accused Saudi Arabia of financing Islamic extremism in the West and warned that it must stop. Sigmar Gabriel said that the Saudi regime is funding extremist mosques and communities that pose a danger to public security. “We have to make clear to the Saudis that the time of looking away is over,” Mr Gabriel told Bild am Sonntag newspaper in an interview.

“Wahhabi mosques all over the world are financed by Saudi Arabia. Many Islamists who are a threat to public safety come from these communities in Germany.” The allegation that Saudi Arabia has funded mosques with links to Islamist terrorism in the West is not new. But it is highly unusual for a Western leader to speak out so directly against the West’s key Arab ally.

But Mr Gabriel’s remarks make it clear there are serious misgivings about the Saudi regime within the government. Wahhabism, a fundamentalist sect of Sunni Islam that inspired both Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and al-Qaeda is also the official form of the religion in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis have long funded the building of Wahhabi mosques around the world to spread the sect. King Salman has already been widely criticised in the German media for offering to build 200 mosques for Syrian refugees arriving in Germany, even as Saudi Arabia refuses to take in any refugees itself. Mr Gabriel’s linking of Saudi-funded mosques to Islamic extremism will heighten concerns over the offer. It is not the first time he has clashed with the Saudi royal family.

Isil has claimed responsibility for a number of terror attacks in Saudi Arabia.

But there have also been persistent allegations the Saudis supplied arms and funding to Isil and other jihadist groups in the Syrian civil war.

Shaker Aamer says Islamic extremists living in UK should ‘get the hell out’

The last detainee at Guantanamo Bay from the UK, who was released after 14 years in detention, has said that Islamic extremists living in the country should “get the hell out”. Shaker Aamer, 48, was held at the US military facility in Cuba on suspicion of terrorist activities but was never charged or tried. He was finally let go in October.

“How can you give yourself the right to be living here in this country, and living with the people and acting like you are a normal person, and then you just walk in the street and try to kill people?” Aamer asked in an interview with The Daily Mail.

“Even if there is a war you cannot kill just anybody, you cannot kill kids, you cannot kill chaplains, you cannot just go in the street and get a knife and start stabbing people. If you are that angry about this country, you can get the hell out,” Aamer, a father of four, said.

Aamer was never charged with any crime nor given a trial, despite being detained for 14 years.

ISIS Is ‘Failing’ And Becoming ‘Increasingly Desperate’, According To British Imams In Haqiqah Magazine

ISIS is becoming “increasingly desperate” and is failing in its mission to create a Khilafah for Muslims, as thousands of Syrians shun the terrorist group to seek refuge in ‘the West’, leading British Imams have said. The group, also known as ISIL and IS, is “losing” as Muslim civilians flee in their thousands and defectors abandon the terrorist orgainsation.

Contributions from British Imams in Thursday’s edition of Haqiqah magazine will explore why Muslims are fleeing Syria, rather than join the “welcoming arms” of ISIS. The magazine’s editorial highlights that both Muslim and non-Muslim ‘Westerners’ have raised millions of pounds for medical supplies, food, accommodation and clothing for those displaced from Syria.

Haqiqah states: “Now ISIS in their desperation are telling Syrians that they are committing a ‘major sin’ in Islam if they seek protection in the West. According to Daesh [ISIS], this makes thousands of Muslim refugees who are fleeing unspeakable oppression from Daesh, other groups and Assad ‘apostates’.”

Shaukat Warraich, editor-in-chief of Haqiqah, said: “Daesh is failing on multiple fronts, it is becoming increasingly desperate. The mass exodus of refugees has exposed their false claim of having established a ‘Caliphate’ for Muslims in the region.”

Angered by images of refugees fleeing the horrors of the terrorist group, Imams in Britain have written in the digital edition to emphasis their rejection of ISIS. Mr Warraich, added: “A global message needs to go out from every corner of the world rejecting Daesh.”

Shaykha Safia Shahid, contributing author of Haqiqah, said: “Through Haqiqah, British Imams and scholars, will make clear that Islam does not permit the killing of thousands of people, sexual abuse, and the destruction of mosques, churches and other religious monuments. Today, Imams from across Britain have come together to send a clear message. Daesh has no claim and legitimacy to the beautiful and compassionate teachings of Islam; we can see its web of lies unraveling.”

Tony Blair: Islamic extremists’ ideology enjoys support of many Muslims

The ideology which drives Islamic extremists has significant support from Muslims around the world, Tony Blair has warned. The former British prime minister said that unless religious prejudice in Muslim communities is rooted out, the threat from the extremists will not be defeated.

Speaking at the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York City, Blair said that while the numbers who engage in violence through groups like Islamic State are relatively small, many of their views are widely shared. “The conspiracy theories which illuminate much of the jihadi writings have significant support even amongst parts of the mainstream population of some Muslim countries,” he said.

“There are millions of schoolchildren every day in countries round the world – not just in the Middle East – who are taught a view of the world and of their religion which is narrow-minded, prejudicial and therefore, in the context of a globalised world, dangerous.”

Blair acknowledged that attacking ideas which resonate in parts of mainstream Muslim society could appear to be an attack on Muslims rather than just extremists, but he said such concerns have to be overcome.

“The reality is that in parts of the Muslim community a discourse has grown up which is profoundly hostile to peaceful coexistence. Countering this is an essential part of fighting extremism.”

Government deradicalisation plan will brand Muslims with beards as terrorists, say academics

The Government’s flagship counter-radicalisation strategy leads Muslims who grow beards to be labelled as terrorists and could be used to clamp down on anti-austerity and environmental campaigners, hundreds of academics have claimed in an open letter to The Independent.

 

Wide-ranging powers brought in this month under the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act force teachers, social workers, prison officers and NHS managers to report signs of radicalisation. Those suspected of extremism will be sent on deradicalisation programmes, while the whole system is to be policed by Government inspectors.

But the new law has been criticised as a direct assault on freedom of speech and a move towards a police state. In an unprecedented intervention, 280 academics, lawyers and public figures claim the controversial law will make Britain less safe as it will force radical political discussion underground.

Among the leading academics who want the Government to rethink the strategy are Karen Armstrong, one of the country’s most prominent writers on religion, and Baroness Ruth Lister, emeritus professor of social policy at Loughborough University.

The new regime, part of the Government’s counter-terrorism policy, Prevent, places public-sector workers under a statutory duty to confront radicalisation. Prevent was introduced by Labour in the wake of 9/11 and remains the frontline policy for combating radicalisation. Last month David Cameron said the Government would provide “a full spectrum” response to counter-terrorism, to include the vetting of external speakers at universities and banning those with extremist views. There are also plans to vet broadcast programmes for extremist content.

But the letter claims that “growing a beard, wearing a hijab or mixing with those who believe Islam has a comprehensive political philosophy are key markers used to identify ‘potential’ terrorism”. Moreover, “Prevent will have a chilling effect on open debate, free speech and political dissent. It will create an environment in which political change can no longer be discussed openly, and will withdraw to unsupervised spaces. Therefore, Prevent will make us less safe.”

Karen Armstrong said: “The Government’s emphasis on religious ideology as the chief driving force for extremism is both dangerous and ill-informed… It ignores the fact that influential Muslim leaders – Sunni and Shi’i, Salafi and liberal alike – have roundly condemned the policies of [Isis] as un-Islamic.

“It ignores the Gallup Poll conducted between 2001 and 2007 in 35 Muslim-majority countries in which 93 per cent of respondents asserted emphatically that there was no justification for the 9/11 attacks and the reasons they gave were entirely religious; the reasons given by the 7 per cent who claimed that the attacks were justifiable were wholly political.”

Government’s 'Prevent' strategy condemned by coalition of academics and public figures
Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy condemned by coalition of academics and public figures

Ms Armstrong, author of Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence, added: “After interviewing over 500 people involved in the 9/11 atrocities, former CIA officer and forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman concluded that the problem is not Islam, but rather ignorance of Islam.”

David Cameron launches a 5 year plan to tackle extremism

Young Muslims are drawn to fundamentalist Islam in the same way young Germans were attracted to fascism in the 20th century, David Cameron will suggest, as he sets out a five-year strategy to combat Isis-inspired radicalisation.Cameron

In a speech in Birmingham, Mr Cameron will say Islamic extremist ideology is based on the same intolerant ideas of “discrimination, sectarianism and segregation” that led to the rise of Hitler and that still exist in the far right.

He will also reject suggestions that Western foreign policy has contributed to the rise of Isis and its popularity among Muslim populations in the West, arguing that such extremism existed long before the Iraq war.

Downing Street said Mr Cameron was determined to make tackling Islamic extremism in Britain a central priority over the next five years with a comprehensive strategy that involved not just the police and the criminal justice system but also “softer interventions” to tackle the root causes of radicalisation.

He will say that extreme views can gain traction – especially with the young. “Like so many ideologies that have existed before – whether fascist or communist – many people, especially young people, are being drawn to it,” he will say. “So we need to understand why it is proving so attractive.”

Mr Cameron will reject claims that support for Isis is formed on the basis of “historic injustices and recent wars, because of poverty and hardship”. Instead he will argue that the “root cause of the threat we face is the extremist ideology itself”.

Boston Terror Suspect’s Shooting Highlights Concerns Over Reach of ISIS

A law enforcement official said that Mr. Rahim had become radicalized by militant Islam social media sites and that he posed an “imminent threat” on the morning that he was confronted.
Coming just a month after two Muslim men with ties to the Islamic State were shot and killed while trying to attack an anti-Islamic gathering in Garland, Tex., the case has also renewed concerns in Washington about the long reach of the Islamic State and other radical groups that have seized on Internet recruitment.
“These cases are a reminder of the dangers posed by individuals radicalized through social media,” said the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, Representative Michael McCaul, Republican of Texas, at a hearing on Wednesday. He added that Mr. Rahim had been under investigation because he was “communicating with and spreading ISIS propaganda online.”

On social media, terror suspects left few signs of extremism

BOSTON — Usaama Rahim liked an Islamic State page on Facebook but also spoke out against the kind of violence Islamic State extremists are fomenting across the Middle East.  Killing people is anti-Islamic, Rahim wrote, arguing a key tenet of the faith is “we do not fight evil with that which causes a greater evil.”
Ibrahim Rahim, second from right, brother of shooting victim Usaama Rahim, reacts with a relative during a news conference Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood in the area where Rahim was shot to death. Police said Usaama Rahim had lunged at members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with a knife when they approached to question him. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
Ibrahim Rahim, second from right, brother of shooting victim Usaama Rahim, reacts with a relative during a news conference Thursday, June 4, 2015, in Boston’s Roslindale neighborhood in the area where Rahim was shot to death. Police said Usaama Rahim had lunged at members of the Joint Terrorism Task Force with a knife when they approached to question him. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
Terrorism experts caution that extremists often chat, plot and recruit not on open social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter but in darker corners of the Internet, such as chat rooms and on blogs not readily viewable or even searchable by the public.

Boston Shooting Raises Questions About Anti-Extremism Plans

BOSTON — The man who was killed by Boston officers after he threatened them with a knife appears to represent the kind of homegrown extremist a federal pilot program seeks to counter. But his case also raises some doubts about whether the preventive measures can even work.
Under Countering Violent Extremism, launched to fanfare by President Barack Obama’s administration in February after months of development, law enforcement and Islamic and community leaders are supposed to work together to tackle terrorism by preventing radicalization from taking root among youths and others vulnerable to extremist propaganda like that spread online by the Islamic State group.

Muslim Leader asks for ‘gesture’ from Roger Cukierman

A leader in the French Council of the Muslim Faith, Mohammed Moussaoui, hoped for a “gesture of appeasement’ from the President of the CRIF, whose comments about young Muslims and anti-Semitism have caused controversy. In a recent interview Roger Cukierman stated that all anti-Semitic violence was committed by “young Muslims,” which caused the CFCM to boycott the annual dinner. “Dialogue never ceased with the CRIF as an organization,” declared the CFCM’s President Dalil Boubakeur. “The two communities are mature enough to find common ground and to overcome any disquiet which was created by these unacceptable remarks.”

“I think it’s necessary for him to make a gesture, appeasing remarks, which would allow for dialogue,” said Mr. Moussaoui. He denounced “all extremism, no matter what type it is,” and condemned “terrorism which claims to be Islam,” deploring amalgamations between extremism and Islam.

Following the January attacks Prime Minister Valls invited Muslim representatives to take part in the fight against terror. “Taking responsibility is to ensure that there is a debate within Islam,” he stated. “It’s what we ask of the main majority of our Muslim compatriots who can no longer be confused with this terror.”