Stop Referring to Mideast Extremists as “Islamic State,” argues French Foreign Minister

Fabius455158720-676x450Laurence Fabius, France’s foreign minister contends that it is incorrect to refer to extremists in Syria and Iraq as the Islamic State, as “they do not represent Islam or a state.”

France has lobbied for international action to combat extremists and is arming Kurdish authorities to fight jihadists. Francois Hollande is travelling to Iraq to host an international conference that will highlight initiatives to combat the group and aid Iraq.

Fabius referred to the group as Da’ash, the acronym in Arabic for its former name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He stated, “the determination of the Daesh butchers is strong. Ours must be even stronger.”

Egypt’s top Islamic authority also stated that the group should not be referred to as the Islamic State.

The Three Silences of Islam in France

A number of Muslim leaders have spoken up within the last week condemning the violence of the Islamic State, an initiative that Jean-Marie Guénois looks at with caution.

In his recent op-ed he states that the initiative launched by Dalil Boubakeur, rector of the Great Mosque of Paris and president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, and Patrick Karam, president of Coordination for Eastern Christians in Danger (Chredo,) should be approached with “caution.” Together they launched the “Call of Paris” to condemn “with force and without any ambiguity” the abuses of the Islamic State against the Christian population in the East.

Guénois states that “the caution can come from the overflow of verbal condemnations of jihadists that feeds a sound box that is already full. Saudi Arabia, The Arab League haven’t they joined the chorus of complaints in the last few days? This global bubble of violent protests seems to be split, powerless, on the bloody sword blade that is more than ever brandished by these combatants.”

He adds that “Islam is a very sensitive issue for an anxious French public opinion. It is highly charged. Therefore, some don’t want to write a blank check to Islamophobia in our country, but others encourage it.”

Guénois suggests that the overwhelming amount of precautions and denunciations can lead to “indifference in the face of a genuine international scandal. Gross negligence when Christians undergo a mass ‘cleansing,’ as was reported Tuesday, because they do not think or believe in the right way according to the police of Islamist thought.

He states that it is important to closely follow the international conference scheduled for the end of the year “to see if it will be real or symbolic operation.”

Concerning a French plan: “Why are Muslim networks of mosques and different associations unable to detect and foresee the comings and goings of the 800 young jihadists of which the Minister of the Interior still possesses an accurate count? They come from real families, known in their neighborhood. First silence.”

He continues, “Concerning a international plan: Who finances and really controls this self-proclaimed caliphate and who does it benefit? Second silence.”

And finally: “Concerning a theological plan: all Muslims agree that these combatants ‘have nothing to do with Islam,’ but they claim it constantly. What is wrong? Third silence.”

Video: Frenchman suspected of taking children to fight jihad

A French woman has reported that her 3-year-old daughter, Jana, was kidnapped by her father and taken to Syria to fight alongside jihadists. The girl’s mother suspects that her ex partner Eddy Leroux and his new girlfriend Jihane took her daughter. She expected Jana home in August and filed a report after she received no contact from Leroux.

Friends of Eddy and Jihane report that the couple has become increasingly radicalized in the last few months, “with one daughter no longer allowed to dance or swim.”

“There is a real danger,” said Prime Minister Manuel Valls. “It is the greatest threat we have faced for decades. It is a threat to our interests and our citizens.”

European countries, especially France, are worried that radicals within their territories will leave to fight in Syria and return to “launch attacks at home.” The French government is expected this week to propose new legislation that will prevent “aspiring jihadists” from leaving French territory.

The government has already instituted anti-terrorist measures in April which include monitoring of “Islamist websites” and can extend as far as revoking French nationality. A hotline was also started so that friends and family of suspected jihadists can call and report if their friend or family member is travelling abroad.


Editorial: Muslims and Christians in Solidarity in France

The “ethnic and religious purification” in Iraq is shocking the world. In order to resist the forces of the Islamic State, Iraqi forces are receiving reinforcements from the American air force. Although no one is sure if these actions will be “sufficient” to stop these offensives, in France the “non-extremist” Muslims condemn the actions of their fanatic coreligionists. The Rally of French Muslims (RMF) strongly condemned the actions of extremists and stressed that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

The RMF calls on the international community “to act in order to stop a violence that spares no Iraqi ethnic or religious community, and who even attacks historical monuments of world heritage.” It further called for “French Muslims to keep the Iraqi people in their prayers, with respect for diversity and religious beliefs.”

The president of the Union of French Mosques (UMF) Mohammed Moussaoui also “firmly condemned the injustices affecting this community of faith.” The organization stated that “those who persecute men and women for their faith and their convictions bear a heavy responsibility before God and man.” Similar to the RMF, the Union called for member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to “make every effort so that Eastern Christians can practice their faith in dignity and freedom.”

The association Imams of France and its president Ahmed Miktar stated that the violence toward Christians is “condemned by all the ulemas of the Muslim world…The Christians of the Middle East are full citizens. They must be able to live freely in their country without any ideology or any person having the right to take it away.” His association reaffirmed its “support for the Christian part of our country and reaffirmed that these tragedies should not undermine the peaceful coexistence that we have built.”

The article concludes: “We know that we are in solidarity in a struggle that should in no case transform into a conflict of religions and civilization.”

Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State

In Chasing a Mirage, Tarek Fatah writes: “Islamists argue that the period following the passing away of Muhammad was Islam’s golden era and that we Muslims need to re-create that caliphate to emulate that political system in today’s world. I wish to demonstrate that when Muslims buried the Prophet, they also buried with him many of the universal values of Islam that he had preached. The history of Islam can be described essentially as the history of an unending power struggle, where men have killed each other to claim the mantle of Muhammad. This strife is a painful story that started within hours of the Prophet closing his eyes forever, and needs to be told. I firmly believe the message of the Quran is strong enough to withstand the facts of history. It is my conviction that Muslims are mature and secure in their identities to face the truth. This is that story.”

Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir reaches out to Young Muslims, calls for Islamic State

{Hizb ut-Tahrir is a international Muslim organization accused of sending followers along a path toward terrorism, while its defenders claim it gives a much needed voice to desires in the Muslim community for global solidarity. Still legal but viewed with much suspicion, this article explores a secretive community that seeks to strike a balance between Islam and Western life more than its critics recognize.} By Dominic Casciani Named as a danger to young minds, but never banned in the UK – what is the message of Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir? This coming weekend the global “political party” which campaigns for a single Islamic state across the Muslim world says it will be holding one of its largest-ever conferences in Indonesia. But as a warm-up, some 2,000 British Muslims arrived at London’s Alexandra Palace to hear the message from the party’s British wing. Hizb ut-Tahrir (HT) has been accused of being a critical player in a so-called “conveyor belt” towards terrorism – that its ideas are part of the problem.