December 2, 2013
Summary: Guido Steinberg is Germany’s foremost specialist on Islamist terrorism in Europe. In this interview with Paul Hockenos, he talks about the specifics of German Islamist terrorism and al-Qaeda’s change of strategy.
Full interview at Qantara.de – http://en.qantara.de/content/guido-steinberg-on-german-islamist-terrorism-trend-towards-individual-jihad
An Islamic organisation that has argued sobriety is an “obligation on Muslims” and a “revolutionary duty” has invested in a bar chain offering £1 “shooters’” and £3 cocktails.
Accounts filed by the Islamic Human Rights Commission’s charitable trust in 2009 listed as an investment the Baa Bar Group, a Liverpool-based company with eight locations across the North of England, worth £38,250. Accounts for the year ending 30 June 2012 showed continued investment in the chain, which on its website encourages customers to “follow their own deepest of animal instincts”. The message couldn’t be more different from the IHRC’s own publications. Among these is Quest For Unity by Imam Achmad Cassiem. The report says: “The greatest underminer and saboteur of discipline and confidence is alcohol and so-called social drinking.” It goes on to claim that the “oppressor” is “making enormous profits from liquor” and urges Muslims to refrain from producing, distributing and consuming alcohol.
The IHRC did not respond to invitations for a response and The Baa Bar Group declined to comment. However Jacob Campbell, research director for Stand for Peace, an interfaith organisation that campaigns against extremism, is quoted as saying: “Although bizarre on the face of it, it actually isn’t all that surprising. Islamist groups tend to take the view that the ends invariably justify the means… Better by far to become morally bankrupt than financially so.”.
14 January 2013
In a communiqué released by the French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), the organization praises the French President’s avoidance of the term ‘islamist’ and ‘islamism’ in his recent speech, announcing French support to the Malian government’s battle against armed rebels.
The CFCM salutes the President’s precaution and brings to attention the significance of language as a tool of producing as well as fighting prejudice and abuse against Muslims. Whilst President Francois Hollande’s careful usage of language finds praise, the organization however also points out to the widespread disregard towards misleading and confusing language and vocabulary by a number of French politicians and the French media industry.
A study conducted by France’s Minister of the Interior, Michèle Alliot-Marie, and conducted by the National Institute of High Security (INHES, Institut national des hautes etudes de sécurité) reveals the extent of success of jihadist websites in the country.
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Full-text of the report available here.
A report entitled “Freedom of Speech in Jihad Analysis: Debunking the Myth of Offensive Words” written by unnamed civilian analysts and contractors for the US Central Command has said that words like ‘jihad’ and ‘Islamist’ are needed in discussing 21st century terrorism issues.
The report added that federal agencies which avoid such words are “soft-pedaling” the link between religious extremism and violent acts. The report is quoted as saying: “We must reject the notion that Islam and Arabic stand apart as bodies of knowledge that cannot be critiqued or discussed as elements of understanding our enemies in this conflict.”
The report counters a January 2008 memorandum from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which recommended avoiding using such terms as “jihadist,” “Islamic terrorist,” “Islamist,” or “holy war” saying that such terminology would create a negative climate and spawn acts of discrimination and harassment.
Politicians in Germany warned Saturday of the dangers posed by Islamists, following the arrest of two terrorist suspects and a police search for two others. The arrests took place in Cologne on Friday when a Somali and a German of Somali descent were escorted off a plane bound for the Dutch city Amsterdam. German prosecutors on Saturday were granted arrest warrants for the two men by a local court. Chief prosecutor Fred Apostel said evidence provided by police showed the pair “were planning to carry out an attack in the near future.” Security sources said the pair had been under observation for months and were planning to travel via the Netherlands to a training camp for militants on the Pakistan-Afghan border. A search of their apartment had turned up letters in which the two men, who are in their 20s, had declared their readiness to die in a jihad or holy war, the sources said. Police apparently stepped in to prevent them from joining their comrades in the Islamic Jihad Union, (IJU), often described as a successor to the terrorist network al Qaeda.
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When the author was sixteen, he became an Islamic fundamentalist. Five years later, after much emotional turmoil, he rejected fundamentalist teachings and returned to normal life and his family. He tried to put his experiences behind him, but as the events of 7/7 unfolded, it became clear to him that Islamist groups pose a threat to this country.
Full-text of The Guardian’s review available here.