Francois Hollande assured Iraq’s president of his support in the fight against the Islamic State. In a joint statement with prime minster Haidar Al-Abadi, Hollande declared that France is ready to “increase actions” against the Islamic State.
“We will continue to provide military support to Iraq, which is the victim of a full-scale terrorist attack,” he continued. “For three months actions were carried out by the Iraqi army after having received the coalition’s support, and these actions have led to clear progress and military success and therefore political success.”
There are currently nine Rafale and six Mirage fighter jets that are part of the “Chammal” operation. “Baghdad is secure. We are currently moving to free the entire territory that has been occupied by [the Islamic State],” said Hollande. Al-Abadi added, “We believe that liberation is not far away. Today there is more optimism and more hope that Iraq can stay together as one nation, one people.”
The Prime Minister also asked for funding to reconstruct occupied areas. “Reconstruction of areas destroyed by the Islamic State is an important topic,” he added, because “terrorism thrives on the people’s poverty and dissatisfaction with their economic circumstance.” Al-Abaid added that, “the decline in oil prices and in our oil exports have had a negative impact on our budget.”
Kev Adams did not hesitate to defend French Muslims, who are “constantly in the spotlight” because of the Islamic State’s actions. His statement of support happened during his program On n’est pas couché on November 22.
He apologized for any associations between terrorism and Islam. “There are young adults that listen to me and one must not make automatic associations, Muslims are not terrorists, Muslims are good people,” he said.
“I’ve been lucky to tour in France, I like being able to visit different communities and I’ve been to many mosques where I saw that the discourse there is to tell the kids: ‘be proud to be Muslims…and to be French Muslims.’” Adams says it is “completely wrong” to say that they are terrorists, and added, “It’s important for me to say it on television.”
Before his show, journalist Elise Lucet highlighted the work done in mosques to combat radicalization. “In mosques there are people who are doing everything they can so that young adults, converts or Muslims, have a different vision of Islam, thanks to what they are taught.”
Adams’s sentiments were not all well-received by his fans. However, there have been many congratulatory messages that have multiplied after significant media coverage. “Thank you for your kind messages (and even the mean ones) about #OPNC or #VTEP! It is truly touching! #Love,” he wrote.
In an editorial with The Washington Post, Professor Mia Bloom describes how IS is using social media to recruit and radicalize teen girls through social media. Further, there is a need to balance the security of the United States (preventing the return of dangerous foreign fighters) with allowing young people who made a mistake a way back home and back to their families.
From The New York Times: “The rise of the Islamic State in the Middle East and the spread of extremism among disaffected Muslim youths around the world have led even some liberal people to condemn Islam itself as violent and intolerant.
As militants seem to be hijacking the name of Islam, how should Muslims respond to the threat of extremism?”
A group of seven Muslim activists and intellectuals debate this question for The New York Times.
TALLAHASSEE—A controversial measure dubbed an “anti-Sharia bill” advanced out of the Florida Senate on a 24-14 vote Monday.
The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, touted SB 286 as “an American bill.”
It would restrict judges from considering foreign law in matters of divorce, alimony, child support and custody.
Under the language of the bill, an order of a foreign court would not be enforceable if it “offends the public policy of the state.”
It goes on to say: “Any attempt to apply the law of a foreign country is void if it contravenes the strong public policy of this state or if the law is unjust or unreasonable.”
Several senators said they were baffled by perceived need for the bill, feared it would inhibit foreign trade and adversely affect the state’s large Jewish population and their Israel-granted divorces.
“There is no record of Sharia law being implemented in the courts of Florida or any other state,” Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Hollywood Democrat said, in opposition.
Sharia is the moral code and religious laws that governs Muslim life.
The parliament of the German State Baden-Württemberg has passed the burial law to legalize religious burial rituals. The Minister of Integration Bilkay Öney (SPD), interpreted the law as a positive signal for religious diversity. Prior to that law, Muslims were not permitted to bury their members without a coffin. In order to ensure a Muslim burial, Muslims would be obliged to send their relatives to the country of origin. Muslims will be allowed to bury their members according to the Islamic rituals in a shroud. More than 600.000 Muslims are living in the State of Baden-Württemberg.
This issue started in 2012 when Minister Öney, Muslims associations, Jewish associations, the churches, scientists, municipalities and administrative authorities of the cemeteries gathered in an official hearing to begin a debate about this topic.
The district attorney of the City State of Bremen had initiated investigations against four Salafists for “diffusing heavy criminal offenses against the State”. These four men are said to have left Germany towards Syria to fight for Salafist groups. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution in Bremen assesses religious and cultural associations near the mosque Masjidu-I-Furqan as extremists. They are suspected to recruit and mobilize young pupils for the Jihad in Syria. Some of these associations offer social activities such as sports to attract young Muslims. Many of them are underage.
According to the security authorities, approximately 300 German Islamists including converts have left Germany to fight in Syria. They are expected to commit violence such as the beheading of prisoners in front of the camera. These cruel rituals are interpreted as tests of courage and a means to radicalize the young men.
According to security authorities, a number of 270 German Jihadists have travelled to Syria to participate at the civil war. US and European intelligence estimate 2000 fighters from Europe in the Arab country. Among them, Abu Talha Al-Almani, aka Deso Dogg, aka Dennis Cuspert, a German rapper who converted to Islam a few years ago. Almani has been seen in syria, singing a cappella Jihadi songs (Nasheed) for the cause of the Jihad. A music video was released by the German Islamist site Tawhid, after Al Almani was reported to be injured in combat.
Dennis Cuspert was born in 1975 in Berlin. A public „Gangsta Rapper“ a changed his appearance and became an Islamist preacher by the name of Abu Maleeq. He is said to be connected to Mohamed Mahmoud, aka Abu Usama al-Gharib, an Austrian of Egyptian origin. Mahmoud is said to be the founder of the Global Islamic Media Front (GIMF), a jihadist propaganda platform. Mahmoud was sentenced to four years in prison for by an Austrian court for terrorism offenses.
He reportedly left Austria for Berlin shortly after his release in September 2011. Mahmoud and Cuspert left to the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia and founded the Salafist association Millatu Ibrahim, which was banned by the Minister of Interior in 2012. The clashes between Salafist activists and police shocked the German authorities. The riots broke out within the context of an “anti-Muhammad” cartoon campaign, initiated by the extreme right-wing Pro NRW. Al- Almani calls Muslims to leave Germany and to join the Jihad in Syria. A full interview with the German Islamist is available (see link).
With regard to the mobilization of Jihadi action in Syria, Al-Almani calls Muslims with German citizenship to ask for German unemployment benefits and donations to support the cause of the Jihadi and their companions in the State of Iraq and al-Sham.
Muslims associations and German State authorities will be meeting this year at the annual German Islam Conference to continue the debate about Muslim life in German society. The German Islam Conference was initiated in 2006 by former Minister of Interior Wolfgang Schäuble (CDU). One if the issues will be the implementation of an official Muslim holiday. The speaker of the Turkish community Kenan Kolat raised the importance of an official holiday as “an important signal to the Muslim population”. Kolat appreciated the openness of the designated Minister Thomas De Maizière (CDU) for dialogue, criticizing the conservative attitude of his predecessor Friedrich. The designated Minister of Interior is said to meet representatives of Muslims associations including the Turkish community, the Alevi community and Islamic cultural centers next week, discussing upcoming issues.
Sefi Ögütlü, General-Secretary of the Islamic cultural centers underlined the relevance to open a new chapter. Bekir Alboga, representative of the Turkish Islamic Union Institute for Islamic religion (DITIB) emphasized his optimism. The new Minister would show an appropriate attitude towards the Islamic communities. Yilmaz Kahraman, representative of the Alevi community in Germany criticized the ineffectiveness of former conferences, which would have left no concrete results but brochures and leaflets. Kahraman called Muslims not to ask what the State may be able to do for them, but look at ways for Muslims to contribute to society and avoid parallel structures.