Increasing Surveillance of ‘Radicalisation’ and Travel to Syria for Muslims in the Netherlands

April 3, 2014

 

According to national newspaper AD, in the Netherlands some 5,000 individuals will be trained to recognize signs of ‘radicalisation’ among young Muslims. They will include teachers and police officers. AD bases its claims on confidential documents from the counter-terrorism body NCTV and security service AIVD.

Additionally, surveillance of youth who have travelled to Syria is increasing. The surveillance will reportedly be carried out by trained police officers who will be charged with openly monitoring the youth. So far, 13 youth have had their passports withdrawn, several dozen have lost social security benefits, and on four occasions individuals have had their financial resources frozen.

Dutch Newshttp://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/04/returning_dutch_syria_fighters.php

Europa exports jihadists, case of Spain

March 20, 2014

 

Between fifty to a hundred Spanish individuals are believed to have joined jihadist groups. Most of them come from Ceuta and Melilla, where networks are working to recruit and dispatch Jihadist volunteers.
The route from Syria to Spain via Ceuta begins with the transfer by ferry to Algeciras and then by taking a plane to Istanbul from Malaga or Madrid. Once in Turkey , internal flights take them to the border province of Hatay. From this point on, Jihadists groups, such as Jabhat al Nusra or The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant are in charge of bringing them into Syria.

One of the Ceutis that did this route was Rachid Wahbi who along with five other boys of the autonomous city, left for Syria. This taxi driver was 33 years old when he immolated himself in a suicide attack with a truck full of explosives into the headquarters of the Army of Al Assad in the city of Idlib , as evidenced in a video posted on the Internet .

 

Source: http://www.esglobal.org/La-Lista-Europa-exporta-yihadistas#.UysnNrsBZPo.twitter

Alleged member of AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb area) expelled from Spain

March 18, 2014

 

Nouh Mediouni, a young North African, 23 years old, has been expelled from Spain on Tuesday after being arrested on the 23 April 2013 in Zaragoza as alleged member of Al Qaeda.
He is accused of being a member of AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb area) and was recruited through their digital forum. He received specific instructions for a trip to a jihadist training camp located in northern Mali.
At the time of the arrest , Nouh Mediouni had with him electronic devices to prepare a car bomb.

 

Aragon digital: http://www.aragondigital.es/noticia.asp?notid=118270#.UyqRyI722bg.twitter

Update: Netherlands Refuses Passports to Youth Planning Syria Travel

February 21, 2014

 

Update: Ten youth have now been refused a Dutch passport on the grounds that security services suspect the individuals may be planning to go to Syria. The spokesman for NCTV, the Dutch counter-terrorism unit, told broadcaster NOS that the passport applications were blocked because of fears the youth would return ‘radicalized and traumatised’. This follows an NCTV announcement two weeks ago that the passports of eight youth planning to travel to Syria had been declared null and void. Spokesman Edmond Messchaert announced that those who disagree with the passport denial could apply to the courts.

Dutch News: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/02/10_dutch_youngsters_refused_pa.php

Previous Euro-Islam summary: http://www.euro-islam.info/2014/02/04/individuals-travelling-netherlands-syria-passports-confiscated/

Video about the departure of Jihadist fighters from Ceuta to Syria

February 15, 2014

 

Rachdi Babi is an example of a Jihadist fighter departing from Ceuta to be a martyr in Syria.

In the video we watch him giving graces, saying farewell to his family and friends and announcing his immolation in Syria for the sake of his brothers.

He travels to his death by the streets of Syria until he bumps against a head quarter killing 130 people.

The video caught the attention of the police already in July and since then they have been observing the area of Ceuta, as the most individuals departure from there to Syria.

Two journalists give an account of the socio-economical conditions in Ceuta that may be the roots of this phenomenon.

The last known case of a jihadist from Ceuta being killed in Syria is a teenager of 16 years old.

 

Cuatro.com

http://www.cuatro.com/diario-de/programas/temporada-13/t13xp06/Principe-caldo-cultivo-yihadistas_2_1748805241.html

Zaman interview with Dounia Bouzar on radical Islam

January 16, 2014

 

Anthropologist of religion and expert at the National Observatory of Secularism, Dounia Bazar addresses the issue of radical Islam in her latest work, ‘Countering Radical Islam’ in which she delivers the fruits of her fifteen years of analyses on this minority phenomena that nonetheless often gets conflated with the entirety of the French Muslim population. In her interview with Zaman, Bouzar emphasizes that radicalism has nothing to do with Islam, but is the result of a psychological process.

Bouzar states that she wrote the book for two audiences: the Islamophobes and the Islamophiles (educators, intellectuals, non-Muslim thinkers of Islam). According to her, they are two sides of the same coin because both groups perceive Muslims as a homogenous entity, whether inferior or simply different, and ultimately they both contribute to the same line of thinking as the extreme right-wing party, the National Front.  Bouzar stresses how one needs to distinguish between Islam and its radical forms since maintaining the confusion benefits radicals and Islamophobes alikes.

Bouzar defines radical Islam as a discourse that relies on self-exclusion or the exclusion of others, and leads to a process of identity rupture. It deploys all the psychological tools of cultish movements: breaking with civilization, destruction of personal and family history, the myth of a purified group withholding ‘ultimate truth’, and the replacement of rationality with imitation. Young people under 30 in particular, who have no other form of religious transmission, are prone to being drawn to this kind of discourse on the internet.

Another characteristic of cultish movements is the establishment of indomitable symbolic barriers between members and the ‘evil’ society around them. This leads to an overt religious exhibition, such as the wearing of long beards and the niqab. These displays have nothing to do with testing the State, it is more about self-protection and the preservation of purity in today’s world in decline.  It also has nothing to do with Islamism – Islamists have a political agenda while radical puritans have an almost apocalyptical project to save the world.

Bouzar has in fact been a long-time supporter of religious visibility in France, and was one of the first to work on ‘Frenchisization’ of the headscarf. Taking into account that Islam is a culturally adaptable religion, and that the French wish to see a visibly ‘French woman’, Bouzar developed the idea of a scarf that would be esthetically compatible with France’s cultural heritage. She was equally against the move to ban headscarved mothers from participating in school trips, because it is precisely visibility – not hiding one’s Muslim identity due to already feeling at home – that is a sign of true integration.

Those attracted to extreme discourses have the feeling that society doesn’t offer them a place and role to play. Banning veiled mothers from schools sends precisely the message to children that their kind do not have place in society, and that they are in fact ‘banned’ from society.

Bouzar challenges the idea that French Muslims have an inherent sectarian attitude towards the rest of society. She affirms that a problem of social ghettoization exists, but it is not of the ghetto’s own accord. French Muslims in fact believe in the promises of the République, and the role of politicians should be to guarantee them a place in society.

 

Source: http://www.zamanfrance.fr/article/dounia-bouzar-on-diagnostique-lislam-radical-a-effets-rupture-7273.html?utm_source=newsletter-karisik-liste&utm_campaign=d99f3b8a60-Zamanfrance+17_01_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2d6e3a9a0e-d99f3b8a60-315962845&utm_source=newsletter-karisik-liste&utm_campaign=cf4a6c4c8f-Zamanfrance+21_01_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2d6e3a9a0e-cf4a6c4c8f-315948881

Catalan children travel to Gambia to study the Qur’an

January 22, 2014

 

Hundreds of Catalan children travel each year to Gambia to study the Koran and Arabic. These children between 7 and 17 years old may be between six months to five years in madrasas (Islamic schools). The goal is for their children to maintain the traditions and religious and cultural ties to the home community.

 

e-noticies: http://sociedad.e-noticies.es/-ninos-catalanes-viajan-a-paises-musulmanes-para-estudiar-el-coran-82331.html

Growing In Faith: California Muslim Youth Experiences with Bullying , Harassment & Religious Accommodation in Schools

Full Report: Growing In Faith

 

The California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR-CA) 2012 Muslim Youth at School Survey was the first statewide survey to examine the experiences of American Muslim youth at school. It targeted youth from across California and received responses from 21 counties. In total, 471 Muslim American students attending public school between the ages of 11 and 18 responded to the survey, which consisted of 10 multiple choice questions and space for comments.

Through the survey, CAIR-CA sought to better understand how comfortable American Muslim students felt attending their schools and participating in the classroom. CAIR-CA also made it a goal to enhance its awareness of the extent to which students were being bullied and their responses.

California’s Muslim students, for the most part, reported a healthy school environment in which they were comfortable participating in discussions about their religious identity, believed that their teachers respected their religion, and felt safe at school.

Most of the respondents came from areas of California with large and robust Muslim populations, such as Orange County and Santa Clara County. This may account for the many responses we received from students who stated that they felt confident and supported in asserting their Muslim identity at school.  While many respondents indicated that they simply internalized anti-Muslim name-calling from peers, such as “Osama Bin Laden” and “terrorist,” many indicated that this did not have a long-lasting effect on them.

As evidenced by the findings in this report, there are still significant issues facing American Muslim youth at school. The majority of school-related cases reported to CAIR involve teacher discrimination. Therefore, it is significant that 18% of the surveyed students answered: ‘Strongly Disagree,’ ‘Disagree,’ or ‘Undecided’ when asked about feeling comfortable participating in classroom discussions and 19% of students answered: ‘Strongly Disagree,’ ‘Disagree,’ or ‘Undecided’ when asked if their teachers respected their religion.

More than 10% of American Muslim students reported physical bullying such as slapping, kicking, or punching. Seventeen percent of the female respondents who wear a hijab, the Islamic headscarf, reported being bullied at least once because of this. Most importantly, 50% of American Muslim students reported being subjected to mean comments and rumors about them because of their religion. Additionally, more than 21% of students reported experiencing some form of cyberbullying.

Students had mixed reactions to reporting incidents to adults. About 63% said that they reported incidents of bullying to a teacher or principal, while only 53% said they reported to their parents. As to whether they thought reporting helped, 35% answered that it ‘Never,’ ‘Rarely,’ or ‘Sometimes’ helped, and only 17% answered that it ‘Often,’ or ‘Very Often’ helped.

With respect to how students reacted to their aggressors when they were bullied, 8% said that they fought back, 21% said that they insulted them back, and 11% said that they reacted by making fun of the aggressor’s religion or race. Sixty-one percent reported that they never fought back, 51% said that they never insulted their aggressor, and 60% reported that they never made fun of the bully’s religion or race.

School bullying is a phenonmenon that affects students from diverse backgrounds and experiences, and American Muslim students are not exempt from being subjected to harassment and discrimination at school. As Islam and Muslims continue to be in the public spotlight, negative representations and assumptions in the public sphere serve as obstacles to cultivating a tolerant, nurturing, and healthy school environment for all students.

Link to pdf of report: http://ca.cair.com/downloads/GrowingInFaith.pdf

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): http://www.cair.com/

The Fall of Morsi divides Italian Muslim Youth

July 4, 2013

At 11:20 last night the news: Morsi is deposed. A heavy silence descended on Facebook and on phones that until shortly before were ringing. There are no more texts where friends were discussing Morsi, those in favor and those against. Then, little by little, everything seemed to perk up: a friend, Sara Sayed calls me: “Have you seen? The military did it,” while others say “Morsi paid for his errors, and the Egyptian people have done it.” The fall of the Egyptian president, one year after his election, divided the Muslim youth: There are those who weep and rejoice, those who do not know what to say and believe that Morsi was wrong but that a military government is absolutely unacceptable: a babel of opinions, thoughts and considerations which is part of the discussions of young Muslims in Italy.

“Morsi has done nothing for Egypt” says Sami Samarli “he made senseless speeches, instead Morsi had to propose solutions for the country.”

Sara Andil replied “The Egyptian economy was recovering and then after thirty years of dictatorship, Egypt was destroyed economically, as if they could think to fix everything in one year? Morsi needed more time.”

The clash between the different positions, however, is not limited to only the economy but it is also general: between those who support the Muslim Brotherhood and those who do not. Omar Afifi on this is clear “Morsi divided the country.”

“The Muslim Brotherhood has not been able to govern”

Khaled Al Sadat echoed this when he said “one must intervene if a task is not completed” and hopes that “God gives the best to Egypt.”

 

Karim El Sayed does not agree: “Morsi is still the president of all Egyptians, democratically elected therefore a military coup is unacceptable.”

“It’s true” he says “Mosaab Hamada Morsi has made big mistakes.” Omar Kudsi plays down everything with a bitter joke: “Just to remind you: Egypt – 2 Syria – 0”

Dutch Muslims Polled for Support of Youth Fighting in Syria

May 29 2013

 

Dutch television show Altijd Wat  has broadcast a poll stating that almost 75% of Dutch Muslims consider youth  travelling to Syria to fight against Assad’s regime to be heroes. The show’s publicity states “In general, Dutch Muslims consider the Syria fighters to be doing what the UN is failing to do, which is battling president Assad’s regime”.

By contrast, “70% of the native Dutch population say they are not heroes”, according to ANP.

 

Poll Background:

The Altijd Wat program is based on research by Motivaction, a research firm based in the Netherlands. Motivaction conducted an poll measuring opinions about the civil war in Syria and Dutch Muslims who travel to Syria to fight (“Syrie-gangers”) The opinion poll canvassed 370 Dutch Muslim and 570 ethnic Dutch individuals for their opinions.

The poll found a great difference in opinions between Dutch Muslims who tended to believe that those traveling to Syria were in accordance with the UN call to act, while ethnic Dutch respondents had much less strong feelings about the war.

Other conclusions in the research include:
-Dutch Muslims are more concerned about events in Syria and want the Assad regime to end as soon as possible.

-The majority of Dutch Muslims approve of the Dutch fight alongside Muslims in Syria; most ethnic Dutch are not in favour.

-Most Dutch Muslims support providing humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey.

-Dutch Muslims are more likely than ethnic Dutch to support the provision of weapons to insurgents.

-Ethnic Dutch are more strictly against Muslims traveling to Syria than Dutch Muslims.

-Ethnic Dutch feel recruiters should be punished.