Archive for Europe

Geert Wilders’ War Against Islam

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on June 4, 2012 by loonwatch

Geert Wilders book in review (via. Islamophobia-Watch.com):

Wilders’ war against Islam

By the end of Marked for Death, we see what Wilders is leading up to – a horrifying vision of a fortress Europe, defending “freedom” through the deployment of totalitarian state powers to expunge Islam from the continent. His recommendations are reminiscent of the discriminatory social control measures taken against Jews and other minorities under Nazi Germany in the 1930s.

Wilders, of course, is careful to disavow violence and reiterate he hates Islam, not Muslims. But it is difficult to deny the implicitly violent subtext of his sweeping proposals, including a halt to all Muslim immigration, payments to settled immigrants to leave, cessation of building of mosques, and taxation of Muslim religious practices such as the headscarf. Most disturbing is his endorsement of Israeli-style “administrative detention” (indefinite internment without trial on security grounds) in Europe as part of criminal operations in Muslim communities; not to mention the forcible deportation of tens of millions of Muslims from Europe for “thinking” about “crime” or “Shari’ah”.

Yasmin Qureshi and Nafeez Ahmed examine the political programme presented in Geert Wilders’ Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me.

Independent, 4 June 2012

Swiss Pastor who Runs Racist Website Faces Probe

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , on May 25, 2012 by loonwatch

(via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Swiss pastor who runs racist website faces probe

A Reformist priest from a tiny Bernese village is under investigation by church leaders after it emerged that she helped run a fanatical anti-Islamic website.

The Council of Reformist Churches for Bern, Solothurn and Jura has criticised the priest, and declared her activities on website ‘Politically Incorrect’ to be “incompatible” with her position as a priest due to the “Islam-baiting” that takes place on it, newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

The priest has been involved for a long time with the Politically Incorrect forum, a website frequented mainly by Germans, and has been operating clandestinely, the newspaper reported.

It has been alleged that the priest has been funding the website herself, the Tages Anzeiger reported. The prosecutor also believes it possible that she has been contributing some of the racist content, albeit under pseudonyms.

The Council had already warned the priest previously for her participation at extreme-right Islamophobic events in Germany. Having reviewed the content of the website, the Council described the articles posted there as “inflammatory and derogatory”.

The priest is now accused of breaching anti-racism laws and of failing to prevent criminal acts. Despite the accusations, she has still been permitted by her immediate superiors to continue to preach in the village.

The Local, 25 May 2012

Mehdi Hasan: Halal Hysteria

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 15, 2012 by loonwatch

On the politics of “halal hysteria” in the UK and beyond:

by Mehdi Hasan (New Statesman)

I am sitting in one of London’s finest Indian restaurants, Benares, in the heart of Mayfair. I’ve just placed an order for the “Tandoori Ratan” mixed-grill appetiser – a trio of fennel lamb chop, chicken cutlet and king prawn.

I’ll be honest with you: I’m pretty excited. Most of the upmarket restaurants in London do not cater for the city’s burgeoning Muslim population. Benares is one of the few exceptions: all of the lamb and chicken dishes on its menu are halal.

The restaurant opened in 2003 and its owner, Atul Kochhar, is a Michelin-starred chef. “Right from day one, we’ve kept our lamb and chicken halal,” Kochhar says. “It was a very conscious decision because I grew up in India, a secular country, where I was taught to have respect for all religions.” Kochhar, who is a Hindu, says Muslims make up “easily between 10 and 20 per cent” of his regular diners. It isn’t just a taste for religious pluralism that has dictated the contents of his menu; serving halal meat makes commercial, as well as cultural, sense.

To other, perhaps less tolerant types, however, the rise of halal meat in the west and here in the UK, in particular, is a source of tension, controversy, fear and loathing. British Muslims are living through a period of halal hysteria, a moral panic over our meat. First there came 9/11, 7/7 and the “Islamic” terror threat; then there was the row over the niqab (face veil) and hijab (headscarf); now, astonishingly, it’s the frenzy over halal meat.

Last month, MPs in the Commons rejected a ten-minute-rule bill that would have made it mandatory for retailers to label all of the halal and kosher meat on sale and make it clear on the packaging that the animals were “killed without stunning”. The bill’s proponent, the Tory backbencher Philip Davies, claimed that the meat was being “forced upon” shoppers “without their knowledge”. It was defeated by the narrowest of margins – 73 votes to 70.

As is so often the case, the right-wing press is behind much of the fear-mongering and misinformation. “Britain goes halal . . . but no one tells the public,” screamed the front-page headline in the Mail on Sunday on 19 September 2010. The paper claimed that supermarkets, restaurants, schools, hospitals, pubs and big sporting venues such as Wembley Stadium were “controversially serving up meat slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic law to unwitting members of the public”.

The following week, readers were treated to two more stories suggesting a sinister plot to inflict halal meat on innocent, animal-loving, non-Muslim Britons. “How 70 per cent of New Zealand lamb imports to Britain are halal . . . but this is NOT put on the label”, said the Daily Mail on 25 September 2010. “Top supermarkets secretly sell halal: Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and M&S don’t tell us meat is ritually slaughtered,” proclaimed the Mail on Sunday the next day.

With the threat from terrorism receding, Britain’s Islam-baiters have jumped on the anti-halal bandwagon, and not just the neo-fascists of the British National Party and the English Defence League, which has a page on its website devoted to its (anti-) “halal campaign”, but mainstream commentators, too. The Spectator’s Rod Liddle – who once wrote a column entitled “Islamophobia? Count me in” – has demanded that halal meat be banned and called for a boycott of Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury and the rest until they agree to stop stocking halal products. “I will buy no meat from supermarkets,” he wrote, rather melodramatically, back in 2010.

Geert Wilders: Asks Muslims to Leave Islam, When Will He Leave America?

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2012 by loonwatch

Non-shocking tidbit of the day from the moronic fascist corner of Euro politics: Geert Wilders wants Muslims to leave Islam.

What we should ask Wilders is when will he leave the US? Or are we now the prime choice for washed-up, has-been Euro anti-Islam/Muslim propagandists?

PVV leader Geert Wilders has called on Muslims throughout the world to leave Islam. He made his call in a speech in New York, to promote his English-language book Marked for Death.

Wilders claims that his book explains that Islam is a “totalitarian ideology” and is an encouragement to freedom-loving Muslims to turn their back on Islam. “I support those who fight for freedom in the Islamic world completely. The Arab, Turkish, Iranian, Pakistani and Indonesian peoples have enormous potential. If they could free themselves of the yoke of Islam, if they could stop seeing Mohamed as their role model and if they could break away from the rancorous Koran, then they could achieve amazing things,” Wilders said in his speech.

With reporters, Wilders went into the political situation in the Netherlands last week when he caused the collapse of government by pulling out of the budget negotiations with the conservatives (VVD) and Christian democrats (CDA). Wilders calls this a difficult decision, but says he had no other choice.

”We are now concentrating on elections on 12 September. Our campaign will be on the need to revive our national sovereignty, as without this we cannot defend our identity and fight against Islamisation.” Wilders said he was not planning to move to the United States. “I am really staying in the Netherlands and will campaign for the elections with very much enthusiasm and very much good sense,” he said yesterday on Radio 1.

A number of media suggested last week that Wilders might be considering an international career because his role in the Loer Hose appears to have been played out for the coming period. Former VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, also a fighter against Islam, moved to the US in 2005 and was subsequently named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential persons.

NIS News Bulletin, 2 May 2012

Sean Hannity Interview Geert Wilders About Radical Islam (FOX NEWS)

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 2, 2012 by loonwatch

Is it a happy coincidence that both Geert Wilders and Robert Spencer are out hawking their books for sale?

(h/t: Haywood)

Sean Hannity Interview Geert Wilders About Radical Islam (FOX NEWS)

Britain’s Far Right to Focus on Anti-Islamic Policy

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 29, 2012 by loonwatch

A follow up to our lead story.

Britain’s far right to focus on anti-Islamic policy

The head of the English Defence League, Tommy Robinson, will be named deputy leader of the British Freedom party this week after proposing that the group adopt virulent anti-Islamic policies as its central strategy.

Confirmation that Robinson is to be offered a political platform within the BFP is contained in internal documents revealing that he has forwarded a number of “potential policy suggestions” that suggest the party will widen its attacks on Muslims.

The document suggests the BFP with Robinson would “focus on non-Islamic population, not white/black population”, a move that critics describe as an attempt to antagonise relations between Muslims and other Britons. Other proposed areas of campaigning for the party, which will contest several seats in this week’s local elections, include calls for regulation of all mosques and religious schools and the banning of the burqa and niqab.

The unveiling of Robinson as deputy leader of the British Freedom Party will take place in Luton ahead of an EDL demo in the town, during which supporters will be banned from its centre by police, following previous disturbances.

Last week, a BFP member tweeted his support for Norwegian killer Anders Breivik, while an EDL member defended the 34-year-old, currently on trial in Oslo after confessing to the murder of 77 people last July, and said that if he had “singled out the muslim filth” he would be viewed as a hero.

Internal notes of a meeting held in a Luton hotel between senior EDL and BFP figures on 14 April, which have been seen by the Observer, reveal that participants believe the alliance is a development that “will change the direction of British politics”.

However Nick Lowles of campaign group Hope not Hate said: “Although this shows the new face of the far right, a move that further marginalises the BNP, their agenda is so hate-filled that it will remain a minority message.”

Robinson and the BFP have yet to comment, but the documents show that he backs a ban on the building of mosques and madrassas, an end to mass immigration, withdrawal from the EU, and promotion of “Christian values”.

Last week a report by Amnesty International warned of the rise of extremist political movements targeting Muslim practices in Europe, a development evidenced by the surprisingly strong showing of support for the French Front National, the far-right party led by Marine Le Pen, in France’s presidential election. It also said that European laws on what girls and women could wear on their heads were encouraging discrimination against Muslims.

Observer, 29 April 2012

Amnesty International finds bias against European Muslims

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Anti-Muslim banners protesting against the establishment of a Muslim prayer room, in Catalonia, Spain

Anti-Muslim banners protesting against the establishment of a Muslim prayer room, in Catalonia, Spain

(h/t: mjasghar)

Amnesty International finds bias against European Muslims

(BBC via. Islamophobia Today)

European governments must do more to challenge the negative stereotypes and prejudices against Muslims fuelling discrimination especially in education and employment, a new report by Amnesty International reveals today.

“Muslim women are being denied jobs and girls prevented from attending regular classes just because they wear traditional forms of dress, such as the headscarf. Men can be dismissed for wearing beards associated with Islam,” said Marco Perolini, Amnesty International’s expert on discrimination.

“Rather than countering these prejudices, political parties and public officials are all too often pandering to them in their quest for votes.”

The report Choice and prejudice: discrimination against Muslims in Europe, exposes the impact of discrimination on the ground of religion or belief on Muslims in several aspects of their lives, including employment and education.

It focuses on Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland where Amnesty International has already raised issues such as restrictions on the establishment of places of worship and prohibitions on full-face veils. The report documents numerous individual cases of discrimination across the countries covered.

“Wearing religious and cultural symbols and dress is part of the right of freedom of expression. It is part of the right to freedom of religion or belief – and these rights must be enjoyed by all faiths equally.” said Marco Perolini.

“While everyone has the right to express their cultural, traditional or religious background by wearing a specific form of dress no one should be pressurized or coerced to do so.  General bans on particular forms of dress that violate the rights of those freely choosing to dress in a particular way are not the way to do this.”

The report highlights that legislation prohibiting discrimination in employment has not been appropriately implemented in Belgium, France and the Netherlands. Employers have been allowed to discriminate on the grounds that religious or cultural symbols will jar with clients or colleagues or that a clash exists with a company’s corporate image or its ‘neutrality’.

This is in direct conflict with European Union (EU) anti-discrimination legislation which allows variations of treatment in employment only if specifically required by the nature of the occupation.

“EU legislation prohibiting discrimination on the ground of religion or belief in the area of employment seems to be toothless across Europe, as we observe a higher rate of unemployment among Muslims, and especially Muslim women of foreign origin,” said Marco Perolini.

In the last decade, pupils have been forbidden to wear the headscarf or other religious and traditional dress at school in many countries including Spain, France, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands.

“Any restriction on the wearing of religious and cultural symbols and dress in schools must be based on assessment of the needs in each individual case. General bans risk adversely Muslims girls’ access to education and violating their rights to freedom of expression and to manifest their beliefs.” Marco Perolini said.

The right to establish places of worship is a key component of the right to freedom of religion or belief which is being restricted in some European countries, despite state obligations to protect, respect and fulfil this right.

Since 2010, the Swiss Constitution has specifically targeted Muslims with the prohibition of the construction of minarets, embedding anti-Islam stereotypes and violating international obligations that Switzerland is bound to respect.

In Catalonia (Spain), Muslims have to pray in outdoor spaces because existing prayer rooms are too small to accommodate all the worshippers and requests to build mosques are being disputed as incompatible with the respect of Catalan traditions and culture. This goes against freedom of religion which includes the right to worship collectively in adequate places.

“There is a groundswell of opinion in many European countries that Islam is alright and Muslims are ok so long as they are not too visible. This attitude is generating human rights violations and needs to be challenged,” said Marco Perolini.

As Geert Wilders Star Fades in Europe, He Hopes to Make it in America

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 21, 2012 by loonwatch

 

I have the strange sense that Geert Wilders ‘star’ is fading. The momentum from Fitna, the anti-immigrant rhetoric, the calls for deporting Muslims has been blunted by the departure of his former friend Brinkman, the embarrassment over the anti-Polish site his party created and other such incidents. This does not mean that he is less of a force for bigotry but for the moment it seems we may have reached a downward curve in his rise.

In America Wilders will have more luck, and will make tons of money scamming not just poor Christian right-wingers but also the small, rich anti-Muslim cadre who hang on his every word.

If fake ex-terrorist Walid Shoebat can still rake in cold hard cash from Bible thumpers even when it is well known that he is a liar, how much better will the peroxide-dyed anti-Muslim politician do?

Update (via. Al-Bakrastani): The government his (Wilders) Fascist party supported has crashed and most likely new elections will decimate his party.

(via. Hugo Treeds) Today he blew up Dutch governement and yesterday his party blew itself up in his home-district of Limburg. Almost weekly party representatives now leave the party and decimate his powerbase in cities and provinces. So your analysis very probably is correct and he will try to flee the mess he made over here in The Netherlands. So America, beware!

Wilders’ new book aimed at US market may appeal only to his ‘small, rich and fanatical group of followers’

A new book by Geert Wilders aimed at the American market is not due to be officially launched until May 1, but details gleaned from advance and review copies are already doing the rounds.

The book is entitled Marked for Death, Islam’s war against the West and me and according to Wilders’ own website ‘tells the story of Geert Wilders’ fight for the right to speak what he believes: namely that Islam is not just a religion but primarily a dangerous ideology which is a threat to Western freedoms.’

The book will be officially presented at an as-yet secret location in the US, and is regarded by some as Wilders’ calling card to America. The Dutch MP has made no secret of his international ambitions and is keen to launch and International Freedom Alliance, he said last year.

Magazine HP/De Tijd looks at one incident in the book in which Wilders writes how he was robbed by “three Arab youths” in the Utrecht district of Kanaleneiland – an area of poor housing and high unemployment.

In fact, the robbery took place in a more upmarket part of town several kilometres away the magazine says, citing references to the incident in a biography of Wilders published several years ago.

Tom Kleijn, Washington correspondent for television show Nieuwsuur says the book is a dry, almost academic recount of “how Wilders has become what he is”. The book even contains an index and sources, he points out. “Wilders has a small, rich and fanatical group of followers in America,” Kleijn said. “But it remains to be seen if this book will boost Wilders’ popularity.”

Current Dutch president Mark Rutte is not mentioned once, but Wilders states five times that he and Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Dutch Somali Muslim critic who now works for a US think-tank, are of the same opinion, Kleijn points out.

Nos correspondent Eelco Bosch van Rosenthal describes how Wilders emphasises his admiration for former US president Ronald Reagan and states current president Barack Obama is a dhimmi – a submissive non-Muslim in a Muslim state.

Dutch News, 21 April 2012

Far-right anti-Muslim Network on Rise Globally as Breivik Trial Opens

Posted in Loon People, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on April 14, 2012 by loonwatch

The anti-Muslim movement is growing. I expect we’ll see even more groups this time next year:

Far-right anti-Muslim network on rise globally as Breivik trial opens

(The Guardian)

The international network of counter-jihadist groups that inspired Anders Behring Breivik is growing in reach and influence, according to a report released on the eve of the Norwegian’s trial.

Far-right organisations are becoming more cohesive as they forge alliances throughout Europe and the US, says the study, with 190 groups now identified as promoting an Islamophobic agenda.

This week Breivik will appear on trial in Oslo after confessing to the murder of 77 people in Norway last July, killings that he justified as part of a “war” between the west and Islamists.

The report, by anti-racism group Hope Not Hate, states that since the 33-year-old’s killing spree, the counter-jihad movement – a network of foundations, bloggers, political activists and street gangs – has continued to proliferate.

Campaigners cite the formation three months ago of the Stop Islamization of Nations (Sion) group, designed to promote an umbrella network of counter-jihad groups across Europe and the US, as evidence of a global evolution.

An inaugural Sion summit is planned in New York this year to coincide with the anniversary of 9/11. Speakers are set to include Paul Weston, chairman of the anti-Islamic British Freedom Party (BFP), which recently announced a pact with the English Defence League. In the manifesto that Breivik published online 90 minutes before his attacks, he cited blog postings by Weston which discussed a “European civil war” between the west and Islam.

Researchers at Hope Not Hate name the UK as one of Europe’s most active countries in terms of counter-jihad extremism, with 22 anti-Islamic groups currently operating.

In Europe as a whole, 133 organisations were named in the report, including seven in Norway, and another 47 in the US, where a network of neo-conservative, evangelical and conservative organisations attempts to spread “negative perceptions of Islam, Muslim minorities and Islamic culture”.

Nick Lowles, director of Hope Not Hate said: “Breivik acted alone but it was the ‘counter-Jihadist’ ideology that inspired him and gave him the reasoning to carry out these atrocious attacks. All eyes this week will be on what Breivik did last July, but we ignore those people who inspired him at our peril.”

Andreas Mammone, a historian at Kingston University in London and an expert on European fascism, said broader factors had helped the counter-jihad movement to consolidate support. “The economic crisis continues to promote nationalism alongside the need for a common enemy. A fear of radical Islam is being developed, the idea that it presents a threat to our freedom,” he said.

The report also identifies the counter-jihad network’s most influential figures, including EDL leader Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (known as Tommy Robinson), but also the more discreet London property tycoon Ann Marchini, whose details surfaced on a leaked list of EDL donors and who is understood to have attended counter-jihad conferences in Scandinavia, Brussels, Zurich and London. She attended a recent meeting where the EDL agreed its electoral pact with the BFP and is also understood to be involved with the UK wing of the Centre for Vigilant Freedom (CVF), and a well-funded US group renamed the International Civil Liberties Alliance (ICLA), which is based in Fairfax, Virginia, and co-ordinates individuals and groups in 20 countries.

The ICLA also runs the Counter-Jihad Europa website, which acts as a “clearing house for national initiatives to oppose the Islamisation of Europe”. Three months after Breivik’s attacks the ICLA organised a counter-jihad conference in London with the help of its European co-ordinator, Christopher Knowles, another EDL co-founder and director of the UK branch of the CVF, which is registered in Wakefield.

New anti-Islamic groups continue to emerge. Two weeks ago in Denmark, Yaxley-Lennon held the inaugural meeting of a Europe-wide network of defence leagues. Another new group, founded in Belgium last month, is Women Against Islamisation, a pan-European network whose launch was addressed by Jackie Cook, the wife of Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National party (BNP).

In Greece, polls suggest the ultra-nationalist Golden Dawn could pass the 3% threshold required to enter parliament in elections next month.

Another development concerns the hardening of links between European and US anti-Islamic organisations. US blogger Pamela Geller is a key figure driving closer transatlantic relations. Geller, who is president of Sion, was mentioned in Breivik’s manifesto and was a vociferous protester against the development of a mosque in Lower Manhattan in 2010.

The co-founder of Sion is Denmark’s Anders Gravers, organiser of Stop Islamisation of Europe. Gravers met Yaxley-Lennon in Denmark last month.

Campaigners are concerned that US neo-conservative and evangelical groups will begin sharing resources with the leagues. Images of EDL demonstrations are already used at Tea Party movement fundraising events, while officials from groups such as the Christian Action Network have met EDL activists. Other US and UK links include the Virginia-based anti-Islamic blog, the Gates Of Vienna, which counted Breivik as a contributor. As attention turns to Norway, experts are keen to stress that the country was not unusual in terms of the extent of its counter-jihadist movement. Among the online forums linked to Breivik are the nationalist blog Document.no, on which Breivik posted more than 100 comments.

Breivik – an admirer of the EDL – was also an online supporter of the Norwegian Defence League, which retains close links with its English counterpart.

Stephen Yaxley Lennon, aka Tommy Robinson: EDL Leader Praises Terrorist Anders Breivik

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2012 by loonwatch

 

Anders Breivik did what many anti-Muslim bigots and hate-mongers only dream of doing, killing Muzzies and the so-called enablers of “Islamization,” the leftists. They idealize and dream of restarting the Crusades and following in the footsteps of the anti-Muslim Serb officers eager to carry out orders to ethnically cleanse Bosnian Muslim villages.

Breivik terrorized on a far greater and more spectacular scale than we had hitherto seen from the anti-Muslim bigots, who were usually content with bombing and burning mosques, vandalizing cemeteries, or at worst cowardly murdering Muslim cabdrivers, shopkeepers, etc.

Breivik’s murderous actions were justified by many in the Islamophobic looniverse. It was even revealed that Pamela Geller likely had foreknowledge of a planned terrorist attack in Norway before Breivik went on his rampage.

Breivik himself has admitted ties to anti-Muslim leaders and organizations both in Europe and the US. He explicitly stated that he met with the violent anti-Muslim organisation the English Defence League, and stated that there are Knights Templar terrorist cells across Europe.

Now we have Stephen Lennon, a founding member of the EDL dropping the faux mask of condemnation against Breivik and explicitly praising Breivik and his actions, thereby giving more credence to Breivik’s claims (H/T: Jai):

Tommy Robinson, leader of the English Defence League, has spoken positively about Anders Behring Breivik’s approach to his twin attacks.

In an interview with Dagbladet he said justifying the attack on Utøya, which some conspiracy theory supporters allege was a place designed to support Fatah, would have been easier to justify if it was directed against Muslims.

“Nevertheless, he would only then have been brushed off as the one that killed Muslims because he did not like Islam. Whether you like it or not, that person was quite shrewd. What he did is despicable, but he managed to make people curious.”

Robinson, who has previously claimed Breivik was rather tough as “he dared to come forward with his opinions”, also cites the terrorist’s manifesto, major parts of which are comprised of blogs and books.

“The blogs are full of facts. You cannot yell at people because they tell the truth. You may find that the truth hurts, but it is still the truth. I read the blogs themselves – they contain facts about Islam,” he alleged.

Robinson denies that the English Defence League extols violence, “but we will defend ourselves if we must. The EDL isn’t made up of medical doctors and professors; it’s the boys from the street.”

The Independent contacted Lennon and challenged him about his statements in praise of Breivik. Lennon has been forced into a position where he is denying that he ever made the remarks. Unfortunately for him his statements were quite clear and as Loonwatch commenter Jai noted,

“The most revealing statement of all is Yaxley-Lennon’s claim that Breivik’s terrorist attack on Utoya would have been easier to justify if it had been perpetrated against Muslims.”

European Far-right Stage anti-Islam Rally

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2012 by loonwatch

Danish_Anti-Islam_Demo

The Israeli flag makes a regular appearance next to the flags of other European countries in such anti-Islam and anti-Muslim protests.

The above anti-Islam meeting organized by the Danish Defense League attracted 300 people.

Anti-Racists who protested the DDL attracted 5,000.

European far-right stage anti-Islam rally

Hundreds of far-right sympathisers are holding a rally in Denmark against what they call the Islamisation of Europe, starting with a moment of silence for the seven people who were killed by an al-Qaeda-inspired gunman in France.

Saturday’s “European Counter-Jihad Meeting” was organised by the Danish Defence League – an anti-Muslim movement claiming to have no neo-Nazis ties.

It has drawn participants from several European countries, including Britain, Germany, Poland and Sweden.

The rally is being held in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city, 200km northwest of Copenhagen, the capital. Police spokesman Georg Husted says 300 people are taking part.

Nearby, a much larger group – about 2,500 people – marched in a counter-demonstration, under the banner “Aarhus For Diversity”.

‘No Breivik ties’

The rally takes place a few weeks before the start of the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who murdered 77 people in Norway last July.

Breivik claimed to have had contact with the English Defence League (EDL) ahead of the attacks, adding that he had “spoken with tens of EDL members and leaders”.

In response to the killings, the league condemned the killings and added that it had no contact with Breivik.

In a statement on its website, the EDL said it would not associate with any individual or group who did not reject “extremism” and said “racists, neo-Nazis and any other extremists” were not welcome.

It said it had called on participating groups to sign a memorandum declaring that they were “anti-extremist, anti-fascist, and anti-racist”.

“We will protest peacefully, but we will defend ourselves if need be. We will be loud, and we will not back down,” the memorandum states.

EDL leader Stephen Lennon said: “We hope it [the rally] will be the start of a European movement that will continue to grow.”

Various far-right groups have been in Aarhus since Wednesday where they have had a chance to hold meetings and discuss ideas.

Counter-demonstration

Anti-racist groups are worried that hardline anti-Islamic groups are mobilising and gathering support in Europe.

Police in Aarhus said the rally would be kept apart from an expected counter-demonstration by anti-racism campaigners.

Projekt Antifa, a Danish coalition of anti-fascist groups, had booked coaches to take protesters from Copenhagen to Aarhus.

Police Superintendent Mogens Brondum said: “The police can and will handle this situation. We will be out massively.”

Last week, several thousands people turned out for an open-air concert organised to protest against the far-right rally.

A statement issued by city officials said the concert was organised because ”Aarhus does not want to be associated with extremist groups” that represent “everything we want to distance ourselves from”.

Don’t Be Fooled. Europe’s Far-right Racists are Not Discerning

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on March 29, 2012 by loonwatch

French politician Marine Le Pen is among European far-right figures courting the Jewish community. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

French politician Marine Le Pen is among European far-right figures courting the Jewish community. Photograph: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty Images

A good piece, reconfirming what we have been saying all along:

Don’t be fooled. Europe’s far-right racists are not discerning

(The Guardian)

On Saturday, in the Danish city of Aarhus, a Europe-wide rally organised by the English Defence League will try to set up a European anti-Muslim movement. For Europe’s far-right parties the rally, coming so soon after the murders in south-west France by a self-professed al-Qaida-following Muslim, marks a moment rich with potential political capital.

Yet it’s also a delicate one, especially for Marine Le Pen. Well before the killings, Le Pen was assiduously courting Jews, even while her father and founder of the National Front, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was last month convicted of contesting crimes against humanity for saying that the Nazi occupation of France “wasn’t particularly inhumane”. Marine must disassociate herself from such sentiments without repudiating her father personally or alienating his supporters. To do so she’s laced her oft-expressed Islamophobia (parts of France, she’s said, are suffering a kind of Muslim “occupation”) with a newfound “philozionism” (love of Zionism), which has extended even to hobnobbing with Israel’s UN ambassador.

Almost all European far-right parties have come up with the same toxic cocktail. The Dutch MP Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-immigrant Freedom party, has compared the Qur’an to Mein Kampf. In Tel Aviv in 2010, he declared that ”Islam threatens not only Israel, Islam threatens the whole world. If Jerusalem falls today, Athens and Rome, Amsterdam and Paris will fall tomorrow.”

Meanwhile Filip Dewinter, leader of Belgium’s Vlaams Belang party, which grew out of the Vlaams Blok Flemish nationalist party, many of whose members collaborated with the Nazis during the second world war, has proposed a quota on the number of young Belgian-born Muslims allowed in public swimming pools. Dewinter calls Judaism “a pillar of European society”, yet associates with antisemites, while claiming that ”multi-culture … like Aids weakens the resistance of the European body”, and “Islamophobia is a duty”.

But the most rabidly Islamophobic European philozionist is Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the Austrian Freedom party, who compared foreigners to harmful insects and consorts with neo-Nazis. And yet where do we find Strache in December 2010? In Jerusalem alongside Dewinter, supporting Israel’s right to defend itself.

In Scandinavia the anti-immigrant Danish People’s party is a vocal supporter of Israel. And Siv Jensen, leader of the Norwegian Progress party and staunch supporter of Israel, has warned of the stealthy Islamicisation of Norway.

In Britain EDL leader Tommy Robinson, in his first public speech, sported a star of David. At anti-immigrant rallies, EDL banners read: “There is no place for Fascist Islamic Jew Haters in England”.

So has the Jew, that fabled rootless cosmopolitan, now suddenly become the embodiment of European culture, the “us” against which the Muslim can be cast as “them”? It’s not so simple. For a start, “traditional” antisemitism hasn’t exactly evaporated. Look at Hungary, whose ultra-nationalist Jobbik party is unapologetically Holocaust-denying, or Lithuania, where revisionist MPs claim that the Jews were as responsible as the Nazis for the second world war.

What’s more, the “philosemite”, who professes to love Jews and attributes superior intelligence and culture to them, is often (though not always) another incarnation of the antisemite, who projects negative qualities on to them: both see “the Jew” as a unified racial category. Beneath the admiring surface, philozionism isn’t really an appreciation of Jewish culture but rather the opportunistic endorsement of Israeli nationalism and power.

Indeed you can blithely sign up to both antisemitism and philozionism. Norwegian mass murderer Anders Behring Breivik described himself as “pro-Zionist” while claiming that Europe has a “considerable Jewish problem”; he saw himself as simultaneously anti-Nazi and pro-monoculturalism. The British National party’s Nick Griffin once called the Holocaust the “Holohoax”, subsequently supported Israel in its war “against the terrorists”, but the day after the Oslo murders tweeted disparagingly that Breivik was a “Zionist”.

Most Jews, apart from the Israeli right wing, aren’t fooled. They see the whole iconography of Nazism – vermin and foreign bodies, infectious diseases and alien values – pressed into service once again, but this time directed at Muslims. They understand that “my enemy’s enemy” can easily mutate into “with friends like these …”.

The philozionism of European nationalist parties has been scrutinised most closely by Adar Primor, the foreign editor of Haaretz newspaper,who insists that ”they have not genuinely cast off their spiritual DNA, and … aren’t looking for anything except for Jewish absolution that will bring them closer to political power.”

Similarly Dave Rich, spokesman of the Community Security Trust (CST), which monitors antisemitic incidents in Britain, told me that far-right philosemites “must think we’re pretty stupid if they think we’ll get taken in by that. The moment their perceived political gain disappears they revert to type. We completely reject their idea that they hate Muslims so they like Jews. What targets one community at one time can very easily move on to target another community if the climate changes.” Rich’s words, spoken before the murder of Jews in Toulouse, now sound chillingly prescient. The president of the French Jewish community, Richard Pasquier, judges Marine Le Pen more dangerous than her father.

French Muslim leaders rallied round Jewish communities last week. Next week sees the start of Passover, a festival celebrating the liberation of Jews from slavery in Egypt, when Jews often think about modern examples of oppression. Let’s hope that French Jewish leaders use the occasion to rally round Muslim communities, and to remember that ultimately, racism is indiscriminate.

• This article was amended on 28 March 2012. It originally referred to the Community Security Trust as the Community Service Trust. This has now been corrected

European “Counterjihad Activists” Making Links with Christian Right

Posted in Loon Pastors with tags , , , , , , , , on March 16, 2012 by loonwatch

Hate groups solidifying their links:

European “Counterjihad Activists” Making Links with Christian Right

by Richard Bartholomew (Barth’s Notes)

The British Freedom Party reports:

On Friday March 9 a media team from the Christian Action Network came to London to conduct interviews with various Counterjihad activists about the spread of sharia and the Islamization of Europe. Below is their interview with Paul Weston, the Chairman of the British Freedom Party.

The CAN interview with Tommy Robinson was posted yesterday at Gates of ViennaElisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff will be up next.

CAN previously interviewed English Defence League members in 2009, during a visit to the UK with Robert Spencer. CAN used the opportunity to invite EDL activists to a private dinner with Spencer and Douglas Murray, to the embarrassment of the two men; Murray’s Centre for Social Cohesion sent me a message asking me to clarify that “CAN asked Douglas to do an interview with them – upon seeing the presence of the EDL at the CAN discussion he refused to deal with them and left the venue.”

CAN was primarily known for anti-gay activism prior to taking an interest in Islam; CAN’s president, Martin Mawyer, has a history of virulent statements on the subject (in particular, in 1997 he denounced Ellen DeGeneres’ “FILTHY LESBIAN LIFESTYLE”), which Spencer initially dismissed in 2009 as “not jihad-related”. However, in 2010 Mawyer’s views were reported in Dutch media, prompting Geert Wilders to withdraw from the Los Angeles premiere of a CAN documentary entitled Islam Rising: Geert Wilders’ Warning to the West. The premiere, which had been organised by Pamela Geller and Spencer, was quickly cancelled, and Spencer affected to be shocked at the discovery of Mawyer’s “ugly, vitriolic… hysterical, self-righteous, abusive rhetoric”.

The British Freedom Party and the EDL now have several links with Christian Right activists. Weston and Stephen Lennon (“Tommy Robinson”) are regular guests on Michael Coren’s Arena TV show; Coren is a member of the more intellectual end of the Catholic right, and, like Mawyer, he is particularly known for his objections to homosexuality. Weston and Lennon are also friendly with the Tennessee Freedom Coalition’s Andy Miller (the TFC was in the news recently after arranging for local police to be trained in Islam at an evangelical church in Murfreesboro; the group alsohas links with the British organisation Christian Concern).

Sabaditsch-Wolff, meanwhile, was recently invested as a Dame of “the Knights of Malta — The Ecumenical Order”, by Nicholas Papanicolaou and none  other than Gen William “Jerry” Boykin; the two men are, respectively, the Order’s “Grand Master” and “Grand Chancellor”. Both men are close to the evangelist Rick Joyner, who is a “Deputy Member of the Supreme Council”. Joyner, who receives messages from God about how an earthquake will soon destroy the west coast of the USA, claims that he was introduced to the Order by an “Austrian baron”, and that his books were responsible for a “spiritual renewal” in the Order.

(Hat tip: EDL News)

See, We Told You: Geert Wilders Xenophobia is Not Limited to Muslims

Posted in Feature, Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 15, 2012 by loonwatch

Still my favorite picture of Geert Wilders

Far-right populist Geert Wilders has made a name for himself through his anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric, and for this reason he is, to quote Robert Spencer, one of the “heroes” of the anti-Muslim movement.

We have consistently pointed out however that Geert Wilders and his allies are not one stop bigots. Behind the “acceptable” attacks on Muslims is hidden a wider xenophobia against ‘the other.’ A bigotry which if not born out of any consistent ideological character is definitely a reflection of the realization that playing on the fears of the majority may lead to positive results at the ballot box.

Wilders and his party, the PVV are riding a wave of popularity through the launch of an anti-Polish/anti-Eastern European website which has been the cause of much controversy and embarrassment in the Netherlands. After launching the site it was reported that the PVV,

would gain 24 seats in parliament if elections were held today, the number of seats the party currently holds, says pollster Maurice de Hond. Geert Wilders’ populist far-right party is the third largest party in the Netherlands.

Wilders’ PVV site displays,

news clippings with bold headlines blaming foreigners for petty crime, noise nuisance – and taking jobs from the Dutch. “Are immigrants from Central and Eastern countries bothering you? We’d like to hear from you,” it says.

The Dutch government has distanced itself from the website but this hasn’t ebbed the disastrous PR that Wilders move has generated.

Besides criticism from ten European ambassadors and the European Commission, the Dutch public has also expressed concerns about possible repercussions. Poles are calling for a boycott of Dutch products.(emphasis mine)

The issue was taken to the European parliament which just yesterday announced its ‘dismay’ and formal response to Wilders most recent populist move:

EP condemns PVV website, exec puts ball in Netherlands’ court

By Gaspard Sebag in Strasbourg | Wednesday 14 March 2012 (Europolitics.info)

Representatives of the political groups in the European Parliament, on 13 March, unanimously called upon the Netherlands’ Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to condemn a website launched by his far-right political ally, the PVV party headed by Geert Wilders. Said website, up since early February, urges Dutch citizens to report problems they experience with nationals of Central and Eastern European countries. “Unacceptable,” “a disgrace,” “scandalous” – said MEPs. The European Commission, for its part, announced it would not get involved from a legal point of view and leaves the responsibility of assessing the lawfulness of the website to the Dutch authorities. A joint parliamentary resolution will be put to the vote, on 15 March (see box).

The EPP, which counts among its ranks the junior partner in the Netherlands’ government, the centre-right CDA, was particularly vocal. “We cannot tolerate, from a party that takes part in a coalition government, a call to hatred against nationals from another member state. That is unacceptable,” said EPP leader Joseph Daul (France).

Despite the fact that Rutte is part of the Liberal political family, ALDE Chair Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium) was unequivocal about condemning the “silence” of the Dutch government and the message sent by the website. “My group has nothing but contempt for Mr Wilders’ initiative.” Recalling the need to be even-handed in criticising populist tactics, Verhofstadt lumped together French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Wilders. “I wonder who is the extreme-right wing candidate [in France], is it [Marine] Le Pen or Sarkozy?” he asked.

Reactions from other political group leaders all condemned Rutte’s passivity, whose hands are tied by his need for Wilders’ support, and who thus claims it is not a governmental issue. S&D leader Hannes Swoboda (Austria) called for the website to be closed down. Polish deputy Jacek Kurski (EFD) said Rutte’s lack of reaction is “scandalous”. “The prime minister [of the Netherlands] is not taking up his responsibility,” said Marije Cornelissen (Greens-EFA, Netherlands). “The prime minister ought to have directly condemned this website,” said Peter van Dalen (ECR, Netherlands), adding, however, that the EP holding a debate on this issue is “too much honour” for Wilders.

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had already condemned the PVV website in February, welcomed the comments made in the plenary chamber. “It is unacceptable that EU citizens become target of xenophobic attitudes because they have exercised their right to move from one state to another,” she said. Reding also called upon on the Dutch authorities to “fully investigate the lawfulness of the website under Dutch law and Union law”.

According to Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE-NGL, France), this is not enough. “You continue to refer to member states and their tribunals but I thought that the Commission was the guardian of the treaties, that freedom of circulation and non-discrimination were part of the European values,” she said. “I notice that certain values are more important than others and that in economic matters when the free circulation of goods and capital is concerned, competition barriers the Commission is prompter to condemn,” added Vergiat.

Stop Islamisation of Norway Leader Claims Growth in Membership, Far Right Analyst Expresses Skepticism

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2012 by loonwatch

The home of Anders Behring Breivik. (via. Islamophobia-Watch)

Stop Islamisation of Norway leader claims growth in membership, far right analyst expresses scepticism

A Norwegian group called “Stop Islamisation of Norway” (SIAN) has doubled membership levels in the last two years, its representatives claim.

The group, whose most active membership is located in Rogaland, has also been awarded a government concession to transmit on Radio Kos in Sandnes, western Norway. It alleges Internet radio capacity had to be increased from 25,000 to 200,000 listeners recently because of popularity.

Merete Hodne and Kjersti Margrethe Addehaid Gilje told NRK from Bryne, a small town in Rogaland County, “We have a duty to our country to preserve our Christian values, and not least to protect our children against the terrible, evil forces of Islam.”

According to SIAN’s leader, Arne Tumyr, membership has increased because of the 22nd July attacks. He would not reveal numbers, however, because of Extreme Left press exploitation fears, and being branded as racist by certain groups.

Last year, SIAN arranged a demonstration “Never Forget 9/11″ in front of the US embassy in Oslo ten years to the day. Arne Tumyr told NTB, “We are here to remember and honor those who lost their lives on 11th September ten years ago. We will commemorate the day from SIAN’s point of view, which is that we fear the growing influence of Islam and believe there is a direct connection between the religion of Islam and extremist actions.”

He and six others also participated at another anti-Islam protest in December in the centre of Stavanger. Approximately 10 times as many counter-demonstrators from SOS Racism and extreme Left Party Rødt (the Red Party) shouted him down during his speech, however, declaring, “no racists in our streets.”

Journalist, writer, and Right-Extremist environment researcher Øyvind Strømmen is sceptical about SIAN claims regarding increased membership. “They like to brag that they have a growing number of members, but there are not many people who stand and listen to them when they hold appeals,” he told NRK, “I think recruitment to this type of extremism has declined.”

The Foreigner, 11 March 2012

Swiss Parliament Rejects SVP Veil Ban Motion

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 7, 2012 by loonwatch

Oskar Freysinger‘s party is upset (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Swiss parliament rejects SVP veil ban motion

The group responsible for launching Switzerland’s anti-minaret initiative has called the rejection of a motion to ban burqas on public transport and in dealings with authorities “an affront”.

The National Council on Monday rejected a motion by Swiss People’s Party member Oskar Freysinger to ban the wearing of burqa in certain situations. The Council decided with a significant majority that imposing such a ban was unnecessary.

Social Democratic Party spokesman, Hans Stöckli, said that the majority of women wearing burqas in Switzerland were tourists, Swiss news agency SDA reported. Furthermore Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga warned that a blanket ban could violate the Geneva Convention on Refugees, as it would not distinguish between those with and without refugee status.

But the minds behind the anti-minaret initiative, the so-called Egerkinger Committee, believe a burqa ban to be worthwhile. The Egerkinger Committee claims that the rejection of the motion to ban burqas pointedly ignores the majority who expressly reject the “Islamization” of Switzerland.

The Committee maintains that while the Swiss constitution guarantees freedom of expression, wearing a veil is a denial of that freedom. “Freedom of expression is exercised in our country with an undisguised, open, readable face,” the Committee said in a statement.

The Committee said that it was ready to launch a popular initiative for the banning of the burqa “without delay”.

The Local, 7 March 2012

Update:  According to the SDA report, it was in fact the Swiss upper house, the Council of State (Ständerat), that rejected the SVP motion on Monday. The lower house, the National Council (Nationalrat), voted in favour of Freysinger’s call for “burqa ban” in September last year.

Far-right Supporters Agree with Armed Attacks

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , on March 4, 2012 by loonwatch

Far-right supporters agree with armed attacks

 and  (The Guardian)

Significant numbers of far-right supporters in the UK consider violence and “armed conflict” a legitimate form of political expression, experts will warn this week.

The first audit into the attitudes and beliefs of Britain’s rightwing extremists, collated in a report by the thinktank Chatham House, will reveal that there is a “significant level of support” for planned violent attacks.

Next month the trial will begin of Anders Behring Breivik, the far-right extremist who has confessed to the murder of 77 people in Norway last July. Breivik, an Islamophobe, said he carried out the attacks on Utoya Island and Oslo to help protect Europe from a “Muslim takeover”.

The report, which polled 2,152 far-right supporters, raises concerns that the path of extremism followed by Breivik, from membership of a mainstream rightwing party to far-right terrorist, should be recognised as a possibility for UK counterparts.

Matthew Goodwin, an associate fellow of Chatham House and the University of Nottingham, said there was a danger that supporters of theEnglish Defence League (EDL), which had links to Breivik, could be tempted to become more militant. “Perhaps some might feel that more direct, more violent strategies are the way forward.”

On 31 March the EDL will stage an international demonstration in Aarhus, Denmark’s second largest city. The “counter-jihad” summit will discuss the formation of a European Defence League. Representatives from defence leagues in Italy, Poland, the United States, Finland, Sweden and Norway are expected to attend, along with the anti-Muslim group, Stop Islamisation of Europe.

The ramifications of a well-organised, European-wide far-right movement, able to share violent ideologies and pool resources, has triggered concern from anti-fascist campaigners. Last week the Czech government warned that extreme rightwing groups were becoming more sophisticated and that neo-Nazis might resort to terrorism.

Goodwin said: “If the EDL links up with similar organisations in Germany and central and eastern Europe, that is quite worrying. Many of the grassroots groups in Germany are often called ‘autonomous nationalists’, but are very, very closely networked with neo-Nazi groups and organisations that engage quite openly in violence.”

Germany holds state ceremony for Muslims murdered by neo-Nazis

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 24, 2012 by loonwatch
German Neo-Nazi
A neo Nazi carrying a German imperial flag. (AP)

According to the German intelligence services, up to 30,000 Germans are believed to hold far-right beliefs — and among those, one-third are bent on violence. Critics claim authorities preoccupied with Muslim extremists have overlooked this growing problem.

Germany holds state ceremony for Muslims murdered by neo-Nazis

by David Crossland, The National

BERLIN // Germany held a state ceremony and observed a nationwide minute of silence yesterday in honour of the 10 people, most of them Muslim shopkeepers, who were shot dead by neo-Nazis during a seven-year killing spree.

Angela Merkel, the chancellor, said the murders, uncovered by chance last November, had brought shame on the nation. She apologised to the families for police errors that critics have blamed on institutional racism.

“The murders were an assault on our country. They are a disgrace to our country,” she told a memorial service in Berlin attended by 1,200 people, including relatives of the victims.

The shootings started in 2000 and continued until 2007, targeting small businessmen including a flower seller, a grocer, a kiosk owner and two doner kebab shop managers.

They happened in cities across Germany, from Munich in the south to Rostock on the north coast, and the same handgun was used each time. A German policewoman was also killed.

Police failed to investigate a possible racist motive, instead suspecting that the families might be involved or that the victims had been caught up in illegal activities.

Authorities found out by accident last November that the murders were committed by a terrorist group calling itself the National Socialist Underground and made up of three neo-Nazis who had been on the run for more than a decade.

Two of them, Uwe Mundlos and Uwe Böhnhardt, committed suicide after a botched bank robbery. A DVD claiming responsibility for all the killings was found in an apartment they had used with the third member, Beate Zschäpe, who was arrested.

The discovery of the trio was a major embarrassment for German security authorities. It exposed them to accusations of having been blind to the threat of far-right violence and preoccupied with Islamist militants since the September 11 attacks.

A parliamentary inquiry has been set up and steps are underway to improve coordination among national and regional intelligence authorities. But critics say deeper change is needed, not only in the organisation of the security services but in the mindset of the police.

“Some of the relatives were themselves under suspicion for years. That is terrible. I ask your forgiveness for that,” said Mrs Merkel. “These years must have been a never-ending nightmare for you,” she said.

For years, the murders were dismissively referred to by the media and the police as the “Doner Killings” because of the stereotype of Turks running kebab shops. The relatives were given little attention.

“Indifference has a creeping but disastrous effect,” said Mrs Merkel. “It drives rifts into our society.”

Turkish immigrants and their descendants make up most of Germany’s almost four million Muslims. Even though the community dates back more than half a century, they are still labelled as “foreigners” by many Germans, and live in parallel communities.

For some, the memorial ceremony was overshadowed by criticism from immigrant groups that the government is not doing enough to fight racism, and by warnings from police that there are further potential terrorists in the country’s far-right, which contains 10,000 people categorised by law enforcement as potentially violent.

“The danger of racism shouldn’t be seen as a peripheral problem or just being linked to neo-Nazi violence,” said Aiman Mazyek, the chairman of the Council of Muslims in Germany.

“Racism, anti-Semitism and hostility to Islam can keep on advancing into the centre of society if we don’t resist that more decisively with all democratic means at our disposal.”

Dutch Mosques Defaced 117 Times

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 31, 2011 by loonwatch

Dutch mosques defaced 117 times

Between 2005 and 2010 mosques in the Netherlands were defaced 117 times, according to research by social researcher Ineke van der Valk. The acts of vandalism were motivated by a hatred of Islam, the researcher is quoted as saying on VPRO radio programme Argos.

In 43 cases, the mosques were daubed with offensive symbols or slogans. In 37 instances, the mosques sustained material damage. In 99 of the incidents the police failed to find any of the culprits. In the United States there were 42 similar incidents during the same period. Most of the vandalised mosques in the Netherlands are located outside the major cities.

There are some 450 mosques in The Netherlands, which has a population of more than 16.5 million. Some five percent of the population is believed to be Muslim, some 44 percent Christian and over 41 percent agnostic. As a percentage of the population, the Netherlands has Europe’s second-largest Muslim community, inferior only to France, which has a Muslim community of more than nine percent.

(cl)

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Netanyahu Backs Law to Ban Loudspeakers at Mosques

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by loonwatch
A mosque in Kafr Azarya next to the Maaleh Adumim settlement. Photo by: Emil Salman
A mosque in Kafr Azarya next to the Maaleh Adumim settlement. Photo by: Emil Salman

What’s next? Bans on minarets?

Netanyahu backs law to ban loudspeakers at mosques

‘There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,’ PM says of move that would ban loudspeakers in calls to prayer.

By Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced support for a law that would ban mosques from using loudspeaker systems to call people to prayer.

The so-called Muezzin Law, propos[e]d by MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu ) applies to all houses of worship but the practice is prevalent only in mosques.

“There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,” Netanyahu said in reference to the law during a meeting of his Likud ministers.

After intense pressure from Likud ministers Limor Livnat, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, who harshly criticized the bill, Netanyahu announced that he was postponing the scheduled debate in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Michaeli has said hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely suffer from the noise caused by the muezzin’s calls to prayer.

“The bill comes from a worldview whereby freedom of religion should not be a factor in undermining quality of life,” she said.

Netanyahu made similar comments to the Likud ministers.

“I have received numerous requests from people who are bothered by the noise from the mosques,” he said. “The same problem exists in all European countries, and they know how to deal with it. It’s legitimate in Belgium; it’s legitimate in France. Why isn’t it legitimate here? We don’t need to be more liberal than Europe.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said there was no need for such a law and that it would only escalate tensions.

Michael Eitan, minister for the improvement of government services, agreed with Meridor, adding that this law was just a pretext for those wishing to legislate against Muslims. “If the desire was to combat sound, then a law against sound in all areas should be introduced,” said Eitan. “But the MK proposing the bill wants to combat religion. I met with her and she tried selling it to me as an environmental law. I said to her, ‘Look me in the eyes. You are not interested in the environment, but in Islam.”

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat joined Eitan and Meridor, saying anyone who wishes to serve a complaint over noises coming from Mosques can already do so under existing law. “There is an anti-noise law that is supposed to deal with the problem of noise from mosques, if such a problem even exists, but that law is not enforced. There is no need for a new law, rather the proper enforcement of the existing one,” said Livnat.

“None of the ministers came to Netanyahu’s defense or supported his position,” said one minister who participated in the meeting.

Netanyahu realized he would not be able to muster a majority in support of the law among his Likud ministers, and announced that the bill would be removed from the agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which convened a few hours after the Likud meeting.

Netanyahu added, however, the matter would be debated over the coming days and that the bill would be brought before the ministerial committee next week.

As a resident of Caesarea, Netanyahu is particularly familiar with the struggles that exist over noises emerging from mosques. For some time now, Caesarea residents have been acting against the use of loudspeaker systems by mosques in the neighboring village of Jisr al-Zarqa. In the past few years, “round table” teams comprised of members from both villages have been set up to find solutions to various issues. One of the representatives from Jisr al-Zarqa told Haaretz the issue of mosques using loudspeakers has arisen in their meetings.

Head of the Jisr al-Zarqa local council Az-a-Din Amash said Netanyahu did not intervene in the discussions, adding, “We have no desire to clash with Caesarea residents over the matter, quite the opposite. As such, we established a joint committee for dialogue, in which numerous issues relating to mosques use of loudspeaker systems arise.”