23 March 2012
Europe's Muslim nightmare
Op-ed: Europeans horrified to discover that they must contend with homegrown terrorists
As long as we were dealing with Islamic terrorists arriving in Western Europe from the Middle East and not part of local society, it was possible to monitor them and thwart their terror intentions. They were foreigners. Yet what happens when the terrorists are French or European locals of Muslim descent who were born in Europe? To what extent can their actions be monitored and their terror activities curbed? It’s much more difficult, and this is the European nightmare, which keeps growing, as illustrated by the brutal murder in Toulouse.
These Muslim European youngsters, some of whom view jihad as a model for imitation, are deeply familiar with European society and its constitutional, security and moral vulnerabilities. Studies show that Muslim youths born in Europe are much more radical than the generation of their immigrant parents, who were preoccupied with making a living. A fascinating and important study by British think tank Policy Exchange found that Muslim youngsters in Britain are quickly moving towards radicalization, Islamization, and a desire to change Britain’s identity to conform to Islam. These are loud warning signs, yet nobody can do anything about it in Europe for fear of being accused of primitivism.
The study was premised, among other things, on a poll among Britain’s Muslim population. Some 37% of youngsters aged 16-24 want to adopt Islamic laws in Britain (of course, nobody would renounce their British citizenship) compared to only 17% of respondents aged above 55. Meanwhile, 37% of young respondents want their children to study in Islamic schools, compared to only 19% of older respondents. Some 7% of respondents confessed to admiring terror groups like al-Qaeda, including 13% of youngsters and 3% of older respondents. (Notably, the terrorist who blew himself up at Tel Aviv’s Mike’s Place café in 2003 was a Muslim carrying a British passport.) Finally, 74% of the youngsters prefer their wives to wear a veil, compared to 28% among older respondents.
Easy prey for terrorists
Meanwhile, the European Union has become an awkward, clumsy body, up to its neck in bureaucracy, with odd technocrats assuming top posts: For example, Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton. The EU exposed European states to accelerated Muslim immigration, while forcing them to adopt liberal, lenient laws towards minorities and immigrants. The sense of sovereignty and safeguarding of borders, which is supposed to be natural for every country, was almost annulled, while officials in Brussels make decisions for all EU states; the same Brussels that already boasts a Muslim majority at city hall.
And so, the European Union has become easy prey for those interested in establishing terror cells and misusing the benefits of living in Europe. These Jihad groups view the EU as a bulbous, atrophied body that is an easy victim for their schemes. These are al-Qaeda’s grandchildren already, who are no longer operating in the name of veteran leaders and usually don’t even know them. They are an original European product. Some of them travel to the Middle East or to Afghanistan, come in contact with terror elements, and import the ideas, and arms, to Europe. At times there is no need for it, as the Internet is a superb guide and many youngsters are exposed to violent Islamic information without speaking a word of Arabic.
For long years, senior EU officials felt they were living in a remote, calm island, looking from above at the Third World and Islam, or at least this is how they hoped to view themselves. Yet this is no longer the case. And this truth, which has now pervaded the hearts of millions in France following the Toulouse massacre, is horrifying them. It is not the Jews whom the French are now thinking of; first and foremost, they fear for themselves.
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