Sunday, November 19, 2017

Milan’s Chief Rabbi: The Left ‘Betrayed’ the Jewish People

Giuseppe Laras, Milan’s chief rabbi for 25 years and “the face of Italian Judaism,” has died at age 82, leaving a written testament that accuses the Left of having betrayed the Jewish people.

“During my life I have been able to live in first person the fall and the rise of different worlds,” Laras wrote in his spiritual testament, a document he prepared as his illness was progressing inexorably and which was read aloud before the local Jewish community last Wednesday.
“Today, I am witness to the emergence of a new wave of anti-Semitism, especially in its ambiguous form of anti-Zionism, the betrayal of the Left and the rapid intellectual and moral decline of Western civilization,” he wrote.
Laras was witness to an era, having presided as chief rabbi in Milan from 1980 to 2005 as well as leading the Assembly of Italian Rabbis and the Italian Rabbinical College. One of the most prestigious Jewish leaders in the country, Laras lived through events as disparate as the Shoah and the formation of the State of Israel, to Jewish-Christian dialogue and the re-emergence of radical Islam.
The Left’s betrayal of Judaism was born out of the tragedy of 1967, Laras declares, when with the Six Days War, European and Communist Leftists turned their backs on Israel, following Moscow and an ideological “anti-imperialist” reflex from which—he said—they are still struggling to recover.
Laras’s life, like many others of that generation, was a journey between the horror of the Shoah and the hope of Israel. Recalling the birth of the state of Israel, he wrote: “I recall the commotion, the euphoria and the sense of astonishment of those days.”
Yet in his testimonial, Laras says that the project of “the destruction of the Jews in Europe” had touched his existence, “marking it forever.”
“Mysteriously,” and “thanks to my mother’s strength and courage,” he wrote, he survived what he called the “horrors and ashes of the Shoah.”
As his student Vittorio Robiati Bendaud recalled at a celebration of Laras’ 80th birthday, he survived miraculously, while losing his mother and his grandmother “seeing them disappear forever from his eyes.” As a child he fled from wartime Turin alone into the night, losing the ability to speak for several months.
And now 70 years later new challenges and new anguish are emerging for European Jews, Laras observed. “In the silence or the ignorance of the great nations we have witnessed the persecution and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Islamic countries, where many had lived for centuries, sometimes before the birth of Islam,” he wrote.
In the future, Laras saw a road for European Jews that was both “uphill and narrow.”
“Nevertheless,” he wrote, “today our existence is no longer at the whim of the nations, thanks to the most Holy and Blessed God and the commitment of many.”
After a public ceremony in Milan, Rabbi Laras was buried in Israel late last week.
“I distinctly remember my trip to Israel and the surprise, happiness and pride at reading the signs in Hebrew, from road signs to notices in the markets,” he wrote in his latest testament.
Milan and Muslims remember Laras as a key figure in interreligious dialogue. But he never treated dialogue as a superficial meeting where differences were smoothed over too easily.
Laras was no flatterer, and never surrendered.

UK: Detective who exposed Muslim rape gangs was “threatened and bullied” by other cops for doing so

This is a national scandal that ought to have brought down the Prime Minister and the entire political class, for it is they who have fostered the notion that “racism” and “Islamophobia” were so heinous as to be worth sacrificing the lives of thousands of British girls to avoid. It is they who have made “Islamophobia” such a career-destroying action that most British officials stayed silent as these girls were used and destroyed. It is they who made “Islamophobia” so far beyond the bounds of acceptable discourse that Maggie Oliver’s colleagues even turned on her for exposing the actions of Muslim rape gangs. Britain will be “tolerant” and “inclusive” and “diverse” to its death, which is rapidly approaching, and Maggie Oliver isn’t going to stop it.
“Fellow police made my life torture for trying to stop Rochdale sex ring, claims detective,” by James Fielding, Express, November 19, 2017 (thanks to Inexion):
THE detective who exposed the Rochdale child abuse scandal has claimed she was bullied by police chiefs for speaking out on grooming gangs.
Maggie Oliver said her professional life was made “torture” after she told senior officers that police were not doing enough to protect girls from a predominantly Asian paedophile ring.
The former detective constable resigned from Greater Manchester Police in late 2012 over failures that allowed the Rochdale perpetrators to escape justice for many years.
However before she quit she alleges she was bullied for a year and a half while working on Operation Span, the investigation into Rochdale.
Ms Oliver has not spoken publicly about her bullying so as not to detract from the way in which the young victims were let down by the police.
However, she has now decided to speak out to support another detective John Wedger who the Sunday Express revealed last week is suing the Metropolitan Police for a psychiatric injury he suffered as a result of bullying.
She said: “I’ve never spoken publicly about my personal treatment because I never wanted to deflect from the fact the police had failed the child victims of Rochdale. But in trying to expose criminal neglect by senior officers that for me was on a par with Hillsborough, I was threatened and bullied.”
Ms Oliver, was tasked with gaining the trust of vulnerable but hostile victims. However, when they began to identify Asian grooming gangs, she said the police cooled their interest in the investigation.
She said: “GMP had a specialist interview suite for vulnerable victims which was purpose built to be non-confrontational, it’s like a living room, laid back because you want your witnesses to feel at ease.
“Yet I remember one senior officer screaming down the phone at me telling me that I had to take vulnerable victims to a suspect interview suite where some of them had been taken previously when they were accused of something they hadn’t actually done.”…

Report: Migrants Make up Half of Norwegian Welfare Recipients

Norwegian Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Anniken Hauglie has raised alarm bells after a report has revealed that migrants account for half of the welfare beneficiaries in the country.

The report, which comes from the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV), claims that not only are a disproportionate number of migrants receiving welfare, but many are living below the poverty line. Minister Hauglie has warned that the poor migrants could be forming an underclass in Norwegian society, Verdens Gang reports.
“The report confirms that one of the main causes of poverty in Norway is immigration. 28.5 per cent of immigrants live in sustained low income,” Hauglie said.
“It’s alarming. The worst thing that can happen is that immigrants and refugees become their own subclass in Norwegian society,” she added.
From 2011 to 2015, the poverty rate in Norway has increased from 7.7 per cent to 9.3 per cent. Immigrants, though they only make up 16.8 per cent of the total population, account for 28.5 per cent of all people considered to be in poverty in the country.
“To reduce poverty in Norway, more immigrants have to work,” Hauglie said. “Without language, it is difficult to get in the Norwegian labour market,” she added and recommended that more emphasis is put on having migrants learn Norwegian and not put them in jobs where they do not have frequent contact with native speakers.
Neighbouring Sweden has also been dealing with similar statistics when it comes to newly arrived migrants being unable or unwilling to enter the labour market.
Employment figures from earlier this year showed that the unemployment rate for native Swedes was a mere 3.9 per cent while the immigrant rate was 21.8 per cent.
Language has been cited as a major factor for the high migrant unemployment rate in Sweden as well as poor qualifications and schooling backgrounds.
Despite attempting to give migrants free courses to improve their education, the Swedish Employment Service noted in July that only three per cent of migrants showed any interest in attending schooling or work training.

Europe's Left has joined the Islamosphere

by Giulio Meotti

Everywhere you look in Europe, you see leftist intellectuals, politicians and militans coming to the defense of former inmates at Guantanamo, Iranian ministers and mullahs, convicted Palestinian terrorists or Sunni radical preachers. They march with them in the streets of Paris and London, they support their discourse against the West in the Parliaments, they offer them legal defense and advice about the veil, swimming pools, schools, courts, workplace, mosques, houses. They plot with them to prosecute “Islamophobic” journalists and writers. They love them.
Some of them haill from anti-capitalism, others from the battles for the Third World, others simply hate the West, others want to eradicate Israel and the Jews. But they all joined the “Islamosphere”. They are the new collaborators, the Western agents influencing Europe's democracy at the orders of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Wahhabees.Islamists seek to control every word and discourse on the Prophet of Islam to free him from any responsibility for Jihadist crimes. And they are supported by a large segment of Europe's Left.This Left has lost everything it had: The Soviet Union, the Third World, the Western working class, and it now sees radical Islam as a surrogate proletariat to mobilize the world against free market, democracy, pluralism and Western values. The left hates Christian shepherds and priests, but loves Islamic mullahs and imams.
This Left preaches anti-Semitism (often disguised as anti-Zionism) and idolizes the Islamic veil. For them, denouncing the rapes committed by immigrants is a racist act. The Leftist feminists want all the freedom and equality between the sexes for themselves and have no problem having Muslim women take all the submission to men, “blasphemy” and the crime of apostasy. These collaborators love to adorn themselves with the masks of rebels.In 1917, many useful idiots in the West were able to convince many in the West that Communism in Russia was paradise (think about all the red spies in the UK and US), that the Gulag didn't exist or that it was the forced road to equality. In 2017, the new useful idiots repeat over and over how beautiful, equal and just the West will be after the submission to radical Islam.
In 1917, they succeeded and for 70 years Western Europe was submerged by Soviet totalitarian darkness. Will they succeed again in 2017?

Report: Schools Must Teach Britain Is an ‘Immigration Nation’ to Fight Islamophobia

The government should empower NGOs and race activists to police the media to ensure ethnic minorities are not portrayed in a bad light, and the school curriculum must be changed so that every child is taught Britain has no native population, according to a new report on Islamophobia. In Islamophobia: Still a Challenge for Us All, “race relations” think tank the Runnymede Trust alleges that “anti-Muslim racism” is responsible for all inequalities between Muslims and other groups in Britain “across a range of outcomes, from health, housing and environment to education, employment and criminal justice”.
Lamenting that Muslims are subject to “demonisation” and “racial stereotyping” in Britain, one of the report’s 10 main recommendations is that the press and media be overhauled to ensure that news coverage is produced so as not to fuel negative perceptions of minority ethnic or religious groups.

A press regulator should “investigate the prevalence of Islamophobia, racism and hatred espoused in the press”. which would not only look at the accuracy of coverage, but also examine whether “individual stories have wider negative effects on whole ethnic groups, and on wider social attitudes”, according to the report.View image on Twitter

As well as urging the press and wider media establish ethnic diversity quota targets for their journalists, editors, and senior management, the Trust writes that politicians must show “greater accountability for the impact on race relations of negative media coverage … of minority ethnic and religious groups.”
To this end, it recommends the government set up a team of people from “race equality NGOs”, local authorities, and media practitioners “to initiate new strategies to combat racial prejudice in the media and negative public perceptions of minority ethnic groups”.
The report commends the Home Office’s commitment in its 2016 Hate Crime Action Plan, to “[prevent] hate crime by challenging the beliefs and attitudes underpinning such crimes and to working with young people and schools,” but adds: “This must involve addressing the core curriculum and ensuring the history of migration is taught effectively.”

Linking to Our Migration Story, a government-funded “educational resource” developed by the Runnymede Trust and academics to accompany a new GSCE history module offered to students since 2016, the report implies that all schools should have to teach the contents of the module which  — developed by a Marxist academic  — alleges Africans were in Britain before the English, and has been described as “disturbing” and “dangerous”.
Our Migration Story states that the UK is a nation of constant migrations with no indigenous population, whose “wealth and power” came only as the result of “the exploitation of the world’s resources and its people”.
British imperialism is to blame for the existence of racism today, according to the website, which highlights hundreds of stories of intolerance, racism, and oppression in the UK’s history and was created to counter “the resurgence of increasingly narrow, nationalistic, expressions of national identity”, according to its creators.
When it was unveiled last year, critics slammed the politicisation evident in the new ‘Migration to Britain’ GCSE course, the literature of which states: “This course will enable students to learn how the movement of people – European, African, Asian – to and from these islands has shaped the story of this nation for thousands of years.”

Antony Beevor, the military historian and author, said: “Migration is a very valid area to study, but if it’s a question of rewriting history to bolster the morale of certain sections of the population, rather than a scrupulous attitude towards facts, then that is a total distortion and it’s outrageous.”
Prof Alan Smithers, of Buckingham University, a specialist adviser to the Commons Education Committee, said: “This seems to be aimed more at indoctrination than education. It is dangerous because a cohesive society depends on an authentic shared view of history.”
Author and Nobel Laureate V. S. Naipaul added: “This absurd supposition of Africans inhabiting Britain before the English only goes to show how our once esteemed centres of learning, Oxford and Cambridge, have been insidiously eroded by a dangerous dogma that, very like IS today, wrought misery and havoc in Russia, China and the Eastern bloc, where for all practical purposes it has failed.”

Europe: Destroyed by the West's Indifference?

by Giulio Meotti
  • Our media and intelligentsia are always on alert to defend everything coming from Islam, from women's veils to the "right not be offended" by cartoons. The same establishment, however, lies in a coma when it comes to Christian symbols under attack.
  • The West today keeps on hiding its deepest secret: that there is an Islamic war going on against our own Judeo-Christian civilization.
  • "They want Christianity eradicated, and they want to convert all Muslims to their crusade... They want it to be a holy war. And they want Christians gone. And I don't think that narrative is getting the attention it should get..." — Piers Morgan, Daily Mail.
There are pictures one cannot forget -- for instance, of Russian troops hoisting their flag over burning Berlin in 1945. It was the end of Nazism but the rise of Communism. Another photo is of U.S. Marines raising the American flag over the battle-scarred Japanese island of Iwo Jima.
Today the West faces another totalitarianism: radical Islam. One place that witnessed the new horror is Mount Sinjar in the Nineveh province of Iraq, once a home to religious minorities, especially Christians and Yazidis. Thousands of years of history changed when the jihadists of ISIS invaded Sinjar in August of 2014. They slaughtered men and enslaved girls and women. Christian churches were razed to the ground, and houses of worship, looted.
In 2016 alone, 90,000 Christians around the world were murdered for their faith, according to a report from the Center for the Study of Global Christianity. Between 2005 and 2015, 900,000 Christians were martyred. According to Open Doors, another Christian advocacy group, one out of every 12 Christians today experiences extreme persecution for their faith; the total comes to 215 million around the world.
"The persecution of Christians is real. It is global in scope, brutal in its nature, daily in its occurrence, and growing worse than ever", said University of Notre Dame Professor Dan Philpott. A recent report by the World Council of Churches put the number of Christians left in Iraq at fewer than 250,000. "Christianity is finished", said Canon Andrew White, the great vicar of Baghdad.
Christians have also been fleeing Sinai: the Egyptian branch of ISIS has been slaughtering them in a campaign of "religious cleansing". ISIS released a video calling on its supporters to target Christians across Egypt, describing them as its "favourite prey". The Islamists then targeted two packed Egyptian churches, where they slaughtered 47 Christians. From Cairo to Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray in northern France, churches now appear Islamists' preferred targets.
There is, in all this bad news, a beam of hope; the valiant Kurdish Peshmerga fighters liberated Sinjar and rescued tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians. On Easter Sunday, an unidentified soldier planted a cross on the soil where a Mount Sinjar church had once stood. It was a declaration of the resurrection of life after the onslaught of the Islamic State. This cross was like the flag raised in Iwo Jima.
Yet, no Western newspaper, which could help the public rally for their Christian brethren, published this extraordinary photograph. Why? Our general unwillingness to address any threat indicates a Western impotence in the face of barbarism. An editor at the Daily Mail, Piers Morgan, has commented that while terror attacks in the Western capitals all got "huge attention," the ones against Christians did not.
"They want Christianity eradicated, and they want to convert all Muslims to their crusade. They want it to be a holy war. And they want Christians gone. And I don't think that narrative is getting the attention it should get in the American media and, I have to say, in other media as well around the world".
"The Western world has long gotten used to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East, as if their bad lot is inevitable and simply has to be accepted," noted a Canadian philosopher, Mathieu Bock-Côté, in Le Figaro. "Christianity is destined to die or have no more than a residual existence in what used to be its cradle".
While natural disasters such as tsunamis or earthquakes spur solidarity throughout the West, the disappearance of entire Christian populations and their ancient civilizations never seems to disturb anyone. Perhaps it is a sign of denial by the West. Perhaps it is the result of rejecting Judeo-Christian history and humanistic values -- those that cause the demonization the foremost victim of jihad, Israel, instead of the jihadists trying to destroy it. In 2014, we saw tens of thousands of people marching in the streets of European capitals in favor of the Palestinians, even as they were carpeting Israel with missiles and shouting "death to Israel and the Jews". We have seen how unspeakable Christian agony in Islamic lands has led to only a few hundred people turning out on the streets of London and Paris.
Our media and intelligentsia are always on the alert to defend everything coming from Islam, whether women's veils or the "right not be offended" by cartoons. The same establishment, however, lies in a coma when Christian symbols come under attack. Wilfred McClay, in an essay, "The Strange Persistence of Guilt", notes that while religion is in retreat in the West, guilt seems as powerfully present as ever, and a cult of being or protecting a victim proliferates. People rush to nurture the perfect victim: threadbare, with no identity, who has run away from "war". Christians under Islam are not part of that group. Muslims are.
The West today keeps on hiding its deepest secret: that there is an Islamic war going on against our own Judeo-Christian civilization. Few people in the West see in the media the houses of Christians in Mosul marked with an "N". The Islamic State painted it for "Nasrani" ("Nazarene") -- Arabic for "Christian". A genocide symbolized by one letter. But no one sees it or cares.
American television networks devoted six times more air-time to covering the death of a gorilla, Harambe, than they did to the Islamic State beheading 21 Coptic Christians on a beach in Libya, according to a study by the Media Research Center. How is it possible that the killing of a gorilla moves the Western public more than 19 Yazidi girls burned alive in a cage? Few people saw the photograph of Khaled al Asaad, the brave archaeologist who refused to lead ISIS to the antiquities of Palmyra. The henchmen of ISIS beheaded him and hung him upside down. We turned away in horror.
A famous 9/11 picture by Thomas Hoepker, taken at a restaurant in Brooklyn, shows a group of young New Yorkers sunbathing, relaxed and calm, observing the smoke rising from the Twin Towers on the other side of the East River. Since then, the only enemy we ever point to is us. We censor the existential threat Western civilization is facing -- whether on an Iraqi mountain or Paris's Champs-Élysées. If Eastern Christianity can be extinguished so easily, Western Europe will be next.

Syrian Terror Suspect Flies from Germany to Greece Despite Electronic Tag

A Syrian migrant deemed to pose a threat who was investigated for terror was able to board a flight from Germany to Greece, despite being electronically tagged.

The 35-year-old, known as Hussein Z., is likely to have come to Germany in February 2015 as an asylum seeker and is thought to have been living in the town of Aschaffenburg in northwest Bavaria.
He had been investigated on suspicion of membership of a terrorist group, according to Die Welt, and the Bavarian state protectors classified him as “particularly dangerous”, likely because of Islamist views.
His movements were supposedly being tracked and controlled, yet he was able to walk on to a commercial fight unopposed.The Federal Police told Bavarian Radio: “In principle, an electronic ankle tag does not pose a risk to air traffic. On the other hand, under European Union law, the person was not allowed to go through border control and an internal border was crossed.”
The man reportedly said he wanted to pick up his son from the Turkish-Syrian border area. His mother and sister are already lived in Hamburg, according to security sources.
Authorities were unable to track the man for the three hours he was in the air and were forced to turn off the tracking device when he was detected in Athens, Greece, for legal reasons.
German authorities were quick to contact their counterparts in Greece and warn them, but it was too late, and the man’s whereabouts are now unknown. An arrest warrant has been issued across the Schengen area.
In February last year, German authorities admitted they did not know the whereabouts of 130,000 migrants.
Of the 1.1 million migrants who registered as asylum seekers in Germany in 2015, “about 13 per cent did not turn up at the reception centers to which they had been directed,” the government said in a written reply to a question.
However, reports from earlier this year suggest there could be as many as 1.6 million asylum seekers in the country, plus another 392,000 whose status was unknown, and an estimated 30,000 missing.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Seeing The Effects of Mass Migration in Western Europe Turns Young Poles Populist

In a piece perpetuating the perception of annual independence day celebrations in Poland as a “far right” festival, Britain’s Guardian newspaper has inadvertently identified an unexpected side effect of European free movement of labour — the growth of populist-right ideas among young Poles.

Rather than right-wing views becoming more prevalent among those ‘left behind’ by globalism and the breaking down of borders — a common trope repeated about a perceived lack of education among Brexit voters by sneering remainers — anti-mass migration views may actually be encouraged in Eastern European nations by their best travelled and internationalist citizens.
Trying to find sense in the continued growth of nationalist, populist politics in central and European nations including in Poland — which saw a 60,000 strong independence day march in the national capital Warsaw Saturday, the Guardian quotes Aleks Szczerbiak, a professor of politics at the University of Sussex who explains going abroad and seeing life in Western Europe had the opposite effect.The academic said: “It was long assumed that young Poles would come to the west and become more secular, multicultural and liberal, and that they would re-export those things back to Poland. But instead their experience of the west seems to have reinforced their social conservatism and traditionalism in many ways.”
The paper also quoted the remarks of former member of the Polish parliament Krzysztof Bosak, who now organises for the National Movement — an organisation the Guardian calls “ultra nationalist” — who explained the experiences of many Poles living in Western Europe turned them away from liberalism. He said: “So many young people travelled to work in western countries, and then came back and told their friends and families what was going on in western Europe.
“They told them about the process of exchange of population, by which people of European origin are replaced by people from Africa and Asia, and about Islamisation.”
Although Saturday’s march has been variously described in Western media as far-right and even white nationalist, the organisers and Polish government has rejected the claims.
Rejecting the idea that the march was dominated by radical elements as “purely incidental” and “unwarranted”, the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement of the march: “It was attended by thousands of people who wanted to peacefully manifest their patriotic feelings. For Poles, who differ in their opinions but who share the same values like freedom, like allegiance to their Independent Homeland, the march was a big occasion to celebrate.”

Islamists Barge Into French Monastery During Prayers, Demand Nuns Convert To Islam

Two Islamist men barged into the Carmelite Verdun monastery late last week during evening prayers in which they told the nuns to convert to Islam or go to hell.

The two men were described as being in their thirties and both sporting beards and are said to have prayed in Arabic while the nuns were conducting their evening prayers. The pair also signed the guestbook of the monastery writing “Allah u Ackbar” though there were no reports of any violence taking place L’Est Républicain reports.
Bishop of Verdun  Jean-Paul Gabriel Émile Gusching said commented on the matter saying, “they prayed in Arabic during Vespers,” and added, “They presented themselves as harbingers and told them: if you do not convert, you will go to hell.’
On Sunday both men were arrested and later brought before Verdun prosecutor Guillaume Dupont who said, “They will be summoned to the verdict court of Verdun to be tried at a hearing on April 28, 2018, at 8:45 am for aggravated voluntary violence.”
Dupont said that the charge is related to psychological violence and if convicted the pair could see a 45,000 euro fine and the possibility of three years in prison.
Abdelkrim Aïtelkaid, Imam of Verdun, said that one of the men was a recent convert to Islam having only become a Muslim three or four months prior. He condemned the actions of the pair saying, “It is not normal. We are not going to violate the sacredness of a place of worship.”
The authorities were particularly diligent regarding the incident due to the fact that last year a priest in Normandy was killed by radical Islamic terrorists who barged into an early morning mass. The Islamists initially took Father Jacques Hamel hostage but later decided to slit his throat after delivering a sermon in Arabic from the pulpit of the church.
Islamisation has become an increasingly prominent topic in France with some Muslims, like those in Clichy, choosing to pray in the street to protest the government closing an illegally occupied building that they had used as a mosque.
Last week over a hundred French conservative politicians interrupted the street prayers by singing the French national anthem and getting into minor physical confrontations with the Muslim worshippers.

Germany, Austria: Imams Warn Muslims Not to Integrate

by Stefan Frank
  • "While outside the mosque there is constant talk of integration, the opposite is preached inside. Only in rare instances are parts of the sermon -- or even more rarely, all of the sermon -- translated into German... [fostering] social integration into an internal ethnic environment, and thus ethnic segmentation." — Constantin Schreiber, author of Inside Islam: What Is Being Preached in Germany's Mosques.
  • "Politicians who repeatedly emphasize their intention of cooperating with the mosques, who invite them to conferences on Islam, have no idea who is preaching what there." — Necla Kelek, human rights activist and critic of Islam, human rights activist, in the Allgemeine Zeitung.
In the debate on migrants in Germany and Austria, no other term is used more often than "integration." But the institution that is most important for many Muslim migrants does not generally contribute much to this effort — and often actively fights it: the mosque. That is the finding of an official Austrian study as well as private research conducted by a German journalist.
In late September, the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF), a department of the foreign ministry published a study, "The role of the mosque in the integration process". For the purposes of the study, employees of the ÖIF visited 16 mosques in Vienna, attended several Friday sermons and spoke with the individual imams — that is, if the imams were willing to have a conversation, which was often not the case. The result of this, according to the ÖIF, is that only two of the mosque associations foster the integration of their members. The report applauds a Bosnian mosque association that also runs a soccer club. During the discussion, its imam said: "Every country, as with Austria, has its rules and laws and -- something I always stress -- it is our religious duty to comply with these standards and to integrate accordingly."
With regard to gender roles, in all of the mosques they visited, the authors were struck by the almost complete absence of women at Friday prayers:
"Only three of the mosques... provide women with their own space, which is reserved for them and actually used by them. If they exist at all, most of the mosques make the women's areas on Fridays available to men, too."
The Islamic Center of Vienna. (Image source: Zairon/Wikimedia Commons)

Separated by Ethnicities

With few exceptions, the Viennese mosques are organized along ethnic lines:
"There are Turkish, Albanian, Bosnian, Arabic, Pakistani and other mosques, in which sermons are generally held exclusively in the respective national language. Only in rare instances are parts of the sermon — or even more rarely, all of the sermon — translated into German."
Thus, the mosque associations are "closed spaces in terms of ethnicity and language." That difference fosters "social integration into an internal ethnic environment, and thus ethnic segmentation." In eight of the 16 mosques surveyed, this trend is further reinforced by "widespread and openly-propagated nationalism."
One mosque, run by the Turkish Milli Görüs movement, stood out as particularly radical. Milli Görüs is one of the largest Islamic organizations in Europe and is closely associated ideologically with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the report, the imam in the Milli Görüs mosque "openly advocates for the establishment of a politically united Ummah under a caliphate." He attributes unrest in Islam to fitna ("upheaval") brought into the Islamic community from the outside. According to the authors of the study, the imam "sees himself surrounded everywhere by enemies of Islam, who want to prevent the Islamic community from dominating the world as foretold in prophecies." In all three sermons that were heard, the definitive issue was the unity of Muslims: Muslims on one side, the "infidels" on the other. According to the study, some of the imam's statements indicated a "hardened worldview driven by conspiracy theory," such as: "Forces situated outside the Ummah have done everything in their power to undermine Ummah-awareness of the Ummah itself."
The conclusion of the study states:
"In summary, it may be said of the 16 mosque associations surveyed in this study, that with the exception of mosques D01 [one of the few German-speaking mosques] and B02 [the aforementioned Bosnian mosque], they do not actively promote the social integration of their members. At best, they do not prevent it from happening. For the most part, they have an inhibiting effect on the integration process."
According to the study, six of the 16 mosque associations examined (37.5%) pursue "a policy that actively impedes integration into society and to some extent exhibits fundamentalist tendencies." Half of the 16 mosques examined "preach a dichotomous worldview, the pivotal tenet of which is the division of the world into Muslims on one side, and everyone else on the other." Six of the mosques were found to practice "explicit denigration of Western society."

Admonitions against Life in Germany

Similar observations were made by German journalist Constantin Schreiber who, in 2016, spent more than 8 months attending Friday sermons in German mosques. Schreiber, fluent in Arabic, is well-known as a moderator of Arabic television programs, in which he explains life in Germany to immigrants. He published what he experienced in these mosques in a book that has been a bestseller in Germany for months: Inside Islam: What Is Being Preached in Germany's Mosques.
Schreiber introduced himself to the mosque associations as a journalist, disclosing that he intended to write a non-fiction book about mosques in Germany. Only a few imams were willing to agree to an interview. In one instance, he was told that speaking to him was "prohibited". In general, the imams with whom he was allowed to speak, spoke practically no German. "Apparently it is possible to live in Germany for many years with your wife and children, and still not even be capable of buying bread in German," Schreiber writes.
A frequent subject of the sermons Schreiber heard in the mosques consisted of admonitions against life in Germany.
"Time and again, such as in the Al-Furqan mosque [a Sunni Arab mosque in Berlin] Muslims seemed committed to the idea that they are some sort of a community with a shared destiny: 'You are a diaspora! We are a diaspora! ... They [Germans] resembles a torrent that annihilates you, which obliterates you, and takes away your values and replaces them with its own values'."
In the Sunni-Turkish Mehmed Zahid Kotku Tekkesi mosque in Berlin, in his Friday sermon the day before Christmas Eve, the imam warned against the "greatest of all dangers" – the "Christmas peril": "Anyone who emulates another tribe becomes one of them. Is New Year's Eve ours? Are Christmas trees part of us? No, they are not!"
The imam in the Al-Rahman mosque in Magdeburg compared life in Germany to a path through a beguiling forest, Schreiber continues. Its charms had the power to entice Muslims to stray from the righteous path, to lose their way in the "thicket of the forest" until they are "devoured by the wild beasts residing in the forest."

The State Has No Clear Overview

What caught Schreiber's attention even while planning his visits, was the lack of transparency surrounding mosques in Germany. To begin with, there is no official directory of mosques; no one can say with any certainty just how many mosques there are in Germany. The private website is the only such registry. "So German authorities," says Schreiber, "rely on lists compiled by a private individual, who is very obviously characterized by a certain fundamental ideological attitude." In addition, as the registry depends on voluntary reporting for its entries, it is doubtful that mosques that wish to remain undetected would be registered there. Schreiber considers it unlikely that the list is even close to complete or up-to-date:
"I came across mosques that are entered in the list but have not existed for some time. Or newly opened mosques that are not recorded anywhere, and neither the intelligence services nor regional authorities are aware of their existence."
Moreover, Schreiber's request to the city of Hanover revealed that German authorities apparently feel inhibited about providing information concerning mosques in their own city. An employee of the local authority wrote in an email: "Please, give me more precise information as to your intended use of this list. We do not want to have these institutions subjected to general suspicion."

Fear and Silence

One surprise was the defensive reaction Schreiber encountered from people whose professions actually demand candor and cooperation. As Schreiber wanted to make sure that in translating the sermons he would not mistranslate any of the statements, he contacted what he says is one of the most prestigious translation agencies in Germany:
"I was asked to send in one of the transcribed sermons for review, to estimate the effort and costs. My request was subsequently refused. The text was deemed to be outside the 'normal field of work' of the translators, with no one confident enough correctly to translate this 'type of text'."
The search for a translator for the Turkish sermons also proved difficult: "The mere fact that I was interested in this subject resulted in the immediate accusation that all I really wanted to do was instigate 'Islam bashing'."
Schreiber was also confronted with a wall of resistance when he looked around for German scholars of Islam so that he could discuss the contents of the sermons with them. University professors -- whose salaries are paid by German taxpayers -- refused to provide information about something that relates to their own specialty.
"For many months, I directed requests to Islamic studies faculties with whom we had frequently conducted interviews in our role as editors. One university held me off for months with the excuse that they were still searching for the right counterpart. On December 16, three months after my first inquiry, the professor of Islamic studies wrote me that there was now too little time to schedule a conversation. When I responded that if need be, I could still offer an alternative date in early January, I did not receive another answer. Several other university professors told me to send them the sermons, which I proceeded to do. Thereafter, I did not receive any more responses, even to follow-up requests."
According to Schreiber, this effort constituted an "interesting experience", as otherwise, scholars of Islamic studies and Islam experts "are very obliging in offering to be interviewed on current political issues." That openness does not exist, however, when it concerns sermons in German mosques: "Many experts avoid me after receiving my inquiries, while calls and emails consistently remain unanswered." One Islamic scholar indirectly advised him to drop the project, as it could supposedly "widen the gulf." Why? Because, according to this scholar of Islamic studies, "even liberal and tolerant readers could easily find these texts to be extremely incomprehensible and strange, as well as 'crude'."

Unsuspecting Politicians

Schreiber's conclusion about the sermons he heard, is:
"After 8 months of research, I have to say that Mosques are political spaces. The majority of the sermons I attended were aimed at resisting the integration of Muslims into German society. If the issue of life in Germany was raised, then it was primarily in a negative context. Frequently, the imams described everyday life in Germany as a threat and urged their communities to resist. The common feature of almost all the sermons is their appeal to the faithful to shut themselves off and to keep to themselves."
In "virtually every mosque", Schreiber noticed "scores of refugees who had not been living in Germany very long." They too had been warned against adjusting: "While outside the mosque there is constant talk of integration, the opposite is preached inside."
The danger of this approach is demonstrated by the murder of Farima S., an Afghan woman who was murdered in the Bavarian town of Prien. Eight years ago, she renounced Islam, adopted Christianity and, two years after that, fled to Germany. On April 29, she was murdered by an Afghan Muslim in broad daylight. While a number of Muslims living in the town attended the funeral, the mosque associations pretended that the murder did not concern them. Karl-Friedrich Wackerbarth, the pastor of the Evangelical parish of Prien, where Farima S. was a member, asked the associations to condemn the crime. In October, half a year after the murder, he responded to an inquiry from Gatestone Institute: "Unfortunately, to this day," he said, "there has been no reaction."
Wackerbarth suspects that the Islamic associations do not want to make a pronouncement against fatwas by Cairo's Al-Azhar University, and others, according to which "apostates" [those who renounce Islam] are to be killed.
This situation raises the question as to why the German government hopes that mosque associations will help them solve problems. Recently, the well-known human rights activist and critic of Islam, Necla Kelek wrote:
"Politicians who repeatedly emphasize their intention of cooperating with the mosques, who invite them to conferences on Islam, have no idea who is preaching what there."