Forget the beheading videos, the ISIS propaganda on social media, even the terrorist attacks themselves. Europe, says counterterrorism expert Afshin Ellian, is Islamizing itself, and in the process, the Western values on which its democracies are built are increasingly put at risk.
AA.com Europe or European territories have 11 political parties founded by Muslims or with mostly Muslim membership. Parties in France, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Bulgaria, and Greece were founded to counter the rising tide of justified anti-Muslim sentiment and alleged discrimination against Muslims in Europe.
CounterJihadReport BELGIUM: Take, for instance, Belgium’s ISLAM Party, which now hopes to participate in the country’s October local elections in 28 regions. (Its name serves as an acronym for “Integrité, Solidarité, Liberté, Authenticité, Moralité.)
Its ultimate aim: transforming Belgium into an Islamic state. Items high on its agenda include separating men and women on public transportation, and the incorporation of sharia law – as long as this does not conflict with current laws –according to the party’s founder, Redouane Ahrouch. His own behavior, however, suggests that his respect for “current laws” and mores has its bounds: He reportedly refuses to shake hands with women, and in 2003, he received a six-month sentence for beating and threatening his wife.
Currently, the Islam Party has two elected representatives in office – one in Anderlecht, the other in Molenbeek – both regions that happen to be known as hotbeds of extremism.
NETHERLANDS: DENK, Holland’s pro-Islam party was founded in 2015 by Turkish-Dutch politicians Selçuk Ozturk and Tunahan Kuzu. The party platform, which supports boycotts and sanctions against Israel, also discourages assimilation, calling instead for “mutual acceptance” of multiple cultures. Non-Muslims, for instance, would apparently be required to “accept” the Muslim extremist father who beats his daughter for refusing an arranged marriage, or for becoming too “Westernized” for his taste. It’s his culture, after all.
DENK also calls for a “racism police force” to monitor allegedly anti-Muslim comments and actions. Those found guilty would be placed in a government “racism register,” and banned from government jobs and other employment.
So far, such pro-Islamist views have served the party well. In local Dutch elections last month, DENK (which means “think” in Dutch) gained three seats in Rotterdam, totaling four seats among 45 total and edging out Geert Wilders’ far-right Partij voor de Vrijheid(PVV), which fell from three seats to one.
In Amsterdam, which also has 45 seats, a full 50 percent of Dutch-Moroccans and about two-thirds of Dutch-Turks gave the party a three-seat win in its first election there, as well. Many of these voters, according to post-election analyses, moved to DENK from the center-left Labor Party (PvdA), clearly feeling more at home with a more overtly pro-Muslim politic.
FRANCE: Similarly, France’s Union of Muslim Democrats (UDMF) has taken a number of voters from the Green Party by promising to defend Muslims. UDMF’s online program statement condemns burqa and headscarf bans.
What’s more, in its pretense of supporting what it calls the “sweet dream of Democracy, Union and Human Rights,” the party loudly (though rightly) condemns “anti-Muslim speeches” that “lead the most psychologically fragile people to commit acts of unprecedented violence.”
What the party statement does not mention anywhere are the attacks by Muslims in Paris and Nice that together killed 240 people between January 2015 and July 2016; the attack by a Muslim extremist on a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012; and the kidnapping and heinous torture of Ilan Halimi, a 23-year-old Jew, in 2006. These are among other acts of “unprecedented violence” by Islamists.
UDMF also calls for protection of the family and its “essential role in the education of children.” Implied here is the demand that parents be allowed to treat their children as they see fit according to their religious beliefs – including to beat daughters who refuse an arranged marriage, becoming “too Westernized,” and so on.
France’s Turkish-Muslim Equality and Justice Party (PEJ) was formed to defend the rights of Muslims who face discrimination in the country. The PEJ – founded by a joint Turkish-Muslim initiative – was eliminated in the first round of provincial council elections held in March 2015, but still won thousands of votes in four cities and 10 cantons just two months after its foundation.
Most disturbing are the large numbers of Muslims who have all flocked to parties like DENK and UDMF throughout Europe. Rather than moving towards more secular, traditionally democratic political movements, Europe’s Muslims are apparently increasingly distancing themselves from the “European” side of their identity and identifying more with Islam and the Muslim community.
And this, too, is part of Europe’s “self-Islamizing,” the result of taking too unsure a hand, too ambivalent a position, on the issue of assimilation.
Indeed, as Ellian points out, European institutions have enabled this cultural separation. Photographs taken last November during a meeting of the Muslim student union at Amsterdam’s Vrije Universiteit revealed that men and women sat on opposite sides of the auditorium aisle.
Elsewhere, other signs of self-Islamization can be found in the rise of other Muslim parties in Austria as well as a failed effort in Sweden; a proposed ban on the British press against identifying terrorists as Muslim; the proliferation of sharia courts in the UK; and the repeated efforts by some Canadian officials to legalize sharia – a debate that recently has been revived.
While all of this involves political movements, it stands as a reminder of what the ideology behind the “war on terrorism” is really all about: an attack against our culture. We need to do better at protecting it.
AA.com AUSTRIA: Austria’s New Movement for the Future Party (NBZ) was founded by Adnan Dincer to become the voice of minorities in the country.”There is no party in the country that works to solve the problems of minorities,” he said. On the contrary, other parties in the country have an anti-minority attitude, he added.”It’s for this reason that our political party was needed. NBZ was established to serve this need,” he said.
SPAIN: There are two mostly-Muslim parties active in Spain’s North African territories of Ceuta and Melilla, both bordering Morocco. The Coalicion por Melilla party was formed in 1999 in Melilla, and the Coalicion Caballas was formed in 2011 in Ceuta.
BULGARIA: There are three majority-Muslim parties in Bulgaria. The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) party was formed in 1990 by Ahmet Dogan. The Democrats for Responsibility, Freedom and Tolerance (DOST, or “close friend” in Turkish) was founded by Lyutvi Mestan in 2016.
Mestan was expelled from the MRF following a speech defending Turkey and NATO over the November 2015 downing of a Russian warplane along the Turkish-Syrian border. The People’s Party of Freedom and Dignity was also formed by Kazim Dal and Korman Ismalov in 2012.
GREECE: The Party of Friendship, Equality and Peace was founded in 1991 by Dr. Sadik Ahmet. The party has about 6,000 members. Party leader Mustafa Alicavus said its aim is to give minorities a voice.
But this dangerous Muslim threat isn’t limited to Europe: More than 90 Muslims, nearly all of them Democrats, are running for public office in America this year.