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Muslims diverting citizenship wage towards jihad financing

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Muslims diverting citizenship wage towards jihad financing

Muslims diverting citizenship wage towards jihad financing

Policymakers in the west should no longer ignore the alarming news of their Muslim population actively participating in jihadist activities by sending their wage monies. Unless there are immediate measures in stopping this notorious trend, western nations surely are going to face severe devastation in the future.

European countries have historically pursued somewhat different policies with respect to managing their immigrant and minority populations and integrating them into their societies. For decades, some countries such as Germany and Austria made little effort at integration, viewing Muslim immigrants as temporary “guest workers.” The UK and the Netherlands most fully embraced the notion of “multiculturalism”—a term used broadly to describe policies by which the governments sought to promote tolerance and equality while also permitting immigrants and ethnic minorities to maintain distinct cultural identities and customs. France professes that it has long adhered to a policy toward immigrants that encourages assimilation, or the adoption of French cultural norms and values.

Back in February 2013, a jihadist preacher in Britain, Anjem Choudary said, “We are on Jihad Seekers Allowance, we take the Jizya (protection money paid to Muslims by non-Muslims) which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to make money from the Kafir (non-Muslim), isn’t it? So, this is a normal situation. They give us the money. You work, give us the money. Allah Akbar, we take the money. Hopefully, there is no one from the DSS (Department of Social Security) listening. Ah, but you see people will say you are not working. But the normal situation is for you to make money from the Kuffar (infidels). So, we take Jihad Seeker’s Allowance.”

During the first week of December 2020, Italian media reported, finance police in Bologna have filed charges against two Tunisian citizens accused of illegally benefitting from the ‘citizenship wage’ basic income to finance Islamic terrorism. According to the report, those suspects are accused of using around 12,000 euros they had received as basic income to finance a dangerous Islamic foreign fighter who is wanted by Belgian anti-terror authorities.

Many European countries have large and growing Muslim minorities. This is particularly true for the countries of Western Europe that have experienced influxes of Muslim immigrants over the last several decades from a variety of Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries, as well as Turkey and the Balkans. Today, although some Muslims in Europe are recent immigrants, others are second- or third-generation Europeans. While expanding Muslim communities pose significant social and economic policy questions for European governments, the realization that some segments of Europe’s Muslim populations may be susceptible to radicalization and terrorist recruitment has also sparked security concerns in the decade since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

Rejecting the fact that Muslims in the Western nations are increasingly getting radicalized and adopting a growing tendency of supporting or participating in radical Islamic terrorism or jihad, some Muslim scholars say, the vast majority of Muslims in Europe are not involved in radical activities. However, events such as the 2004 and 2005 terrorist attacks in Madrid and London, respectively, that were carried out by Muslim citizens or residents, have raised the question of whether European countries have done enough to integrate their Muslim communities and prevent feelings of social exclusion and marginalization. Although not the sole cause of radicalization and terrorism, some experts believe that past failures to fully integrate Muslims into mainstream European society may make some Muslims in Europe more vulnerable to extremist ideologies.

According to some counterterrorism experts in Europe, over the last several years, European governments have stepped up their efforts to improve Muslim integration. These have included introducing new citizenship laws and language requirements, promoting dialogue with Muslim organizations, developing “homegrown” imams more familiar with European culture and traditions, improving educational and economic opportunities for Muslims, and tackling racism and discrimination. At the same time, European governments have also sought to strengthen security measures and tighten immigration and asylum policies to prevent radicalization and combat terrorism.

Since the 2001 notorious jihadist attacks, US officials have expressed concerns that Europe may be a potential recruiting ground for attacks on the United States or US interests abroad. Successive US administrations and Members of Congress have welcomed European initiatives to promote better integration of Muslims and curtail Islamist extremism in the hopes that such efforts will ultimately help prevent future terrorist incidents. The US interest in how European countries are managing their growing Muslim populations has also been motivated by worries about the US Visa Waiver Program (VWP), especially given that terrorists with European citizenship have entered US territory on the VWP in the past. For the past few years, US and European policymakers have also sought to enhance cooperation on measures aimed at countering violent extremism, especially the brand promoted by Al Qaeda and Islamic State. In light of the July 2011 killings in Norway by a right-wing extremist disturbed by what he viewed as Islam’s growing influence in the West, some note that in addition to improving measures to counter Islamist extremists, US and European security services should cooperate on combating threats posed by domestic radicals on both the extreme right and left.

Muslim population in the West

Estimates of the number of Muslims in Europe vary, depending on the methodology and definitions used, and the geographic limits imposed. It is believed that 25 to 30 million Muslims currently live in the countries of Western and Central Europe as well as non-EU member nations.

Studies indicate that Belgium and France have the largest proportion of Muslims as a percentage of their populations (between 9 and 10 percent), followed by Denmark, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, and Switzerland (with 6 to 7 percent). Significant Muslim populations also exist in Spain, Italy, and Norway. A January 2011 study by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion and Public Life projects that over the next two decades, Muslim populations will increase in particular in Sweden, Belgium, Austria, the United Kingdom, Norway, France, and Italy. Given continued levels of immigration and above-average Muslim fertility rates, Western and Central European countries that currently compose the EU (plus Norway and Switzerland) could be home to 30 million Muslims by 2030 (out of a total projected population of roughly 425 million in 2030).

Europe’s Muslim populations are ethnically and linguistically diverse, and Muslim immigrants hail from a variety of Middle Eastern, African, and Asian countries, as well as Turkey. There are often significant cultural, religious, and ethnic differences and rivalries among these groups. Many Muslim communities in the countries of Western Europe have their origins in European labor shortages and immigration policies of the 1950s and 1960s. Varying colonial legacies and historical ties resulted in different European countries attracting certain nationalities. For example, the UK drew Muslims mostly from South Asia, especially Pakistan; the majority of Muslims in France emigrated from North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia); many Turks went to Germany as guest workers; the Netherlands attracted Muslims from Indonesia, a former colony, as well as from Morocco and Turkey; and many Moroccans and Turks also settled in Belgium.

In the last few decades, there have been influxes of Muslim migrants and political refugees into Western Europe, including Scandinavia, from other regions and countries such as the Balkans, Iraq, Somalia, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The political upheaval and unrest in North Africa and parts of the Middle East since the start of the Arab Spring in early 2011 have sparked new refugee flows (of Muslims and non-Muslims), especially from Tunisia and Libya, to European countries such as Italy, France, and Malta.

Islamization of the West

While the size and influence of Muslims are on the rise in the west, a debate has emerged over the last several years on both sides of the Atlantic over the implications of Europe’s expanding Muslim communities for European society, domestic policies, and Europe’s foreign relations with the Muslim world.

According to counterterrorism experts, Islamic culture is at odds with European or western traditions, which includes respect for freedom of expression, women’s rights etcetera, which is a reason to worry especially because Europe’s growing Muslim population will significantly transform European politics and society in the decades ahead. In Britain, for example, we already are witnessing the alarming rise of radical Islam, while shariah is being self-imposed in the majority of the Muslim (especially immigrants) families. While hijab, burqa, and Arab attire is gradually becoming very common amongst the Muslims in the United Kingdom, the majority of them are already actively participating in spreading religious hatred, antisemitism, and jihadist propaganda amongst the fellow Muslims both in Britain and other European nations, while many of these Muslims are using their social media tools, particularly Facebook, IMO, Viber, WhatsApp etcetera in sharing jihadist materials with their relatives or Muslim friends around the world.

In Britain, mosques and Islamic centers are being used as the breeding grounds of jihadism and religious extremism. During Friday prayers, Muslim preachers use khutba (lectures) for spreading the culture of hatred and jihad. There is already an alarming rise in the size of radicalized Muslims in Britain and unless they are immediately brought under strict surveillance, another ‘ISIS’ may suddenly emerge from inside this country. Christian population in Britain, as well as other non-Muslim groups, are possibly heading towards an extremely difficult time, in the very near future.

Some observers contend that Islamic culture is at odds with European traditions (such as respect for freedom of expression, the separation of church and state, and women’s rights) and worry that Europe’s growing Muslim populations will significantly transform European politics and society in the decades ahead. Some who support this view warn of “Europe’s decline” and a possible “Islamification” of Europe.

Jihad financing

While some experts criticize assessments that foresee a Muslim takeover or Islamization of Europe as alarmist and exaggerated, the Muslim population in the west is gradually gaining strength. They not only are engaged in receiving and spreading jihadist indoctrination, a sizeable number of Muslims in the European countries are actively patronizing jihadist groups and activities by sending part of their income.

Sharia-compliance finance is gradually gaining popularity, particularly in Britain, while areas of activities of the Islamic or Muslim charities are growing faster than expected or speculated. The most significant and alarming fact is – Muslims in the west, especially those immigrants have started believing, within the next few decades, as the size of the Muslim population will significantly grow around the world and Islam is going to grab the first position as a leading religion, there will be the gradual implementation of sharia rule followed by an Islamist conquest in the west.

Conclusion

Although some analysts assert that for the majority of Muslims in Europe, Islam is not an exclusive identity and that most European Muslims do not view being Muslim as incompatible with their national identities or their commitment to European cultural or political norms. Despite the existence of cultural tensions, they [Muslims] attribute them more to economic and social disparities instead of religion.

Whatever the future may hold in the longer term, some commentators point out that continued immigration to Europe and the growing presence of Muslims are having immediate political effects.

Many Muslims in Europe, for example, live in almost exclusively Muslim neighborhoods, and a disproportionately large number are poor, unemployed, or in prison. European societal tensions were highlighted by the widescale riots that erupted in France in 2005 and again in 2007 and in 2020; although a large number of the rioters appear to have been of Muslim descent, most observers agree that a lack of economic opportunity and upward social mobility were key factors behind the unrest, rather than religion. At the same time, many ethnic and religious minorities in Europe, including Muslims, also feel a sense of cultural alienation and discrimination because of their religion. Many Muslims viewed the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in European newspapers in 2005-2006 as deeply offensive, while many native Europeans asserted the primacy of the right to freedom of expression, regardless of whether the cartoons were insensitive to Islamic values or beliefs; the cartoons sparked protests by Muslims in several European cities.

Following the 2004 Madrid bombings, the 2005 London attacks, and the 2004 Van Gogh murder, the concept of multiculturalism in particular came under attack from some European officials and social commentators. They proclaimed that as government policy, multiculturalism had largely failed. More recently, key European leaders have publicly agreed with such assertions.

Although is it claimed that multiculturalism – as an active government policy that purposefully allowed immigrant or ethnic communities to live apart from mainstream European societies—has long been abandoned by most European countries, the reality is just the opposite. Even today, the influx of illegal migrants in western nations is continuing in various forms.

Policymakers in the west should no longer ignore the alarming news of their Muslim population actively participating in jihadist activities by sending their wage monies. Unless there are immediate measures in stopping this notorious trend, western nations surely are going to face severe devastation in the future.

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An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, research-scholar, counter-terrorism specialist, and editor of Blitz. Follow his on Twitter Salah_Shoaib

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