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Rise of jihadist extremism in France and Italy

Naples, Duomo, Italy, Cardarelli, France, Islamophobia
Photo courtesy: Foreign Policy


Rise of jihadist extremism in France and Italy

Italian newspaper il Giornale in its report said: A Bangladeshi man was arrested in the night in Naples, near via Duomo, in Italy on charges of attempted murder and aggravated sexual violence. The victim is a policewoman from the flying team, who after finishing her shift at the Decumani police station at midnight left the offices to head towards an isolated area, where her car was parked. The stranger followed the woman and took advantage of the pitch darkness to attack her from behind.

The policewoman was first hit in the head with a stone and then raped. The rapist left and the woman, when she recovered from the shock, asked for help. An ambulance from 118 arrived on the scene and transferred the victim of the attack and abuse to the Cardarelli hospital in Naples. After being medicated and kept under observation for the severe blow to the head, the policewoman was discharged this morning.

It is not the first time that, at night, even in the city center, such episodes have occurred. This time it was a law enforcement representative who got the worst of it, taken by surprise by her attacker. The policewoman did not realize she was being followed and she could not react because she was shot while she was facing the Bangladeshi, who will now be tried in a very direct way.

Meanwhile French newspaper Sud Quest in its report said a Muslim man shouted his support for Daesh (Islamic State) inside a crowded rue Sainte-Catherine.

The 21-year-old Bordelais, already known for similar facts, was arrested on Saturday, October 22, at the end of the afternoon. He was placed in police custody for “apology for terrorism”.

His vociferations frightened passers-by. Saturday, October 22, around 6:30 p.m., in the main shopping street in the center of Bordeaux, rue Sainte-Catherine, still crowded a few minutes before the stores closed, a young man began to shout disturbing remarks. “Join the Islamic State!“, “we must cut the throats of the disbelievers”, he cried.

Alerted, the police quickly intervened. Arrested and brought back to the central police station, the young man, a 21-year-old from Bordeaux from an uneventful family, was placed in police custody for “apology for terrorism”. He was still there, this Sunday evening, October 23, his police custody having been extended.

In France again, on October 23, 2022, police officers in Saint-Etienne arrested a person who was walking in the street, holding a knife and shouting “Allah Akbar”. Towards the police officers who tried to arrest him, he glorified terrorism and threatened them with death. One of the police officers who was injured during the arrest was on sick leave for one day. The 31-year-old alleged offender is staying in the country illegally and is required to leave the country (OQTF). He was taken into police custody.

In another incident a man with a terrorist background who was walking through the center of Roanne armed with a knife was arrested after threatening police officers with death. He said he wanted to “plant a bomb to blow up the police station”.

According to Le Progrès, the man in his thirties insulted police officers and threatened to “plant a bomb to blow up the police station”. The next day he was arrested in possession of a knife. He was remanded in custody until he is brought before the court on Wednesday in immediate appearance.

The newspaper said, a 34-year-old man, known for statements with a terrorist background and therefore listed in the S file, was remanded in custody on Sunday afternoon by order of the magistrate in Roanne, in accordance with the prosecution’s requests. The 30-year-old is being prosecuted for death threats and insulting persons who are holders of public authority.

(…) In an intoxicated state, he then went to the police station in Roanne, where he insulted the police officers in the vilest manner and at the same time threatened to “plant a bomb to blow up the station”.

(…) On Friday evening, a police patrol spotted the 30-year-old as he strolled through the city centre. He was subjected to a check and the officers found a knife on him. He was arrested and taken into police custody at the Roanne police station.

Despite such rise in jihadist terrorist acts in a number of European nations, we in BLiTZ, the only anti-militancy newspaper in the Muslim country may not be able to continue exposing such notorious incidents as according to media reports, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) adopted a declaration to fight against disinformation and Islamophobia, Türkiye’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said on Saturday following the conclusion of the organization’s two-day conference held in Istanbul.

“Undoubtedly, disinformation and Islamophobia are among the strategies used by the colonial order established in the context of media and information in the international arena.

“Therefore, we need to wage an effective and multidimensional struggle in solidarity against this colonial order. For this reason, we have accepted the Istanbul Declaration at our conference today”, Altun said at a news conference following the 12th Conference of the Information Ministers of the OIC.

During the two-day conference in Istanbul, ministers and high-level representatives from 57 countries discussed several issues, seeking to deepen cooperation in the fields of media, communications and information in the Islamic world.

The conference, held under the theme of “Combating Disinformation and Islamophobia in the Post-Truth Era,” aimed to develop and strengthen the cooperation of Islamic countries in the field of media and communications.

The Istanbul Declaration, Altun said, was adopted at a critical time when the countries struggle against Islamophobia.

“In the declaration, we emphasized the importance of combating systematic disinformation in the digital age we live in.

“We have pointed out the threat that disinformation activities and fake news pose to the security of individuals and countries, as well as to the Muslim community and minorities around the world”.

The role played by the international media and global think tanks in spreading Islamophobia is “undeniable”, Altun argued.

“Unfortunately, international media paints an extremely negative portrait of Muslims”, he added.

What does that mean and what would be the possible consequence of this OIC Declaration? Onwards, OIC can exert pressure on its member countries to impose strict censorship on its media outlets and compel in refraining from publishing and exposing notoriety of the radical Islamic militancy outfits, radical Muslims and even anti-Semitic forces. They may even impose ban on publishing anything critical of Palestine and favorable to Israel. Under such extremely critical situation, every decent soul in the world, who are against seeing the world being gone under cruel hostility of radical Islam needs to stand in defense of newspapers like BLiTZ, if they at all care about countering militancy, anti-Semitism, Holocaust denial and radical Islam.

Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury

An internationally acclaimed multi-award-winning anti-militancy journalist, writer, research-scholar, counterterrorism specialist and editor of Blitz.. He regularly writes for local and international newspapers on diversified topics, including politics and counterterrorism. Follow him on Twitter @Salah_Shoaib

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