AfD Exposing Islamic Culture


John R. Houk

© May 1, 2019

 

Muslim Slave Culture

 

A brief article attributed to Daniel Greenfield on Jihad Watch exposes the dhimmitude of America’s Multicultural Left (European undoubted influence). A museum in Massachusetts demands anti-Refugee/anti-immigration political party AfD (English: Alternative for Germany – German: Alternative fuer Deutschland) stop using an 1866 oil painting depicting the Muslim slave trade.

 

The AfD is vilified by European press as “far Right” often making the attempt to equate the political party as racist Neo-Nazis. The vilification is unjustified. AfD simply wants to preserve the heritage of Germany by ending Multicultural Diversity and refusing-to-assimilate Muslim Refugees/Immigrants. You can read what AfD stands for from their own info (NOT Leftist Multicultural sources in the USA or Europe!): MANIFESTO FOR GERMANY: The Political Programme of the Alternative for Germany (96 page pdf – 2017).

 

An example of Multiculturalist propaganda can be found at a website I usually go to as a source about Islamic terrorism – Global Security: AfD Alternative fuer Deutschland/”Alternative for Germany”. Some of the terminology used by Global Security used as descriptors are xenophobic, far-right AfD, jingoistic, and frightening similarities to the Nazi regime. You get an idea of Global Security’s attitude toward President Trump when AfD is described as having an affinity to: “… affinities with Trump Republicans include fear of immigrants and foreigners; hostility toward the European Union; and contempt for standard operating procedure in government and willingness to gut the state apparatus. As a jingoistic “Make Germany Great Again” outfit full of unpredictable political neophytes, the AfD is fairly comparable to the Trumpites.” Thanks to Hitler’s Master Race ideology; when the AfD plays to their listeners extolling European and German culture, critics of AfD use the Nazi label. It’s almost as if intolerant Islamic culture will sanitize European and German cultural history.

 

Thanks to all this Multiculturalist vilification it is understandable the world’s Jews look unfavorably toward AfD with all the Nazi comparisons. According to a 2017 Times of Israel article, 88% of the AfD looks favorably upon the Jewish State of Israel:

 

Jews hate the Alternative for Germany, but the Alternative for Germany loves Jews — or at least the Jewish state, according to a new poll.

 

The Jewish community largely condemned Sunday’s election victory of the far-right party, known in Germany as AfD, which garnered some 13 percent of the vote in Sunday’s national poll, making it the country’s third largest faction in parliament.

 

Yet the party derided for anti-Semitic, xenophobic views redolent of the Nazis is also staunchly supportive of Israel, one of a number of right-wing populist parties in Europe that have tried to make common cause with Israel’s tough stance toward terror and self-styled position as a forward bulwark against Islamic extremism.

 

 

According to wide-ranging poll commissioned by a group promoting German-Israeli relations, most AfD politicians profess to care deeply about Israel’s security, support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state, reject unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state, and generally support a stronger relationship between Jerusalem and Berlin.

 

 

Seventy-seven percent those polled agreed with the statement that anti-Zionism is a form of anti-Semitism; 23% disagreed.

 

 

Some 88% said Israel’s 70th birthday next year was a reason for Germans to celebrate, while fewer than 4% disagreed with that statement. (For comparison, at the Social Democrats of Martin Schulz — which came in second in the national elections, ahead of the AfD — 11% felt that Israel’s anniversary was no reason to celebrate.)

 

 

When it comes to Holocaust education, however, the AfD scorecard doesn’t look so great. While 100% of respondents from the center-left, the center-right parties, and the Greens, said they “totally” agreed that it was important to teach the young generation about the Shoah [Blog Editor: “Shoah” = Holocaust], at the AfD, 38% “tend to” agree and 6% “tend to” disagree. (Loathed by Jews, Germany’s far-right AfD loves the Jewish state; By RAPHAEL AHREN; Times of Israel; 9/24/17 11:58 pm)

 

In full disclosure, many if not most members of AfD in their enthusiasm to preserve German culture against Islamic inroads use uber-nationalist language hearkening back to Nazi ideology. And the Times of Israel article quoted above pulls no punches in criticizing the AfD rank and file for idiotic Nazi-memory endearment in the sentiment to preserve German heritage. The big difference on preserving German heritage is that the AfD has no intention of Germanizing the globe as Hitler’s Nazis did.

 

I have read AfD leadership is making a huge effort to re-educate their rank and file in the horror of the Holocaust.

 

The Left in America and Europe vilifies the AfD for preserving Western xenophobic, then the AfD starts educating on Islamic imperialism. In this case the issue being pointed out is the Muslim slave trade. This brings me back to a Massachusetts museum decrying the AfD displaying a copy of the 1866 oil painting by Jean-Leon Gerome called “The Slave Market.”

 

JRH 5/1/19 (Hat Tip: Sheaholliman’s Weblog)

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Museum Tries to Censor Depiction of Islamic Slavery

 

The Slave Market by Jean-Leon Gerome

 

By DANIEL GREENFIELD

APR 30, 2019 5:00 PM

Jihad Watch

 

History has a notorious Islamophobic bias. The only way to get rid of Islamphobia [sic] is to dispose of history entirely.

 

That’s a difficult challenge. Censorship is a lot easier.

 

An American art museum is demanding that a German far-right party stop using one of its paintings, portraying a 19th-century slave auction, in a campaign poster for the European elections.

 

“We are strongly opposed to the use of this work to advance any political agenda,” Olivier Meslay, the director of the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts, told The Associated Press. “We did not supply the painting to the AfD,” he said, using the acronym for the party Alternative for Germany.

 

The 1866 oil-on-canvas painting “Slave Market,” by Jean-Leon Gerome, shows a black, apparently Muslim slave trader displaying a naked young woman with much lighter skin to a group of men for examination.

 

The AfD’s Berlin branch said they put up 30 posters of the painting across the German capital with the slogan: “So that Europe won’t become Eurabia.”

 

The party, known for its anti-Muslim stance, said it won’t take down any of the posters.

 

The Clark Art Institute owns the painting because Sterling Clark, a man its current staff don’t seem to like very much once bought it. It doesn’t own the rights to it.

 

So it has no legal authority to do anything.

 

The painting, and some of Gerome’s other work, were clearly meant to depict the dehumanizing qualities of slavery. While most viewers focus in on the woman in the painting, it also depicts an African man being examined and forced into slavery.

 

The Islamic slave trade was conducted in both Africans and Europeans.

 

Finally, Gerome was both an artist and a scholar. The painting is set in an actual place in Cairo. It’s unknown whether the artist personally observed the slave trade, but it’s likely that he did. And the trade continued for much longer than most people care to realize. In some Muslim countries, it continues today.

 

The Cairo setting is an important reminder that Egypt was a major gateway for the African slave trade. Censoring the painting won’t banish that truth.

_______________________

AfD Exposing Islamic Culture

John R. Houk

© May 1, 2019

_______________________

Museum Tries to Censor Depiction of Islamic Slavery

 

Jihad Watch® is a registered trademark of Robert Spencer in the United States and/or other countries

 

Content copyright Jihad Watch, Jihad Watch claims no credit for any images posted on this site unless otherwise noted. Images on this blog are copyright to their respective owners.

 

Geert Wilders—Europe’s Trump?


wilders-on-trump-trade-immigration

John R. Houk

© November 10, 2016

 

Have you heard of Geert Wilders? He is a very Politically Incorrect Dutch politician constantly persecuted by his legal system for European hate-speech violations. The Multicultural Left of the EU and the USA have demonized Wilders as a Right-Wing bigot because he tells the truth about Islam sourced both from Islamic writings and current events. Here are some excerpts from Wikipedia that gives you a glimpse as to the reason I admire Geert Wilders (some Wikipedia info links removed as not relevant to Wilders):

 

Geert Wilders (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣeːrt ˈʋɪldərs], born 6 September 1963) is a Dutch politician who is the founder and leader of the Party for Freedom (Partij voor de Vrijheid – PVV).[1][2] Wilders is the Parliamentary group leader of his party in the Dutch House of Representatives. In the formation in 2010 of the Rutte cabinet, a minority cabinet of VVD and CDA, he actively participated in the negotiations, resulting in a “support agreement” (gedoogakkoord) between the PVV and these parties, but withdrew his support in April 2012, citing disagreements with the cabinet on proposed budget cuts.[3] Wilders is best known for his criticism of Islam;[4] [Blog Editor: I narrowed this link down to the immigrant subsection for it is closer Wilders sentiments] his views have made him a controversial figure in the Netherlands and abroad, and since 2004 he receives permanent personal protection by armed bodyguards.[5]

 

 

Wilders has campaigned to stop what he views as the “Islamisation of the Netherlands”. He has compared the Quran to Mein Kampf and has campaigned to have the book banned in the Netherlands.[6][7][8] He advocates ending immigration from Muslim countries,[6][9] and supports banning the construction of new mosques.[10] Wilders was a speaker at the Facing Jihad Conference held in Jerusalem in 2008, which discussed the dangers of jihad, and has called for a hard line against what he called the “street terror” exerted by minorities in Dutch cities.[11] … (Geert Wilders; Wikipedia;  page was last modified on 15 October 2016 16:37)

 

Wilders hailed President-Elect Trump’s victory as the beginning of a new Western revolution bringing back the identity of National Sovereignty and a liberation from political correctness which he hopes won’t be lost by his fellow Dutch and Europeans in general.

 

In the article I am cross posting below, Geert largely criticizes the current Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte for not going beyond fiscal Conservatism and attacking the issues of National Sovereignty and the Muslim immigration warping the Western Culture inherent in the Netherlands.

 

Evidently Rutte and Wilders were political buddies until this split on differences on the future Dutch direction:

 

THE HAGUE — One of Europe’s most liberal countries is on the brink of turning decisively to the right. Ahead of the elections in the Netherlands on March 15 next year, polls show a tight race between center-right Prime Minister Mark Rutte and his political foe Geert Wilders, a right-wing firebrand with staunch positions on Islam (ban the Quran), the EU (get out) and immigration (close all borders).

 

Two dominant politicians who once were close allies are now in a position to possibly trash the Dutch Left, a political force that has reliably collected close to 50 percent of the vote since World War II.

 

Fiscal conservative Rutte blends a typical right-wing agenda — small government, low taxes — with the Dutch tradition of governing by compromise. Far-right Wilders breaks with that tradition and routinely attacks the consensus building attitude of the political class.

 

The fight pits the “old” Netherlands against the “new,” and the culture of compromise against a new appetite for conflict and polarization. The hot button issues are immigration, religion (read: Islam) and terrorism.

 

For Rutte and Wilders, this is all very personal, too. … (Netherlands braces for sharp right turn; By TOM-JAN MEEUS; POLITICO; 10/4/16, 5:55 AM CET – Updated 10/5/16, 3:06 PM CET)

 

JRH 11/10/16

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Wilders’s Plan: Time for Liberation

 

By Geert Wilders

November 9, 2016 at 5:00 am

Gatestone Institute

 

Pim Fortuyn, the hero of Rotterdam, the man who shook the country awake, once said, “Do not aim for what is possible, but what is imaginable.” He wanted to make clear that for us, the Dutch, nothing is impossible.

 

Pim Fortuyn was right. Nothing is impossible for us. We are Dutch.

 

Look at our country. We have single-handedly created this unique and beautiful land. We are the only people in the world living in a country which for the largest part we created ourselves. A great achievement.

 

We not only created our own land, but we also explored the world. We have sailed all the seas. We founded New York and discovered Australia. Sometimes, it seems like we have forgotten it all. Forgotten what we are capable of. What we are capable of when we put our mind to it. And maybe that is our problem. We must dare to think big again. Because where there is a will, there is a way.

 

And yes, I know. Many things are bothering us. There is also much to be angry about, and rightfully so. This government has destroyed our country with its austerity policies and has allowed our country to be colonized by Islam. But let’s start aiming for the imaginable. Let us liberate our country.

 

Four years ago, Mark Rutte won the election with a campaign based on false promises. With lies and deceit. No more money to the Greeks, 1,000 euros for every Dutch citizen, a strict immigration policy. And the Labour Party was his enemy, as everyone remembers. He recently apologized, but he didn’t draw his conclusions. On the contrary, he apologized but continues destroying and giving away our country. Perhaps, he will even govern with Labour again for another four years. No one can still believe what he says. And my question to you is: do you want a prime minister like that for the next four years?

 

At the moment, you are living in the land of Mark Rutte. And for many, that is no longer a pleasant land. Just walk out your front door and look around. Chances are that thugs are hanging around at the entrance of your local convenience store. That you get spit on and robbed there. That your daughters, your wives, and your parents get harassed and no longer dare to go out at night. That you are becoming a stranger in your own country. That must change. Because this is our country. And it is being taken away from you. And I will take it back for you.

 

geert-wilders-is-pictured-speaking-in-the-netherlands-parliament

Geert Wilders is pictured speaking in the Netherlands Parliament, in September 2015. (Image source: RTL Nieuws video screenshot)

 

A politician like me, who speaks the truth about a huge problem many Dutch are confronted with every day — yes, I am talking about the terror of Islam and the Moroccan problem — is dragged to court. Facing trial, while imams can preach all the hatred they want and the political elites keep silent. They call themselves leaders, but they do not lead; they mislead.

 

Mark Rutte’s plan can be summarized in one word: Dereliction of duty.

 

My plan for the Netherlands is called Liberation. And liberation begins with stating the facts.

 

The facts: Six out of every ten inmates in the Netherlands are immigrants, and of all prisoners, more than 10% are of Moroccan origin. Moroccan youths are nearly five times more often suspected of a crime than native youths. The Netherlands has become a continuous live broadcast of Opsporing Verzocht [“Wanted Criminals”, a Dutch television program]. A politician who keeps silent about this is worthless. I refuse to do that.

 

And I will not keep silent about Islam either. Never, ever. Because silence is dangerous. Last July, Nobel Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel passed away. I met him a few years ago in New York. He gave the world a wise lesson: “When someone says they want to kill you, believe them.” Islam says it wants to kill us. The Koran leaves no doubt about that.

 

Seven out of ten Dutch Muslims believe that religious rules are more important than Dutch secular laws. And more than one in ten Muslims in the Netherlands find it acceptable to use violence in name of Islam. That is more than 100,000 people. Many refuse to integrate and show no respect for Dutch authority in areas such as Maassluis or Poelenburg. They give us the middle finger. Islamic hooligans parade with Islamic State flags through the streets in The Hague and occupy bridges with Turkish flags in Rotterdam. This is our country, but their flags are waving.

 

Look at their flags. And look at our flag. There is no Koran verse and no crescent on our flag, but red, white and blue stripes. The red of our identity, the white of our freedom and the blue of the truth. This is the time that from house to house, from street to street and from municipality to municipality, we must raise our flag. Everywhere. With pride. Because this is our country, our Netherlands! And it cries for liberation.

 

When I come to power, I will protect our beautiful country. And this is only possible if we de-Islamize. I want to make it the core of my policy. Because I refuse to let this wonderful country of ours perish and I choose our culture and the freedom of our people.

 

Our values are not Islamic, but are based on the Judeo-Christian and humanist civilization. We have the right and freedom to choose how we want to live our lives, and to never give away this right. Twelve years ago, Theo van Gogh was murdered. He gave his life for the freedom that lies at the heart of our Dutch identity. And that identity must defend itself. We must not allow those who want to destroy our freedom to abuse freedom in order to take ours away. We must stop being naive and defend ourselves. Because this is our country.

 

The Dutch are fully aware of the fact that while there are moderate Muslims, there is no moderate Islam. Two out of three Dutch people say that the Islamic culture does not belong to the Netherlands. Three-quarters of the Dutch people believe that politicians underestimate the problem of the rising numbers of Muslims in our country. More than three-quarters believe that Islam is not an enrichment for the Netherlands. Those people are right. But nobody listens to them. Only I do.

 

Mark Rutte spoke about stubborn optimism, but the Netherlands do not need laughing donkeys. It needs heroes with firm realism. We cannot afford to underestimate the seriousness of the threat. Because the threat is existential: the survival of our country is at stake. Potential terrorists are already among us in great numbers and are coming to Europe on a daily basis, also with the influx of asylum seekers. They walk free here. It is a dereliction of duty to do nothing about it and to leave our borders open to tens of thousands mainly Islamic fortune-seekers from the Middle East and Africa.

 

We must also liberate ourselves from the Europhiles in Brussels who wipe the floor with our identity, our sovereignty and our prosperity. We are no longer in control of our own borders, our own money, our own democracy. If we decide in a referendum that we do not want something, like the association agreement with Ukraine, then they force it down our throats anyways. Because the will of the people is not relevant to the elite. They are laughing at us.

 

Everything belonging to our culture is being taken away from us. Even Zwarte Piet (Black Pete) is not allowed anymore. The elite wants to abolish the word “allochtoon” (foreigner), but it is the native people who are losing their country. I refuse to let that happen. This is our country, our culture, our identity. The Netherlands, this beautiful country, this great nation, this beacon of freedom, it is ours and will remain ours! This is the time to withstand tyranny.

 

Today, I appeal to all the Dutch. To everyone who enjoys our hard-won freedoms, to everyone who wants to safeguard the prosperity and wealth of this great country for their children and grandchildren: let us show the world that we are Dutch. Stand up — democratically and non-violently — against the elites who are giving away your country. The task that lays ahead of us is immense. But the courage to reclaim our country is so, too. There are many good things to be preserved and there are many things that have to be rebuilt.

 

This is the time for clear language: Dutch money for the Dutch people! Not a penny to Africa, Turkey, Greece or Brussels anymore. If we do that, so much will become possible. Imagine it! Then we will be able to reduce taxes for everyone, so the purchasing power can rise significantly and the economy can get a tremendous boost. We will be able give our elderly a decent old day. We will be able to can lower the retirement age to 65 again, and no pensions will have to be cut.

 

I also want to keep our nursing homes open and employ thousands of extra nurses. In my Netherlands, we remedy the terrible degradation of healthcare under Rutte II and there will be many nurses taking care of our elderly with dedication, love and respect, day and night. In my Netherlands, we abolish deductibles in healthcare. It is intolerable that Dutch people are avoiding healthcare because they cannot afford it, while asylum seekers, who on average have 1,000 euros more healthcare costs a year, get everything for free. This injustice fills me with disgust.

 

We will be able to spend more on the police and the army, so they have more resources to keep our country safe and free and to protect our property and borders. We must close our borders to asylum seekers and immigrants from Islamic countries, no longer allow jihadists from Syria return, and denaturalize and expel criminals with dual citizenship. We must liberate our country.

 

I also want to introduce direct democracy in the Netherlands with binding referendums. Our political system is still that of the 20th century, ruled by the same arrogant political elites with their false promises and hypocritical apologies. If the mess created by Mark Rutte has taught us one thing, it is this: the people should be able to pull the emergency brake when the political elites violate their will. And not just once every four years.

 

The past decades, millions of Dutch people have seen how their country was hijacked before their very eyes. It did not take a genius to know that this would end badly. The constant transferring of sovereignty to the EU, the euro that does more harm than good, the endless waste of money spent on the Greeks, the dangers of Islam, the open borders and mass immigration, the growing threat of terrorism, the tsunami of asylum seekers, the tax increases, and last but not least, the budget cuts in healthcare for the elderly and the disabled that have crushed the weakest in our society.

 

Unfortunately, those who warned have been proven right. But there is hope. Together we can take care of that. When a nation awakes and starts moving, everything is possible. I am not saying that the task will be easy. But it can be done, and it must be done. Because we have no choice. A strong and sovereign country where hard work is rewarded and the weak are protected, where terrorists cannot just cross the border at Hazeldonk [main border crossing with Belgium], where women can walk the streets in skirts without being harassed or sexually assaulted, where care is affordable and pensions are decent, where all citizens — including Jews, homosexuals, women, and critics of Islam — are safe. Where patriotism is not an insult but a badge of honor. Where Islam is shown the door.

 

This beautiful country, our country, is not lost. In fact, the best years lay ahead of us. If we make the right choices. And say goodbye to those who look away from the problems and give away the Netherlands. It is time for liberation! Let us reclaim our country together.

 

Starting on March 15, 2017!

 

Geert Wilders is a member of the Dutch Parliament and leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV).

 

Follow Geert Wilders on Twitter

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Geert Wilders—Europe’s Trump?

John R. Houk

© November 10, 2016

__________________

Wilders’s Plan: Time for Liberation

 

© 2016 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved. The articles printed here do not necessarily reflect the views of the Editors or of Gatestone Institute. No part of the Gatestone website or any of its contents may be reproduced, copied or modified, without the prior written consent of Gatestone Institute. [Blog Editor: Full Disclosure- I have not received written consent. If the GI portion of this post disappears, it will be due to a GI request.]

 

About Gatestone Institution

 

“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”
— John Adams

 

Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report in promoting:

 

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U.S. ALAC to Austrian ALAC?


Jan Sobieski vs Pasha Kara Mustafa at Vienna

 

John R. Houk

© October 22, 2014

 

American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) are primarily laws passed on the State level in the USA. What is ALAC?

 

American Laws for American Courts was crafted to protect American citizens’ constitutional rights against the infiltration and incursion of foreign laws and foreign legal doctrines, especially Islamic Shariah Law. READ ENTIRETY FOR DETAILS (American Laws for American Courts; Infidel Task Force)

 

Americans in individual American States have begun to recognize that there are elements in Islam – particularly Sharia Law – that are totally incompatible with the Freedom, Liberty and Rights assured to us by the U.S. Constitution.

 

Since the U.S. Constitution enshrines Religious Freedom in the First Amendment Muslim apologists started to rail against State laws that expressly use the phrase “Sharia Law” to keep American Courts from using Islamic concepts jurisprudence precedents. This happened in Oklahoma when over 70% of the voters passed a law preventing Sharia from being used as a legal precedent in State Courts in 2010. Due largely by a lawsuit filed by Hamas-Muslim Brotherhood connected Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Federal Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange ruled the Oklahoma SQ 755 unconstitutional in 2013 because the law singled out a specific religion. Under Governor Fallin’s direction, rather than pursuing further appeals Oklahoma chose another legal path using the wording of ALAC to specify that OK State Courts cannot use any foreign laws as a legal precedent in rendering decisions. This wisely expands the anti-Sharia focus to include Left Wing agendas that Obama might promote via the auspices of the United Nations and overseas Court proceedings. By August 2013 the OK Senate approved the ALAC wording 40-3 and the OK House approved it 85-7. Governor Mary Fallin then promptly made the ALAC official with her signature. Take that you weaselly Radical Muslims pretending to be Moderate!

 

The Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi inspired Wahhabi lobbyist are still trying to exploit the U.S. Constitution to make unconstitutional portions of Sharia acceptable in the USA. Those Muslim apologists have been joined by American Leftists either deluded that multiculturalism is good or use Islam to fight America’s Christian heritage via cultural dilution.

 

After looking at snail-like slow understanding in America that Islam is a threat, I have to share what I consider some astounding news from the West European nation of Austria. In case you have had your head in the sand – partly due to the failure of the American media – the growing Muslim minority in Western Europe are essentially becoming successful in forcing nations to accept Islamic cultural styles as a part of Europe’s fabric of society. One can hear that the UK, France, Germany, Sweden and Norway to name a few nations have gone out of their way politically to enforce multiculturalism in their society to the point that Muslim-Sharia enclave-zones and even Sharia Law accepted as the rule of law to be enforced in regard to Muslims and to favor Muslims in disputes with non-Muslims.

 

This European socio-political practice is multiculturalism taken to an insane level of destroying their Western heritage.

 

The German-speaking nation of Austria is about to embark on a new rule of law path to begin to emphasize the cultural heritage of Austria over the imported Islamic culture. In this case one can say ALAC can be an acronym for Austria Laws for Austrian Courts. This is huge because not too long ago Austria prosecuted and convicted an Austrian politician for hate-speech in speaking the truth about Islam. Of course the Muslim minority is outraged in Austria because of the potential of ending Islam’s favored status in a European nation that still emphasizes multiculturalism over real Liberty and heritage.

 

Soeren Kern writing for the Gatestone Institute shares the details of this potential Austrian new heritage protection via the rule of law designed to thwart Radical Islam.

 

JRH 10/22/14

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Austria: Civil Law vs. Sharia Law

 

By Soeren Kern

October 21, 2014 at 5:00 am

Gatestone Institute

 

Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam and as a central hub for European jihadists to fight in Syria.

 

The proposed revisions would, among other changes, regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran to prevent its “misinterpretation” by Islamic extremists.

 

Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic sharia law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws.

 

Leaders of Austria’s Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to “institutionalized Islamophobia.”

 

Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna are immigrants or foreigners. The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible.

 

The Austrian government has unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the country’s century-old “Islam Law” that governs the legal status of Austria’s Muslim community.

 

The proposed revisions—which are aimed at cracking down on Islamic extremism in Austria—would regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran, among other changes.

 

The government says the modifications would give Muslims legal parity with other religious groups in Austria. But the leaders of Austria’s Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to “institutionalized Islamophobia.”

 

The updated Islam Law (Islamgesetz) was presented as a draft bill to parliament on October 2 and overhauls the current law, which dates back to 1912.

 

The original law was brought into being to help integrate Muslim soldiers into the Habsburg Army after the Austro-Hungarian Empire annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1908. The law recognized Islam as a religious community in Austria, and allowed Muslims to practice their religion in accordance with the laws of the state.

 

After the Austro-Hungarian Empire collapsed in the aftermath of World War I, the number of Muslims in Austria was reduced to just a few hundred people. After World War II, however, Austria’s Muslim population increased rapidly with the arrival of “guest workers” from Turkey and the Balkans in the 1960s, and refugees from Bosnia in the 1990s.

 

The Muslim population in Austria now exceeds 500,000 (or roughly 6% of the total population), up from an estimated 150,000 (or 2%) in 1990. The Muslim population is expected to reach 800,000 (or 9.5%) by 2030, according to recent estimates.

 

Official statistics show that nearly 60% of the inhabitants of Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria, are immigrants or foreigners.

 

The massive demographic and religious shift underway in Austria, traditionally a Roman Catholic country, appears irreversible. In Vienna, for example, Muslim students now outnumber Catholic students at middle and secondary schools. Muslim students are also on the verge of overtaking Catholics in Viennese elementary schools.

 

At the same time, Austria has emerged as a major base for radical Islam. A June 2014 report by the Austrian intelligence agency [BVT] warned of the “exploding radicalization of the Salafist scene in Austria.” Salafism is an anti-Western ideology that seeks to impose Islamic sharia law.

 

Austria has also emerged as a central hub for European jihadists seeking to fight in Syria, because Austria’s geographic location provides easy access to land routes through the Balkans.

 

Photo: The Austrian Islamist known as “Abu Hamza al-Austria,” fighting in Syria, pictured from his jihadist recruitment video.

Austrian Islamist known as Abu Hamza al-Austria

 

In an interview with Austrian Public Radio Ö1-Morgenjournal, the Austrian Minister for Integration and Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Kurz, said the rapid rise of Islam in Austria has rendered the old Islam Law obsolete. A new law is needed, he said, to stipulate more clearly the rights and responsibilities of Muslims living in the country.

 

From now on, according to Kurz, Muslims residing in Austria will be expected to adhere to Austrian values and to acknowledge the primacy of Austrian law over Islamic Sharia law. In practice, he said, this means that Muslims would be prohibited from citing Islamic law as legal justification for ignoring or disobeying Austrian civil laws. Sharia law has “no place” in Austria, he stressed.

 

The new law would regulate at least a dozen separate issues, including relatively non-controversial matters such as Muslim holidays, Muslim cemeteries, Muslim dietary practices and the activities of Muslim clergy in hospitals, prisons and the army.

 

More significantly, however, the bill seeks to limit the religious and political influence of foreign governments within the Austrian Muslim community by prohibiting foreign countries—presumably Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the Arab Gulf states—from financing Islamic centers and mosques in Austria.

 

The legislation also seeks to prevent the growth of a parallel Islamic society in Austria by regulating mosques and requiring clerics to be trained exclusively at Austrian universities. The new law would require Muslim groups to terminate the employment of clerics who have criminal records or who are deemed to pose a threat to public safety.

 

The new restrictions—including an employment ban for foreign clerics in Austria—would apply especially to Turkey: 65 of the 300 Muslim clerics working in Austria are Turkish civil servants whose salaries are being paid for by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet.

 

Muslims leaders in Austria say that in the absence of foreign funding, many mosques in Austria would have to be “closed immediately” because they are not financially viable apart from outside support. Moreover, they argue, the prohibition of foreign funding violates the constitution because the same restrictions are not being applied to Christians or Jews.

 

The foreign funding restrictions, however, do not appear to apply to the Vienna-based King Abdullah International Center for Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Dialogue. Critics say the multi-million-dollar institution, which was inaugurated in November 2012, is an effort by Saudi Arabia to establish a permanent “propaganda center” in central Europe from which to spread the anti-Western Wahhabi sect of Islam throughout the rest of Europe.

 

The new Islam Law also requires the Austrian Muslim community to agree on a standardized German-language translation of the Koran, the Hadiths and other Islamic religious texts. The government has argued that an official version of the texts would prevent their “misinterpretation” by Islamic extremists.

 

“There are countless translations, countless interpretations,” Kurz told public radio Ö1. “We will be pushing for this vigorously. It is also in the interest of the Muslim community that words are correctly interpreted and reproduced.”

 

However, Muslim leaders say it would be next to impossible for Sunnis, Shiites and Alawites to agree on a “correct” translation of the Koran. In any event, they say, the state cannot outlaw alternative translations.

 

A group called Muslim Youth of Austria [MJÖ] has described the new Islam Law as an “intolerable legal scandal” that seeks to “place the broad mainstream of Muslims either under state supervision, or to split them into weak and therefore meaningless groups.”

 

The president of the Austrian Islamic Community [IGGiÖ], Fuat Sanac, says the new law is “naïve” and treats Muslims as “second-class” citizens: “We do not agree with the draft Islam Law. It was presented to the public without our approval.”

 

Sanac has vowed to file an appeal with Austria’s constitutional court to stop the new law, which he says “risks humiliating” the country’s Muslim population.

 

Kurz maintains that the primary purpose of the new Islam Law is to establish the “primacy of national law over religious law.”

 

The government hopes the new law will be approved by Parliament in November and enter into force sometime in 2015. However, Muslim opposition to the initiative may mean that the 1912 version of the law will remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.

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U.S. ALAC to Austrian ALAC?

John R. Houk

© October 22, 2014

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Austria: Civil Law vs. Sharia Law

 

Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

 

Copyright © 2014 Gatestone Institute. All rights reserved.

 

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