Tuesday, December 12, 2017
The southern Austrian city of Graz is now being labelled a “stronghold” of radical extremism after a new report revealed that half of the mosques in the city are suspected of preaching radical Islam.
Austria’s new ban on facial coverings in public has prompted veil-wearing Muslims and their families to leave the country, reports a new documentary.
by Stefan Frank
The German foreign ministry has launched a website to discourage would-be migrants from making their journey to Germany: "Rumours about Germany: Facts for Migrants". It aims -- In English, French and Arabic -- to debunk "some of the most common false promises made by traffickers", such as:
- "Every refugee receives a welcome payment of 2,000 euros",
- "Germany grants a house to every refugee" or,
- "The ship for the crossing is very big, it even has a pool and a cinema."
The new website comes in the wake of "AWARE MIGRANTS", a similar projectjointly developed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the International Office for Migration(IOM) in July 2016. Whereas the goal of "AWARE MIGRANTS" was to raise awareness about the dangerous journey across the African desert and the Mediterranean, "Rumours about Germany" focuses mostly on the economic aspects of asylum seekers' lives in Germany -- which the website paints as one of hardships and dismal prospects:
"Those entering Germany illegally will not be able to get a job. Also note that the German government does not provide refugees with jobs. ... Contrary to rumours and misinformation deliberately spread by human traffickers, Germany does not provide a welcome payment. Nobody will be given his own house. In fact, finding a place to live has become more and more difficult in Germany, especially in the big cities. Also note that you cannot choose freely where to live while you seek asylum and may have to stay in remote places where no one understands your language."
"With the website www.rumoursaboutgermany.info," the foreign ministry explained in a press release, "the foreign ministry continues an information campaign of the same name which it started abroad in the fall 2015".
This information campaign, however, must have been carefully hidden from the German public – no major newspaper reported it at the time. To find information about it, one has to go to the foreign ministry's website and find a press releasefrom January 2016 in which the ministry describes its anti-migration campaign in Afghanistan:
"During the first phase at the end of 2015, large billboards were placed in in Kabul, Masar-e Scharif and Herat on locations with a particularly high volume of traffic. They contain questions in the local languages Dari and Pashtu: 'Leaving Afghanistan? Are you sure?' and 'Leaving Afghanistan? Have you thought this through?'"
Obviously, the billboard advertisement did not have the effect the German government was looking for -- probably why it had to launch the new website. The foreign ministry's press release quotes Andreas Kindl, the ministry's "Agent for Strategic Communication", as saying:
"The website is optimized for smartphones and speaks in simple, clear language to people who are thinking about coming to Germany, who are on their way or who already are here."
Kindl, a graduate in Islamic Studies was, until September 2017, Germany's ambassador to Yemen. The German government might think that the job requires a certain kind of cultural expertise, but there is a problem: even if a would-be migrant happens to go to the "Rumours about Germany" website -- which seems unlikely -- why would he be convinced by claims such as this:
"Many asylum seekers do not qualify for protection and their applications are rejected -- they are not allowed to stay and have to leave Germany. Then they return [home] with no money and have to start from scratch."
Every German knows that hardly any asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are forced to leave Germany. If their application is rejected and they decide to return to their home country, they are rewarded with an with an allowance of between €1000 ($1,200) and €3000 ($3,600). Thus, contrary to what "Rumours about Germany" claims, making the journey to Germany still appears as a win-win proposition.
To the German reader, the whole campaign and its central messages must seem disturbing. Since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany's borders to more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the German public has been kept under the impression that every single migrant entering Germany was a refugee who had fled a war zone such as Syria or Iraq. To keep up this fiction, politicians and journalists never speak of migrants, immigrants or illegal aliens, but only of "refugees" (Flüchtlinge) or "protection seekers" (Schutzsuchende).
As soon as someone without legitimate papers sets foot on German soil, he becomes, by definition, a "protection seeker". According to the German statistics agency (Statistisches Bundesamt), for instance, there are 1.6 million asylum seekers currently in Germany. So far, so good. But the foreign ministry's new campaign now raises a puzzling question: How can the idea that every newly-arriving migrant is an asylum seeker be made consistent with the new finding, according to which many are actually seeking jobs, housing or money?
Moreover, critics were quick to point out another contradiction. In 2014, the government's own Agency for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) produced a 17-minute-long promotional video supposedly describing the arrival of a fictional refugee from Iraq: how he files an asylum request and is admitted to an refugee shelter. In the entire film, there was no mention of any obstacles or unpleasant situations. Instead, the fictional refugee encounters smiling officials who have seemingly have been waiting just for him -- their only client -- to show up. One of them even speaks Arabic. Also, the refugee shelter in the film is not an overcrowded hot-spot of violent crime, but a cozy place with just two other residents who happen to be friendly and smiling: "One of them also speaks my language. Arsalan has already been here for a few weeks and offers me his help."
A promotional video produced in 2014 by the German government shows the arrival of a fictional refugee from Iraq, with no mention of any obstacles or unpleasant situations; just smiling officials who have seemingly have been waiting just for him. (Image source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge)
Henryk Broder, a columnist with the daily Die Welt and publisher of the popular blog Achse des Guten ("Axis of Good") commented on the promotional film:
The only authentic and honest thing about this movie were the closing credits [with the disclaimer]: "The asylum-seekers shown in this film are actors with a fictional escape story."
As to the government's new efforts to scare away migrants by painting a somber picture of the situation of migrants in Germany, Broder says: "It's as if a drug dealer were advising his customers not to buy from him."
by Giulio Meotti
One of the most debated arguments about Muslims in Europe is the "Eurabia" claim: that high birth rates and immigration will make Muslims the majority on the continent within a few decades. For years, most of the media and analysts dismissed the claim as alarmist and racist. "Dispelling the myth of Eurabia", sniffed a major Newsweek cover.
Not many had the courage to sound an alarm. The great Arabist scholar, Bernard Lewis, sent out a warning more than a decade ago that Europe would turn Muslim by the end of this century, and dissolve into "part of the Arab West, the Maghreb". The late scholar Fouad Ajami also cautioned that "Europe is host to a war between order and its enemies, fueled by demography"; and the Italian writer Oriana Fallaci imagined a continent with "the minarets in place of the bell-towers, with the burka in place of the mini-skirt". Mark Steyn explained that "the future belongs to Islam" with an "enfeebled" West in a "semi Islamified Europe".
Ten years later, since Europe opened its borders to a massive wave of migrants from North Africa and the Middle East, the demographers reviewed their assessments.
New projections by the Washington-based Pew Research Center should be on the table of every European official and politician. The projections foretell that if the current wave of immigrants persists, in thirty years Europe's Muslim population will triple. If high migration continues, the Muslim share of Germany's population, could grow from 6.1% in 2016 to 19.7% by 2050. Even if all current 28 EU members, plus Norway and Switzerland, closed their borders to migrants, the Islamic population will continue to exponentiate. According to Pew's data, Muslims made up 4.9% of Europe's population in 2016, with 25.8 million people across 30 countries, up from 19.5 million people in 2010. Today it is an increase of six million in seven years. And tomorrow?
Pew's researchers looked at three scenarios: "zero migration" between 2016 and 2050; "medium migration", in which the flow of refugees stops but people continue to migrate for other reasons; and "high migration", in which the flow of migrants between 2014 and 2016 continues with the same religious composition.
In the medium migration scenario – considered by Pew "the most likely" - Sweden would have the biggest share of the new population at 20.5%. The UK's share would rise from 6.3% in 2016 to 16.7%. There will be similar percentages everywhere, from Belgium (15%) to France (17.4%). If high migration continues until 2050, Sweden's Muslim share will grow to 30.6%, Finland's to 15%, Norway's to 17%, France's to 18%, Belgium's to 18.2% and Austria's to 19.9%.
Pew's dramatic scenarios do not tell the whole story, however. What will happen in major European cities, where the Muslim communities are currently based? Will London, Marseille, Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Birmingham all have Muslim majorities?
What will happen in major European cities, where the Muslim communities are currently based? Will London, Marseille, Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin and Birmingham all have Muslim majorities? (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)
The French demographer Jean-Claude Chesnais in his book "Le Crépuscule de l'Occident" predicted an opulent but sterile continent, one in which population is characterized by death, not birth. According to the national statistics agency Istat, fewer than 474,000 births were registered in Italy last year, down 12,000 from the year before, with an even bigger drop from the 577,000 born in 2008. Italy has "lost" 100.000 births in ten years. The loss has been called "the great Eurosion". The old continent is "frailing".
Moreover, the fastest-breeding demographic group in Europe is also the most resistant to the pieties of a secularized liberal European democracy, which is seen as a sign of moral abdication from the true "path" or "way".
Under the "medium" and "high" projections in Pew's scenarios, how can Europe preserve all its most precious gifts: freedom of expression, separation of church and state, freedom of conscience, rule of law and equality between men and women?
According to the French author Eric Zemmour:
"If tomorrow there were 20, 30 million French Muslims determined to veil their wives and to apply the laws of Sharia, we could only preserve the minimal rules of secularism by dictatorship. That's what Atatürk, Bourguiba or even Nasser understood in their day".
Will Europe retreat into a non-democratic regime to preserve its own freedoms or will it lose these freedoms under the rise of this large Islamic communities? Considering what Europe witnessed in the last couple of years under terrorism and multiculturalism, what will happen in the next thirty years?
Jean-Claude Chesnais rightly called this shift a "crépuscule", a twilight. We are living through the self-extinction of the European societies of the Enlightenment. It has shaped the humanitarian age we live in – but may not any more.https://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/11539/europe-muslim-majority