Is Islamic Finance Collapsing in Germany?

Update: The entire paper on Islamic finance is here. There is also an interview (in German).

A new study by the Stresemann Foundation reveals that sharia-compliant finance is gaining virtually no traction in Germany, due in large part to a lack of demand for it among German Turks.

A press release summarizing the foundation’s findings was sent to Gates of Vienna earlier today. Many thanks to JLH for this prompt translation.

Is Islamic Finance Collapsing in Germany?

Low Muslim Income and Lack of Agreement among Sharia Scholars as Intrinsic Barriers to Islamic Financial Products

Berlin/Jena, July 24 2012 — Islamic finance in Germany has, to the greatest possible extent, remained unsuccessful. A working paper from the Stresemann Foundation now shows that internal barriers especially are determinative. In the first place, Muslim immigrants are low-income and demonstrate little investment potential, because of having less formal education and because Muslim women often have no gainful employment. For another thing, the system of sharia scholars leads to problems due to nebulous legal practices.

“The present failure of Islamic financial products in this country cannot be attributed to lack of support by policy and the authorities,” declares Rebecca Schönenbach, author of the working paper and certified Islamic specialist. “In Great Britain and France as well, which have generously adapted their financial regulations to sharia-compliant banking, there is no demand from depositors.”

As is explained in the working paper — referring to scientific studies — it is not just the limited income of the Muslim community that is important. A third of the Turks living here invest in real estate in Turkey, and barely a fourth in real estate here. Not even a fifth admit to having a savings account in Germany. There is practically no investment in other methods of saving, including Turkish, Islamic financial products.

On the part of the vendors, according to Schönenbach, there is the problem that the role of the sharia scholars has not been satisfactorily clarified. She says, “There are hardly any clear guidelines for fatwas; Islamic legal opinions and the various authorities are contradictory. Additionally, there is often a lack of economic knowledge and lack of independence in financial institutions. The scholars as a whole must produce transparency about the values of Islamic finance and sharia, and for the non-Muslim public as well.

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The Stresemann Foundation — A Lobby for Freedom

Under the banner of the great statesman and Nobel Peace Prize winner Gustav Stresemann, the Stresemann Foundation champions the preservation of civic, liberal values. In this role, it counsels and supports those active in political affairs.

Gustav Stresemann Foundation
Press Contact: Felix Strüning (executive director)| 0177-5 24 25 24
Kanzlei im Roten Turm | Löbdergraben 11a | 07743 Jena | Germany

One Sweden to Rule Them All

One Sweden: Logo

Our Swedish correspondent LN writes to tell us: “The New Sweden is being Malaysified!”

He’s talking about a new initiative known as “One Sweden”, which aims to make Sweden even more tolerant, diverse, inclusive, multicultural, and all those other wonderful things that Sweden is so good at.

And, strangely enough, the project is based on a Malaysian original known as “1Malaysia”. The good, kind, thoughtful, well-educated people who run the Nation Formerly Known as Sweden have decided, using their advanced powers of ratiocination and deduction, that Sweden would be a better place if it resembled Malaysia.

Before we get into the details of this fascinating new scheme, let’s compare and contrast Malaysia and Sweden.

Malaysia, like so many other countries that became independent after the end of European colonial rule, was cobbled together from disparate pieces that had been combined under a British administrative structure. These regions and groups — mostly Malay-speaking, but of several ethnicities — are variously Muslim, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist.

Freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Malaysian constitution, but not really, because Islam is the state religion, and we all know how Islam treats other religions. Whenever constitutional rights and freedoms come into conflict with Islamic law, Islam holds the trump card.

So it’s no wonder that Malaysia is perennially searching for ways to reduce interethnic strife and improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its civil administration. But what about Sweden?

Until about forty years ago the population of Sweden was made up almost entirely of, well, Swedes. Except for the Sami in the far north — and a sprinkling of Norwegians, Danes, and Finns — Sweden was populated by fair-complexioned blue-eyed people who spoke the same language, nominally observed the same religion, and shared a common culture.

All that has changed in the decades since, of course. Certain neighborhoods in major Swedish cities resemble Addis Ababa or Basra. Immigrant crime is endemic and epidemic. A level of violence that used to be unknown in Sweden has become routine.

Sweden was not remade through conquest.

It was never administered by a foreign colonial power.

No outside agency forced Sweden to become a polyglot mishmash of disorder and hatred.

Sweden did this to itself. Or, to be more precise, the well-educated ruling class, the cream of Swedish society, did this to the rest of Sweden.

And now, to fix the horrific mess which it has created and imposed upon the people it is supposed to protect and serve, that same ruling class has decided to make Sweden more like Malaysia.

One Sweden: People

Here’s what the One Sweden website has to say about the new, improved, ethically enhanced version of Sweden that is now under construction: (all summaries and translations from the Swedish in this post are by LN):

A new project for the unification of Sweden against violence has begun:

Modeled on the “One Malaysia” initiative, which involves not only the Muslim part of the Malaysian population, but also includes the Chinese and Indian groups. The focus is on joint training, development and democracy.


New impetus in One Sweden

…We are different voices with different political and religious interests, but stand united for One Sweden’s basic values. An open, democratic and prosperous Sweden.

In 2012, One, Sweden arrange a series of dialogue forums where persons active in civil society together will find solutions to various socio-economic problems in society.

For a closer look at the Malaysian model, consult the Wikipedia entry on 1Malaysia:

One Malaysia1Malaysia (pronounced One Malaysia in English and Satu Malaysia in Malay) is an on-going programme designed by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak on 16 September 2010, calling for the cabinet, government agencies, and civil servants to more strongly emphasise ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance.


1Malaysia stresses national unity and ethnic tolerance. The 2010 values of 1Malaysia as articulated by Najib Razak are perseverance, a culture of excellence, acceptance, loyalty, education, humility, integrity, and meritocracy.

Improving government efficiency is an important aspect of 1Malaysia.

Interested readers may want to check out the music video of the 1Malaysia theme song.

So who’s behind this push for imposing a Malaysian template on Sweden? LN notes:

The Steering Group for “One Sweden” seems to include the following:

1.   Kista College,
2.   Swedish Muslims for Peace and Justice,
3.   Sensus Learning Centres,
4.   Seglora think-tank,
5.   Youth Against Racism,
6.   Paideia — The European Institute for Jewish Studies in Sweden, and
7.   Sektor3 think-tank

These are almost the same as the groups that signed on to the Svenska Dagbladet op-ed I translated a few days ago — except for the Pentecostals. Are Pentecostals now to be excluded?

The online forum discusses “One Sweden” in less than glowing terms:

Regarding Malaysia the following is applied.

  • Muslims have priority to jobs in government and university programs.
  • In its 5 states it is forbidden to convert from Islam to other religions. The punishment is flogging or imprisonment.
  • The state makes it virtually impossible for Muslims to change religion.
  • Women and men flogged for extramarital sex.
  • Unmarried couples in hotels are arrested by the Sharia police.
  • Cultural expressions, from Salman Rushdie to SpongeBob SquarePants are prohibited.
  • A law, Internal Securities Act, makes it possible to detain people without trial indefinitely.
  • Sodomy, including both heterosexual and homosexual oral sex, is illegal.
  • Political Principle Rukunegara makes atheism unpatriotic

Has this campaign — One Sweden — chosen a suitable country as a model?

Will special legislation and prohibition of books that might offend Muslims be required?

Will the campaign be a success?

The nay-sayers at are to be disregarded. The right-minded deconstructionists in Stockholm (and Brussels) will have their way. The new, One Sweden will be built, with the Swedish MSM cheering the project on.

From Svenska Dagbladet:

Sweden shall be united against violence

In anticipation of the government’s action against extremism, a new network began today: One Sweden. After the suicide bomber’s and serial shooter’s crimes, Muslims, Christians, Jews and secular people will focus on what unites us.

Lena Lönnqvist, president of Sjövik College, Abdulkader Habib, president of the Kista College and Dr. Lindqvist Hotz from the Seglora foundation participated in the start-up meeting of Network One of Sweden…

When the suicide bomber Taimour Abdulwahab recorded an audio file for the Security Police (SÄPO) and the news agency TT, he turned, as he said, to the Swedish people. As the artist Lars Vilks’ drawings and Sweden’s activities in Afghanistan had been met with silence, “… so will your children, daughters, brothers and sisters die just as our brothers and sisters and children die.”

“Then I thought: what children are not my children? The serial shooter in Malmö claims the right to polarize society,” says the President of Kista College, Abdulkader Habib.

He and several other representatives of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and secular movements such as the free-market think tank Timbro gathered on Saturday to kick off a meeting of Network One, Sweden. The site was Medborgarexpon in Kista. One Sweden should not be an organization, no integration projects, emphasizes Abdulkader Habib. The role model is One Malaysia initiative, which aims at not only the Muslim portion of the Malaysian population, but also includes Chinese and Indian groups. The focus is on joint training, development and democracy.

“When I heard that the democracy minister intended to take stock of other countries to create an action plan against extremism, I thought: let’s not wait for it and then criticize. No, we should welcome it and make our own action plan,” he said.

Barbara Spectre, president and founder of the European Institute for Jewish Studies, Paideia, believes that One Sweden has an important role to play:

“We can celebrate difference and simultaneously affirm our agreement on what we all contribute to Sweden,” she says.

When Korans were burned, and people exploded and threatened and scolded on the internet, the Swedish popular movements reacted.

“‘We and they’ are no natural law. We need to show each other friendship,” says Dr Lindqvist Hotz, pastor of the Swedish Church and head of the think tank Seglora.

After the meeting Abdulkader Habib was hopeful:

“This is the start of a long term challenge for Sweden.”

One Sweden’s predecessor is One Malaysia, a political program that was launched by Prime Minister Najib Razak in the autumn of 2010. Islam is the state religion in Malaysia, but only half of the country’s almost 29 million inhabitants are Muslims.

Those who understand Swedish may want to watch this interview with Abdulkader Habib.

A group called Muslims for Peace has climbed onto the One Sweden bandwagon:

Now we initiate ONE SWEDEN — For a united Sweden

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LN provides further background from various sources on one of the major movers and shakers behind One Sweden:

On 2 February 2010 Birgitta Ohlsson was appointed Sweden’s EU Minister to replace Cecilia Malmström. As an EU minister, said Ohlsson, she will highlight issues of aid to agriculture, human trafficking and the situation of the Roma. After the 2010 election she expanded her portfolio to include democracy and consumer issues.

She is married to Mark Klamberg, Doctor of Law and also he is active in the Liberal Party as a replacement in the Stockholm City Council.

Ohlsson 2011 was appointed to this year’s straight on the Gay Gala for her commitment to Lesbian-Gay-Bi-Trans-people’s rights.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –

Now, nationalism, or “right-wing extremism” as the media writes, in Europe, will be examined. Swedish Democracy Minister, Birgitta Ohlsson (Liberal Party), will lead the project. According to Ohlsson, the “right-wing extremism” has become more sophisticated and she compares it to Hamas and al-Shabaab.

“They organize Christmas celebrations for poor single mothers,” she says to Dagens Nyheter.

–  –  –  –  –  –  –

She is said to have been “upset” by the Golden Dawn member of parliament [in Greece] who attacked two Communists on television on Thursday. “Terribly uncomfortable,” said Birgitta Ohlsson on her Twitter. For two years, “right-wing extremism” shall be studied and identified and concrete measures will be proposed to be developed.

“We see that both parliamentary and non-parliamentary groups become stronger in Europe,” says Birgitta Ohlsson.

The countries to be studied are Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, UK, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia. The project will include developing a teaching package for teachers.

Media report that Birgitta Ohlsson was aware of “how right-wing extremism has changed” after her visit to the Anne Frank Zentrum in Berlin.

They told her that the right-wing extremists are using increasingly sophisticated methods. They engage in social movements and are organizing Christmas celebrations for poor single mothers.

“They work like Hamas in Gaza or the al-Shabaab in Somalia,” continues Birgitta Ohlsson.

More from the Swedish government’s website:

Birgitta Ohlsson

Minister for EU Affairs, Prime Minister Department

“The EU must be a watchdog for human rights in Europe and worldwide. Less than half the world’s population lives in states where they can feel, think and believe freely.

“The EU must be a strong and courageous voice for freedom, democracy and rule of law.”

And also from the government’s website:

Action plan to protect democracy against violent extremism

9 December 2011, the EU and democracy Minister Birgitta Ohlsson, presented a national plan of action to defend democracy against violent extremism. The action plan includes measures to:

  • Increase awareness of violent extremism
  • Prevent people joining violent extremist groups
  • Facilitate the departure from such groups

It’s hard for an outsider to grasp the nuances of Swedish culture — run as it is according to the highest ethical standards in the world — so I’ll distill the essentials as I understand them, and Swedish readers may correct me if I’m wrong:

  • Sweden must stand up for the right to “feel, think and believe freely”.
  • Sweden (and the EU) must be “a strong and courageous voice for freedom, democracy and rule of law”.
  • In order to further these ends, the Swedish nation must prevent people from joining certain groups.
  • Sweden must encourage people to leave those same groups if they are already members of them.
  • “Right-wing extremism” must be exposed and resisted.

If you don’t perceive any inherent contradictions in the above points, then Birgitta Ohlsson’s educational initiative has been successful indeed!

You know that War is Peace, and Freedom is Slavery.

You are now ready to become a New, Improved Swede.

You are worthy of One Sweden.

Or, to paraphrase J.R.R. Tolkien:

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Land of Sweden where the Shadows lie.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/23/2012

Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/23/2012The Spanish region Murcia has followed Valencia into insolvency and asked the central government for a bailout, increasing the chances that Spain will call on the ECB for a rescue. The prospect of a financial collapse in Spain caused the European markets to plummet, and also depressed stock prices in Tokyo and New York.

In other news, James Holmes, the Colorado theater shooter, appeared in court for the first time in a preliminary hearing. The suspect appeared dazed and inattentive, and his attorney had to answer the questions directed at his client by the judge. Mr. Holmes is being held without bail.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, CSP, Fjordman, Gaia, JP, Seneca III, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

A Back Door into the Olympics

The Sun, a British tabloid, has done the kind of investigative reporting that the larger papers can’t seem to manage: it busted a ring of corrupt Pakistani officials who were selling passports and visas that would allow buyers to enter Britain along with Pakistan’s Olympic team, and perhaps even gain access to the Olympic stadium.

As soon as its operative obtained his false passport, the paper turned its information over to MI6.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Below are excerpts from the accompanying article:

Olympic ‘Terror Visas’ Racket

Pakistan passport gang is smashed

A VISA scam giving potential terrorists the chance to sneak into Britain with Pakistan’s Olympic team has been smashed by The Sun.

We infiltrated a crime ring offering false passports, visas — and access to London 2012 as bogus support staff.

We uncovered a ring of corrupt Pakistani officials and travel staff conspiring with a prominent politician to bypass stringent security.

First they provided our undercover investigator with a genuine Pakistani passport in a false name.

Then leading Lahore politician Abid Chodhary spelled out how for around £7,000 he could get our man a two-month visa — and smuggle him into London 2012 as part of Pakistan’s Olympic squad.

The Sun secretly filmed Mr Chodhary as he explained how easy it was to get into the Olympic Village by masquerading as a member of the athletes’ support team.

We were told we could even take part in Friday’s opening ceremony.

At no point did any of the corrupt officials question our reason for wanting to sneak into Britain.

An investigation was under way yesterday after we alerted MI6, the Home Office, the UK Border Agency and the British High Commission in Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

One intelligence operative said: “The Sun has unearthed a sophisticated network of corruption. The idea of unknown agents being flown in to the UK to be put up in the Olympic Village beggars belief.

“Terrorists would have the biggest platform to perform their atrocities. A member of al-Qaeda could fly to the UK on a genuine passport in another name and the authorities would be none the wiser.

“For all of our sakes this staggering loophole needs closing fast.”

Our investigation centred on the Lahore-based Dream Land travel agency — prosecuted nine years ago for human trafficking.

We approached one of its staff and a meeting was arranged in Lahore with a fixer called Bobby…

Hat tip: Seneca III.

Las Navas de Tolosa

VaeVictis sent this narrative about an important battle in Spain’s 13th century Reconquista history, the history Islam is so anxious to re-write.

Unfortunately VV emailed the story to Gates of Vienna while the Baron was at the Brussels Conference; his essay was subsequently buried in the tons of correspondence that came in during that period. It was only his courteous reminder yesterday that made me realize I’d passed right by the timely commemorative post I’d planned. Thus, as wtih many of my good intentions this story is being published later than I’d have liked. But what the heck — I’m already infamous by now for my tardy thank you notes, belated birthday cards and wilted bouquets — why change my s.o.p. this late in the game? Besides, in the shadow cast by eight centuries, what’s an extra week?

It’s still a good story even though the present-day revelers have long since returned home to plan for next year. At least I hope there’s a next year for Las Navas de Tolosa. Who knows how long they’ll be permitted to continue commemorating this hinge of history?

‘Batalla de las Navas de Tolosa’ by Francisco de Paula Van Halen, 1864

July 16th 2012 marked the 800th anniversary of one of the greatest of the Spanish reconquista confrontations: the Battle of Las Navas de Tolosa. This crucial encounter pitted the combined might of the Almohad Empire against the disparate Christian kingdoms of Spain. The result was a spectacular triumph on the Spanish side.

In honor of this momentous victory the city of La Carolina, where the famous battle took place, has always hosted commemorative festivities to mark the occasion. However, with the increasing incursions of political correctness into Spanish culture this event has now been deemed unseemly and excessively nationalistic by certain elements of the Spanish establishment. Therefore no government representatives from the central, provincial or autonomous regions were present. Nor do members of the Spanish royal family any longer attend. Only the government of Navarre continues to support the occasion and to send representatives to commemorate one of the most important battles in Spanish history.

The surest way to obliterate a culture’s identity, or to dishonor a nation’s sovereignty is to ignore the momentous events of its past. In this case, it is a narrative worth preserving:

On the night before July 16 1212, a patchwork coalition of Spanish kingdoms and military orders secretly made their way over a little- known mountain pass to emerge by morning on the plains of Tolosa. Here a massive Almohad army numbering some 200,000 had occupied a strong defensive position. This immense force had been levied from across the entire breadth of the Almohad Empire by the Caliph al Nasir. Most were from the Almohad’s North African possessions including the modern countries of Morroco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauretania and going as far south as Senegal. There were also contingents of Andalusians, Iberian Muslims born and bred in Europe, and fanatical volunteers from various corners of the Muslim world.

The Christian force was comprised mainly of the kingdoms of Castile, Navarre and Aragon led by their respective kings Alfonso VIII, Sancho VII and Pedro II. In addition there were significant numbers of zealous military orders, the knights of Santiago, Calatrava and Templars being the most prominent.

An official papal Bull had been issued declaring this to be a Crusade, but by then most of the European crusaders had long since abandoned the pushback against Islam’s incursions. In the end, they did little more than pillage the Jewish quarter of Toledo before turning back across the Pyrenees. Thus the remnant was a patchwork army of Christian kingdoms who had often been at war with each other; they had little experience combining their respective forces into a single cohesive entity. Nonetheless the threat posed by the Almohad invasion was understood to be severe enough to force the temporary coalition of this varied group.

Although the Spanish army had surprised the Almohads entering the plains of Tolosa by night, the battle itself would come as no surprise. By daybreak the two armies had already arrayed themselves in a face off. After the requisite preparations the Christian trumpets and Muslim atabals signaled the commencement of battle. In the center King Alfonso and the Castilian troops — as well as members of the military orders — pressed forward, eventually smashing their way to al Nasir’s bodyguard. Here they were confounded by a wall of 10,000 African slaves armed and chained together. For the Castilians it seemed there was no way to break through.

However, it was to be the Navarrese, led by Sancho VII, who discovered a way to pass through the chains. Once through they raised their banner from the other side. The slave wall surrounding al Nasir was itself encompassed and cut to pieces, forcing al Nasir to flee the battlefield. The remaining Almohad army was massacred in the tens of thousands, resulting in the annihilation of the Caliph’s army.

The might of the Almohad Empire had been effectively shattered. The enormous cost of mobilizing that massive force from every corner of the empire, only to suffer defeat at the hands of the Christians was both a military and a fiscal disaster. Even more importantly the battle served as a catalyst for the massive Christian territorial gains that would follow in the remainder of the 13th century.

By 1238 Cordoba, the traditional seat of the Caliphate, had been captured as had Valencia, Trujillo, Caceres, Badajoz, Merida, Medellin, Andujar, Baeza, Majorca and Ebiza. Within another decade Seville, Murcia, Niebla, Carmona, Jaen, Ecija, and Porcuna had also been conquered by the Christian armies. With the close of the 13th century their reconquista would founder for a time as the Christian kingdoms fought amongst themselves over the boundaries and sovereignty of rulers in the expanded territories.

The remaining autonomous Muslim lands would become known as the Kingdom of Granada and would survive until 1492.

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The effect of Las Navas resonates most strongly among the Navarrese whose flag and coat of arms bear symbols of the battle to this day.

Coat of arms for Navarre The interlocking golden chains represent the chained slave-wall defenses around al Nasir. The red field symbolizes the red velvet of the Caliph’s tent. According to legend the green emerald in the center was the only piece of booty Sancho VII kept from the battle, leaving the rest to his troops.

Sadly, commemoration of this battle for Spanish independence is considered politically incorrect by the Spanish government. Yet surely the irony of the fact that this battle is what made possible the existence of the very government now too timid to join in its commemoration is not lost on those who benefitted?

This July only the government of Navarre was still willing to stand forward to proudly recognize and commemorate that July day eight centuries ago, when their heroic predecessor Sancho VII bravely stood and fought to regain the lands Islam had taken.

This time around, Islam’s soldiers seldom need to pick up a sword in the home of the West to make its citizens flinch. We are, as the Muslim Brotherhood demonstrates repeatedly, only too willing to destroy our miserable houses with our own hands.

For information on the activities held this year to commemorate Las Navas de Tolosa go here. One wonders how long Navarre will be permitted to continue honoring its past.

The History and Ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood

Most Gates of Vienna readers are already familiar with the work of Prof. Dr. Hans Jansen, a retired Professor of Modern Islamic Thought at the University of Utrecht.

Dr. Jansen was the keynote speaker at the Brussels Conference in the European Parliament two weeks ago. A video of his speech (with improved audio) is embedded at the bottom of this post, along with videos of his testimony at the trial of Geert Wilders in the fall of 2010. The text of Dr. Jansen’s speech in Brussels is here, and the transcript of his trial testimony is here.

The paper below was originally presented by Dr. Jansen to U.S. government officials at a conference in Arlington, Virginia in 2006. We are deeply grateful to the author for sending it to us.

Muslim Brotherhood logo and Hassan al-Banna

The Muslim Brotherhood Movement: A Glance at its History and Ideology

By Prof. Dr. Johannes J.G. Jansen

The West has enemies, and these enemies have declared war on us. Our enemies have no difficulty at all in identifying us, but we, on the contrary, have great difficulty in identifying them. It is with good reason that we hesitate to identify them, because if one of the great world religions is our sworn enemy, we are in for a difficult period. However, life has been difficult before, and as you all know the free world managed to survive both Nazism and Communism.

However, Europe on its own could never have survived the Nazis, or the Communists. American involvement in these struggles has been essential for the survival of Europe, and the same is true for the present battle. If the US does not participate in the present battle with all resources that are needed, especially its intellectual resources, the battle we are in will eventually be lost. Then Europe will fall. The fall of Europe may have long term consequences for the US. It is better not to speculate about these consequences.

The US war effort, any war effort, has to be directed against an enemy who can be named and identified. It is obvious that this is a political necessity because as you all know wars have to be supported by public opinion, but there is more to it. Without an identified and named enemy all war efforts are wasted. Without a named and identified enemy the war effort is not a war effort, but it is an exercise, and probably even an exercise in futility. The hesitation by the US authorities and media to name and define our present enemy undermines the security of the US, and hence the security of the rest of the world. In Europe, the situation in this respect is of course much, much worse.

Hassan al-BannaThe program of today’s conference suggests that we are not at war with Islam, or the majority of the Muslims, but with the Muslim Brotherhood. This organization was founded in the late twenties in Egypt, by a primary-school teacher who was at that point in time 23 years old. His name was Hasan al-Banna. The first pamphlet al-Banna wrote has not been included in any collection of his works. It is an undated pamphlet, but internal evidence suggests it was written in May 1929, and published not much later, probably in June 1929. The pamphlet is an attack on the Egyptian educational system, which is interesting, but even more interesting is that the pamphlet contains long paragraphs full of praise for the Italian Fascist leader Benito Mussolini. If there ever was any doubt that European fascism played the role of midwife at the birth of modern Muslim radicalism, this pamphlet will take all your doubts away.

The movement which Al-Banna founded was definitely not stillborn. Let us take a look at the numbers. A successful new religious movement, like the Mormons, if for clarity’s sake I may use that popular appellation, normally expands by a forty percent in ten years. Al-Banna’s movement, on the contrary, grew by one hundred percent each year. This incredible but reliably documented percentage means that the Muslim Brotherhood was not your average new religious movement that had to struggle to win over the hearts and minds of the people who crossed its path. The Muslim Brotherhood did not have to convince people of new truths; it was a movement that preached to the converted. Muslims who came into contact with the Brotherhood soon realized that they agreed with the slogans of the Brotherhood, of which the most important are al-qur’aan dusturnaa wa-l-jihaad sabiiluna, the Koran is our law and jihaad is our way. I suggest we take these slogans seriously.

First, something about ‘the Koran is our law’, al-qur’aan dusturnaa. The Koran is a difficult book that contains dozens of passages that even the initiated and the heavily bearded do not understand. But a few things are remarkably clear. For instance in 9:30 the Koran talks about people who believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the son of God. Now to believe that Jesus is the son of God is a perfectly respectable belief that has been held by millions of respectable people for the past two millennia. If, however, the Koran were to be the law of the land, there would be a problem for these people, because the Koran explicitly curses and damns these people (9:30), and the Koran even expresses the wish that people who believe that Christ is the son of God shall be killed in battle, qaatalahumullaah. May I remind you: The Brotherhood wants this document, the Koran, to be the law, and this document, the Koran, contains many, many more passages that are similar, or worse, or much worse.

Second, something about Jihad, the ‘way’ of the Brotherhood, according to their own slogan. Friends of Islam often argue that Jihad is a rich concept that may have a whole lot of positive connotations, and that it certainly is not something as crude as a holy war. It is true that Jihad is not war, because war has a beginning and an end. Jihad, on the contrary, does not have an end. It does have a beginning, in the days of Muhammad, in the seventh century AD. According to sayings of Muhammad and countless Muslim leaders, Jihad will go on until the Last Day, the Day of Judgment. Jihad, according to Muslim doctrine, never comes to an end.

In practice, though not in theory, Jihad means keeping up the military pressure on the non-Muslim world, in order to expand the domain of Islam by whatever means possible. In happier days, the duty to wage Jihad was carried out exclusively by Muslim states and Muslim governments. This type of Jihad, carried out by states, came to an end on September 11, 1683, when the Turkish siege of Vienna was lifted by the Polish army. Sayyid Qutb refers to this millennium of Muslim military supremacy as ‘the first round’ (al-gawla al-uulaa, Zilaal 3, 1.560, Sura 8). Jihad against the West was, however, resumed on September 11, 2001, with a spectacular but senseless attack on America. However — and this is an important distinction — in this the ‘second round’ Jihad has become a private affair for which no sane government in the world wanted to be held responsible — even if they secretly were.

All over the Muslim world, the organization of the Muslim Brotherhood, which preaches that Jihad is its way, and the Koran its law, doubled its membership annually for years and years. What does this tell us about the nature of such an organization and the nature of the audiences amongst which the Brotherhood could be so spectacularly successful? It tells us that Muslim audiences, with few, very few, individual exceptions, agree with the message of the Brotherhood.

Governments, organizations and individuals in the Muslim world agree, with remarkably few exceptions, that anything that harms or weakens the USA contributes to the return of the old glory of Islam. This nostalgia for the return of the ancient glory of Islam is translated politically into a multitude of actions, some of which do look extremely innocent. The political translation of this cultural nostalgia may, however, also include participation in actions that we regard as terrorism.

Is the message of the Brotherhood movements social, political, or religious? I would call it religious, perhaps because I am a student of religion, but it does not bother me at all when others call it social or political. Within the limits of a Western intellectual framework we could probably say that the Brotherhood movement has a dual or double nature. It is both fully religion, and at the same time fully political.

If I were forced to choose between these different characterizations, I would nevertheless vote for ‘religious’, because the vocabulary and the imagery which the movement uses are all derived from a religion, Islam. I vote for ‘religious’ also because many Brotherhood members are willing to kill and to die for their essentially religious aspirations. In day-to-day social and political movements such an ardor for murder and martyrdom is rather rare.

The Brotherhood ideology is protean, but it starts from the axiom that man has to live in accordance with the will of God. Secondly, the will of God as far as human behavior is concerned, is known to man, thanks to the revelations to the Prophet Muhammad. This has an important consequence: Legislation ought not to differ from the divine laws as enshrined in the Muslim sources, i.e. Koran, Tradition and Sharia. If it does, this implies an attempt by the secular legislator to place himself on God’s throne, because God is the only legitimate lawgiver, al-shaari<. A ruler who aspires to promulgate his own laws, by this very fact, betrays that he is an enemy of God, and hence guilty of apostasy. (Islam punishes apostasy with death). In practice, and probably also in theory, the Brotherhood ideology condemns to death every Muslim ruler in the Middle East. They have all committed apostasy from Islam by promulgating their own laws.

The divine laws of Islam, the sharia, have to be enforced in their entirety. This idea of tatbiiq as-sharii, application of the sharia, is an aspiration met with in all forms of Brotherhood thinking. Outsiders usually do not think that the application of the sharia in all its details is a good idea, since the rules of the sharia are in stark conflict with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) on a large number of issues. Rejection of the sharia by the West is not, as the friends of Islam argue, a form of racism of Islamophobia, but a human rights issue.

Apologists for Islam will of course see this differently. Apologists for Islam will also deny that the application of the sharia will have serious effects on the lives of non-Muslims. On the contrary, they will boast that the sharia is a rich, flexible and lenient system that can be interpreted in many ways. We can only wish that they were right. What they see as something positive, the many interpretations of the sharia possible, and its flexibility, is actually one of the most threatening aspects of the sharia. The Western principle of nulla poena sine lege, no punishment without law, has been superseded by the noble character of the sharia, so to say.

The leading ideologue of the Brotherhood Movements has without doubt been Sayyid Qutb, executed by hanging in Cairo in August 1966. His books are found in bookshops all over the Muslim world, in Arabic or in translation. These translations often have been financed by Saudi Arabia. Qutb became a member of the Brotherhood in the early fifties, and he has been the main source of inspiration for all those ‘Muslim fundamentalists’, like Sadat’s assassins, who fought their own apostate governments in the Middle East in the second half of the 20th century.

The fundamentalists from that period had Messianic expectations of the changes and improvements that the introduction of the sharia would bring about. However, after half a century of persecution and excitement they realized that — apart from the Islamic Revolution in Iran — they had failed to produce successes or concrete results. Nevertheless, their struggles contained a strong positive element. They wanted to introduce something good (the sharia) into the modem world; they expected to produce a world in which the grass would be greener than it is today, and in which prices would go down and wages up. It is only human that after half a century they lost patience and hope. Hence, in the early 1990s Western observers openly spoke of the failure of political Islam.

Then, something changed. Osama bin Laden, and a number of others as well, explained that the struggle against the un-Islamic governments in the capitals of the Islamic world had been in vain because these governments were not really in charge; they were only the puppets of the US. If we want to really change things, the argument went, we have to put an end to the power of the United States. Only then can Islam retake with dignity its position of global hegemony that it enjoyed for a thousand years, from the age of Muhammad till the 17th/18th century. In order to create the circumstances necessary for Islam to take back this old position of glory and dominance, the West has to be weakened by all means possible.

As you will have noticed, this new form of the ideology is not positive in any way. It is negative and destructive. It is a novel lethal collective Muslim phantasy about Muslim power, Muslim omnipotence, and Western humiliation. Muslim activists envy the West, which they are utterly unable to join or to dominate. They cannot join the West because they are bound by the limitations that intellectual submission to Islam imposes. They cannot dominate the West because they are not clever enough to do so. But they are capable of destroying some of its symbols and murdering a number of its citizens.

By the nature of things, these dreams of destruction are an anti-democratic phantasy. Once the dominance of the West has ended, by a miracle or otherwise, Islam will be on top, and the sharia will be introduced. Once the sharia reigns there is simply no need for democracy. Decisions are taken by those who know Islamic law best. Who knows Islamic Law better than the professionally trained Muslim Ulema and their students? So, to decide and to rule is theirs, and unbelievers, Christians, Jews and lax Muslims will be sidelined, or worse.

In such an anti-democratic phantasy of anti-American destructiveness the use of terrorism is, of course legitimate in the eyes of the Muslim activists. There can be no reason for excluding terrorism or diplomacy as a method to gain power. Moreover, already medieval Muslim theologians have written long pages about the collateral damage of Jihad. The place which Israel occupies in these Muslim dreams of global supremacy and superiority is comparatively modest. Israel and the Jews of course possess demonic powers that they use permanently in order to harm Islam and the Muslims; this is generally known, but in the end Israel is just one of the many states that will have to make way for the triumph of Islam.

Ladies and Gentleman, on May 10, 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands. Nevertheless, most Germans were simply at home that day, doing the dishes, or whatever Germans do at home. September 11, 2001, Islam attacked the United States. Nevertheless, most Muslims were simply at home that day, doing the dishes, or whatever. In the 1940s, the best of the Germans came over to our side, Marlene Dietrich, Alfred Einstein, and many others. We needed them, because we needed everything and everybody in order to win that war. Again we are in the position that we need the moderate and rational Muslims, because without them and their help, we may be facing a battle we are going to lose.

Prof. Dr. Johannes J.G. Jansen (Amsterdam 1942) was Houtsma professor for Contemporary Islamic Thought in the Department of Arabic, Persian and Turkish at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands) from 2003 till his retirement in 2008.

Dr. Jansen taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Leiden University from 1982 till May 2005. From early 1979 till the summer of 1982 he was director of the Dutch research center in Cairo, the Nederlands Instituut voor Arabische Studiën en Egyptische Archeologie. He also taught at Groningen University (1975-1979) and at Amsterdam University (1982).

He studied in Amsterdam (1960-1964), Cairo (1966-1967) and Leiden (1964-1968). He received degrees from the Theological Faculty of Amsterdam University (Biblical Hebrew and the History of Philosophy, 1961), the Amsterdam University Faculty of Arts (BA, Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic, 1964) and the Leiden Faculty of Arts (MA, Arabic, Turkish, and History of the Middle East). He received a doctorate at Leiden in 1974. In Dutch he writes as ‘Hans Jansen’. In 2010 and 2011 he was witness for the defense in the trial against Geert Wilders. See also:

Video Archive

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading these videos, and to VH for the translations from the Dutch.

Hans Jansen: Speech at the European Parliament, July 9 2012

Hans Jansen: Testimony at the Geert Wilders trial, video #1

Hans Jansen: Testimony at the Geert Wilders trial, video #2

Hans Jansen: Testimony at the Geert Wilders trial, video #3

Hans Jansen: Testimony at the Geert Wilders trial, video #4

Italians Only, Please!

More news from the “Brussels backlog”: a story that came out a couple of weeks ago in Alerta Digital.

Many thanks to Hermes for the translation:

A delegate from the Italian Northern League in Milan proposes to keep subway coaches only for Italians due to the bad behavior of immigrants

The Northern League delegate Matteo Salvini proposed today to reserve some subway coaches in Milan only for Italians and women due to what he called the “bad behavior of immigrants”.

Salvini had no doubts about linking the increasing lack of safety in the streets with the phenomenon of immigration, to the point of declaring that “in ten years, natives from Milan will be a minority” and they will end up traveling separately in the subway just like crippled and disabled veterans in past times.

“If immigration is not stopped, then we will reach this point,” he asserted. Meanwhile, “We ask for one or two coaches to be reserved for women, taking into consideration those hundreds of complaints of aggression, sexual molestation, insults and disturbing comments they have to endure every day,” he specified.

Salvini’s provocative suggestion has generated a huge controversy in Italy, where all other political parties, and even the PDL (People of Freedom), which is one of the allies of the Northern League in the government, have rejected this proposition to separate Italians from immigrants in the future.

One of the most adamant voices was that of the President of the Chamber of Deputies, Gianfranco Fini, who stated that this proposal is contrary to the Italian constitution, which makes no distinction based on “skin colour, race or language”.

For his part, the leader of the Democratic Party, Dario Franceschini, considered that the proposal is an “awful signal” of the (political) direction that the Northern League, which is one of the current governing parties in Italy, is now taking.

Sweden: Open Arms for Illegal Immigrants

Here’s another news brief from the backlog that accumulated while I was in Brussels. It’s from our Swedish correspondent PMP, and concerns a recent decision by the Swedish government to extend “free” health care to all illegal immigrants.

As with similar decisions by the American government concerning “undocumented” migrants from Latin America, the ruling renders the distinction between legal and illegal immigration all but meaningless.

This summary was drawn from Swedish media outlets, and thus has no links to any Internet sources:

Free health care in Sweden to illegal immigrants

In a recent press conference, the Swedish government announced that they had reached an internal agreement regarding health care and the situation of illegal immigrants. Quoting the report from the government, the following was reached:

Individuals who hide to avoid being expelled, and those who hide without having applied for citizenship, shall acquire the right to health care. Included is the following:

Individuals under 18 years who are illegally living in Sweden shall be given:

  • Right to full healthcare
  • Full dental care
  • Medicine and drugs

Adults who are illegally living in Sweden shall be given:

  • Relevant healthcare
  • Health examinations and appointments
  • Relevant dental care
  • Medicine and drugs which are deemed necessary in relation to the first point

Maria Ferm, responsible for questions of migration within the Environmental Party, stated: “Fair and just healthcare is a human right, so we are very pleased to have reached this agreement.”

Decision taken and signed on the 28th of June, 2012.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2012

Gates of Vienna News Feed 7/22/2012According to Bulgarian media outlets, the suicide bomber who killed six people at the Burgas airport had an accomplice, for whom police are now searching. The role of the accomplice may have been to trigger the explosive device remotely.

In other news, terrorists have blown up the Egypt-Israel gas pipeline in Gaza for the fourteenth time since the Arab Spring began in 2011.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, JD, Nick, RR, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Violent White Boys

Today is the first anniversary of the massacre at Utøya Island. I’m told there was a huge demonstration in Oslo in observance of the people who died at the hands of their native mass killer, Anders Behring Breivik.

In an inadvertent piece of irony, Gates of Vienna was ‘present’ from almost the opening moment of the massacre, when that truck bomb was detonated by Breivik in Oslo. No one could have guessed he was even then hastening on to Utøya for his real revenge against a group he’d wanted at one time to join. But his step-father made it plain he’d never be good enough.

As Breivik detonated that truck, the Baron and some of the Europeans were discussing current events online. Fjordman mentioned that he’d just heard what he thought was a clap of thunder…or a bomb. He turned on his television to find the beginning of the awful images that would be churned out by the MSM over the coming months.

Oslo Truck Bomb

Of course, everyone — including The New York Times — initially laid the blame at the door of Islamic terrorists. In fact, some terrorist groups rushed to take credit for the death and destruction — was that not their signature statement? Do they not repeatedly claim they love death more than life?

As the truth emerged — with the help of the Norwegian MSM in a helicopter whirling overhead, taking pictures of Breivik strolling along the shoreline finishing off his victims — the struggle to come to terms with the sickening horror was long and difficult.

That incident itself was particularly chilling: the media’s eagerness to take pictures and simply watch children being killed without interfering with Breivik at all was one of the most horrific aspects of that long and awful day.

But that was just the beginning of our education about the Norwegian MSM. Later we would learn that Norway’s media and academia and political elites are entwined in ways that are foreign to Americans. (At times when such behavior has been revealed here, it is jeered at as “fawning” when it comes to, say, the White House Press Corps and their treatment of Obama.)

At any rate, we saw throughout the past year the myriad connections between and among the cultural gatekeepers in Norway. This overt symbiosis was striking to an outsider. It became obvious that the cooperation of the media and academic experts hauled out to parrot the party line served to underscore whatever current version of reality the political elites were espousing. Could this symbiosis be the result of the fact that government financially “supported” media outlets and academic institutions? As we would say here, a “cozy” arrangement indeed. And, as Caroline Glick pointed out, one of the hallmarks of a totalitarian democracy.

Norway is famous for its political and cultural consensus, but I’ve heard from enough Norwegians in the last year to know the sad truth: you’re safe, your job is safe, your medical benefits are safe, as long as you don’t step out of line. Stick with the consensus and the consensus will support you. Step out of line and you’d better have a refuge far from Norway.

Breivik’s trial served as a demonic convergence for all those forces. The circus atmosphere, noticed by the outside world, suited Norwegians just fine. Some bizarre justice was served by the rituals they served up. Here’s a description from a recent Wall Street Journal essay [this link is behind the subscription firewall]. The writer doesn’t seem to notice anything strange about what he observes and describes. To him, it is “moving”, to me it is surreal and creepy:

“A forensic investigator, Superintendent Gøran Dyvesveen, would describe the location on the island where each victim was shot and where the body was found. A forensic pathologist would then detail the injuries suffered by the victim, using a mannequin to demonstrate the trajectory and impact of each bullet. Finally a lawyer for the victim’s family would make a short statement about his or her life accompanied by a photo of the victim.

“Sharidyn Meegan Ngahiwi Svebakk-Boehn was shot near the lover’s path on the island,” Superintendent Dyvesveen summarized in one case. Then his pathologist colleague used a pointer to mark entrance and exit wounds on the gray mannequin representing her body. “The victim suffered two shots,” the pathologist said. “Both entered the left shoulder, then went through the left lung, and penetrated the aorta. One bullet was lodged in the chest, the other passed through the liver.” Then this: “Sharidyn died from these shots, which caused immediate unconsciousness and rapid death.” This victim was 14. She had dreamt of becoming a fashion designer, the court heard from her parents’ statement.

They added, “We are so proud that she chose us to be her parents.”

The emotional presentations did not disrupt the court’s decorum. Yet everyone — including the chief judge, the police investigators and pathologists, even the bailiffs and jaded European reporters sharing the room with me — was affected. Everyone, that is, except the killer himself. A vile smirk would occasionally cross Breivik’s lips when the courtroom camera cut to his profile.

Can you say “manipulative”? In fact, that adjective could be applied to most of the coverage of this drama, which repeated that scene for each and every one of the victims. Perhaps this surreal, repetitive theatrical piece gave the survivors some sense of satisfaction as they participated, but anyone familiar with the normal boundaries of jurisprudence would recoil from the acting-out they witnessed. It simply lacked sufficient gravitas to function as a murder trial. When one of the judges was caught playing solitaire during the proceedings, his evident boredom spoke volumes about the state’s performance.

I can no longer remember my pre-Breivik thoughts about Norway. I do remember thinking that, like Sweden, they’d drunk far too much of the multicultural Kool-Aid to be taken entirely seriously anymore. What I read in their press struck me as somewhat jejune, but that is to be expected of a very small polity with too much money and not enough real-world experience. I knew that ethnic Norwegian girls were being raped — there was an infamous incident several days before Breivik, right on the steps of Parliament… and the security guards watched; they said it wasn’t their job to interfere. For that poor woman, their callous disregard must have been as damaging as the rape itself.

My impressions of Norway post-Breivik aren’t friendly. We’ve received too much intensely descriptive hate mail and witnessed far too many incidents of primitive regression as the media set about scapegoating Fjordman. They seemed determined to create a distraction from the responsibility of the whole culture as everyone fled from recognizing what should have been inescapable: Breivik is theirs.

Breivik emerged from the dark, demonic side of nice, nice Norway, and he terrifies them for that very reason. Not given to much in the way of introspection, they have no clue as to how to prevent another mass murderer from popping up out of the woodwork. The political elites’ refusal to permit a public discussion of Norway’s cultural pressures prevents the larger world from granting them full respect. It also guarantees another murderous breakout by some seriously disturbed soul.

I think it was Bruce Bawer who pointed to the strange extremities of Norway’s anti-Semitism: given the fact that there are so few Jews in the country, it is unlikely that many Norwegians have ever actually encountered a real live Jew. Norway’s government officially supports and condones Hamas (a terrorist organization that most of the rest of the civilized world finds abhorrent) and Hamas, in turn, hates Jews to the point of deeply desiring their obliteration. Thus, many otherwise ‘normal’ Norwegians hate Jews, too, without seriously questioning why. Government says Israel is bad, and government butters the bread. In fact, government doles out the flour for the bread. And that is especially true for the state-owned media and academe.

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Norway hardly has the only violent male who commits mass murder in cold blood. America has plenty of them. Here, the kabuki theatrics by the media are different: first, the mad dash to find his connections to conservatism — the Big, Bad RightWingExtremists. No particular conservative has to be demonized, though. There is no special Fjordman slot in America. The closest we come to demonization is finding some connection to that infamously violent hate group, the Tea Party.

It is beside the point that the Tea Party is responsible for zero murders, no mayhem, and doesn’t advocate violence in behalf of its quest for smaller government and fewer taxes. Whatever. “Everyone knows” they’re evil.

Thus, when our latest violent mass killer turned out to have the same name — a very common name — as a member of the Tea Party, some members of the MSM were all over it. Gotcha! Only the fellow turned out to be about thirty years older than the perp. As a matter of inconvenient fact, the Colorado killer had registered as a Democrat at one point. So there goes that narrative.

There will be millions of words expended on this “Joker” wannabe who planned and carried out his murderous spree at the theater the other night. He’s going to turn out to have an unremarkable past — in fact, he’s already been identified as having a normal high school experience, complete with high academics and success at athletics. His advisors in college noted his high IQ and the fact that he captured honors in science before going on to graduate school. A quiet fellow. Didn’t bother anyone, but no one seemed to know him.

Question: does anyone know if James Holmes spent an inordinate amount of time on computer games connected to the film, the one showing in that theatre where he prepared carefully and showed up to kill people randomly?

This is a question I’ve asked forensic psychiatrists about Breivik’s break-out. My query was specific: if an adult man spends a full year doing nothing but playing World of Warcraft while using steroids, could it push him over the edge? One didn’t think so; two were sure it could well have done, but suggested looking at the components of his characterological makeup that would have contributed to his seeing this as something worth doing.

In other words, it’s hard to find the chicken/egg sequence here. What is certain is that a purported adult male’s devotion to that kind of fantasy should be troubling to those around him. If they even know of it.

This particular American mass killer in a Joker costume: how different is he from the Norwegian murderer in his strange Knights Templar get-up? As someone pointed out, Breivik (in his Manifesto) saw himself as Judge Dredd — a comic book character of some renown who was judge, jury and executioner. Let’s see if Dredd shows up in the Colorado killer’s mythological set pieces.

Right now, the Joker sits in jail spitting at the guards. He is in isolation because the other prisoners would kill him and have said so. On the other hand, when he surrendered to the police, he told them his apartment was rigged with explosives, ready to kill anyone who tried to enter. In other words, he appears to mood-alter, given that he changed his mind about letting the police (or perhaps his parents?) walk into a booby-trapped hell.

There are many differences between these two mass murderers. As far as we know, James Holmes was not forced to make accommodations with immigrant bullies in order to survive his high school social experience. Breivik maneuvered his way through that obstacle course, claiming he joined them in some of their criminal behavior as a way to get by. But even if that’s true, he paid for it in terms of his personality integration.

Breivik seemingly fragmented into several personae just to skate by. Holmes was from an intact middle class family; an outstanding scholar with a bright future. Breivik’s family fractured early and his treatment at the hands of his step-father(s) may have contributed to his fragmentation and apparent envy of the group on Utøya whom he could never have hoped to join in his youth.

In sum, there is little comparison as far as we know. But if we find Holmes was immersed in fantasy games, we may have a common thread. We have the stunting of personality that accompanies such immersion. If James Holmes is as brilliant as his professors say, he could have kept up that demanding academic schedule and still escaped into fantasy land.

One of my last jobs before fibromyalgia made working impossible was doing “outreach” with young and middle-aged men who’d experienced a painful psychotic break in their mid-twenties, a break so profound they couldn’t put the pieces back together. All of them were of above-average intelligence. One was in medical school and never accepted his fall from that status to “mental patient”. He simply quit trying. Another was well on the way to a career in business; the break folded him like a piece of paper.

There were lots of others, equally sad. There were also some who made the long journey back from Hell. The saving grace for them was their families who pulled and pulled them out of the mire, never giving up. One of the saddest was a young man with a loving family whose psychotic breaks made him violent. If his father wasn’t home, the family was in danger. At the doctor’s behest, when he suddenly began to mood-alter, the mother locked him out on the porch until his father could get home. But the boy hanged himself before dad arrived.

And it’s not just boys or men. Girls can experience the sudden break, too, though it’s rarer. But their road back is no easier.

Below is a video someone sent me some months ago. I was “saving” it as a kind of memorial to Breivik’s childhood on this anniversary. When I first watched the story, it was he I thought of, wondering if he might have managed better in his situation had a concerned parent helped him. Did all those people die because no one ever properly parented Breivik? On the surface it would appear so, but who knows?

The more I watched it, the more callous the mother seemed. It took her two whole years of her son’s young life to realize finally that she couldn’t sacrifice him on her politically correct altar. Still, you can hear the regret in her voice that life didn’t turn out the way she’d been indoctrinated to believe it should:

I asked several Norwegian men — only one still living there — what they thought of this story. Here are some of the reactions:

  • He’s going to end up in one of those white power groups when he’s older.
  • I experienced something very similar when I was his age. I had to learn to be even more of a bully than the bullies.
  • Self-identification as Christian in liberal [atheist] Norwegian society is far, far worse even than waging violent Jihad.
  • This is how the next generation of anti-Muslims is made. Look for more angry Norwegian boys…
  • Yeah, they’re angry, but they’re not merciless like the immigrants. It would never be a fair fight.
  • As much a “steel mother” as this is, she’s no match at all for Islamist mothers. They will, literally, step on their executed son’s face for any perceived contact with the enemy.

Harsh conclusions, perhaps, but these are mostly from men who left Norway to build a life elsewhere. They all see this mother as typical and one of the reasons “Norwegian women are a turn-off”.

As far as I know, the video is about five years old. In other words, pre-Breivik. I hope they use it in training materials for all the child psychiatrists they will be bringing on board to spot the future Breiviks before they can erupt. I feel so sorry for rambunctious, active little boys in Norway. Far too many of them will end up with the nice, nice doctor who’s going to help them fit in.

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For a more current view on the dreaded “populism” in Norway, see this from Spiegel Online. And then there is this oh-so-predictable piece from The Christian Science Monitor. You will be reassured by the latter to know that in Norway, “in the future, new terror laws…would make it illegal for one person to plan an attack”. It didn’t say anything about terrorist groups, though, so I guess Hamas is still clean.

The ESM Rides to the Rescue

Trillion-euro note

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) is a proposed financial organization that would backstop the troubled economies of the Eurozone, utilizing the seemingly bottomless financial resources of Germany to guarantee the liquidity of financially weaker member states of the European Union.

The ESM is currently being challenged in the German constitutional court. What will be the likely outcome if the court approves the measure and allows it to take effect later this year?

The following article from Die Welt takes a speculative look ahead at what the possible consequences might be. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

This is How Dangerous the ESM Can Be For Germany

by Erwin Grandinger

Karlsruhe [constitutional court] is still pondering the urgent complaint against the ESM. But what happens if the judges wave the rescue package on through? The costs for Germans are beyond anything conceivable.

Investing in uncertain times is problematic for every private investor. Accountability in policy and in markets — a prerequisite for successful investing — is lost. Despite present confusion, certain scenarios can be envisioned.

One possibility: In order to secure itself against unwanted criticism, the court — after lengthy cogitation — will in September reject the urgent complaint against the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and fiscal pact.

The ESM goes into effect immediately at the beginning of October. In the meantime, the interest on long-term Spanish and Italian bonds has risen beyond 7%. Both countries immediately apply for help through the ESM.

Germany’s Liability Rises from 27 to 64 Percent

Many Bundestag representatives are surprised that Germany is now liable for two-thirds of the €1.14 billion of the total capital of ESM/EFSF (European Financial Stability Facility). And then there will be the rescue packages for Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

In a parallel action, the German federal bank’s receivables in the Target2 system[1] rise spasmodically. In June, EU central banks owe the Bundesbank (ergo the German taxpayer) €728 billion (€699 billion in May). Spain’s Target2 liability alone rises by €63 billion to €408.

European Central Bank (ECB) Awards the ESM a Bank License

To assure liquidity for markets, the ECB amazingly awards the ESM a bank license. With it, the ESM can refinance and monetize debts without limitation. So the European stock markets boom for weeks.

While the US rating agency Egan-Jones has already withdrawn Germany’s AAA rating in 2012, now the large rating agencies follow in December. Germany’s refinancing costs rise rapidly, coming to be sure from a low level.

German Deposit Insurance Is Cashed In

Against this background, the December summit of the EU decides to optimize the fiscal pact and extend the time limits for achievement of a balanced budget for all euro states. Also, the basic structure of a bank union is established and the German capital base of the deposit insurance fund is immediately integrated.

The effect of these financial/political decisions shows in January 2013. At the Lower Saxony state elections, which are seen as an indicator of the Bundestag election in the Fall, the CDU/FDP again lose their majority. The SPD wins its twelfth state election in a row since the first Greek rescue pact in May 2010.

Sales Tax on Gold Introduced

Chancellor Angela Merkel senses that the mood of the times has shifted far to the left, and is still only prepared to deal with the revenue side, She introduces a tax on gold and prepares supervision of capital transfers.

Thereafter she tries to anticipate the SPD and suggests a tax on assets, similar to the model presented by the DIW (German Economic Research Institute) — a forced levy on net worth above €250,000. In connection with 2011 census data, all properties can now be individually assessed at near market value and taxed.

The federal government justifies this measure with a fiscally urgent situation, as with the property tax law of 1913, the Necessary Sacrifice for the Reich of 1924 and the Equalization of Costs in 1952.

Older Germans Emigrate En Masse

Many citizens do not understand why domestic taxpayers should leap to the aid of EU taxpayers and are included in collective obligations. A time of emigration begins, because pensioners do not make revolutions.

€250 billion aid is still available in the EFSF rescue funds for euro countries — for countries collectively, for aid to banks or for preventative credits. That also applies to EFSF aid for recapitalization of Spanish banks. The permanent rescue shield ESM will start.

The protective wall around the eurozone now amounts to €800 billion.

First Greece Pact

The international aid packet issued in May, 2010 by the EU, international currency funds (IWF) and from bilateral credits of euro partners comprised €110 billion.

To date, 73 billion euros have been paid out in six payments, of which 52.9 billion is allotted to the eurozone. Germany has contributed 15.17 billion, the IWF 20.1 billion.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank base rate continues to sink. That raises the negative actual rate, which amounts to a silent confiscation of savings accounts. There is a startling result in the federal election of 2013.

The FDP[2] does not get into the Bundestag, but the Free Voters do (barely) and the Pirates (double digits). The SPD is the strongest party and the CDU has too few representatives to form a coalition with the Free Voters. The CDU becomes the junior partner in a large coalition with the SPD.

Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel Agrees to Euro Bonds

Sigmar Gabriel becomes chancellor. Just a few months later, at the EU summit in December 2013, the collective agreement to issue euro bonds takes place. The stock market virtually explodes, interest rates fall, and gold rises rapidly.

The City of London and Wall Street regard themselves as the big winners, since their banks are saved and neither Great Britain nor the USA must take on obligations. Inflation takes care of the rest.

Erwin Grandinger is financial and political adviser at the EPM Group in Berlin.


1.   TARGET2 is an interbank payment system for the real-time processing of cross-border transfers throughout the European Union. TARGET (Trans-European Automated Real-time Gross Settlement Express Transfer System) was replaced in November 2007 by TARGET2.
2.   CDU’s present coalition partner.

The two photos:

1.   Stacks of 20 euro notes with the caption: “The Germans will bleed unimaginable sums for the euro.”
2.   A triumphant Merkel in a crowd with the caption: “Two-thirds approval”

The State Department’s Divided Loyalties

IICWC logo

Michele Bachmann and four other congressional representatives have been taking a lot of flak in the press in recent days for their criticism of Muslim Brotherhood penetration at the highest levels of the Obama administration. In particular, they are being savaged for pointing out the family connections of Huma Abedin, one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s top aides, with the Muslim Brotherhood.

Their concerns are disparagingly referred to as the “new McCarthyism”. However, whatever one might think of Sen. Joe McCarthy, the opening of the Soviet archives in the 1990s proved that he was right: the United States government, especially the State Department, had been penetrated at the highest levels by agents of the Soviet Union.

Congress was right to be concerned about Communist infiltration in 1949, and it is right to be concerned about Muslim Brotherhood infiltration in 2012.

The Center for Security Policy has done some research into the MB activities of Huma Abedin’s mother, and they are disturbing indeed. Below is a press release on the topic issued earlier today by CSP.

Center Report Reveals Radical Islamist Views and Agenda of Senior State Department Official Huma Abedin’s Mother

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A book published and translated by the mother of Obama administration State Department Deputy Chief of Staff Huma Abedin provides fresh evidence that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aide has deeply problematic foreign associations that could, in violation of departmental guidelines, “create… a heightened risk of foreign exploitation, inducement, manipulation, pressure, or coercion.”

In light of the escalating controversy over the role being played in U.S. security policy-making by Ms. Abedin and others with personal and/or professional ties to the Muslim Brotherhood (see Part 8 of the Center for Security Policy’s online curriculum at, the revelations contained in a new Center report — Ties That Bind? The Views and Agenda of Huma Abedin’s Islamist Mother (pdf) — could not be more timely, or important.

The Center’s report excerpts and analyzes relevant passages from a book published and translated by Saleha S. Mahmood Abedin called Women in Islam: A Discourse in Rights and Obligations by Fatima Umar Naseef. Naseef is a past head of the “women’s section” and professor of shariah at King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, where Dr. Abedin is also on the faculty. The book was published in 1999, the same year Dr. Abedin founded Dar Al Hekma, a university for women also in Jeddah, that Secretary Clinton visited and spoke admiringly of with Huma Abedin in February 2010. [See Remarks on that occasion by Mrs. Clinton, including her comment that Huma holds a “very sensitive and important position” in her department, and those by her hosts.]

Excerpts from Women in Islam in Ties That Bind? The Views and Agenda of Huma Abedin’s Islamist Mother (pdf) include Islamic shariah justifications for the following:

  • Stoning for Adultery when Married; Lashing for Adultery when Unmarried
  • No Death Penalty for the Murder of an Apostate
  • Freedom of Expression Curtailed to What Benefits Islam
  • Women’s Right to Participate in Armed Jihad
  • Social Interaction Between the Sexes is Forbidden
  • Women Have No Right to Abstain from Sex with their Husbands
  • A Woman Should Not Let Anyone Into the House Unless Approved by Her Husband
  • Female Genital Mutilation is Allowed
  • Man-Made Laws “Enslave Women”

The organization responsible for the publication of Women in Islam was the International Islamic Committee for Woman & Child (IICWC), chaired at the time by Dr. Abedin. IICWC misleadingly describes itself as “an international organization of concerned women who are committed to improving the condition of women and children around the world.” In fact, like the Muslim Brotherhood, the Muslim World League (MWL) and other Islamist organizations with which it is associated, the IICWC is committed to eviscerating the rights of women and children by imposing everywhere shariah, a code that denies them fundamental — and, in the United States, constitutional — liberties.

Specifically, the book published by Dr. Abedin wholeheartedly affirms: limits on women’s free expression; the permissibility of stoning as a punishment for adultery, killing of apostates and female genital mutilation; the contention that “man-made laws” enslave women; and more. It also endorses women’s right to fight in armed jihad. Women in Islam is available online and sold at the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs, an Islamist organization co-founded by Huma Abedin’s mother and her late father, Dr. Syed Zainul Abedin.

On July 21, former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy posted an essay at National Review Online that should be required reading for everyone commenting on the request by five Members of Congress led by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota for Inspector General investigations of Muslim Brotherhood influence operations within the U.S. government. In it, he observed that the Institute for Muslim Minority Affairs “was backed by the Muslim World League. As the Hudson Institute’s Zeyno Baran relates, the MWL was started by the Saudi government in 1962 ‘with Brotherhood members in key leadership positions.’ It has served as the principal vehicle for the propagation of Islamic supremacism by the Saudis and the Brotherhood.”

Mr. McCarthy notes that:

The five House conservatives… are asking questions that adults responsible for national security should feel obliged to ask: In light of Ms. Abedin’s family history, is she someone who ought to have a security clearance, particularly one that would give her access to top-secret information about the Brotherhood? Is she, furthermore, someone who may be sympathetic to aspects of the Brotherhood’s agenda, such that Americans ought to be concerned that she is helping shape American foreign policy?

Andrew McCarthy, who successfully prosecuted the Blind Sheikh, Omar Abdul Rahman — a convicted terrorist and clerical inspiration for jihadists worldwide, whose release from federal prison at the insistence of Muslim Brother and Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi has been the subject of discussions within and enabled by Mrs. Clinton’s State Department — goes on to observe that:

The State Department is particularly wary when it comes to the category of ‘foreign influence’ — yes, it is a significant enough concern to warrant its own extensive category in background investigations. No criminal behavior need be shown to deny a security clearance; access to classified information is not a right, and reasonable fear of “divided loyalties” is more than sufficient for a clearance to be denied. The [Department’s own security] guidelines probe ties to foreign countries and organizations because hostile elements could “target United States citizens to obtain protected information” or could be “associated with a risk of terrorism.” Note: The Brotherhood checks both these boxes.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr., President of the Center for Security Policy, said upon the release of the Center’s new report, Ties That Bind? The Views and Agenda of Huma Abedin’s Islamist Mother:

In the interest of informing the debate about the need to investigate Huma Abedin’s ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and its agenda, and those of others shaping policy in the Obama administration, the Center for Security Policy offers in Ties That Bind? further cause for such an investigation. That includes, for instance, evidence of Dr. Saleha Abedin’s personal involvement with the International Islamic Committee on Woman and Child’s affiliated organization, the International Islamic Council for Da’wah and Relief (IICDR). The IICDR was banned in Israel in 2008 for its collaboration with Muslim Brotherhood cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi’s Union for Good in the funding of the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization, Hamas. In the United States, the Union for Good was designated a terrorist entity in late 2008.

This further documentation of Dr. Abedin’s positions on shariah law, her leadership of the IICWC and its affiliation with a designated terrorist entity such as the IICDR makes plain that a thorough investigation is fully justified regarding her daughter’s access to classified information and policy-influencing role. In particular, in connection with the latter, Ties That Bind powerfully reinforces the Center’s earlier warning that the IICWC is currently advocating for the repeal of Egypt’s Mubarak-era prohibitions on female genital mutilation, child marriage, and marital rape, on the grounds that such prohibitions run counter to shariah. Americans want no part of such an agenda. They should they have no reason for concern that senior officials in their government are stealthily encouraging it.