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Aiding Islamists By: Nicole Sadighi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, June 06, 2005

I recently returned from a speaking engagement at which Muslims, Jews and Christians gathered together in Washington D.C.’s Freedom Plaza on May 14, 2005 for an anti-terrorism rally.

The organizers had hoped for a turnout of approximately 1000. Alas, only about 50 arrived. Despite the low turnout, the event symbolized the escalating problem that the world faces today. It illustrated that Islamic radicalism is a lethal danger that affects not only Muslim communities but is a matter of concern for the entire world. Representatives and speakers from differing religious groups and factions--such as Michael Meunier of U.S. Copts Association, Mr. Hashim El-Tinay, founder and president of the Salam Sudan Foundation, and Aldo Leiva, director of the Cuban American National Foundation, to name but a few--all agreed that the matter needs to be given the highest priority in the international community.

Unfortunately, it has taken tragic atrocities for the world to stand up and take serious notice. And even when the international community is exposed to news coverage of terrorist attacks—such as 9/11 and the Madrid bombings or kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq—much of the free world does not take the matter seriously enough. As was proven this May 14, there is still a long way to go in achieving the kind of exposure that is essential in uncovering the true dangers of this new kind of threat.

Among the factors that are to blame for this lax attitude is Europe’s ongoing—and regrettable—effort to normalize the existence of clerical dictatorships such as the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is this attitude that drives the EU’s continued efforts to achieve financially palatable relations with the Mullahs. According to a speaker at the rally, Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi, an Iranian-American activist for democracy and a secular government in Iran:

“the neo-colonialist Europeans have helped perpetuate the Islamist establishment giving it an aura of international legitimacy in order to do lucrative business with those mullahs…European’s appeasement of the mullahs and their turning a blind eye to the plight of Iran and the greater Middle East and the hideous human rights abuses have contributed to the weakening of security of not only neighboring countries but also in the west and the immanent threat to Europe itself which is the ultimate target of the mullahs’ Islamist fury.”

There are many examples that illustrate the danger that our enemies are being bred from within Europe. The war in Iraq has made many mainstream Muslims line up in protest against the war; they oppose new anti-terror laws and warn of the dangers of Islamophobia. But there is a more radical fringe presently using these protests to their advantage. These are the hardliners and jihadists, such as Saajid Badat, the infamous “shoe bomber” from Gloucester in UK, and Abu Hamza, the Muslim cleric from London who incited racial hatred amongst young Muslims and even encouraged the burning of the British flag (the US has been seeking to extradite Hamza for his links to al-Qaeda); Asif Mohammed Hanif from London and Omar Khan Sharif from Derby, who carried out suicide bombings in Tel Aviv; and Lotfi Raissi from London, who was arrested in connection with the terrorist attacks in New York, are but a few representatives of the breed of fanatics whose numbers are speedily growing in the UK and across Europe.

Although this is a threat to all free countries, Europe has become an extremely easy target. This is because its geographical proximity to the Islamic world plays a major role in spreading fundamentalism throughout western communities. According to the Worldwide Faith News (www.wfn.org), Europe’s Muslim population has surpassed 52 million with an annual growth rate of 6.5 percent. With a populace of 750 million Europeans, comprised of approximately 269 million Catholics, 171 million Orthodox, 79 million Protestants, and 28 million Anglicans, the Muslim faith will soon be the second largest religion in Europe. Although it is unlikely that these statistics are exactly accurate, it does give us an idea of the scale we are talking about.

In addition, Europe has provided a safe haven for terrorists to thrive, manipulate and undermine democratic systems to their advantage. The EU’s financial relations with countries such as Libya, Syria and Islamic Republic of Iran ultimately keep the dangers of fundamentalism alive.

By now, the dangers of Islamic fundamentalism should be clear: Islamists have slowly managed to spread their evil ideology beyond their own borders. And yet, the freedom-loving people of Europe continue to appease the theocratic regimes and dictatorships in the Middle East—the same dictatorships that terrorize their own people and endorse and fund terrorism internationally. How many more warning signs will it take for the international community to reconsider this strategy? What will it take for the world to wake up and understand the dangers that have been brewing for years? How many more lives have to be sacrificed before the free people of the world open their eyes and take heed of what is happening around them?

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