Yesterday the Brussels judiciary searched the offices of the Muslim Executive of Belgium (MEB). The MEB is an official organisation, whose 17 members are democratically elected by the Belgian Muslims. It acts as the official representative of the Belgian Muslims and distributes the government subsidies to support the Islamic religion. At least 33,000 euros have disappeared from the books of the MEB. Last week, the MEB offices were also searched after it was discovered that the MEB transferred money to the bank account of Nizar Trabelsi, a convicted terrorist who is serving a prison sentence of ten years for an attempt to bomb an American military base.
According to the MEB the money was given to Trabelsi for humanitarian reasons. The MEB said he needed to buy additional food and drink in prison.
In the Netherlands 25 officers of the police of The Hague have been sent on a “cultural training” to Morocco. According to Chief Superintendent Gerard Bouman “Criminal Moroccan youths are a top priority [for the police force in The Hague]. They do not behave like indigenous Dutch. They rave about Moroccan culture. Hence, we have to know the latter, too.” Bouman added, however, that police officers in Morocco are astonished when they hear about the criminal behaviour of Moroccans in the Netherlands. “They can hardly believe that we have problems here with Moroccan youths.”
Bouman, who is to become the head of the Dutch state security services AIVD in 2007, also said that the Dutch police force has to attract more immigrant officers. “I used to think that qualifications were the only criteria [for employment and promotion], but if you are not careful you will end up with an entirely white police force. We cannot have that in this city.”
In Amsterdam, meanwhile, the residents of the Diamantbuurt received a note from the Red Cross, saying that they may bring only halal food to the traditional neighbourhood Christmas dinner. The Red Cross organizes the dinner annually to bring residents of the multicultural neighbourhood together. It is a potluck dinner where everyone brings along a dish to be shared among the group. Indigenous Dutch in the Diamantbuurt reacted angrily to the news that they are only allowed to bring halal dishes to a dinner to celebrate the birth of Christ.
Christmas has become a sensitive topic between indigenous Dutch and Muslim immigrants. Muslims, who demonstrated recently against a government proposal to ban burqas and niqabs (i.e. veils covering the entire face), shouted slogans like: “Jesus has a beard, Mary wears a veil. Assimilation in Dutch society should start with the Christmas crib!” (Another slogan was: “You cover your ass, I cover my mouth!”)
In Spain, Muslim radicals demand the right to worship in Cordoba cathedral. They claim the building is theirs because it was in use as a mosque during the Arab occupation of Spain from the 8th to the 15th century. Cordoba was the capital of “al-Andalus,” Arab-occupied Spain. The Catholic Church refuses to set part of the cathedral aside for Muslim prayer (after all, Spain isn’t Belgium). Prior to the Arab occupation, Cordoba cathedral had always been a Christian church.
Cordoba currently has a Muslim population of approximately 1,000 people – all of them recent immigrants, mostly from Morocco. Saudi millionaires, however, plan to build the second largest mosque of the world in Cordoba. They want the town to become the “European Mecca.” Around 100 mosques already exist in Andalusia. The city of Seville recently granted permission to build a new mosque on council land. The plan has run into opposition from local residents, who have managed to get a court order to halt construction of the mosque.
Meanwhile in Britain moderate Muslims oppose the building of a huge mosque next to London’s 2012 Olympic Park. The London mosque, which is to accommodate 70,000 believers, will be the biggest one in Europe (so long as the one in Cordoba is not constructed). Moderate Muslims are worried because Tablighi Jamaat, an extremist Islamist group, is behind the London building proposal.
While pushing for mosque building projects in countries which they recently bombed, Islamists are threatening terror attacks in France. This week, French counterterror forces revealed that they have thwarted three Islamist plots over the past 18 months, including one attempt to bomb the Paris Métro and another targeting Orly Airport. The French authorities are on high alert, fearing an attack to disrupt or influence the French presidential elections next Spring. Though France opposed the war in Iraq, Islamist terrorists consider it as bad an enemy as America, Britain and Spain. Last September, Al Qaeda posted a video on the Internet in which its deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, vowed to hit “American and French crusaders.”
Even Ségolène Royal, the French Socialist’s presidential candidate, seems to be a possible target. She has been under police protection since August. Last week, Royal visited a leader of the Islamist Hizbollah in Lebanon, whom she told that she agreed with his assessment of America and Israel. Nevertheless, it is the Islamists the French police feel they have to protect Royal against, not American or Israeli hit squads.