A Swedish city is considering giving jihadists returning from Syria and Iraq free housing, a driver’s license, and tax benefits to ease their reintegration, but social media users have slammed the proposal, saying it ignores the terrorists’ victims.
The support for extremists was proposed by Anna Sjöstrand, a municipal coordinator against violent extremism in the city of Lund in southern Sweden.
“There may be criticism, but [I think] that you should get the same help as others who seek help from us. We can’t say that because you made a wrong choice, you have no rights to come back and live in our society,” Sjöstrand said on Swedish Sveriges Radio.
Sjöstrand’s proposal was based on a report written by author and criminologist Christoffer Carlsson, who says that it is difficult for people to abandon extremism and reintegrate into society without support.
“It’s a straight social, economic and material question. You need to be able to reintegrate into the job market, you may need to have a driving license, debt settlement and shelter,” he said.
According to Carlsson, “the risk is great that they [Islamist extremists] are unable to leave the extremist environment” without support, so “they might make an attempt and fail because they have nothing to keep them out, and there is always something to return to, namely the organization they left.”
The proposal has been eviscerated on social media, however, with users saying that Sweden is forgetting about the terrorists’ victims.
“Lund wants to help terrorists with housing, driver’s license and job, but forgets the victims,” one user wrote on Twitter, while another added: “Rapists, child murderers, terrorists. Everyone should be treated equally.”
Some users were calling for Sjöstrand’s resignation.
“Anna Sjöstrand, of course you should say ‘You have made a choice and are never welcome back,’” added @I_was_Sweden.
According to Sveriges Radio, a similar ‘welcoming’ approach is also being considered in the Swedish cities of Malmö, Borlänge, and Örebro.
Örebro was severely criticized in January after two IS terrorists – Liban Qadar, 23, and Mahamed Farah Osman, 24 – were offered internships in the municipality, but chose to return to Syria, where they were later killed in battle.
The incident has been classified as a clear failure for Thomas Gustafsson, Orebro’s head of partnership.
Research from the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism (ICCT) shows that at least 300 Swedish citizens had traveled to Iraq and Syria to join IS extremists as of April of this year.
Meanwhile, some 140 terrorists had already returned to Sweden as of October of this year, local media reported.
Also an April, a report appearing in the Swedish media claimed that Islamists have successfully infiltrated Sweden’s Green Party. Lars Nicander from the Swedish National Defense University said there is “a very similar effect today, in which people close to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist party, are apparently gaining large footholds in the Green Party.”
Christian asylum seekers as well as members of other religious minority groups living in refugee shelters across Germany face systematic persecution from both Muslim refugees and Muslim staff, a recently published survey shows.
As many as 743 Christian refugees and 10 Yazidis living in refugee centers in various German states have reported religiously motivated attacks between February and September 2016, a survey conducted by several charitable NGOs says, stressing that collected data should be “considered … as the tip of the iceberg,” as “there are a high number of unreported cases.”
Fifty-six percent of the affected refugees said that they were subjected to violent assaults and were beaten up while 42 percent of them said that they or their family members received death threats both from fellow refugees and Muslim staff, including volunteers and security personnel working at the centers.
Forty-four Christian asylum seekers also reported sexual attacks, the survey presented during a press conference in Berlin on October 17 said, adding that all reported attacks were motivated by the Christian or other non-Muslim faith of the victims.
At the same time, an absolute majority (83 percent) of the refugees who participated in the survey said that they faced persecution“several times,” while only 8 percent said that it happened to them only once.
The survey was conducted by Christian charity Open Doors, Action on behalf of Persecuted Christians and the Needy (AVC), European Mission Society Fellowship (EMC) and the Central Council of Oriental Christians in Germany (ZOCD).
The survey also said that most Christian refugees who were subjected to persecution in German asylum centers came from Syria and Iran, with half of all Christian asylum seekers surveyed being converts from Islam. Most of those surveyed were men (75 percent) and half of the respondents were under 35 years old.
The survey particularly stressed that converts living in the shelters are facing the highest risk of persecution as, “according to the Quran their change of faith is considered as a crime worthy of the death penalty, therefore they are explicitly in danger.”
“More than a few asylum seekers are likely to uphold the concept they are familiar with from their home countries even after having fled to Germany, that anyone who converts from Islam to Christianity has committed a major offence. What is more, converts sometimes experience harsh rejection by Muslim security guards and interpreters,” the report claims.
Most victims of persecution are afraid of reporting their cases to police as they fear that the situation would get worse. As a result, only 17 percent of affected refugees contacted police officers. Some of the victims also complained to the charities that interpreters working at the shelters deliberately twist their words while other said that security staff at the shelters takes no measures to prevent the attacks.
Some Christian refugees even had to return to their countries of origin because of persecution they face in German refugee centers, Paulus Kurt from the ZOCD told German Die Welt daily.
The survey provoked an outrage among some German politicians. Martin Neumeyer, the Bavarian government’s commissioner on integration, said that those guilty of persecution should face harsh consequences.
“Those who terrorize Christians or atheists in the refugee shelters should have no right to apply for asylum,” Neumeyer said at a press conference after the presentation of the survey.
A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union, Kai Wegner, told die Welt daily that he was embarrassed by the allegations presented in the Open Doors report.
“Those who spread religious hate in Germany are not welcome here,” he said, adding that the offenders should “feel… the consequences” that would particularly affect their right to stay in Germany.
At the same time, some German states are apparently trying to downplay the issue. Ralf Jaeger, the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, where more than 120 cases of attacks on Christian asylum seekers were recorded, said that his ministry has “no evidence of religiously motivated attacks on Christian refugees or other religious minorities.”
The Bavarian Interior Ministry said it is aware of the problem but still expects that “all asylum seekers will live peacefully together irrespective of their religion, origin or sexual orientation.”
The charities that conducted the survey said that urgent measures should be taken to protect religious minorities in the refugee centers. They said that there should be at least equal number of Christians and Muslims in those centers where they live together. At the same time, the relief organizations stress that they “have long called for”separate accommodation of Muslim and non-Muslim refugees.
They also said that more non-Muslim staff members should work in the centers in order to properly tackle religious conflicts.
According to the German authorities, Muslims account for three quarters of the total number of asylum seekers that came to Germany during the refugee crisis. According to revised statistics, 890,000 asylum seekers arrived in Germany last year, while previous estimations put the number at 1.1 million.
Between January and June 2016, more than 200,000 newcomers were officially registered in Germany, according to Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.
Meanwhile, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble called for the creation of “German Islam” that would be based on the principles of tolerance and European liberalism and will eventually help integrate refugees into German society.
A female interpreter for a French journalist has been raped near the notorious Calais ‘Jungle’ migrant camp, the authorities confirmed. Reports have also emerged that the woman’s attackers were three Pashto-speaking male asylum seekers.
The incident took place when a Pashto interpreter and a freelance journalist were making a story about the ‘Jungle’ camp for France 5 TV channel on Tuesday morning, according to Pascal Marconville, prosecutor of the city of Boulogne-sur-Mer in the Pas-de-Calais region.
“A 38-year-old Afghan interpreter, based in Paris, was accompanied by a freelance journalist… who was preparing a documentary for France 5 about unaccompanied children,” Marconville said.
Somewhere between 2am and 3am local time the interpreter and the journalist were approached by three Pashto-speaking men, according to the prosecutor.
The attackers were “a priori migrants” from Afghanistan, a judicial source told AFP, quoting witness accounts.
The alleged asylum seekers initially wanted to steal the pair’s equipment and camera.
One of the men then reportedly pulled out a knife and forced the interpreter to have sex with him, while two others stood nearby, threatening the journalist with a knife.
Once the attackers had let them go, the victims rushed to a police station in Calais to report the incident.
“The victim was examined by a doctor, who confirmed rape. Samples will… determine the genetic profile of the attacker,” Marconville said.
Police have opened a manhunt for the three attackers and have begun an investigation into the case.
The Calais ‘Jungle’ houses between 5,000 and 10,000 asylum seekers, according to estimates from different human right groups working on the site.
On Tuesday, an administrative court in Lille upheld its decision to close the notorious camp. According to the court, dismantling of the camp “does not disregard the principle of prohibition of inhuman and degrading treatment.”
The removal of the camp “aims, on the contrary… to put an end to such treatment, to which migrants are currently subjected,” it added.
The inhabitants of the camp – who are mainly from the Middle East, Africa and Afghanistan – have traveled to France in the hope of crossing the English Channel to the UK, often having had their applications rejected elsewhere, or in expectation of better prospects in Britain than in the rest of the EU.
The topic of unaccompanied children in Calais has recently been widely discussed in the media. Earlier in October, the British Red Cross said there are currently some 1,000 unaccompanied children in the camp, with at least 178 of them eligible to go to the UK, due to existing family ties there.
“If the proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war”
Darius Shahtahmasebi | Anti Media – OCTOBER 14, 2016
Following a renewal of Turkish-Russian relations, Turkey has taken a diplomatic stance regarding the Syrian conflict, warning against serious consequences if the five-year civil war is not resolved. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus warned this week that the Syrian proxy war between the U.S. and Russia could lead to worldwide conflict between the two powers.
“If the proxy war continues, after this, let me be clear, America and Russia will come to a point of war,” the Deputy Prime Minister stated.
However, Russia and Turkey continue to hold different views regarding what a resolution of the Syrian conflict might look like. The Deputy Prime Minister called Syrian president Bashar al-Assad a “pawn” before arguing his removal from power is necessary for long lasting peace, the Independent reported. Russia is unlikely to accept this proposal anytime soon.
Turkey’s support for jihadists, including ISIS militants, is extensive and well-documented. Because of this, and the fact the NATO member still calls for Assad’s removal, the extent to which Turkey will refuse to participate in the formation of a global conflict between Russia and the U.S is increasingly unclear.
It could simply be the case that Turkey’s warnings are merely a warning to Russia — especially in light of the fact that due to its NATO alliance, Turkey will be forced to back up the United States in a global conflict between Eastern powers and Western powers.
Further, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s hawkish stance on Middle Eastern affairs was confirmed this week when he told the Iraqi president to “know his place.” This flagrant disregard for international law came in response to Iraq’s stance that they do not want Turkish assistance in their upcoming offensives, which are intended to retake Mosul from ISIS. In fact, Iraq boldly requested that Turkish troops leave Iraqi territory some time ago, but Turkey refuses to listen, further indicating Turkey looks to expand its regional influence.
Meanwhile, Iran has moved its warships to the coast of Yemen following attacks on Houthi rebel positions by the United States military. The move is reportedly intended to patrol the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world’s most important shipping routes.
Everything appears to be in place for a worldwide military confrontation. Whether or not Turkey’s warnings are genuinely intended to seek resolution, one would hope they do not go unheeded.
THOUSANDS of ISIS fighters are to be given safe passage out of Iraq to fight in Syria, Russian military leaders claim.
BY JON LOCKETT
The jihadi army – and their families – will allegedly be let back in to Syria to battle president Bashar al-Assad and his Russian allies.
The outrageous claims comes as Britain and the US face criticism for failing to stop Assad’s brutal bombing of civilians in the Syrian city of Aleppo.
Nearly a thousand US and British troops have been sent to retake Mosul – the largest city under ISIS control.
The RAF and US Air Force are on standby to support any ground attack with major air strikes.
But under the supposed agreement – allegedly brokered by Saudi Arabia – the US-led coalition will only bomb targets agreed with the militants in advance, reports the Daily Star.
The military source in Moscow told the Star: “In preparation for the operation in Mosul, US intelligence agencies and Saudi Arabia agreed that before the assault all militants will be offered a safe route to leave the city with their families.
Tensions with Russia have reached levels not seen since the Cold War. Vladimir Putin has rattled the US with preparations for nuclear war, including an evacuation drill for 40million people, building secret nuclear bunkers for top brass and ordering politicians families back to ‘the motherland’.
“And at the time of the assault, coalition aircraft would only strike empty buildings, agreed in advance with the militants.
“More than 9,000 ISIS fighters will be transferred to the eastern regions of Syria to follow a major offensive operation, which involves the capture of Deir ez-Zur and Palmyra.”
Saudi Arabia has already been accused of supplying funds and arms to ISIS and other Islamic rebel groups fighting Assad.
Vladimir Putin has thrown his military might behind pal Assad as long-time ally Syria has hosted Russian bases since the Soviet era – and gives Russia key access to the Mediterranean.