Muslim Hate in Norway
Chinese Separatists Tied to Norway Bomb Plot
By EDWARD WONG
The New York Times
Published: July 9, 2010
BEIJING — The arrests on Thursday of three men in Norway and Germany accused of orchestrating a terrorist bomb plot seemed like another routine raid by a Western government in the continuing campaign against groups linked to Al Qaeda. But one detail stuck out: Norwegian officials said one of the men was a Chinese Uighur, and all three supposedly belonged to a group that advocates separatism in western China.
If the Norwegian officials are right, the bomb plot was a rare instance in which the group, the Turkestan Islamic Party, had tried to carry out an attack in the West that was unrelated to its goal of gaining independence for the restive region of Xinjiang, in China’s hinterlands.
Terrorism experts say the plot in Norway indicates that Al Qaeda and the few members of the Turkestan Islamic Party, or TIP, who trained in the tribal areas of Pakistan see some mutual benefit in cooperating. The use of relatively obscure ethnic Uighur recruits could allow Al Qaeda to penetrate more deeply into the West.
For militant Uighurs, taking part in attacks against the West could give them a raison d’être at a time when the Chinese government has seemingly defused any chance of a widespread insurgency’s taking root in Xinjiang, despite occasional spasms of violence. Uighurs may also feel alienated by the West given that the United States and most other major nations have largely accepted China’s contention that Uighur separatists are part of a broader threat to stability posed by Islamic fundamentalists.
Al Qaeda, for its part, also appears to be able to channel the anger felt by extremist Muslim members of nationalist causes in places outside the Middle East and South Asia, analysts say.
“This plot matters because it shows that Al Qaeda’s ideology continues to resonate with a growing number of individuals from a variety of national backgrounds and, more importantly, successfully convinces them to conduct actual attacks in the real world,” Jarret Brachman, a counterterrorism adviser to the United States government, said in an e-mail message.
The major official Chinese news organizations did not carry stories on Friday about the Norway plot, even though Chinese officials often say terrorism is a deep concern in western China. They say ethnic Uighurs trained in Pakistan and Afghanistan by Al Qaeda are aiming to destabilize Xinjiang.
But in recent years, only a handful of Uighurs have been captured by American forces or their allies in those countries, and TIP does not appear to be a cohesive organization that wields the abilities of more infamous terrorist groups based in the lawless Waziristan region of Pakistan.
A number of Uighurs were captured by American forces in the early stages of the war in Afghanistan. While some were held at Guantánamo Bay for years, American officials decided they did not pose a direct threat to the United States. The Uighurs were released, and some have been transferred to far-flung locales like the tropical island of Palau.
“My understanding is there were just hangers-on left there,” Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism and insurgency scholar at Georgetown University, said of Uighur militants in Pakistan. “So it’s interesting to see them resurface now. This to me just reflects Al Qaeda’s emphasis on diversification.”
“I think they hope they can leverage off of Al Qaeda’s name and enhance their status,” he added. “I think this gives their operatives something to do and acquire some useful experience. This isn’t like Al Qaeda or many of the Pakistani terrorist groups. This is on a much different level; it’s much smaller, it’s more fractured, it’s more aspirational than actual in its capabilities.”
The origins and strength of TIP, based in Waziristan, are murky. Most members are ethnic Uighurs who have become disaffected by China’s policies in Xinjiang that tend to favor ethnic Han, the dominant group in China. Many Uighurs call Xinjiang their homeland, and some want an independent state there called East Turkestan.
For years, Chinese officials have been blaming the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or dongtu in Chinese, for violent acts in Xinjiang, though they say ethnic riots in 2009 were inspired by a Uighur businesswoman living in the United States, Rebiya Kadeer, and other subversive forces. Chinese officials do say that the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, or ETIM, was responsible for earlier episodes of violence, in particular a 2008 attack on paramilitary troops in the oasis town of Kashgar that resulted in the deaths of 17 officers. Under the administration of President George W. Bush, the State Department put the group on a terrorist watch list.
Some Western scholars of Xinjiang say Chinese officials exaggerate the threat from the group to justify crackdowns on the Uighurs. They say officials have never produced evidence that actually proves the group’s existence. But a terrorism analysis group based in Alexandria, Va., IntelCenter, said in 2008 that photographs and videos showed that a militant Uighur group existed — the Turkestan Islamic Party — and that it was the same group the Chinese officials kept citing.
The group originally called itself the East Turkestan Islamic Party, or ETIP, but after a transformation from 1998 to 2000, it removed the “East” from its name, IntelCenter said. No original materials from TIP have any mention of the ETIM name.
The group’s founder, Hasan Mahsum, was killed by the Pakistani Army in 2003. There was a surge in activity in 2008, during the prelude to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, when TIP released a video in which a masked man identified as Commander Seyfullah said TIP was responsible for bus bombings earlier that year in Kunming and Shanghai that killed 5 people and wounded at least 26.
In April 2009, the United States Treasury Department designated a Uighur militant named Abdul Haq as leader of TIP and a member since 2005 of the shura council of Al Qaeda. The United Nations had earlier made a similar pronouncement. The American government said Abdul Haq, also known as Maimaitiming Maimaiti, succeeded Hasan Masum in 2003 as the leader of TIP.
In January, a Predator airstrike in Afghanistan killed 15 TIP members — 13 Uighurs and 2 Turks, according to statements from TIP. Some Pakistani and Afghan officials said Abdul Haq was among those killed.
There has been an uptick in Qaeda statements urging Muslims to attack China. In late 2009, Abu Yahya al-Libi, a leading Qaeda figure, appeared in a video in which he said that Chinese forces had massacred Uighurs and that the Chinese state would crumble, just as the Soviet Union had. “The state of atheism is heading to its fall,” he said. “It will face what befell the Russian bear.”
Zhang Jing contributed research.
Religious Strike in Norway
Brussels Journal 13 February 2010
By Filip van Laenen
Last week-end, almost a thousand taxi drivers in the Norwegian capital Oslo and neighboring municipality Bærum went on what could be called a religious strike. Both on Friday evening and Monday morning, Muslim taxi drivers refused to drive in protest against Wednesday's front page of the Norwegian tabloid paper Dagbladet. That day, the tabloid ran an article about some of the "dangerous” pages the website of the Norwegian security service PST links to, and illustrated that with a screen shot of a cartoon showing the prophet Muhammad as a pig trampling the Qur'an.
Let's not be naive: the tabloid Dagbladet knew very well that it would create a new controversy when it put the cartoon on its front page. By its very nature, this type of newspaper depends on shocking front pages. Just like its biggest competitor in the market, VG, you can't get Dagbladet delivered to your door every morning, but have to go out and buy it at a shop. Therefore, its front page usually carries a big fat title involving celebrities, sex and violence – if possible, all three of them together – but occasionally, politics or religion will do as well. Apparently, on 3 February, Dagbladet's best shot at getting as many copies as possible sold was to put the cartoon, which already caused a stir in the nineties of the previous century, on is front page.
Whether or not the 3 February edition of Dagbladet sold particularly well remains unclear, but it sure got plenty of attention. Attention is seldom a negative thing for a tabloid, but it may well be that Dagbladet got just a little bit more attention than it really wanted. On Friday evening, Muslim taxi drivers refused to drive their cars in protest; they repeated their action once more on Monday morning. Some of the interviewed taxi drivers said they are Norwegian citizens, and therefore deserve respect. They also wanted to show how much power they have in today's society, and that Norway – in particular its capital Oslo – heavily depends on them. This is certainly true when it comes to low status service jobs like e.g. taxi driving and cleaning, where Muslim immigrants are heavily overrepresented. And they illustrated their point very effectively both on Friday and on Monday: both times their actions resulted in long queues near railway stations and other popular taxi stops. If they had involved all Muslim bus, train, subway and tramway drivers too, the Norwegian capital probably would have come to a complete standstill.
A question that could be asked is whether this really was such a smart move by the taxi drivers. Certainly, when asked for their opinion, many people in the long taxi queues expressed their sympathy for the taxi drivers, though not all of them did. I'm not sure what I would have said to an interviewer with a thousand angry taxi drivers in the background, if I was still planning to take a taxi later on. But during the last years, immigrant taxi drivers in Oslo have been hit by a series of scandals involving drivers running multiple licenses at the same time while still cashing in on welfare benefits. While they work multiple shifts in their taxis, they are able to build huge luxurious houses – some qualify them as "castles” – in their home countries, usually Pakistan. Once they've managed to gather enough money, they leave the country before the Norwegian tax authorities find out what's going on. Needless to say, Norway has missed out on several millions of dollars of tax money money due to this sort of schemes. Remarkably, none of these scandals has ever resulted in a strike or protest whatsoever by immigrant taxi drivers.
Recently, another issue has been added to the controversies surrounding immigrant taxi drivers in Norway. As in many other Western European countries, there has been a lot of discussion in Norwegians press lately about niqabs and burqa appearing in the streets, and the oppression of women in Muslim societies, including in Western countries. As some of the participants in the still ongoing debate pointing out, this "moral policing” is often performed by Muslim taxi drivers, as many of them work during the evenings and nights and can effectively supervise who's doing what where together with whom in their neighborhoods – and in effect the rest of Oslo too. I probably don't have to spell out to the reader exactly what the goal of this "moral policing” is, but it probably suffices to say that the picture drawn of taxi drivers in this controversy again wasn't a very pretty one. At least not as perceived by the vast majority of Norwegians, but this could of course be different in the eyes of the Muslim taxi drivers themselves. Anyway, not so many protests where heard, nor were there reports of strikes against the lack of respect.
I therefore doubt whether the Muslim taxi drivers, and by extension all immigrant taxi drivers, gained so much extra credit by their actions on Friday and Monday. In fact, as Per-Willy Amundsen, MP for the Progress Party (Fremskritsspartiet , Frp), the largest opposition party in the Norwegian parliament, pointed out, the strike was not only unacceptable, but also unconstitutional. Interviewed by commercial broadcaster TV2, he said that Dagbladet had the right to print the cartoon, and that the taxi driver's actions were in effect strikes against the freedom of press and opinion, which are guaranteed by the Norwegian constitution. He remarked that if these strikes were to continue, they could have many consequences, e.g. with regards to the taxi licenses. It should be noted that the Progress Party shares power with the Conservative Party (Høyre), the other big opposition party in the Norwegian Parliament, in the municipal council of Oslo.
The religious strike by the taxi drivers wasn't the only protest against Dagbladet's printing of the cartoon. On Wednesday evening, what appears to be Turkish hackers brought down the website of the newspaper in a so-called DDoS attack. Eugene Brandal Laran from Dagbladet reported from his Twitter account that not only Dagbladet, but also its competitor VG, were hit by the attack.
Arfan Qadeer Bhatti, the first person in Norway who was brought to court on the suspicion of terrorism, called for a demonstration in the streets of Oslo for today, Friday 12 February. According to the Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten, he expressed hopes on his Facebook account that the demonstration could remain peaceful. Another person who expressed hopes that the printing of the cartoon would not result into any violence was imam Malana-hafiz Mehboob-ur-Rehman, even tough he feared the worse after an, according to him, "disappointing” meeting with Dagbladet's chief editor Lars Helle about the matter. During that meeting, the chief editor of the newspaper had refused to offer his apologies to the imam.
In these matters, I always find it difficult to know exactly what these men are hoping for and what they are fearing, and whether or not they're trying to sow thoughts in the heads of potential demonstrators. Last year, Oslo saw its most violent demonstration in twenty years when demonstrators smashed windows and damaged other properties in the center of the city as a reaction to Israel's Operation Cast Lead on the Gaza strip. New violence in the streets of the Norwegian capital can therefore not be ruled out. However, we have to assume that the two are honorable man, and that they're sincere in their feelings.
The cartoon that Dagbladet used on its front page resulted in mass demonstrations, the burning of flags, and probably a suicide attack back in 1997, when a Russian immigrant in Israel, the then 28 year old Tatiana Soskin, had put it up all over Hebron. She had to appear in court, and was later sentenced to two years in prison. Lars Helle seemed not to be aware of the fact that it was the very same cartoon that he had put on his front page that caused the mass demonstrations in Hebron in 1997.
The Country of Peace Meets the Religion of Peace
The Brussels Journal
September 18, 2007
Norwegian police have discovered that a large number of Pakistani taxi drivers, many of whom have already been charged with tax evasion in one of the worst cases of welfare fraud in the nation's history, have close contact with Pakistani gangs and operate as couriers of arms and drugs. In the city of Oslo it is documented that criminal Pakistani gangs also have close ties to Jihadist groups at home and abroad. This despite the fact that Norway, a nation of peace and home to the Nobel Peace Prize, should presumably get along just fine with Islam, which is, as we all know, a religion of peace.
Minister Bjarne Håkon Hanssen from the Labour Party has called for increased immigration from Pakistan because this would be good for the economy. The majority of Muslims voted for the Labour Party in the 2005 elections, which the left-wing coalition won by a very slim margin. Eighty-three percent of Muslims voted for Leftist parties, just as all over Western Europe. Kristin Halvorsen, the leader of the Socialist Left Party, began her election campaign in 2005 in the Pakistani countryside, praising all the "blood, sweat and tears Pakistanis in Norway have spent on building the country." She is now Norway's Minister of Finance.
In 2007, Minister of Justice Knut Storberget said that the Norwegian Constitution Day, May 17th, is for "everybody," and that it's appropriate to demonstrate this by displaying a multitude of flags and cultures. It is now permitted to celebrate it by waving the flag of the United Nations. The editor of a Multicultural newspaper has suggested that the Norwegian national anthem should be translated to Urdu because this would be good for integration. Norwegians are supposed to celebrate their independence by singing their national anthem in Urdu, by wearing the national costume of Ghana and by waving the flag of the UN, an organization that is actively trying to curtail their freedoms and subvert their independence. This would be the equivalent of Americans celebrating the Fourth of July by waving the UN flag and by singing the Star-Spangled Banner in Arabic.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Støre from the Labour Party participated in a conference with participants from dozens of countries and media outlets on how to "report diversity" in a non-offensive manner, with Arab News from Saudi Arabia as a moderator. The Cartoon Jihad the year before had prompted Indonesia and Norway to join forces and promote a Global Inter-Media Dialogue. In June 2007 this was held in Oslo.
The UN Special Envoy for monitoring of racism and xenophobia, Doudou Diène, started the conference by asking the press to actively help to create a Multicultural society. He expressed concern that democratic processes can lead to immigration-limiting political parties coming to power. He claimed that it marked a dangerous trend that still more intellectuals and academicians in the western world thinks that some cultures or religions are better than others, and stated that "The media must transform diversity, which is a fact of life, into pluralism, which is a set of values." Getting diversity accepted is the role of the education system, and acceptance is the role of the law, Doudou Diène said. "Promoting and defending diversity is the task of the media." Societies must recognize, accept and then defend and promote diversity, which always seems to mean sharia. Mr. Diène represents Senegal, a predominantly Muslim country which is a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the largest voting bloc at the United Nations.
According to journalist Ole Jørgen Anfindsen, this conference is yet another sign that Europe is moving in the direction of totalitarianism. Anfindsen thinks "there are already clear signs that large portions of mainstream media in Norway have been working according to UN instructions" long before his conference. In Britain, leading figures of the BBC have proudly announced that they actively promote Multiculturalism. They don't even need the UN to tell them that. Bruce Bawer, author of the book While Europe Slept, devotes much space to the bias of European media, and justifiably so. Norwegian PM from the Labor Party Jens Stoltenberg has stated that journalistic diversity is too important to be left up to the marketplace.
One Muslim in Norway stated that: "I worked in a Pakistani shop, but all of the work there is 'unofficial.' Neither the boss nor I pay taxes to Norwegian authorities. In addition to this, I receive 100% disability benefits and welfare. I have to be cunning to make as much money as possible, since this is my only objective with being in Norway." Undoubtedly, many Muslims view welfare money from the infidels as Jizya, the poll-tax non-Muslims according to the Koran are supposed to pay to Muslims as tribute and a sign of their inferior status and submission to Islamic rule. According to Statistics Norway, immigrants generally have a three times higher unemployment rate than native Norwegians. It should be noted that non-Muslim Asians are much more successful, which means that the unemployment rate among Muslims is even higher than 300 % that of the natives. The number of Muslims in Norway has quadrupled over the past 15 years. The number of immigrants in Oslo increased by 40 percent in just five years, from 2002 to 2007. With current trends remaining unchanged, native Norwegians will be a minority in their own country within a few decades.
The number of rapes in the Norwegian capital is six times as high per capita as in New York City, and it is well documented that certain immigrant groups are grossly overrepresented on the statistics. Two out of three charged with rape in Norway's capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. Unni Wikan, a professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, has said that "Norwegian women must take their share of responsibility for these rapes" because Muslim men found their manner of dress provocative. The professor's conclusion was not that Muslim men living in the West needed to adjust to Western norms, but the exact opposite: "Norwegian women must realize that we live in a Multicultural society and adapt themselves to it." The number of rapes has continued to rise year by year, as it has in neighboring Sweden, but according to Trond Giske, Minister of Culture and Church Affairs from the Labour Party, 2008 will be an official Diversity Year (which it also will be throughout the EU), dedicated to celebrating Multiculturalism and "cultural diversity" in all sectors of society, so hopefully this will change.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen, professor of social anthropology at the University of Oslo, heads a multi-million project sponsored by the Norwegian state trying to envision how the new Multicultural society will work. He lives, according to himself, in a boring, monocultural part of the city, insulated from the effects of cultural diversity. Zorica Mitic, a Serbian doctor from the former Yugoslavia where a Multicultural society recently collapsed in a horrific civil war, warned against the effects of unchecked mass immigration. Mr. Eriksen, a career Multiculturalist and intellectual celebrity in his country, responded by chastising her for her "lack of visions."
A shoot-out between two Pakistani gangs one crowded Sunday evening at Oslo's popular waterfront complex Aker Brygge left two men wounded. Newspaper VG reported that a policeman had to run for his life from an angry crowd of Pakistanis. The plainclothes policeman was hit in the face and told to leave the Furuset shopping center. He was told that it was none of his business being in this area, and that a gang of young men had basically defined Furuset as their turf and didn't accept "intruders." Norwegian authorities have thus already lost control over significant chunks of their own capital city. Peaceful rallies denouncing Islamic terrorism or supporting Israel have repeatedly been physically attacked by groups of Muslim immigrants. Bruce Bawer, author of the book While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, describes how there are now more direct flights from Norway to Pakistan than from Norway to the USA.
Thorbjørn Jagland is a former Prime Minister of Norway from the Labour Party, currently President of the Storting, the Norwegian Parliament. In April 2006, Jagland wrote an essay warning against the dangers of Islamophobia. According to him, paraphrasing the Communist Manifesto, a specter is haunting Europe – the spectre of Islamophobia. He fears that this could give rise to a new form of Fascism. Curiously, at almost the same time as Mr. Jagland warned against rising "Islamophobia," an article in Aftenposten newspaper warned that "youths" are in the process of destroying Norway's capital city, Oslo. Young girls are raped, schoolchildren are threatened with death, robbed and assaulted. The police warned against "an alarming rise in street violence" in urban areas across the country.
The response of the authorities has been to increase crackdowns on "racism" by the natives. In 2005 the Norwegian parliament – with the support of 85% of MPs – passed a new Discrimination Act, prepared by then Minister of Integration from the Conservative Party, Erna Solberg, who had earlier called for the establishment of a sharia council in Norway. A spokesman for the right-wing Progress Party, Per Sandberg, feared that the law would jeopardize the rights of law-abiding citizens. Reverse burden of proof is combined with liability to pay compensation, which means that innocent persons risk having to pay huge sums for things they didn't do. If a Muslim immigrant claims that a native has somehow discriminated against him or made a discriminatory remark, the native non-Muslim has to mount proof of his own innocence. I have later discovered that similar laws have been passed across much of Western Europe, encouraged by the EU.
There was absolutely no public debate about this law, which was passed in relative silence before the national elections that year. I was the first one to criticize it at my blog. The only journalist to criticize it was an American ex-pat, Bruce Bawer, and Hans Rustad at Document.no, the country's largest independent weblog. Not a single Norwegian journalist criticized the proposed law, and most barely mentioned it at all before it was passed.
The Equality and Anti-discrimination Ombud Beate Gangås, a white, lesbian feminist, before the municipal elections in 2007 warned all political parties against making "discriminatory" remarks about immigration policies, but also called for actively reducing the number of white, heterosexual men in politics. There was little real debate about immigration in the heavily left-leaning media that year, but an all the more passionate with hunt looking for racists, and by that I mean whites only. The left-wing coalition government, after a meeting with immigrant organizations, announced that racists, apparently meaning white natives only, should be "smoked out" of all public sector jobs.
Following the release of a UN population report which indicated a global population increase of several billion people over the coming decades, Marie Simonsen, the political editor of Norwegian left-wing newspaper Dagbladet, wrote that it should be considered a universal human right for people everywhere to migrate wherever they want to. This would mean virtually certain annihilation for a tiny, wealthy and naive Scandinavian nation. Ms. Simonsen thus endorsed the gradual enslavement and eventual eradication of her own people, no doubt congratulating herself for her own tolerance. Not a single word of protest was voiced by any other journalist to this statement. Human rights was a concept originally intended to ensure liberty. Now it's used to eradicate an entire people, or a large number of peoples across Europe, in the name of tolerance and diversity, and the natives are specifically banned from protesting against this.