"This Is a Religious and Cultural War against Islam and Muslims"

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Translated from the original Arabic by Al Mutarjim


This article is from Qatar-based al-Watan (not to be confused with Gaza-based al-Watan Voice). It begins with the question: "Why are Islam and Muslims hated in Europe?" There are certainly many issues which need to be addressed on this subject. But rather than a search for answers, we are provided with a conspiracy theory involving the European press and state institutions who are allegedly using the pretext of "freedom of expression" to defame Islam.

The referendum which was held in Switzerland prohibiting the building of new minarets should not be seen as an isolated incident. For the incident had predecessors, and will likely cause yet more repercussions throughout Europe.

Do you remember Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party which called for the banning of the Noble Qur'an and described it as a "fascist book" along the lines of the book "Mein Kampf" of German Nazi leader Adolf Hitler?

Now, just a day or two after the announcement of the Swiss referendum to ban the building of minarets, Wilders stood and called for the holding of a similar referendum in the Netherlands. We should not be surprised if the actions of the Swiss echo in other European countries.

The Swiss referendum appears to be only the most recent in a series of European maneuvers.

A few years ago newspapers in Denmark proceeded to publish caricatures denigrating the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad. Despite the general outrage in the Islamic world, the Danish government refused to intervene, based on claims of "freedom of expression."

And in France, you'll remember, the authorities banned Muslim immigrant girls from wearing the hijab in schools and public institutions in order to preserve the secular nature of the French Repubic.

This is a religious and cultural war against Islam and Muslims advanced by right-wing European parties and secretly sponsored by state institutions under the pretext of preserving freedom of expression and secularism.

Although the official and semi-official institutions continue to reiterate that they have no agenda for defaming Islam and the Muslim minority in Europe, their agenda is exposed by the European Union's objections -- foremost France and Germany -- to granting Turkey membership in the Union. For the Union is a purely Christian club, while Turkey does not enjoy this Christian "advantage," as it possesses a population of 70 million Muslims.

This is not just my conclusion. French President Nikolas Sarkozy himself once openly declared that all European leaders share this opinion, even if they prefer not to say it.

So the greater question remains: Why all of the European hatred against Islam and Muslims in countries which boast about their freedom of religion and tolerance?

There is a case of general fear in the European street of everything connected to Islam and Muslims. This is a fear fabricated and provoked and nurtured by the media on the backdrop of the Arab-Israeli conflict which is reflected in the context of a doomsday conflict between the Islamic tide and the Jewish world..
Why Are Islam and Muslims Hated in Europe? (screenshot)
Ahmad 'Amrabi, al-Watan (Qatar), December 7, 2009