Saturday, May 18, 2024

Western Jihadis Energized by October 7 Massacre

NewsWestern Jihadis Energized by October 7 Massacre

Exactly one hundred days after the October 7 massacre, Pakistani imam Muhammad Ansar Butt approached the podium in the hall of the Brussels Regional Parliament and chanted verses from the Qur’an’s 33rd chapter that celebrate the massacre and enslavement of Jews from the Banu Quraza tribe after the Battle of the Trench in 627 CE. Imam Butt offered his apparent endorsement of the October 7 massacre at a January 13, 2024, gathering organized by “Friends of Brussels Association,” which gave the imam an award for the “‘quality of his integration’ into Belgian society.”

By Allah, Palestine will only be restored through Jihad.

Imam Abdul Salam Zoud

Such incitement is not unique. Imams preaching jihad, sharia, violence, and hatred towards non-Muslims have in recent years constituted an alarming problem throughout Western democracies, with little effective pushback. But excitement at the October 7 massacre appears to be driving pro-jihad Muslim clerics across the Western world to new heights of rhetorical fury.

Observe: In the UK, just days after the October 7 massacre, an imam at the Northampton Mosque and Islamic Centre asked Allah to “destroy” the “usurping Jews,” and to “count them and kill them, don’t let any of them survive… make them war booty for the Muslims.” He made this request just five minutes away from the nearby Northampton Hebrew Congregation. The Jewish Chronicle, reported that another imam in Birmingham “said that while ‘our dead’ were in paradise, ‘theirs’ were in the ‘blazing fire’ of hell, where ‘Allah says, every time their skin is burnt through, we will change it for another skin so that they can taste the punishment.’”

In Spain, police arrested in November 2023 an imam who worked as an Arabic teacher and used his position “to radicalise minors” and recruit possible Islamic State (ISIS) members. “The detainee presented the minors with a violent view of religion using the same language as the main jihadist terrorist organisations,” the police said in a statement. “In his talks, he praised the idea of the suicide bomber as a legitimate figure in the fight against Jews, Christians and apostates. He expanded on these theories in his classes as an example of behavior all Muslims should follow,” the statement said.

Imam Abdul Salam Zoud used similar rhetoric when he delivered a sermon on February 9, 2024, at a Sydney Mosque in which he described Jews as a “criminal, barbaric, tyrannical enemy” and demanded Palestine be restored “through Jihad.” “Do not even dream that [Palestine] can be regained through negotiations. By Allah, Palestine will only be restored through Jihad,” the imam said. “Jihad for the sake of Allah is the only solution when it comes to the infidels,” he added.

In America, Ahmad Musa Jibril, a Michigan imam whose hate-filled sermons allegedly inspired the London Bridge terrorist attack, called on American Muslims to wage jihad against the “infidel West.” In a December, 2023 rant, Jibril blamed the United States and “senile Pharaoh” Joe Biden for the “genocide in Palestine.” “Yes, there is holy war in Islam; it is Jihad,” Jibril said.

In North Carolina, Imam Abdallh Khadra said in a tarawih prayer and march in support of Gaza on March 15 that Muslims have a religious obligation to vote in America. Khadra said that the Muslims in Michigan and North Carolina have shown in the Democratic presidential primaries that they can vote the Biden administration out of office. The imam added that Ramadan is the month of “victory,” during which Muslims in history won battles and made conquests. He prayed that “Allah grant victory to the people of Palestine, liberate the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem, and Palestine.”

To be sure, imams have promoted hostility toward non-Muslims before the massacre. In Canada, during a May 26, 2023, Friday sermon delivered at the Muslim Youth Victoria Islamic Center, Imam Younus Kathrada said that Allah has commanded that Muslims hate the disbelievers. Later in the sermon, he said that the disbelievers live a “life of animals,” fulfilling their “lusts and desires,” while they are unaware of what is going to happen to them in the hereafter. He compared them to cattle grazing in the pastures, unaware that they will end up in the slaughterhouse. “These people (Jews) only understand the language of force,” Imam Zoud said.

Will the rhetorical storm lead to a new wave of jihadi violence in the West? European countries issued terror warnings ahead of Easter. Austria, France, and Italy have all issued warnings of potential terrorist threats to Europe by ISIS following the group’s Moscow concert hall attack that killed 139 people. The French government increased the country’s security alert to its highest level, which means more soldiers will be put on standby and ready to patrol sensitive sites, including schools. 

The record is not encouraging. Western nations have experienced a wave of terror attacks at the hands of jihadists over the last two decades. These include, among others: the 2004 Madrid train bombings (193 killed), the 2005 London bombings (52 killed), the 2014 Jewish Museum of Belgium shooting (4 killed), the 2014 Sydney café siege (2 killed), the 2015 Paris attacks (130 killed), the 2016 Nice truck attack (86 killed), the 2016 Brussels bombings (32 killed), the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing (22 killed), the 2017 Westminster attack (5 killed), the 2018 Liège attack (3 killed), the 2019 London Bridge stabbing (2 killed), the 2020 Nice stabbing attack (3 killed), and the 2022 shooting in Oslo (2 killed).

More recently, in October of 2023, within three days, two deadly acts of terrorism were carried out by Islamists in Western Europe.

On October 13 in France, an Islamist radical under surveillance since the summer by French security services, stabbed a teacher to death at his former high school and wounded three other people, authorities said. Just three days later in Brussels, a Muslim gunman killed two Swedish soccer fans on October 16 and was likely inspired by ISIS, according to U.S. officials.

Catherine De Bolle, executive director of Europol. (Photo by Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA) via Wikimedia)

Following these deadly attacks, Europol director said that Islamist terrorism remains the biggest terror threat to Western Europe.

“I am concerned,” Executive Director of Europol Catherine De Bolle told ABC News. “With our latest report on terrorism and the status in the European Union, we see that a lot of youngsters, in fact, are influenced and recruited through internet.”

The West has a serious problem with Islamic radicalization and imams who advocate jihad, sharia law, and hatred towards non-Muslims. The October 7 massacres have evidently energized these circles. Urgent measures should be taken to try to quash Islamist terrorism, such as strictly monitoring mosques and Islamic schools in the West, banning any foreign funding to Islamist organizations, banning foreign funding of mosques and Islamic schools, and deporting radical Muslims, including imams who preach hate and call for jihad and sharia law. For these measures to be taken, the fact that there is a real problem, and a serious threat of jihadist terrorist attacks, should be fully recognized by the leaders of Western countries.

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