- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 24, 2009



No doubt about it - in Europe, Islamic lawfare gains ground day after day.

The following sentence patently explains the reason why it is proper to call this lawfare “Islamic” and why we have to be very careful with it. “The term we translate [as] ‘oppressed people’ refers to those who could not listen to a correct exposition of the Islamic doctrine and, since they are ignorant, they easily came to believe to the oppressors’ lies against Islam. Oppressors are orientalists, authorities of religions other than Islam, journalists and all those people who contribute to the campaign of misinformation about Islam and Muslims. All those people will receive bitter punishment.”

That is a comment to the Koranic verse IV, 98, which can be found in the Italian translation by the Italian convert Hamza Roberto Piccardo, former national secretary of the Union of Islamic Organizations and Communities in Italy (UCOII). The UCOII is ideologically very close to the Muslim Brotherhood, and Mr. Piccardo also is a member and spokesman of the European Muslim Network, headed by Tariq Ramadan.

Mr. Piccardo has also asserted that “jihad is the struggle for good, for the triumph of the Word of Allah, for its circulation among the peoples of the world. This struggle can be fought even in a nonviolent way. Word, writings, the good example of a believer are valid challenges to misbelief and injustice.”

Muslims like Mr. Piccardo and Mr. Ramadan, Rached al-Ghannouchi, Yusuf al-Qaradawi and all the Islamic organizations connected with them in Europe are very good at “forbidding evil,” being the best “mujahedeen” by taking adversaries to court. A March 2008 press release of the Union of the Islamic Organizations of France announced that group “will take all the legal procedures to stop the rage against the Prophet Muhammad - peace upon Him - Islam and Muslims.” And this is what UOIF and the Great Mosque of Paris did against the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for republishing cartoons that had caused a furor when printed in a Danish newspaper.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, went even further: “Mere condemnation will not solve the problem … people spreading hatred against Islam will be free to continue their campaign … what we are saying is that incitement to hatred should not be allowed, particularly if this specific act constitutes a crime within the parameters of international human rights documents. What we are also advocating is that we should all abide not only by domestic laws and blasphemy laws, codes of conduct or ethics regulations, if they exist, but also by internationally agreed legal instruments.”

No wonder that, during the past few years in Europe, the mujahedeen have been attacking by legal means whoever dares to criticize them - no matter whether the critic is Christian, Jew or Muslim. Tactics are always the same: First, their lawyer sends a letter asking for an economic refund. If he does not reach an agreement with the accused, or if the accused does not have strong proof or witnesses to confirm what has been written or said, he or she is taken to court.

If a well-known journalist writes for an important newspaper, he will have a legal firm at his disposal and he will only have to prepare materials to be handed to the judge. However, you can be sure that whenever that journalist writes a future article about Islam, his editor will start asking him either to change some words or sentences or to write about a subject other than Islam and Islamic extremism. Even worse will be the case of an ordinary citizen or a freelance journalist, who will have to pay a lawyer. Shortly, he will stop writing about the subject for fear of a lawsuit.

It is astonishing that the Council of Europe and the European Parliament are kneeling down to the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference and have started fighting “Islamophobia.” Resolution 1605 of the Council of Europe reads as follows: “In light of the above, the Assembly calls on the member states of the Council of Europe to: act strongly against discrimination in all areas; condemn and combat Islamophobia; act resolutely against hate speech and all other forms of behavior which run counter to core human rights and democratic values, even when their authors seek to justify them on religious grounds.”

It is patently clear that Islamic extremism will not stop its lawfare against the so-called Islamophobes unless European institutions open their eyes and listen to the words of other Muslims, the liberal ones, such as the Iraqi Abdulkhaliq Hussein, who wrote: “Islamophobia is an invention of the followers of political Islam since they are the ones who take advantage of it and stir it. Their aim is to push Muslim communities in Europe against the countries and societies they live in and take them to Islamic extremism.”

Jihad by court is a main part of this strategy. Unfortunately, European institutions have not yet realized that silent jihad has already started and that, thanks to their connivance, it will reach its goals very soon, to the detriment of our freedom of speech.

Valentina Colombo is senior fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy in Brussels. Her studies focus on Arab liberals and the role of women in the Middle East.

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