Violence and Islam in Europe

Europe is experiencing an increasingly costly and destructive problem with its non-Western immigrant populations – particularly those from Muslim countries.

A new study shows that on a net migration of 25,000 non-Western immigrants per year, with an equal number of offspring, Holland alone incurs a net cost of €7.2 billion [$8.8 billion] a year.

In Denmark, looking at tax-payments vs. welfare benefits only, an average immigrant from a 3rd world country (not only Muslim countries) results in a net balance of minus USD 5.200 each year. Muslims in particular add a host of other expenses incurred e.g. from increased crime rates and from having to deal with illnesses that are the results of marriages between first cousins – a common practice in the Middle East that they have brought with them.

And it doesn’t get better with time. The price tag coming with the 2nd generation is only 2 per cent smaller.

A common explanation of the increased crime – and violent crime in particular – is that it is caused by war trauma but I don’t buy that argument. 2nd World War did not lead to crime waves among veterans or their children on neither side of the conflict. The same went for Jews.

One factor does, however, hold explanatory power: If the crime index of all people living in Denmark is 100, then a composite of people coming from ten mostly non-Muslim countries (Denmark, Germany, Poland, Sweden, Great Britain, Norway, Iceland, USA, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, China and Thailand) produce a crime index of 76.6. A composite of ten mostly Muslim countries (Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Somalia, Morocco, Iraq Pakistan, Lebanon, Iran and Afghanistan) give a crime index of 192.9.

Morocco 255, Lebanon 243, Yugoslavia 242, Somalia 227, Iraq 129, Iran 186, and Afghanistan 116.

Moroccans have much higher crime rates than people from war-torn Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and, not to speak of, Vietnam.

A study of 45.000 teenagers from across Germany concluded that boys growing up in religious Muslim families are more likely to be violent than others. Even when other social factors were taken into account, there remained a significant correlation between religiosity and readiness to use violence. The correlation was only found with Muslim boys. Not with other religions and not with girls

Below are two accounts of life in schools dominated by Muslims. The first is an article about a school in Denmark that appeared in the largest left-leaning newspaper here. It is written by Hana Al-Khambri and translated in part by me.

The second is a German documentary with English subtitles about a school in Essen where Muslims compose a large numerical majority. Both accounts deal with the reasons for the high violence and crime rates but have different ways of explaining them. The newspaper article says that crime happens in protest against the parents and their cultures and the documentary says it happens as a direct logical consequence of and supported by parents and their cultures.

We are Only Danish on Paper

Walking down the hall of the school of Humlehaveskolen in Vollsmose Denmark I meet a girl who is no more than perhaps eight years old. She is wearing a headscarf. It is the first time in my life I have seen such a small girl wearing a headscarf. Not even in Saudi Arabia where I grew up did I see such a thing. A teacher tells me that the parents of the girl are trying hard to shield her from influences from the Danish society.

At Humlehaveskolen about 90 percent of students are of immigrant background. The girl with the scarf is perfect example of the struggle constantly going on at school and in the students’ heads. The girls and boys I meet at the school concurrently relate to me how complicated and confusing it is to have to live up to the expectations, norms and demands posed by their families and, at the same time, live up to the demands of the Danish society to get an education and integrate.

The school’s principal, Olav Nielsen, is a well-known figure in Vollsmose. Besides the job as principal of the school he also works with young inmates in prison – several of whom are former students of his school.

“Many of the kids here come from tough conditions. Some have seen their parents get killed in front of them. Others have parents who were exposed to torture or are traumatized by war experiences,” he says.

On the wall there is a Palestinian flag and pictures of his former students. And a bird cage with a parrot. Olav points at it and says: “It belongs to one of my students. He is prison now and I promised to take care of it while he is gone.”

Olav explains that the kids’ backgrounds make them vulnerable:

“The mothers rarely have any education since they were married off at a young age. Most of the families living here have suffered some form of damage or other – physically, mentally or psychologically. We even have some kids who fled here on their own or with their brothers and sisters.”

Protest

Olav takes me to meet a class 9th graders. There are 18 students but not a single one is of ethnically Danish.

They can all relate similar stories of how they ended up in Denmark. Most of them came here when they were small.

I ask why so many of the older boys become trouble makers.

“I think they do crime and cause problems because they are in a difficult situation at home,” says Khaled and adds that he feels that he only does what his family wants him to.

His voice is sad. Khaled’s teacher points out that Khaled does have good parents who care about the future of their son.

Amojgar who comes Iraqi Kurdistan raises his finger and says:

“Some have lost their parents. Others come from divorced homes. They make all that trouble to prove that they are strong and can act – even if it has to take place on the street.”

Khaled interrupts him and says that he thinks that the teenagers who make trouble are first and foremost reacting against strict rules in their families who constantly tell them what to do and who to hang out with.

“We hear nothing but ‘no’. They want to control us and so there are many young boys who become defiant and disobedient. As a kind of protest against their families,” he says.

Khaled’s family does not want him to have Danish friends. Why, he does not know.

“They don’t listen to me. They just want me to do what they themselves think is best for me”.

(…)

I notice that the boys are answering most of my questions. The girls rarely raise their hands but I want to know what they think. Even when I pose direct questions to the girls, no one answers. Olav Nielsen, the principal, suggests that the boys leave the room.

When I am alone with the girls I ask why they don’t want to say something when the boys are around.

“We are too shy and sometimes we get comments from the boys if they don’t like our opinions, and we don’t like that”, says Asia, a Somali girl with a purple head scarf. Six of the girls wear scarves, three do not.

(…)

Najah, a Palestinian girl, says that “the boys’ problems come from them having much more freedom than we do”.

Hafsa, a Somali girl, disagrees.

“It is because the parents’ control goes on their nerves that they act out”.

Hafsa introduces herself:

“I am from Denmark,” but then changes her mind and corrects herself: “No, that was wrong. I am from Somalia.”

Her friends start laughing when she stresses once again that she is not Danish.

The girls in the class come from Palestine, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Somalia.

“We are only Danish on Paper,” says Hafsa. “Not in reality”.

The article is written by Hana Al-Khamri who hails from Yemen and has lived most of her life on Saudi Arabia. She has visited the (notorious ghetto) town of Vollsmose (outside Odense in Denmark) and the people who live there. (…)

“I am back in the Arab world. That is my first impression when coming to Vollsmose. It does not, however, resemble any Arab country I know. It is as if the Arab Vollsmose is stuck in the type of life that the first immigrants brought with them to Denmark, while the Arab countries have moved on and developed.”

Clash of Civilizations in the Class Room #1

Clash of Civilizations in the Class Room #2

Clash of Civilizations in the Class Room #3

Clash of Civilizations in the Class Room #4

Clash of Civilizations in the Class Room #5

8 thoughts on “Violence and Islam in Europe

  1. El Guapo

    First, let me just say that the Google AD in the sidebar is advertising "singlemuslim.com" and showing me photos of ladies in burkas.

    As you know Jonas, you and I are almost on opposite ends regarding immigration. Actually, "immigration" is too big of a word. It would seem at a high level I would be more pro-immigration and you are more anti-immigration. But your experience with immigrants in your country is very different from my experience here in the USA. So again, it is not beneficial to simply argue about immigration as a whole here.

    There are many different stances and arguments to be carved out here and it could become pretty complicated. But from your post your concerns are about Europe vs. Muslim immigrants. Instead of diving into the whole "Clash of Civilizations" issue and making this a very long reply I'm going to keep it short.

    1. Understand your pain – Believe it or not I understand where you are coming from. When I lived in Paris I was robbed, punched, harassed and so on all from young immigrants from Muslim countries. If I had stayed in Paris, I would be writing the same article as you.

    BUT

    2. Islam – I do not agree with stating that "Islam" is the source of all of these problems. Islam is a very large religion with many different sects, countries and people that belong to it. The majority of Muslims I know here in the USA are quite regular people.

    Instead, I would say that the source of Europe's problems stem from poor, uneducated people who are trying to make a better life for their families but face such discrimination in Europe that it forces them to group together and instead of integrating pushes them further apart. It actually pushes them more forcefully to the Mosque where there are others, like themselves, facing the same hardships. This in turn makes them even more radical than they otherwise would have been.

    You mentioned that other immigrant populations do not cause the same type of problems that Muslims do and I agree with your findings. But I still believe that Europe has such baggage against Islam as a whole that immigrants from the countries you mentioned do not face the same type of discrimination.

    But that is not a very good excuse for the amount of problems coming from Muslims in Europe. Eventually, the community has to take responsibility and even though they face tough circumstances in Europe, the blame cannot only be laid on discrimination.

    After the Paris riots the elder leaders admitted that they have a problem with their youth and that they have gone out of control.

    I would say that the problems are a crazy mix of the following – Poor, uneducated young men with very little prospect for a good job and understand that they are not very welcome in Europe. This pushes them to the place where they are accepted which is the mosque. In the mosque there are most likely some instances where they become very radical and this might appeal to them. It gives them a purpose and a feeling of community.

    It is up to the mosque leaders to sort these kids out and I'm sure that most mosques do their best to teach the kids a good way to live their lives but unfortunately there are also others which teach "bad" ways and make the situation worse.

    My point is, I'm still uncomfortable with blaming all of Islam for the immigrant problems over there. It is just hard to excuse when those that are causing most of the problems just happen to be from Muslim countries. They most likely are coming from very conservative societies and it is going to take a long while to get the immigrants to break out of their former traditions and embrace a very liberal Europe. I'm pretty sure that if Denmark suddenly received a large population of educated American Muslims then the situation would be quite different.

    One of my main reasons for defending Islam is that in Spain, I learned that it was Islam which came up with great advances in Astrology, Mathematics and were much more advanced than Christian societies. It would seem that in our modern age, things have become reversed and many Muslim countries have stagnated and digress rather than progress. But, this is not the fault of Islam, but rather the leaders of those countries and the clerics who retain too tight of a grip on society.

    To offer a counter example, look at the Catholic church in Latin America. Many countries there are under the thumb of the clerics and have not been able to progress for a while. In America and Europe, it was the leaders ability to stem the control of the church and thus we were able to progress. If the church had it's way we would still be living in the dark ages.

    Perhaps it is best to just dispense with organized religion as a whole. Northern Europe took hundreds of years to break the grasp and the USA has been following a similar sort of path. I'm sure with the spread of information and technology the conservative Muslim societies will be able to do the same, but it is going to take a hundred or so years to do so.

  2. Yonanu Post author

    You have to understand that I did not write that piece in opposition to immigration in general. I wrote it to attract attention to specific problems that are evident with certain and limited aspects of immigration as that phenomenon appears in Europe today.
    My claim: Islam will necessarily create violent followers.
    Why? Because Islam puts forward the life of Mohammad as the perfect example for believers to emulate in all ways.
    Who was Mohammad? He was the leader of a militia who attacked, killed, raped, and enslaved those who did not follow him in order to gain political power.
    Using Mohammad’s life as an example is the whole point of keeping and studying the Sunnah and the Hadiths. He was a violent man – > people copying his actions will also be violent.
    If the current 1.5 billion Muslims suddenly swapped religion with another 1.5 billion people then at least some among the new group of followers would also at some point read all the way to where their prophet starts waging war – and then proceed to copy that – because that is what they are called upon doing.
    No measure of advances in Astrology and Math can redeem the institutionalized discrimination that is Islam. Read pages 8-13 here for why you should oppose political Islam: http://www.scribd.com/doc/34834977/Secret-Quillia
    You have three other arguments: 1) violence and extremism are the results of poverty and low levels of education; 2) prejudice pushes weak minds into the hands of bad imams; and 3) everything is different in the US.

    1)Any connection between poverty, education and terrorism is indirect, complicated and probably quite weak. http://www.krueger.princeton.edu/terrorism2.pdf. This includes the 9-11 and 7-7 attackers who among other professions were doctors, engineers or students at institutions of higher learning in Western countries.
    Economists have found a link between low incomes and property crimes. But in most cases terrorism is less like property crime and more like a violent form of political engagement (…). "More educated people from privileged backgrounds are more likely to participate in politics, probably in part because political involvement requires some minimum level of interest, expertise, commitment to issues and effort, all of which are more likely if people are educated and wealthy enough to concern themselves with more than mere economic subsistence". http://www.nber.org/digest/sep02/w9074.html

    2)I think this is a chicken and egg kind of deal. Who started hating the other party first? Prejudice or no prejudice. Weak Muslims or strong Muslims. Even your own argument firmly places the connection and incitement to violence with the custodians of a certain religion – Islam. Other groups in society may also feel prejudiced – but they do not have the ideological and institutional backing for turning to violence.

    3)Everything is not different in the States. There is an increasing numbers of both foiled and actual attacks in the US also: http://homelandsecuritynewswire.com/rising-number
    Read also about Canada’s experiences here: http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/2009/140888.htm

  3. Pingback: America and Religion | A Global Citizen

  4. Pingback: Mind Control | A Global Citizen

  5. El Guapo

    Saw it and at first glance it seems troubling. Then I think, just replace the Koran with the Bible and Mohammad with Jesus and it could pass for a Sunday school lesson for all the little Christian boys and girls. Seems the "big three" believe everyone else but them is going to hell.

    1. Islam – Believe in the Koran or go to hell
    2. Christianity – Believe in Jesus or go to hell
    3. Judaism – If you're not Jewish then you're not a chosen one, tough luck.

    The difference is that many Jews and Christians are now "modern" and selectively ignore their own teachings. There are plenty of modern Muslims as well but they do not get any press because, well, it wouldn't sell any newspapers.

    So, in the West we always get to see the inflammatory stuff.

    In Europe I see a couple of things:

    1. Just like many immigrant communities they do not yet feel comfortable so stick to themselves and actually become "MORE MUSLIM" than regular Muslims back home. It is like some Japanese/Americans here who try to be even more Japanese than the Japanese in Japan.

    2. Europe has a major influx of Muslims which is like payback for your former Empires. In the USA we have Mexicans and of course being different, many people do not like it and so form the Tea Party and whatnot.

    3. I cannot remember a time when different nationals ever really got along in Europe. Always fighting some war or another. Now you have people who are even more different than the different people you are used to.

    4. Modernity – It would seem that many regions in the Muslim world are still stuck in the Dark Ages religiously. They move over to Europe who left the dark ages long ago and have a lot of catching up to do. By catching up I mean learn to either ignore your own religions teaching or just abandon religion entirely.

    But as I mention above they are outsiders so cling even more fiercely to their home culturally

    In any case, it will not do to continually demonize them. That is to say continually complaining about Muslims isn't going to make the situation any better.

    The question should be, what outcome do you want?

    1. Send them all back home? – This isn't very nice and will not happen
    2. Continually demonize any and all Muslims? – I don't think this will help in changing their opinion. Would continually calling a fat person fat all of a sudden encourage them to go on a diet?
    3. Integration into society – Lessen up on all the badgering, they will eventually go to "discos," "drink alcohol" and "get a German boyfriend." Like I said, Christianity preaches the same and the majority of Christians I know have no problem drinking a beer or letting loose in a disco.

    They just need time to integrate which will take a generation or two. It will not happen overnight and certainly not happen by continually complaining about them.

  6. Yonanu Post author

    Well, if we can’t have an open debate, what can we have? What is the alternative? I agree that at the moment, this “debate” resembles more of a one-way street. That does not, however, diminish the problems we are facing with this one particular group of people that consistently show up negatively in national statistics.
    I don’t know if you actually read any of the statistics I scattered around my blog posts about this subject? They mostly have to do with issues such as crime (particularly of the violent sort), illiteracy, unemployment, terrorism and so on. No other group of people continually and on a global scale, shows such zeal and organizational skills in pursuing different modes of wanton destruction. That accounts for countries where Islam is subject to critical scrutiny and countries where it is not. Don’t you think that warrants some attention?
    Besides the obvious modes of destruction, such as the literally explosive kind, there are other issues to look at: In Britain 55% of British Pakistanis are married to first cousins and are therefore 13 times more likely to have children with genetic disorders than the general population – they account for just over 3% of all births but have just under a third of all British children with such illnesses. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/4
    In America where everybody is left to fend for his or her own, that may not be such a big deal. Or you could say that it is just a minor problem, that it’s taken out of context, that it’s just too f***ing bad for the kids and their parents, or that it really does not deserve any real attention at all. In Europe where welfare states, to a large extent, foot medical bills for genetic as well as for other illnesses, this is, however, a real problem. Even if you don’t care about these kids and their parents on a personal level.
    The strength of democracy is supposed to be debate, right? To talk about issues so that they can be resolved and not explode. What do you think the EDL is? It’s a result of not talking about the demographic changes in Britain going on right now. Changes that are not all positive and, particularly, changes that some people don’t want anyone to talk about. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23
    Perhaps democracy is simply a flawed construct? Perhaps Aristotle was simply not familiar with the fact that there could be such a large group of people with so thin skin and so few resources – mental and other – that they were in effect programmed to react with either violence or skipping school – just to spite the people who were paying for their education. Because that does seem to be the world that you are inferring. A world where Muslims are unable to participate in any constructive debate or introspection. Warped thinking if you ask me. But apparently not to all: http://www.nisnews.nl/public/290411_1.htm
    Where I come from, talking about something is an invitation to all to join in and solve the problems. This is not ‘complaining’. Today we have problems with Muslims. So we should talk about that. To them. With them. In other cases that is generally recognized as a sign of respect and responsibility.
    ‘Payback for the colonies’ is not an argument to ignore these issues. These are our societies. Where we live. We keep them in order. Neither is waiting to see if the next generation, by some miracle, will come to their senses an argument for ignoring the facts. In my country, at the moment, we are at the fourth generation of immigrants from Muslim countries. And things seem to be deteriorating. The first generation came to work and didn’t make much noise. Especially the Iranians have done well for themselves. But 2nd, 3rd and 4th generations of Turks, Palestinians, Pakistanis and Somalis (the other main groups here) are showing little or no signs of progress.
    If you think there is a problem with Christians and their ways of religious teaching, go ahead and talk about it. Most likely no one will give you any grief over that. Least of all me.
    But as I said, at present this conversation with the Muslims does mostly resemble a one way street. From one of the political spectrum, the problems are being laid out. From the other end, all we hear is ‘SHHHH’.

Comments are closed.