Europe must stand united against all extremism: Hamas, Hezbollah & Muslim Brotherhood

Ed Husain
Ed Husain
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As the COVID-19 vaccine arrives and European leaders turn their focus again to the national security and future prosperity of our peoples, a fracture is appearing. Europe has suffered two Islamist militant attacks over the past ten days. France and Austria are responding with vigour, but where is the European Union? Where is Britain?

Read more: Austria police raid dozens of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas-linked targets: Prosecutors

President Emmanuel Macron’s speech and interventions for upholding the values of the French Republic were second to none. His government followed up with action by closing mosques and organizations with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its affiliates and offshoots.

Austria has followed in a similar move against the Brotherhood and others.

Again and again, France and Austria have made clear that political Islamism is not Islam. The danger is not from the elderly Muslim gentleman with a beautiful beard, nor the lady who wishes to cover her hair out of religious observation.

French police officers on the Champs-Elysee avenue in Paris, on October 30, 2020. (AFP)
French police officers on the Champs-Elysee avenue in Paris, on October 30, 2020. (AFP)

Religious conservatism is not a national security concern. The threat can come from a clean-shaven, suit-wearing, smart-talking Islamist activist. This danger of political Islamism is not about appearance, but a sophisticated and suave ideological enemy who hides behind false claims of representing ‘the community.’

To target Islamists and their narrative, as France and Austria have done, is not racist or Islamophobic. Just as targeting Nazis is not anti-German, identifying Islamists and their support for terrorism, is not anti-Muslim.

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From this basic conviction, we build policies to advance the interests of Europe. For we must learn to put Europe’s Enlightenment values ahead of any project, Islamist or otherwise, that seeks to undo the progress of our forefathers. In this, we must remember that millions of Muslims gave their support and lives from Algeria, Morocco, India, Arabia, Egypt, to protect civilization in two world wars.

Why are Islamists a danger to Europe today? Because the very foundations of European society and prosperity are under direct assault from an ideology and a narrative that only becomes violent because it seeks to end the nation state, remove secular governments, deprive women of their rights, destroy Israel and kill Jews, execute gay people, and force innocent Muslims to live under Islamist rule.

Police and fire authorities at the scene of the stabbing in Nice, France, October 29, 2020. (AFP)
Police and fire authorities at the scene of the stabbing in Nice, France, October 29, 2020. (AFP)

From Osama bin Laden to ISIS, the violent jihadists are all graduates of the Muslim Brotherhood.

As these extremists flee the Middle East, they now find shelter and asylum, finances and television platforms, across European capitals. Muslims in the Middle East are not Islamophobic or racist when identifying Islamists as a national security concern. Europe does not tolerate Nazis or fascists: it should now stop appeasing Islamists.

Why is open support for Hamas and Hezbollah allowed in European cities? Why were there vast crowds in London gathering to mourn the elimination of Iran’s top terror mastermind, Qassem Soleimani?

Read more: Pro-Assad group hangs posters in Italy honoring Iran’s Soleimani

A poster of Qassem Soleimani hangs in Rome, Italy. (Twitter)
A poster of Qassem Soleimani hangs in Rome, Italy. (Twitter)

If Europe’s politicians do not respond with unison and success, far-right political parties will. Across the continent, neo-Nazism is on the rise in reaction to Islamist terrorism. If our political leaders are too timid to defend civilization, let them at least work hard to keep the political parties and majorities in tact for government.

There is, however, some good news. Charles Michel, who heads up the European Council, has vowed to ‘fight the ideology of hatred’ by training imams. That is a welcome development, but Monsieur Michel and his 27 heads of state on the Council should not forget that most Islamist terrorists are recruited from or are active on websites, prisons, and educational establishments with links to the Muslim Brotherhood and its anti-West narrative.

Turning off the Islamist mood music played by the Muslim Brotherhood will stop the dance that is jihadist terrorism.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.
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