An influx of immigrants seeking asylum from Africa and the Middle East is causing quite a headache for Europe. According to Dutch investigative reporter Emerson Vermaat, this pool of immigrants includes individuals who promote Islamist ideology, persecute other Christian asylum seekers and carry anti-Semitic beliefs.
"Certainly not all Muslim asylum seekers and migrants are criminals or radicals," writes Varmaat. Yet, as he points out, known al-Qaida sympathizers and leaders of Islamist movements have entered European countries, seeking asylum. For example, Abu Qatada, who has been described as "Osama bin Laden's right hand man in Europe" and Omar Bakri Mohammed, former leader of the racial group al-Muhajrioun, were both granted asylum in Britain.
Qatada has been cited claiming that the Savior will return to the earth with an "army in the sky, killing the Jews, to wipe them out and rid the planet of the Jews." In 2009, al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) kidnapped and killed a British national to punish Britain for holding Qatada behind bars. In November, Omar Mohammed was found guilty by a Lebanese court of teaching weapons training at an al-Qaida camp and of planning terrorist attacks.
Vermaat also cites an October article from the Sunday Times which noted that many Pakistanis living in Britain have "jihadist" views. "Terrorism has a real-life threat to people in Britain. It has a pungency and urgency," the Times asserted.
Egyptian Anwar Shaban fled the regime of Hosni Mubarak and sought asylum in Italy, where he opened an Islamic center in Milan. Shaban was a supporter of the Gama'a al-Islamiyya, a radical group which followed the teachings the "blind sheik" Omar Abdel Rahman. According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, in 1995, Italy put out an arrest warrant for Shaban and about sixty other members of the group. Shaban fled to Bosnia-Herzegovina where he was killed for unknown reasons.
In Holland, Christian asylum seekers have been subjected to intimidation, even violent attacks by other Muslim asylum seekers. One Iraqi Christian woman was forced into hiding after several Muslims attacked her and threw her from her bike. Another Christian asylum seeker was thrown down a flight of stairs. In another case, a Muslim couple which converted to Christianity was threatened and intimidated by Muslims inside an asylum center.
In fact, a survey taken of 28 of the 59 asylum centers in Holland showed that about one third of Christian asylum seekers are the victims of physical violence. 75% of those surveyed said that they knew asylum seekers who have been subjected to discrimination because they are Christian or formerly Muslim.
Jews have also been the victims of persecution by these immigrants to Europe.
Earlier this year, in March, Muslims gathered at a rally in Sweden's third largest city, Malmö, chanting an anti-Jewish slogan. "Khaybar! Kahybar ya Yahood!," a taunt reminding the Jewish people that the army of Muhammad will return. One Jew, Marcus Ellenberg, left the Swedish city after continued harassment and shouts of "Heil Hitler" as he walked the sidewalks.
Sweden is also a hot spot for the recruitment of young Somali males for the Somali terrorist organization al-Shabaab, says Vermaat, especially in Gothenborg and Malmö. As the IPT previously reported, al-Shabaab's most recent recruitment video featured part of its message in Swedish.