Secret EU Plan to Combat Radicalism

A confidential European plan urges EU member countries to monitor what it describes as radical Muslims, clamp down on extremis Islamic websites and encourage home-grown imams and Islamic leaders to win the radicalism battle.

Secret EU Plan to Combat Radicalism

The paper, seen by Reuters, urges governments to monitor "traveling imams inciting to violence, talent spotters, recruiters and other leading figures and their movements within the European Union."

The document says European countries should collect and exchange information on these "radical inspirational figures," and pay special attention to diminishing their influence in prisons.

European intelligence services have placed Muslim minorities under close scrutiny since after the 9/11 attacks.

The spying ranges from tracking bank accounts of alleged terror suspects to monitoring mosques and Friday sermons.

The United Kingdom has gone as far as putting on the terror watch list every single British Muslim who travels to the holy city of Makkah to perform hajj or umra to filter out those who might be linked to Al-Qaeda.

The paper, an updated version of an action plan first adopted in 2005, has already been agreed by EU ambassadors and is expected to be rubber-stamped by EU governments later this month.

Home-grown Islam

EU states are urged to ensure that the basic training of all police forces includes teaching on Islam, radicalization and recruitment, and to do the same with teachers and social workers.

The paper further presses EU states to see how they can help promote moderate, home-grown Islam to "counteract the effects of the radical message and stress the incompatibility of such a message with the main principles and values of Islam."

It also called on states to support the training of imams in language and teaching skills.

"Member states should encourage the Muslim communities not to rely on external imams, but also to ensure that imams are trained and recruited from their own communities," reads the confidential paper.

Several European countries, including the Netherlands and Germany, have introduced training programs and teaching courses to groom home-grown imams in cooperation with Islamic organizations and colleges.

Others like Britain have set advisory boards and umbrella groups for imams.

Imams and experts, however, cautioned the efforts would create a generation of imams with sketchy information about Islam rather than an in-depth knowledge to be able to strike the right balance between reality and religion.

The revised plan urges EU states to check the Web more closely for fundamentalist activities, asking them to consider systematically investigating radical sites.

States are encouraged to "consider" raising the issue of hate speech on Internet with web service providers.

The document further maintains that EU officials must become more visible in Muslim media to make the bloc "better understood."

US Cooperation

The confidential European paper says national security authorities should seek to share more information with partner countries on "individuals who may have been involved in radicalization, including potential terrorists trained inside or outside the EU".

It suggest that this should be done "with due regard for data protection considerations."

The EU expected "tortuous negotiations" with Washington on a new trans-Atlantic deal on airline passenger information.

An interim deal allowing the US to use personal information on air passengers for anti-terror investigations expires in July.

The EU is to decide in February on its strategy and timeline for the talks on a new accord.

The European Parliament has sought guarantees that privacy of passengers is protected.

The US Automated Targeting System (ATS) has drawn criticism since it became clear that it has been assessing millions of people — Americans and foreigners — since 2002.

Ever since the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration has secretly been tapping into the vast global database of confidential financial transactions.

It has also been taping into the more comprehensive Passenger Name Record database which is created by global travel reservation services that handle reservations for most airlines as well as for Internet sites.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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