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Stop Abou Jahjah

This is a guest post by habibi

According to this web page, on Monday the “Stop the War Coalition” will hold a meeting at Friends House in London. The meeting is titled “Meet the Resistance – The Struggle for Peace and Justice in the Middle East”.

One of the speakers is Dyad Abou Jahjah. He is one of Continental Europe’s most repugnant extremists. If the government is serious about its anti-extremist banning policy, he should be barred from the UK.

Jahjah grew up in Lebanon. As a teenager, he joined Hezbollah. However, Europe beckoned, as it does for many young Lebanese, and any old trick to get in would do. In fact, when Jahjah ended up in Belgium he employed two ruses – a preposterous claim for asylum and, according to his former wife, a sham marriage:

”Most asylum seekers invent a story and I said I had had a conflict with the Hezbollah leaders,” Mr. Abou Jahjah said. ”It was just a low political trick to get my papers. Now they want to use this against me.”

His marriage to a Belgian woman was brief, but it gave him Belgian citizenship. His wife said later that she was tricked into the marriage and tried unsuccessfully to sue him.

Safely settled in Belgium, he dedicated his political life to division, anger and hatred. In 2000 he formed a pressure group – the Arab European League (AEL). It rapidly became notorious in Belgium for stirring up trouble.

First, let’s get a measure of the man himself. Here he is explaining why being happy about the atrocities of September 11 is actually OK:

Against the natural order of things, in the Arab Ghetto in Brussels, people were smiling. They were out in the streets, exchanging glances with each other as they walked. Even total strangers would nod at one another; there was something different in the air that day. All that joyful display, because on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, a number of planes had crashed into buildings killing some 3000 people. Isn’t it sick, one might wonder, that such a tragic event could ever be perceived this way?

Once someone told me that the toughest meeting a person might ever have to make is with himself. And it was indeed very difficult for us to realise that we are capable of experiencing a feeling of satisfaction at such atrocity. It was very disturbing indeed. We started wondering, “What’s wrong with us?” But faced with this question, almost everybody answered: “Look how low they have brought us. They have been killing us, humiliating us and oppressing us for so long, that we have lost a part of our humanity — that part which cherishes human life unconditionally.”

Here is his view on the Iraqi “resistance”:

Iraq is under occupation and all structures collaborating with that occupation are nothing more or less than collaborators and traitors in the same way the Vichy government was under Nazi occupation of France.

The only representative of the Iraqi people under occupation is the Iraqi resistance in all its factions just like the French resistance was the legitimate representative of the French people under occupation and not the Vichy government.

There’s plenty more out there along those lines, but let’s turn now to Jahjah’s Arab European League. The Nazis are of course a popular rhetorical cudgel for hateful extremists, and the AEL is no exception. During the Mohammed cartoons controversy, it published this cartoon of Anne Frank in bed with Hitler on its web site:
aelcart4

Here’s another indication of just how depraved the AEL is:

A delegation of the Arab European League headed by Brahim Harchaoui met Samir Kuntar, one of the resistance heroes of the Arab homeland.

Samir Kuntar is a despicable child murderer. He joined a terrorist raid in Israel in 1978. He grabbed civilian hostages and then did this to them:

Israeli witnesses said that Kuntar’s group took Danny and Einat down to the beach, where a shootout with Israeli policemen and soldiers erupted. According to the witnesses, when Kuntar’s group found that the rubber boat they’d arrived in was disabled by gunfire, Kuntar shot Danny at close range in the back, in front of his daughter, and drowned him in the sea to ensure he was dead. Next, eyewitnesses said he smashed the head of 4 year-old Einat on beach rocks and crushed her skull with the butt of his rifle

There is more to the AEL than hateful rhetoric. It also engages in violence. Here is an Observer account of the group’s “Arab patrols” in Antwerp:

The patrols meet at eight most weekday evenings on the Turnhoutse Baan, a long, drab tram-lined road that runs into the centre of Antwerp. Muscular young men, many of whom wear traditional Arab headgear, can be seen filing into an unprepossessing internet café long before then.

Outsiders aren’t welcome. ‘Go home before we beat your fucking white ass,’ is how one group of young men greet The Observer.

Passing police cars are bombarded with a barrage of expletives and spittle. When tension was particularly acute last week anyone with a white face was singled out for abuse. White shopkeepers in this largely Moroccan district were dragged from their shops and beaten, and the area became a virtual no-go zone.

And here is a video of an AEL demonstration in Antwerp in late December 2008. “Hamas, jihad, Hezbollah” is the chant. Property was damaged and policemen were injured. At the end of the demonstration, a group of stone-throwers tried to march on Antwerp’s Jewish neighbourhood. Thankfully the police stopped them.

Jahjah himself openly advocates violent demonstrations. This is from his blog:

Now the demonstrations are smaller and therefore in principal less effective. However there is something that makes me think that this time things are a bit different. This time some of these demonstrations have been agitated and even violent. This is a positive evolution, given that it is directed against the right targets like embassies of the Zionist entity and other representative buildings. trying to occupy and close down embassies by force with all what comes with it is the only strategy for confrontation that should be used now.

The “Stop the War Coalition” should be ashamed of itself for inviting such a horrible man to London, and so should Friends House for hosting him.

Still, they may be spared further embarrassment if Jacqui Smith does the right thing and bans Abou Jahjah from this country.