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Czech military intelligence: Extremists' Islamophobic declarations legitimize the ideology of radical Islamists

25.10.2017 13:37
An imaginary invasion of the Czech Republic by the so-called Islamic State was staged on the afternoon of 21 August 2016 in Prague by devotees of Martin Konvička, an activist who opposes the religion of Islam. (PHOTO:  Czech News Agency)
An imaginary invasion of the Czech Republic by the so-called Islamic State was staged on the afternoon of 21 August 2016 in Prague by devotees of Martin Konvička, an activist who opposes the religion of Islam. (PHOTO: Czech News Agency)

The wave of Islamophobia that spread during the refugee crisis has influenced the radicalization of Muslims in Europe. Czech Military Intelligence (Vojenské zpravodajství - VZ) makes that assertion in its annual report for 2016.

The military notes that extremist political parties' Islamophobic declarations legitimize the ideology of radical Islamists who point to them as evidence that majority societies discriminate against them. According to the VZ, in 2016 the number of radical Muslims in Europe supported by states from the Persian Gulf increased.

"Given the open Schengen zone and the supranational ties of radical Muslims across Europe, this state of affairs represents a potential threat for the Czech Republic in the medium and long term," asserts the intelligence service. Analysts assess as serious the repeated "primitive assaults" committed with the use of vehicles against civilians, but also called terrorists' ability to design complex, difficult attacks far more dangerous.

Last year the VZ did not record any information about the threat of a terrorist attack against interests connected with securing the defense of the territory of the Czech Republic. The increased risk does apply to Czech soldiers deployed in some Muslim countries, however.

In 2016 the number of foreign fighters from the so-called Islamic State who returned to Europe increased. "The wave of Islamophobia that spread during the refugee crisis in 2015 is also having an influence on the radicalization of Muslims in Europe," Czech intelligence analysts report.

The Czech military also reports that this wave is being ridden by extremist political parties who, through their Islamophobic declarations, are legitimizing the ideology of radical Islamists, who reference such statements as proof that majority societies in Europe have always discriminated against them. "The disproportionate political reactions of some states may indirectly increase the number of radicalized Muslims in Europe," the VZ reports.

ČTK, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Evropa, Extremism, Islamismus, Islámský stát, Islamophobia, Radikalizace



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