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Friday, November 14, 2014

Austria, The Islamic Extremist Hotspot Of Europe?

Links: A. Radical Islam in Austria is Growing
           B. Austria's Radical Islam Problem
           C. Austria Threatened by Islamic Aggression

(If you haven't taken the time to read the links, please stop now and do so.  I have a terrible habit of writing on and on, and I probably lose a good number of readers who have other things to do.  I am focusing on providing links to relevant bits of information so I don't feel the need to add another paragraph.)

Austria is one of the most beautiful countries in the world.  The Austrian people are tremendously industrious; Austria is one of those places where manual labor (artisans) is considered admirable employment.  In fact, Austrians have much more admiration for the glass worker, or carpenter, or skilled brick worker, than they do for a stock broker.  For centuries the Austrians ruled a large percentage of the known world.  In fact, the Austrian Empire (actually, the Austro-Hungarian Empire) was still with us as late as 1918.  I realize for many young people, Austria is just a tiny, mountainous place populated with a handful of Germans (ouch!), but the history of Austria truly is magnificent.  My close Austrian friend, Marco Scherer informs me that grade schools in Austria no longer teach Austrian history with a sense of pride.  As it probably is in most European countries, young people in Austria are taught to be proud of their inclusion in a greater European community, the EU.  Not counting Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Andorra and San Marino, Austria has Europe's smallest military.  Austria, with a long tradition of prolific naval victories (Lepanto, Lissa, etc.), no longer has a navy (we have President Woodrow Wilson to thank for that alteration of geography).  Well, at least in Europe, people don't have the inconvenience of border crossing checkpoints anymore.  But is that a positive or negative development?

In 1938, Nazi Germany invaded Austria.  The invasion was timed perfectly, to interfere with a planned referendum on Austrian autonomy.  Obviously Hitler was concerned about the outcome of the referendum, otherwise why not let the vote take place and be welcomed as liberators?  Well, the Nazi propaganda machine went into overdrive, producing reams of film showing the Viennese waving little Nazi flags and saluting hysterically as Hitler's motorcade sped by.  Then the Nazis produced their own "plebiscite": those in favor of reunification with Germany accounted for over ninety percent of the votes cast.  The truth is, the majority of Austrians did not support Hitler.  But World War One had left Austrians believing that it was best to keep a low profile, and just "go with the flow".  Millions of Austrian young men were drafted into the German Army, and died fighting for Hitler's psychotic vision.  The Austrian Empire was dismembered following the First World War, and Austria was treated as a belligerent following the Second.  The Austrian people have become as anti-war as you can imagine, and with good cause.  Since the end of World War Two, Austria has strived to be a diplomatic leader in the cause of peace around the globe.  Austria has also welcomed refugees from all over, and Austrian politicians have strongly supported the idea of a European government.  The heir to the Austrian throne, Otto Von Habsburg, even served a term as a member of the European Parliament.  The bottom line is: Austrians didn't want to piss anybody off.  Peace was better for everyone, as Austria demonstrated by quickly recovering from the ravages of war to become one of the wealthiest countries in the world.  Austria's immigration policy mirrored the generous and accepting nature of the Austrian people.  Before long, Vienna was home to not one, but three large mosques.

The rest of the story requires no intimate detail.  When a handful of mosques locate themselves in a European City, eventually one of them will start to spew hate (actually, Vienna is home to upwards of sixty mosques . . . how did that happen?).  Most of the mosques in Vienna exist for the sole purpose of giving the Viennese Muslims a place to worship (132,000 Muslims live in Vienna; that means 2,200 worshippers per mosque).  But some of the mosques in Vienna have spread the call of Islamic Fundamentalism.  A number of the Imams at these mosques recruit young people to travel, train and kill on behalf of radicalism.  A Salafi mosque exists in Vienna, and I'm sure more than just prayer and fellowship is going on inside.  The mosque network in Vienna was allowed to develop roots to reach out and connect mosques from various other European communities.  This facilitated fundraising, smuggling, weapons purchasing, and all kinds of nasty business.  Then the Iranians and Hamas showed up, and gave everyone a lesson in Money Laundering 101.  All sorts of money passed through Viennese Banks and on to other European cities.  And we all know what the Iranians want: anything that has to do with nuclear reactor construction that can't be purchased on the open market.  By the way, where is the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)?  In Vienna, of course.

For the longest time, the Austrian government mirrored the attitude of the Austrian people and was very non-confrontational.  I'm pleased to say that change is in the air.  The Austrian people were not happy to learn that the jihadi message was becoming accessible to high school-age Austrians, and we all remember what great decisions we make at that age.  Also, social media is making it easy for the extremist message to reach outside of the Muslim community.  Within the last decade or so, Austria has elected either a right or a center-right government.  Austrian law enforcement has started working very closely with both Interpol and the United States to monitor the activities of certain questionable groups.  A recent round of jihadi apprehensions in rural areas is an example of current aggressive action taken by Austrian authorities.  The Muslim extremists have long taken advantage of the good nature of the Austrian people, and Austria has developed the unfortunate reputation of being a safe haven for radicals.  The Austrian government and Austrian law enforcement have taken direct and aggressive steps to end the recruitment of young Austrians and to disrupt the purchase and transport of illegal weapons.  Money laundering has become a thing of the past, and the Iranians have gotten the message that they need to head back to the Trash-i-stans (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan) to find nuclear reactor parts on the cheap.  I'm glad the air is getting clearer again in Austria.  I was getting a little worried there for our friend, Heidi.    

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