Darya Safai (center) reacts during a plenary session of the Chamber at the Federal Parliament in Brussels in June 2023.

Iranian-Born Belgian MP Sounds Alarm Over Islamist Extremism in Europe

Friday, 05/10/2024

Belgian MP and human rights advocate Darya Safai has raised alarms regarding the surge of Islamist extremism across Europe.

Safai, who has Iranian roots, took to her X profile to post a video of a recent Islamist demonstration in the German city of Hamburg.

Over 1,000 people participated in the rally, which featured calls for the establishment of a caliphate.

“Many Iranians who fled Islamists in Iran and went to live in Germany write on their social media: ‘We fled the Islamists and came to Germany to be allowed to live. Where should our children flee to now?’,” Safai tweeted.

The demonstration was linked to the extremist group “Muslim Interactive”, which Germany's domestic intelligence services classify as an extremist organization.

Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz has said that any criminal acts would be prosecuted.

"It is quite clear that all Islamist activities must be tackled using the possibilities and options of our constitutional state," Scholz said.

“They proclaim during the rally that a caliphate is the solution. The world needs to wake up before this gets out of hand,” Safai's post about the rally concluded.

Long before the current war in Gaza, authorities in Europe have been warning of a rise in Islamist terrorism on the continent.

In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has denounced the rise in extremism, emphasizing the transformation of peaceful protests into scenarios marked by intimidation and violence.

"Islamist extremists and far-right groups are spreading a poison that is extremism," Sunak declared in a rare speech this year.

Since 2014, Europe has endured over 20 fatal Islamist attacks, notably in France, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Russia, Spain, and Istanbul.

These attacks, inspired by groups like ISIS and al-Qaeda, have often involved radicals radicalizing through personal contact or online channels.

Estimates suggest tens of thousands of radicals and jihadists reside in Europe, financing their activities through crime. The defeat of ISIS several years ago, however, hasn't ended Islamist violence in Europe. According to Israeli reports, thousands of Hamas sleeper cells are operating in Europe today.

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