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Even Islamists love Angela Merkel

Sayyed Imam al-Sharif gets all the credit, but another important Islamist preacher has published a letter renouncing violence in Europe. Mohammed al-Fizazi is currently sitting in a Moroccan jail for his role in the 2003 Casablanca terrorist attack, which killed 45 people. In a letter published by Der Spiegel, al-Fizazi praises the religious freedom and ...

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Sayyed Imam al-Sharif gets all the credit, but another important Islamist preacher has published a letter renouncing violence in Europe. Mohammed al-Fizazi is currently sitting in a Moroccan jail for his role in the 2003 Casablanca terrorist attack, which killed 45 people. In a letter published by Der Spiegel, al-Fizazi praises the religious freedom and employment opportunities available to Muslims in Germany. “The German chancellor is great,” he writes, in one particularly effusive paragraph.

Like al-Sharif, al-Fizazi argues that Muslims are forbidden from jihad in Germany because they have signed visa application forms, which amount to a contract between them and the German state to abide by Germany’s laws. “Germany is not a battle zone,” he states, and engaging in terrorism “will only reinforce the backwardness of Muslims and their image as a group of backward-looking idiots whose place is in the caves and not in the streets of Hamburg.”

As a general rule, I’m skeptical that the abstract arguments of Islamist philosophers such as al-Sharif or al-Fizazi really will have a practical impact on regular jihadis, who are likely motivated by more mundane concerns such as lack of political freedom and economic opportunity. However, al-Fizazi’s letter is inspiring because he argues that it is the very presence of these freedoms in Germany that prohibits Muslims from conducting violence there. This suggests that Europe is doing a better job integrating its Muslim population than is commonly believed — a development which is good news for the West, and bad news for radicals everywhere.

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