NEW YORK – Amid controversy over whether or not Muslim “no-go” zones exist in Europe, Soeren Kern, a senior fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute and also at the Madrid-based Strategic Studies Group, contends they are “a well-known fact of life” in many parts of the continent.
“Europe’s no-go zones are the byproduct of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated from – rather than become integrated into – their European host nations,” Kern wrote Jan. 20 in a Gatestone Institute paper titled “European ‘No-Go’ Zones: Fact or Fiction.”
Kern asserted the “problem of no-go zones is well documented, but multiculturalists and their politically correct supporters vehemently deny that they exist.”
“Some are now engaged in a concerted campaign to discredit and even silence those who draw attention to the issue,” he said.
As WND reported, Steven Emerson, director of the Investigative Project on Terrorism, ignited the furor when he said in a Fox News interview Jan. 11, “there are actual cities like Birmingham that are totally Muslim, where non-Muslims just simply don’t go in.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo threatened to sue Fox News, charging its coverage of the issue “insulted” Paris, and the news channel issued an apology. But contrary to how it was widely reported, Fox News didn’t apologize for saying there were “no-go” zones, and supporters of Emerson argued he was guilty only of overstatement, not fabrication.
“I think Steve Emerson’s biggest mistake was to apologize so profusely,” Kern argued. “If Emerson had just said, ‘I made a mistake and what I meant to say was parts of Birmingham, not all of Birmingham,’ that would have been OK. But once you apologize and show the slightest bit of weakness, the attackers attack and try to devour. I think that’s what happened to Steve.”
In an interview with WND, Kern said supporters of multiculturalism typically have derided any news source or politician who dares openly proclaim the existence of “no-go” zones throughout Europe.
He believes the damage done to Emerson by the comment will pass.
“Emerson is a solid researcher, and his work is very well respected,” Kern said. “I think this will blow over; but we’re already entering presidential campaign mode for 2016, and I believe the entire controversy over ‘no-go’ zones in Europe is a completely fake, contrived controversy.
“I think the controversy is really only in the United States, and the French picked up on it,” he said. “If you read the readers comments in the French newspapers on the Fox News controversy, it is overwhelmingly, like nine comments out of 10, that readers agree with what Fox News said originally. Ordinary readers in France know what’s going on, even if the mainstream media on both sides of the Atlantic are trying to cover it up.”
Kern believes the “multicultural model in Europe is failing.”
“There has been so much invested in this over the last 30 years, that those people who are promoting this are very afraid this is going to be reversed,” he said.
Kern stressed that uncontrolled immigration of a growing Muslim population is the underlying issue in many European countries.
“In Europe, like in the United States, immigration is literally out of control,” he said. “But the big difference is that in the United States, when you have Latin American immigrants coming across the border, they have a Roman Catholic Western worldview. But in Europe, with mass immigration coming from North Africa and the Middle Eastern countries, it’s a completely different worldview.”
Consequently, he said, a “huge clash of civilizations develops in Europe, and I think that’s why many want to cover this up and discredit anybody who talks about this openly.”
He thinks “the writing is on the wall,” and many more terrorist attacks like the one on Charlie Hebdo in Paris are inevitable, particularly in Europe.
Kern cited the rise of populist politicians such as Marine Le Pen in France, with polls showing that if there were a presidential race in France today there would be a blowback, as “a lot of French people are upset that immigration, security and integration issues have been swept under the carpet too long.”
Rejecting French values
In his published research, Kern has identified many readily available sources that have documented the “no-go” zones for the past decade.
For instance, Kern cites a “landmark 2,200-page report, “Banlieue de la République” (“Suburbs of the Republic”), published in France in October 2011. It found that Seine-Saint-Denis and other Parisian suburbs are becoming “separate Islamic societies” cut off from the French state, where Islamic law, or Shariah, is rapidly displacing French civil law.
Kern emphasized the report, commissioned by the influential French think tank, L’Institut Montaigne – directed by Gilles Kepel, a highly respected political scientist and specialist in Islam – concluded that Muslim immigrants are increasingly rejecting French values and instead are immersing themselves in radical Islam.
“The authors of the report showed that France – which now has 6.5 million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in the European Union – is on the brink of a major social explosion because of the failure of Muslims to integrate into French society,” Kerns wrote in his Jan. 20 Gatestone Institute paper.
“The report also showed how the problem is being exacerbated by radical Muslim preachers, who are promoting the social marginalization of Muslim immigrants in order to create a parallel Muslim society in France that is ruled by Sharia law,” Kern concluded.
He said the research was primarily carried out in the Seine-Saint-Denis townships of Clichy-sous-Bois and Montfermeil, two suburbs that were ground zero for Muslim riots in the fall of 2005, when Muslim mobs torched more than 9,000 cars.
Kern describes Muslim no-go zones in Europe without any apology.
In his Gatestone Institute paper, he wrote: “No-go zones are Muslim-dominated neighborhoods that are largely off limits to non-Muslims due to a variety of factors, including the lawlessness and insecurity that pervades a great number of these areas.
“Host-country authorities have effectively lost control over many no-go zones and are often unable or unwilling to provide even basic public aid, such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services, out of fear of being attacked by Muslim youth,” he continued. “Muslim enclaves in European cities are also breeding grounds for Islamic radicalism and pose a significant threat to Western security.”
Kern leaves no doubt the existence of no-go zones in Europe reflects primarily the unwillingness of Muslims to accept European values, including Europe’s Christian past.
“Europe’s no-go zones are the byproduct of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated from – rather than become integrated into – their European host nations,” he wrote.
“Most of the Muslim no-go zones in Paris are on the outskirts of the city,” he explained to WND. “These areas are cut off from public transportation and a lot of the young Muslims are French citizens whose parents were immigrants, but they are second or third-generation French. These young Muslims have a difficult time finding jobs. Some of these areas are as high as 60 percent unemployment. The only way many of these youth survive is by dealing drugs and participating in the underground economy because that’s the only way they can survive.”
He explained that the economic misery of the Muslim youth in Paris is a perfect environment in which radical Muslims recruit.
“What happens in the economic misery of these no-go zones in Paris is that radical Muslims learn how to exploit this situation to recruit,” he said. “So in some cases the parents who came to France 20 or 30 years ago were not really Islamic in that they really did not dwell on an Islamic identity compared to their Moroccan identity or their Algerian identity. But the second and third generation youth have no identification with a Moroccan or Algerian identity. But, although they were born in France, they don’t identify as French. So it’s the youth that begin to adopt the Muslim identity.”
Kern said the problem of social identity among Muslims in Paris bubbled to the surface in 2005 when the youth riots began with the car burning that drew international attention.
“The fact that today there are 700 French jihadists in Iraq and Syria shows that France has a huge problem with the younger generation,” he continued. “When these guys start coming back to France from the battlefields, we can expect a lot more terrorist attacks.”