The problem of Islamism has been topical for many countries of Western Europe and all CIS countries, but not for the Baltic States – even the refugees were not detained. But in the past: now the Latvians are going to fight in Syria, the local Islamic community throws extravagant claims, and outraged opposition to ISIS supporters in the country are milder than the supporters of DND.
Recently, the Saeima in the final reading approved amendments to the penal law forbidding citizens and non-citizens of the country to serve in the armed forces and security services of other countries without government permission. Exceptions are made for member countries of the EU and NATO, the European free trade Association, Australia, Brazil and New Zealand. Many perceived the act as a measure against the local Russians with their sympathies to the historic homeland, but not so simple. The fact is that lately more and more cases, when residents run away to fight in Syria. And the authorities of the Baltic States are particularly afraid that they are unable to go back there.
Features of the Latvian Jihad
“This proposal offends Muslims, because the faithful “should be demolished crosses, and such work would have to take care of them and showing respect”
Recently, the Latvian security Police (SP) asked the Prosecutor of the Riga judicial district to prosecute in respect of the local native, who was on the Syrian front. The boy is charged with “participation in the organization or its constituent group of at least five people to commit particularly serious crimes against humanity, against the state, war crimes or genocide.” Last summer, PB found out that a certain citizen of Latvia has detained the Turkish authorities and in September the decision was made for his deportation. Immediately upon returning home, the young man ended up in jail.
Local TV reporters found out that the detainee’s name was Martin and that he fled to Syria last autumn. Martins was described as “fairly vicious young man from Broceni (a town in South-Western part of the country) who speaks English well”. Young Latvian spent much time on the Internet and being a pupil of the 12th grade, signed up on a Muslim forum, with which he began his personal Jihad.
All in the production are now three criminal cases about possible participation of Latvian residents in the Syrian war. The most controversial of these is connected with the former head of “Latvian centre of Islamic culture” Imran Petrov. Imran (first – Oleg) left Latvia in the past year, and for several months his whereabouts remained unknown. In early March, Petrov has posted on YouTube a video in which he said that located on the territory controlled by ISIS*. Islamist-neophyte praised the path of Jihad, treating it as an armed struggle against “infidels”, and justified the terrorist attack in Paris. Previously, he was considered a Muslims Latvia is very authoritative person, because the only residents of the Republic for six years he studied in Saudi Arabia.
As many refugees moved to Europaliga, in March, the head of PB Normunds Mivies alerted the nation that died in Syria Latvian citizen, joined the ranks of ISIS along with his family. Citing the interests of the investigation, details of the head of the secret service did not disclose, saying only that “this man was an active member of the Latvian Muslim community and went to Syria with his wife and young child.” “The radicalization has affected the local Muslim community, although its leaders are actively denying it”, – he stressed. As a result, warned Mivies, Latvia has already developed the scheme of recruiting people into the ranks of Islamic terrorists.
Here his statements at variance with what the head of security services said a few months before. Last fall Mivies reassured the country that, in General, the local Muslim community is distinguished by the absence of radical tendencies. But then he admitted that every year in view of the BOP gets more and more radical, supporting contacts with foreign Islamists. Among the obvious risks, the head of the secret services called and the admission of Latvia as refugees from the Middle East. First, we cannot exclude the possibility that some of them are associated with terrorists. Second, the majority of migrants, faced with the negative attitude of the Latvians can be radicalized. Alas, the BOP regularly receives information about new comers to fight for ISIL.
Then many have the assumption that the dead in Syria, the Muslim was the same Imran Petrov. But the representative of “Latvian centre of Islamic culture” Robert (Ahmed) Klimovich said that Petrov had no children. There is an opinion that speech can go about the Latvian citizen Maris bergholds the he joined the fighting in Syria, militants in 2013.
The best way to conquer the planet
The Robert Klimovich also has in Latvia notoriety due to claims that in fifty years most of the inhabitants of the Republic are Muslims. According to Klimovich and his colleagues Janis Luchinis already now in Latvia there are entrepreneurs who only hire foreign students professing Islam. “Because they don’t drink and smoke every five minutes and hard. They work. This is their added value,” said Klimovich, emphasizing that Islam is the best way “to conquer this planet in a peaceful manner”. He also believes that Europe is specially organized flow of refugees from Muslim countries, as “we need slaves, we need people who work”.
It is easy to guess that Petrov, Klimovich and Luchinis are so-called Converteam, that is, they converted to Islam from a different religion. In this regard, the orientalist, Professor of the University of Latvia Leons Taiwan urged to be vigilant, because Petrov’s example can inspire his Latvian followers. However, he expressed surprise at the silence of the Muslim community, not rushing to distance itself from its former leader. “We, therefore, patronize, take care to ensure that they were not considered terrorists, as not to offend anyone… But why are they not doing anything in this direction? Why don’t I see a serious, indeed major stock them? Why they don’t know, offended or not – silent? Where is the authority? Why don’t they speak publicly? Where are they? We can’t hear them. We hear of terrorists, extremists we hear, we hear about the various horrors associated with the name of Islam. Where loud the peaceful word of Islam is “no, we are not!”? Why they do not put in place their extremists? Why we should do this.” perplexed Taiwans.
Last year, the EU obliged Lithuania to adopt more than 1,100 immigrants from the Middle East, same as Estonia and Latvia, but in General. It would seem that the numbers are insignificant. But many fear that in the end, the quota for refugees could grow significantly – at least up to several tens of thousands of people. Another thing is that caught in the Baltic States migrants at the first opportunity seek to move to more prosperous Western European countries with significant Muslim communities. They do not like the extremely low (compared with Western European) social payments, but not only that – the local population in the mass adopts the alien without enthusiasm, and periodically gives them to feel his unfriendliness.
In addition, it often happens that refugees are unable to find in the region work as well, and local residents. The mayor of Riga nil Ushakov proposed the use of migrant workers in the cleaning of cemeteries and ran into a storm of indignation. Ahmed klimowicz explained that this proposal offends Muslims, because in Islam the faithful “should be demolished crosses, and such work would have to take care of them and showing respect.” In General, as noted Klimovich, cemeteries for Muslims are a “place of punishment” and these places are advised to stay away. And anyway, his religion forbids burial of adherents of other faiths, while it can do “other infidels”.
Worse than ISIS only DNR
It is no secret that recruiters “Islamic state” prefer to act through social networks, and in the group of potential victims of extremists are, first and foremost, young people – they are easier to fish the pathetic slogans. In the framework of the EU the Baltic States are rightly considered the region is much depressed – a huge number of young people emigrating because of low living standards and lack of clear prospects. So, theoretically, the local youth is a favorable environment for the activities of recruiters.
In the Latvian security services admit that you don’t have the strength to put up a barrier to the departure of Latvians in the same Syria. “We have no right to deny them the trip, as this would violate the democratic right to freedom of movement. However, potential fans of radical Islam called in for talks to try to change their minds,” says the same Normunds Mivies.
“The chief of the security police Mivies reported that several citizens of Latvia are now in the territory of the “Islamic state”. According to him, received information about all new comers to go to fight for ISIL. And then he said something amazing. It turns out that the security police has no right to deny these people a trip to Syria or Iraq, as this would violate the democratic right to freedom of movement. So PB is only preventive work: potential jihadists call for negotiations and advise against trips,” sarcastically commented the newspaper VIEW, the Latvian opposition activist Vladimir Linderman.
Linderman interested in why hastily adopted article 77 of the criminal law imposing severe penalties not only for those who fight in illegal armed groups abroad, but also for those who Finance them, equip, train, recruit. “On the basis of this article, and “anti-terrorism” articles prosecuted against supporters of the LNR/DNR, I’m going for “recruitment”. And with ISIS supporters in the field of prevention, negotiations… Because, in the understanding of the Latvian authorities, Russia is the enemy and ISIS is “not a friend, not an enemy, and so the? – he asks rhetorically.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”