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Then there’s the U.K., where Muslims established the Islamic Party of Britain in 1989 only to dissolve it in 2006 after limited success in local elections. The party received widespread attention when one of its functionaries, in answer to a reader’s question on its website, said that gays should be put to death for “public…lewdness.” The party is no more, but it lingers on, after a fashion, in the form of the socialist Respect Party, to which it had intimate ties. Based in the immigrant-heavy city of Manchester, run by two people named Salma Yaqoob and Abjol Miah, and founded in 2004 in opposition to the war in Iraq, the party – which has what one might call a “special relationship” with the Muslim Association of Britain, the Muslim Council of Britain, and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) – calls for a higher minimum wage, higher taxes on the rich to fund welfare programs, stauncher support for Pakistani, and a tough stance toward Israel; though it presents itself as a part of the left, it has soft-pedaled women’s rights and gay rights to garner Muslim votes. Its most famous member is the Hamas-loving international gadfly George Galloway, who represented the party in Parliament after his expulsion from Labour.
And let’s not forget Spain, where in 2009 Muslims formed the Partido Renacimiento y Unión de España (PRUNE), which – though it calls explicitly for a “moral and ethical regeneration” of Spanish society, with Islam as the motive force – denies that it’s a Muslim party. A similar situation obtains in Germany, where a party called the Alliance for Innovation and Justice, founded in 2010, also claims it’s not a Muslim institution, despite its overwhelmingly Muslim membership, its clearly Islamic ideological orientation, and its intimate ties with the ruling party in Turkey.
So it goes. In those places in Europe where Muslims have reached a certain percentage of the population, it’s not surprising to see Muslim parties cropping up, fielding candidates, and, eventually, winning elections – first for local offices, then for seats in Parliament.
One challenge facing all such parties, however, is that of convincing Muslims that a separate party is the best way for them to gain power. Indeed, while it’s important to keep an eye on these still relatively small parties, at present the far more significant problem is the readiness of the large, established parties that, in order to win Muslim votes, are quick to betray their founding principles – and to sell out the interests, rights, and security of members of constituencies (such as gays and Jews) that are increasingly being dwarfed by ever-ballooning Muslim populations. The possibility of those Muslim votes being siphoned off by newer, smaller parties with aggressively Islamic platforms can only encourage the major parties to shift their own agendas in even more Muslim-friendly directions.
It’s all part, needless to say, of the complex, subtle – and ominous – workings of soft jihad. Which is why the decision of the Party for Muslim Netherlands to dive into the parliamentary fray is a development worth taking note of. For it’s no isolated incident, but part of a much larger and constantly shifting picture – that of the steady, and seemingly inexorable, political Islamization of Europe.
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