June 15, 2018

Interview: Former Jihadi Jason Walter

At the Investigative project, the focus is on the views of Islamic terrorists towards Jews. An it makes sense, no matter what for of extremism you're talking about, antisemitism is a key indicator of how likely any nut is to act out violently.

Its ubiquitous among all Islamic terrorists, and its source is the Koran.

Jason Walters: I was very radical, and as [a] radical Muslim you are extremely anti-Semitic. But the more and more I deradicalized, the more guilty about this I felt. I've been terribly unjust, and I very much wish to set this right. I have to make good, as someone who previously stood on the wrong side, who has made a horrible mistake. This has become a core theme for me, as much for Jews as Israelis. And not just that: I see also that the pit of anti-Semitism that I myself fell into has now, in one way or another, become normalized in society. It's becoming mainstream. Maybe not as virulently as with Muslims, but you find everywhere the same old stereotypes. There is no balance anymore in the debate over Jews and Israel.

NIW: How did anti-Semitism play out when you were in your radical phase?

JW: Mostly in an obsession with conspiracy theories. As a Salafi-jihadist, anti-Semitism is tied up in your worldview. It is a premise that guides all your perceptions. The dogma is: The Jews refused Mohammed, they are intrinsically bad, they are cursed. There are various hadiths [the Islamic book of the statements and actions of Mohammed] wherein Jews are called the henchmen of the devil, of the anti-Christ. One of the signs the Day of Judgment has arrived is that the Jews will all be assembled at some point in the Middle East, and then, under the direction of Jesus, no less, will be eradicated. It colors your worldview, your thinking, your behavior. You demonize all that is Jewish. During my trial and while I was still living in that world, I thought: The outcome of this will be determined in Tel Aviv. That is where my sentence will ultimately be written."

He laughs. He was brought to justice as an active member of the Hofstadgroep, a radical Islamic group in the Netherlands, one of whose members, Mohammed Bouyeri, killed Theo van Gogh in November, 2004. During a subsequent police raid at the Hofstadgroep headquarters in The Hague, Walters threw a hand grenade at the officers.

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By Howie at 09:09 AM | Comments |