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November 27, 2004
From the New York Times: The Fear Born of a Much Too Personal Look at JihadTopics: International News
Although we don't usually post articles on items that are easily available in the MSM, this one is worth talking about.
In an article in the NY Times by RICHARD BERNSTEIN published Nov 27, we read of a German Muslim convert whose experiences turned her into a disillusioned informant (Cudos to Powerline for their post of the story). Since you must register(free) to read the NY Times article, we post the entire article here for your convenience (you should still register and read the Times - it's their story):
THE first thing to know about the woman known widely here as Doris Glück is that Doris Glück is not her real name. She won't tell you her given name, or even her official new name - provided by the German police - beyond the first name and initial, Regina S. She won't say where she lives, either, and when she meets you at the railroad station in Bremen, she is clearly anxious to get away quickly lest she meet someone who knows her.
About a month ago, under the pseudonym Doris Glück, she published a book in Germany, "I Was Married to a Holy Warrior," in which she described how she fell in love with an Egyptian, married him and then watched, appalled, as he became progressively more militant and, finally, fully engaged in jihad.
The worst moment came in the mid-1990's in Bosnia and Herzegovina, where she and her now ex-husband had gone to help the Muslim side in the civil war in the former Yugoslavia. (In the book she calls him by a pseudonym, Omar, to forestall any effort he might have made to block publication had she used his real name, Reda Seyam.) One day, she was taken to a place near a mountain, she says, where she became an involuntary witness to the revenge execution of three Serbian men, one of them by beheading.
After that, she came back to her native Germany where, eventually, the intelligence service gave her a new identity as Regina S., she said. She undergoes regular debriefings as the German police collect information on Muslim militants in Europe.
"I can't travel on a plane or in a train," she said. "I'm nervous when I'm near a train station because many people know me, and also because my ex-husband lives in Germany, and maybe he will be visiting someplace with his children. I don't fear that he will kill me, but if he went to friends of his and told them that he found me, and they tortured me or beheaded me ..." Her voice trailed off and she looked out the window of the out-of-the-way restaurant she had chosen for an interview.
And then she told her story from the beginning, a story of love, politics and war, and how a woman in her late 40's became an informant for the German criminal intelligence police. "I wouldn't say that I was a spy," she said of her years living close to the Muslim struggle, especially in Bosnia, "but I started to pay attention to what was going on. That's why I'm in a witness protection program, because I saw a lot."
Flashback to 1987: She was in a cafe in Bonn on a business trip (she lived in Mannheim and worked in cosmetics sales) and she noticed a man with brilliant eyes, like Omar Sharif's, she said. They met, and the man in question, an Egyptian tourist, asked her for help in placing a newspaper ad seeking a German wife. She helped with the ad, and there were some responses to it, but five weeks later, the two were married.
IN their first seven years of marriage, she said, "my husband drank liquor, he had no beard, he didn't go to the mosque." But in 1994, the same year he became a German citizen, he broke his arm in a bicycle accident. With time on his hands, he started going to a mosque in Heidelberg, the university town along the Rhine where they were living, and before his wife knew it, he had committed himself to the Islamic cause.
Along the way, at Omar's request, Regina S. converted to Islam, taking the name Aysha, after one of the wives of the Prophet Muhammad and also the name of her mother-in-law.
"Islam is a wonderful thing," she said, "but they destroyed that in me, because my ex-husband hates unbelievers. He thinks it's O.K. to kill unbelievers."
Indeed, Mr. Seyam is suspected by the German police of being an Islamic militant, though there is no evidence that he broke any German law. According to German news reports, he spent a year in prison in Indonesia, accused of links to terrorist groups, but as a German citizen who had committed no crime in Germany, he was able to return in 2003. He has been living here ever since, under 24-hour surveillance and receiving child support payments from the state for the five children he has by a second wife.
Mr. Seyam, reached by phone at his home in Berlin, was dismissive about the book.
"What she has said about me does not disturb me very much, because I and the people who are near to me know what kind of a character I have," he said. "But what she has written about Islam, that's something that troubled me very much because it is untrue."
According to her, Mr. Seyam worked for a German aid agency, People Helping People, though his real purpose in Bosnia was to fight in the Muslim cause, mainly by making videotapes of anti-Muslim atrocities and anti-Serb resistance, she said.
"In Bosnia, he wanted me to wear a head scarf and long clothes," she said. After a while he brought her a burka, which covers the entire face and body, and she wore it even though she hated it, she said.
During their time in Bosnia, Mr. Seyam took his second wife, the widow of a man killed in the fighting, something, she said, that she protested furiously. In his interview, Mr. Seyam said his wife agreed to the second marriage because she was unable to have children.
But one day in 1996, she said, she went with her husband and others to the place near a mountain where three Serbs were executed, an incident that her husband filmed. One victim was shot to death by a group of women whose husbands or sons, he told her, had been killed by Serbs.
"Then there was a second man, a Serb, on his knees," Ms. Glück said. "I saw a big knife and then I saw his head cut off. I sleep with this memory every night. Afterwards, the mujahedeen played football with the head. Then a third Serb was shot by the men.
"I was so shocked that I couldn't tell where my husband was, if he was one of the men who shot, or if he only filmed."
MR. SEYAM said he had never taken his wife to see an execution, though, he said, she did watch videotapes of executions.
In any case, she returned to Germany for a few months, and though she went back to Bosnia for a time, she lived for most of the next several years in Germany, apart from him. Still, he visited her there from time to time, and after he moved to Saudi Arabia, where he opened a media production company, Ms. Glück rejoined him at the end of 2000.
But in January 2001, she decided to get a divorce and she returned to Germany, never to see him again.
"I went with him to Saudi Arabia because he said he had changed his life, and then I saw that he hadn't changed," Ms. Glück said, explaining how it could be that even after the beheading, it took her five years to make a final break. She does not deny that she was deeply in love with her husband, and like many people in a marriage that is no longer tenable, she clung to it far longer than she should have.
"For me," she said, "Islam is a wonderful religion, but I didn't want to live in a sack."
Souad Mekhennet contributed reporting from Bremen and Frankfurt for this
Source: New York Times Article
This NY Times article seems to be the perfect follow-up to Hyscience's earlier post in which we spoke of how all too often we see the furtherance of radical Wahabi agendas being hidden behind a facade of "interfaith outreach." Such was the case in this Times article when Ms, Gluck's husband worked for a German aid agency, "People Helping People," though his real purpose in Bosnia was to fight in the Muslim cause, mainly by making videotapes of anti-Muslim atrocities and anti-Serb resistance. All too often the apparent agenda of these type of agencies is in fact a facade for the furtherance of violent jihad.
Posted by Hyscience at November 27, 2004 1:36 PM
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