Saxony, Germany —Amid the flow of refugees from the Middle East into Europe, many Westerners believe Muslims pose a danger to their way of life and their safety. They often claim that if Muslims truly opposed terrorism, they would do more to prevent it from occurring in their name.
In the latest example, Syrian refugees in Germany helped stop a potential terrorist attack. As reported by the Los Angeles Times, a different 22-year-old Syrian refugee named Jaber Albakr had been on the run from police, who suspected he intended to commit violence.
The Times reported he,
“had been on the run and the subject of a nationwide manhunt since Saturday, when he fled an apartment in Chemnitz, near the Czech border, just as police stormed it. Authorities said they found a cache of explosives and other bomb-making material inside the apartment.”
Albakr reportedly fled to Leipzig after narrowly escaping authorities. He approached another Syrian refugee at a train station in the early hours of Monday morning to seek shelter. Though the refugee initially agreed, he “quickly recognized him as a wanted man from police photographs circulated in the German media over the weekend,” the Times reported.
Shortly after, the innocent refugee, along with other refugees, tied Albakr up, took a photograph of him and went to their local police station to alert authorities of their discovery. Albakr was arrested and taken to Dresden, where he was charged with “being an accomplice in preparations for a major act of violence.”
The refugees who stopped Albakr likely prevented a potentially devastating terror attack. According to the Times, the radical was in possession of what official believe to be TATP, a volatile substance the Islamic State used in their attacks in Paris last November and Brussels earlier this year.
“The actions of the suspect point towards an IS connection,” said Joerg Michaelis, president of the Saxony state crime office. “We’re all relieved that he’s been caught now.”
The unnamed Syrian refugee who first spotted Albakr received praise from Chancellor Angela Merkel. “We recognize and are grateful to the man from Syria who informed the police of his whereabouts and helped police arrest him,” her spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, said.
Germans have been on high alert following two terror attacks committed by refugees over the summer. While some might use such stories to highlight the dangers of refugees — after all, Albakr was granted asylum — the instance deftly demonstrates not all Muslims are terrorists, however much right-wing orthodoxy insists otherwise.
It’s also worth noting that two more acts of violence in Germany this summer, one at a mall in Munich, were not committed by refugees, underscoring the seemingly obvious point that anyone can commit acts that terrorize innocent people — not just refugees who were forced to leave their home countries, at least, in part, because of Western intervention in the Middle East.
Further, every perpetrator of the Paris attacks last November was born in Europe. Similarly, the Brussels attackers were European nationals, a fact that pokes holes in the common narrative that Muslim refugees, as a collective, are the problem.
Aside from the difference between native born European Muslims and refugees, there is an even bigger disparity in the ‘dangerous Islamic extremism’ narrative: the delusional Islamic State is so divorced from Islam that even its own members are uninformed about the religion they claim to kill for.
As the leader of one Muslim group that promotes peace said to over 30,000 of his followers this summer:
“The only thing the terrorists are achieving is to completely violate the teachings of the Holy Koran and of the Holy Prophet Muhammad…Let it be clear that they are not practicing Islam, rather, it seems as though they have invented their own hate-filled and poisonous religion.”
The unnamed refugee who captured Albakr demonstrates this sentiment reaches far and wide.