On 9 April Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf published an interview with Flemish researcher Montasser AlDe’emeh. The interview, on the occasion of the publication of AlDe’emeh’s book Double Life, talks about the time he worked as an informer for the Belgian secret service. It earned him a place on IS’ kill-list. In the interview, of which the most important passages are translated below, AlDe’emeh warns Europe:

We are heading towards a civil war.

The interview takes place in Belgium, with AlDe’emeh watching the entrance. He tells about his youth. He is the son of a Palestinian refugee, whose father took the family from a refugee camp in Jordan to Europe. When Molenbeek, the now infamous quarter of Brussels, became more and more Arabic, his father moved the family away from it. He instilled in his son gratitude and love towards their new fatherland. It leads AlDe’emeh to stress that he wants to protect Belgium. He talks about his meetings with Jihadists, the multicultural society. His warning is simple and terse:

Don’t let any more refugees in, because we are importing a civil war. We first need to know what to do with the people already here.

AlDe’emeh is Arabist, Islamologist and Jihad-expert. He is currently working on a doctoral thesis on the ideology of Jihad. A line of work that brought him into contact with radicalised Muslim youths, which lead to him crossing the Turkish-Syrian border illegally in 2014, to meet with Dutch and Belgian Jihadists. After his trip, the Belgian State Security Service contacted him. AlDe’emeh says it seemed ‘cool’ to be a spy, and that he regarded it as his duty to provide information.

I did it for Belgium, and for your security too, by the way. Intelligence provided by me, amongst others, secretly passed on to Dutch Intelligence Agency AIVD, in all probability prevented terrorist attacks. I had my own informers in Dutch radical groups. Radicalised youths who began doubting, started sharing information at one point. I would like for Imams in mosques to call on their followers: ‘become informers, all of you, report it when you see people radicalise’.

Imams are not the only ones AlDe’emeh is critical of. He attacks the dishonesty and the naivety of European leaders, when it comes to the great themes of these times: mass-immigration, Islam, the lack of integration.

Why do politicians not have the guts to go into problem areas and tell the parents there: ‘will you finally take responsibility for your radicalising children, so something, before we have to get the police involved.’? No, instead they unconditionally praise the multicultural society. That can’t be normal, can it?

Nowadays, AlDe’emeh works a lot with schoolchildren. He points out the importance of democratic achievements, and the concrete danger from those that are estranged from society.

On a lot of the schools I visit in Brussels, a majority is Muslim: 70, 80, in a few years 100%. Those children, they have to protect us in the future. They will also become police officers. Is that a reassuring thought? In view of the lack of critical thought characterising many of them, the mentality of segregation of the adults they live among, the irrational fears, poured into their ears by imams and preachers, the lack of empathy for those of different faiths? Those children, they might live here physically, but mentally they often live in Medieval structures. If we don’t do something about that now, where will we end? (…) But if you point that out, you’re called crazy. The media would rather report on Trump’s hair and ridicule you when you say that it’s like watching the end of the Roman Empire. But aren’t there attacks by radicalised Muslims? Is the extreme-right not on the rise in Europe? Isn’t there more hate to be seen everywhere? Let me tell you this: if this continues in the way it does, in the long run, more people in Europe will die through conflicts, than because of traffic.

One of the dangers AlDe’emeh sees, is that criminals and estranged radicals join forces. Criminals, trying to atone for their ‘sinful’ past by embracing a strict, orthodox interpretation of Islam:

Youths of 18 in Antwerp, who make millions and drive around in large BMW’s. In ten years time those geezers are tired of their life of crime and will find refuge in radical Islam. They will fall from one system into the next.

Meanwhile, AlDe’emeh does not believe in the approach offered by Geert Wilders and other ‘kindred, populist, spirits’ and their plea for ‘de-Islamisation’:

They are to linear in their thinking. There are thousands of mosques in Europe, tens of millions of Muslims. Those aren’t leaving. We have to get those people to join us. But that can only work when we are fair and hold on to our rule of law tightly, and to our secular system.

AlDe’emeh sees the solution in upbringing. Parents should prepare their children for life in a secular society:

Those children now live between two worlds, they get confused, are looking for an identity. They find what they’re looking for in radical-Islamic ideologies.

Double Life is not just a personal story, AlDe’emeh says, but also a tribute to his country, to Belgium. Although life has been made more difficult for him after the revelations in his book, he finds he had no choice, but believes everything is explained in his book.

When my country needed me, I was there. And if Belgium has need of me in the future, it will find me willing again.