Germany vs. Radical Islamists
From the Gatestone Institute
By Soeren Kern , March 15, 2013
More recently, Salafists have issued death threats against German politicians, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “The groups aim to change our society in an aggressive belligerent way so that democracy would be replaced by a Salafist system, and the rule of law replaced by Sharia law.” — Hans-Peter Friedrich, Ministry of the Interior, Germany
Germany has banned three ultra-conservative Salafist Muslim groups which the Interior Ministry says want to overturn democracy and install a system based on Islamic Sharia law.
The ban, which took effect in the western German states of Hessen and North Rhine-Westphalia on March 13, comes amid Islamist death threats against German politicians — and just days after German intelligence announced that the number of Salafists in Germany has jumped over the past year.
The Interior Ministry said that it had banned the groups “DawaFFM” and “Islamische Audios,” as well as “An-Nussrah,” which is part of the “Millatu Ibrahim” group that was outlawed in June 2012.
In an effort to enforce the ban, hundreds of German police officers raided the homes of radical Islamists in Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Gladbeck and Solingen, and seized computers, cellphones and electronic storage devices, as well as money, documents and Islamic propaganda videos in Arabic and in German.
German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said: “Salafism, as represented in the associations that were banned today, is incompatible with our free democratic order. The groups aim to change our society in an aggressive, belligerent way so that democracy would be replaced by a Salafist system, and the rule of law replaced by Sharia law.”
Salafism is a branch of radical Islam based in Saudi Arabia that seeks to establish an Islamic empire (Caliphate) across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe — and eventually the entire world. The Caliphate would be governed exclusively by Islamic Sharia law, which would apply both to Muslims and to non-Muslims.
Also known as Wahhabis, Salafists believe — among other anti-Western doctrines — that democracy must be destroyed and replaced with an Islamic form of government.
Hans-Georg Maaßen, the head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, the Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz (BfV), told the German newsmagazine Focus on March 10 that the number of committed Salafists in Germany had grown to 4,500 in 2012, compared with 3,800 in 2011.
Although Salafists make up only a fraction of the estimated 4.3 million Muslims in Germany, authorities are concerned that most of those attracted to Salafi ideology are impressionable young Muslims who are especially susceptible to committing suicide attacks in the name of Islam.
COMMENT: This type of radical activity has become rampant in Europe. Death threats and violence towards public figures that dare oppose the spread of Islam are on the rise. Despite Germany’s tendency to take a harsh stand on those that promote violence for political goals and deporting them, religious fanaticism is apparently not addressed in the same way. As many other members of the European Union have found out, the influx of Muslim immigrants has produced a very dangerous radical element that is difficult, if not impossible to contain.
For those in the United States, the influence of Wahhabism has a firm foothold among many Muslim communities. According to CAIR, it’s estimated that 27% (about 1 in 4) U.S. mosques are funded and under the control of the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). Other sources place it well over 50%. NAIT was created by the Muslim Students Assoc (MSA), is part of the web of Muslim Brotherhood affiliated groups and was listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror support trial. Much of NAIT’s financial backing comes from Saudi sources and according to a September 30, 2002 report in Newsweek, “NAIT money has helped the Saudi Arabian sect of Wahhabism—or Salafism, as the broader, pan-Islamic movement is called—to seize control of hundreds of mosques in the U.S. Muslim communities.” With NAIT financing, a mosque and/or school’s title is kept by NAIT who often appoints individuals to the mosques’ boards of directors, decides a mosque’s imam, and supplies free Wahhabi literature.
- Germany Arrests 4 and Bans Groups Linked to Salafism (nytimes.com)
- Police mount nationwide raid against Islamists (thelocal.de)