25 November 2010
As police brace themselves for a possible terrorist attack, the ruling conservatives have called on Germany’s Muslim community to root out extremists at mosques and report them to authorities.
Stefan Müller, integration spokesman for the Christian Democrats and Christian Social Union’s parliamentary group, said members of the 2,500 mosques in Germany should co-operate with anti-terrorism authorities more closely.
“In the face of the intensified situation, the mosque communities are called on to be especially watchful and keep an eye out for possible fanatics in their own ranks,” Müller said.
The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, Aiman Mazyek, has previously said that many Muslims in Germany feel they are under suspicion because of their faith alone. Mosques had been subject to hate mail and material damage, he said.
German security authorities were proud of having pulled off a safe and successful 2006 Soccer World Cup. Now a German security official has revealed that a major attack on the tournament may have been averted — but the suspect got away. Ever since the 2006 World Cup came to an end, Germany has been basking in the glow of having pulled off a wildly successful tournament. But according to Bavaria’s interior minister, it almost ended in explosive failure. Joachim Herrmann, of the conservative Christian Social Union, told German television news channel N-TV on Thursday that police foiled a terror attack planned to be carried out in Munich on the first day of the World Cup in June 2006. He said that the public was deliberately not informed of the possible threat at the time to prevent panic. According to the station, a spokesman for the Bavarian Interior Ministry said that police began intensive observations of a lone man thought to be “associated with Islamist extremism” who was noticed acting suspiciously near Munich’s Allianz Arena soccer stadium. In the course of the surveillance, according to the spokesman, the suspect left Germany, perhaps as a result of growing suspicious that he was being watched.
Bavaria’s conservative leader Edmund Stoiber won thunderous applause in his farewell speech for saying mosques were getting too big. . “When the mosques in our cities are bigger than cathedrals and churches, then we must tell our Muslim fellow citizens: ‘No, that is going too far.’ the leader of the Christian Social Union (CSU), sister party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), said. “Church towers, not minarets, should be what you see when you look out across the state.” His remarks caused a new debate about Islam in Germany.
Dubai: A German from Munich came to the UAE to sell the idea of a major mosque in the heart of the city recently, but this mosque is surrounded by controversy at home, ranging from its size and location to the mere existence of a major Islamic symbol in the city. Munich is the capital of Bavaria, the heartland of Christian Germany, and home of Pope Benedict XVI. Ruled by the Christian Social Union, Bavaria is also one of eight German states that ban teachers from wearing the Islamic headscarf in school. “I guess there is a fear of Muslims arriving at the gates of Vienna again,” laughed Heinrich Klier, the Christian president of Munich’s Cultural Cooperation Committee. But we need to dispel those fears. Abbas Al Lawati reports.