Police raid against Salafi network

June 28

 

The German police has searched 15 apartment and one mosque in the States of Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Salafist adherents and members of the banned association “Millatu Ibrahim” have been suspected to go hiding and shifting activities underground.

 

Furthermore, the police believes some of the Salafi activists planning “violent acts against the State”. On June 14th 2012, Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) banned the Salafi  association Millatu Ibrahim. According to the annual report of the “Office for the Protection of the Constitution” 2012, more than 50 persons have travelled to Egypt. They are said to be Salafi adherents.

 

report (PDF)

Minister Of Interior calls for strict laws against Terrorism

Jan 28

 

Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) has asked for stricter laws against Terrorism. The recent international incidents in North Africa and Mali would motivate Salafi Islamists to act in Germany, Europe and North Africa. The Minister expects radical Islamists to radicalize when leaving Germany for Egypt.

 

The Minister claimed for more observation, data collection of bank and mail correspondence of suspected subjects. Also, he demanded easier conditions for the deportation of Islamist extremists. The Minister of Justice, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP) criticized the proposals of Minister Friedrich as well as the current anti-terror legislations as interventions in civil rights.

Protests against Ministry of Interior poster campaign

August 28

The Minister of Interior Hans Peter Friedrich has initiated a controversial poster campaign against the radicalization of young Muslim immigrants. The posters look like missing reports, showing young male Muslim migrants: the women in the pictures wear the “hijab”. The reports ask the reader to be aware of the missing person, who might have been radicalized and driven to extreme Islam. The number of a hotline to get advice from the Ministry of Interior is also on the poster. People who are within or close to social circle of Muslims, whether they are friends or relatives, and observe a “radicalization” among them, are invited to contact the hotline.

The initiative has triggered several critical reactions. Aydan Özoğuz, Commissioner for integration and deputy secretary of the SPD, harshly criticized the campaign, which would suggest regarding every Muslim as a fanatic and terrorist.

Kenan Kolat, a representative of the Turkish community in Germany, spoke about a stigmatization campaign, which would distract from the real problem, which in fact is societal racism.

Chancellor Merkel and the Debate on integration

May 14

 

Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) has publicly expressed support for the view that Islam is integral part of German society. Doing so, she openly disagreed with opinions voiced in the last months by the Minister of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) and the head of political Union parties CDU/CSU in the parliament, Volker Kauder (CDU). In front of the pupils of a Berlin school, chancellor Merkel talked about the significant presence of Muslims in German society and their belonging to it. Muslims are part of today’s environment, and many of them are German citizens, Merkel declared. Thus, Islam becomes a part of society, too. Many things known today in Germany have been transported through Islam.

 

This is the first time after the pro Islam speech of former German president Christian Wulff (CDU) in 2010, that chancellor Merkel speaks in favor of Islam as an integral part of Germany. Minister of Interior Friedrich had repeatedly disagreed with recognizing Islam as a part of Germany, emphasizing the Christian-Jewish occidental culture of Germany.

German Islam Conference avoid issue on Salafism

April 18

 

The Federal Ministry of Interior Hans-Peter Friedrich (CSU) has rejected the proposal of the Interior Minister of Lower Saxony Uwe Schünemann (CDU) to include the issue of Koran distribution by Salafist activists in the agenda for the upcoming Islam Conference.

Since the beginning of April, Salafist groups have been distributing free copies of the Koran in several German cities. Mr. Schünemann has called for an agreement against Salafism and proposed a strategic approach plan including anti-radicalization and prevention against Islamist Extremism and Terrorism. In his letter to the Federal Minister of Interior, he declares to expect Muslim associations to stand up united against what he calls an “instrumentalization of Islam”. Since the initiative of the former Minister Wolfgang Schäuble in 2006, domestic Security has become one of the main issues within other in the German Islam Conference.

Study on Integration: More Detailed Look Necessary

09./10.03.2012

The authors of the study on integration, which was published last week with allegedly

alarming results about many Muslims’ unwillingness to integrate (as reported), criticized

that the media presentation of the study focused too much on only one part of the findings

– namely the 15 to 24% of Muslims in Germany who refuse to integrate. While the federal

minister of the interior, Hans-Peter Friedrich, chose to officially present the key findings

without the main researchers, they did not have a chance to correct his presentation

immediately. Now, however, the authors of the study emphasised that they found a

more complex situation than presented by Friedrich – whose statements about Muslims’

unwillingness to integrate were not representative. Furthermore, any statements about a

potential radicalisation were too general, as the researchers found that most Muslims in

Germany reject religiously motivated violence. The authors of the study saw evidence of

one-sided (and negative) presentation of their study in the media and called for a more

differentiated view of the findings.

Central Council of Muslims Rejects “Prevention Summit” Against Extremism

09.06.2011

The Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, criticized plans to hold a “prevention summit” against extremism. The plan to hold the summit was announced by the Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich at the Islam Conference held earlier this year (in March). Friedrich saw the “prevention summit” as an opportunity to encourage a closer collaboration between Muslim communities and security services – independent of the Islam Conference. His plans were criticised for supporting a culture of denunciation within Muslim communities.

 

Mazyek argued that security questions had already been dealt with as part of the Islam Conference. According to him, it is now more important to evaluate what had been discussed and draw conclusions from that, rather than initiating another security summit. While the Council criticized the event, the Ministry of the Interior is still hopeful that Council representatives will attend the summit.

 

German Interior Minister Friedrich Opens Up to Muslims

12 April 2011

Hans-Peter Friedrich, German Minister of the Interior, has recently denied that Islam belonged to Germany. At a discussion in Regensburg, he has now began to open up to German Muslims. At the “Regensburger Religionsgespräch”, at which predecessor Wolfgang Schäuble declared in 2009 that Islam is indeed a part of Germany, Friedrich has spoken in favour of supporting religious groups, because religion in his view fostered society cohesion, and that also extended to Islam. An Islam, he qualified, that recognises the inviolability of human dignity. He also emphasised that Christianity has deeply shaped German culture up to the language, but he was eager to avoid the term “Leitkultur” or guiding culture, which is often employed by conservative politicians. Reactions at the event were positive, but it was highly regretted that the only Muslim participant had fallen ill and was unable to attend.

German Islam Conference Struggles With New Interior Minister

31 March 2011

When for the first time new Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich convened the German Islam Conference, there was palpable opposition and anger at his approach. First organised in 2006 by then interior minister Wolfgang Schäuble and subsequently by his successor Thomas de Maizière, the assembly was considered a sign of progress, telling of improved relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims, and the state. When Friedrich came into office in March 2011, he seemed to destroy all previous attempts by stating that there was no historical evidence for Islam to be part of Germany.

Having inherited the Islam Conference by his predecessors, Friedrich had no choice but to convene it, but managed to dictate his own agenda, to which participants reacted with outrage. Friedrich proposed a “security partnership” with Muslim representatives, who he urged to work more closely with the authorities in fighting extremism.

The Central Council of Muslims strongly criticised this move. Chairman Aiman Mazyek said that the Conference was not meant for security politics. Islamic studies scholar Armina Omerika said this would trigger a culture of denunciation among Muslims and would not be beneficial to integration. Also the Green Party criticised Friedrich’s approach, which will not foster a peaceful way of living together but rather use Muslims as voluntary police resource.

Interior Minister Friedrich Reignites Islam Debate

4 March 2011

Germany’s new Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich reignited a bitter debate over Islam this week after he said the religion did not “belong” in the country, prompting a call on Friday for him to give up charge of the government’s Islam conference.

During his first public appearance as interior minister on Thursday, Friedrich responded to questions by reporters about the shooting of two US airmen in Frankfurt by an alleged Islamist with an inflammatory statement. He said Muslims living in Germany were part of society, “but that Islam belongs in Germany is something that has no historical foundation.”

On Friday, Free Democrat (FDP) and Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger criticized her new fellow cabinet member and member of the CSU, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU). Meanwhile a chorus of opposition politicians lambasted Friedrich, among them centre-left Social Democrat Dieter Wiefelspütz who characterized his statement as “rubbish.”