Last week, Lower Saxony’s interior minister Uwe Schünemann presented his proposal for a de-
radicalisation programme designed to prevent young Muslims from being lured into extremist
groups. With his proposal, Schünemann continues his hardliner course on extremism and terrorism;
in 2010, he had already proposed a plan to fight an increasing terror threat, which was meant to lead
to a national action plan for inner security.
Schünemann’s most recent proposal is based on a close partnership between security services and,
for instance, mosques, city councils, youth services, foreign offices, and social services. An important
element of the proposal is the possibility to exchange personal information about individuals
suspected to support religious extremism or even terrorism. In addition, Schünemann is planning
on making employers more aware of and receptive to radicalisation processes amongst their staff.
Overall, Schünemann’s proposal is reminiscent of the highly controversial “security partnership”
proposed by federal minister of the interior Friedrich at the Islam Conference in 2011.
When he initially presented the programme last week, Schünemann claimed that it had been
developed in close cooperation with Muslim communities and organisations. However, the two
Muslim organisations Ditib and Schura countered that they were only included in the development of
the programme when they demanded to be involved after they had heard about it by chance. Their
critical remarks, however, were not considered in the development of the proposal.
After its presentation, the Muslim organisations heavily criticized Schünemann’s proposal, as it
places Muslims under general suspicion. Ditib and Schura distanced themselves from the programme
and expressed their rather sceptical stance.