November 16, 2013
Social networks such as Facebook are becoming as popular among Muslim youth as among all parts of the society. However protecting data and youth privacy associations are concerned about the amount of misinformation distributed in the digital world. Conservative Muslims warn Muslim users to avoid visiting websites, which would lead to what is described in the Koran as “Fitna”, meaning the loss of faith.
German Salafists such as the populist Pierre Vogel use facebook to address young Muslims. Having more than 10.000 Facebook fans, they call female Muslims to upload photos with the the niqab only. Their face should is supposed to be covered in public.
According to Akif Sahin, a social media manager in Hamburg, Muslim youth are vulnerable to misinformation and negative influences diffused by extremists – especially as young Muslims search for guidance on their religious and cultural identity. This aspect is often abused by extremists, such as Islamist and Islamophobe groups, which would begin to agitate Muslims against each other.
In Solingen, the beginning of Ramadan is clouded by the news that the two German Muslims, who were recently arrested on terror charges at the port of Dover (as reported), were originally from Solingen and members of a regional group of Salafis. Solingen’s Muslim communities distanced themselves from any radical Islamic tendencies and, instead, emphasized their interest in promoting successful integration. Eray Ünver, the Ditib’s local commissioner for integration and also responsible for the local inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue, criticized that news about arrests of radical Muslims disrupt the process of dialogue and integration, as they trigger fear and feed prejudices. Similarly, members of the local Islamic Center distanced themselves from radical preachers such as (Salafist) Pierre Vogel.
Pierre Vogel is planning yet another public speech in a community center in Harheim/ Frankfurt. He wants to participate as one of many preachers who are planning on congregating in the community center for what they call a “festival of friendship”. The tenant of building, Qasam Umran, however, who had initially agreed to a mere Pakistani event, is fighting Vogel’s plans to participate, as he does not want to support radicals or attempts to radicalize others. When he heard about Vogel’s plans, Umran called of the entire event.
Germany’s best known Islamic cleric, Pierre Vogel, delivered a pro-Islam speech in front of approximately 1100 sympathizers in Hamburg on Saturday, July 9th. Vogel is a Salafi-Muslim who is known for his strict (and fundamentalist) interpretation of Islam, his rejection of liberal ideals and religious diversity, as well as his sympathy for former Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden (as reported earlier). Unlike other cities or even countries (e.g. Vogel is forbidden to enter Switzerland and the city of Koblenz banned him from publicly speaking earlier this year), the city of Hamburg did not prohibit Vogel’s speech last week. However, prior to the event, which Vogel had advertised via various media sources, the Police imposed a number of specific conditions, such as restrictions on completely covering up and the separation of sexes.
For several hours, Vogel talked on an improvised “stage” on the back of a truck about the role (and oppression) of women in Islam, the hijab and niqab, as well as the German army’s mission in Afghanistan. After he had finished his speech, seven sympathizers came up to the stage and converted to Islam, which is indicative of Vogel’s charismatic appeal.
Pierre Vogel, born in 1978 and also known as “Abu Hamza”, is a German (radical) Islamic preacher. Vogel, a former professional boxer, converted to Islam in 2001 and completed studies in Arabic at an institute in Mecca. He is especially known for his missionary work, trying to persuade young people to convert to Islam. Based on Vogel’s activities as a “hate preacher”, German security services warn of targeted radicalization which may once they have decided to convert.
The radical Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel has planned a rally in the city of Koblenz on May 29th, which was expected to be attended by approximately 3,000 people. On May 26th, however, the city’s regulatory office prohibited the event. The rationale behind the ban is to protect children and youth, as Vogel’s speech was expected to contain content inappropriate for or even harmful to young people.
Following the killing of Bin Laden, the radical Islamic prayer Pierre Vogel is planning a public funeral prayer for the leader of Al Qaeda in Frankfurt/ Main on Saturday. The city’s authorities, however, have prohibited the public prayer for Bin Laden, as it can be understood as a public ridicule of the victims of 9/11 and other terror attacks by Islamic radicals. Yet, Vogel argued that the prayer was not meant to be a defense of the 9/11 attacks. According to him, Bin Laden, as a Muslim, had the right to receive a prayer.
Vogel’s plans have not only been welcomed, but also criticized for its potential of public provocation within his own ranks and by other Muslim organizations, such as Milli Görus.
Following the ban of the funeral prayer by the city’s authorities, Vogel slightly changed the agenda for his public appearance to a general prayer, without reference to Bin Laden. This is in line with a number of orders issued by the administrative court to prevent the funeral prayer for Bin Laden.
21 April 2011
German security forces expelled radical Islamist preacher Bilal Philips from Germany. Philips participated in a rally, “Islam – the misunderstood religion”, organised by Salafists in Frankfurt and gave a speech together with his German radical counterpart Pierre Vogel. The Interior Ministry was not aware of when or where Philips had entered Germany, and he was asked to leave within three days.
The rally had been cancelled at first and was only permitted at the last minute with 16 requirements, including a prohibition to force gender segregation upon the audience – although the event turned out to be segregated in the end. Philips and Vogel adhered to keeping to a peaceful rally without inciting hatred or issuing any condescending or discriminatory remarks about people of different faith, knowing that they were closely watched. In the past, Philips has called for the death penalty for homosexuals, which he did not repeat at this occasion, however he underlined that homosexuality was a sin, but that he did not hate these people. Salafist groups have been increasingly monitored after the Frankfurt attack in March, in which two US soldiers were killed by a radicalised Islamist who had previously had contacts with Salafists in Frankfurt.
The controversial German Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel has surprisingly and legally entered Switzerland in order to give a talk during an educational seminar in Disentis, in the canton of Graubünden. Vogel is not considered a “hate or radical preacher” in Germany, however he had been refused entry to the country last December, though Swiss authorities state that there is no officially entry ban for him. The Islamic Central Council of Switzerland (IZRS), organizers of the event in question, announced that Vogel’s participation had not been announced in other to expose the negative stigma against him “in full public view as false and unjustified.” Jonas Montani, spokesperson for the Swiss Federal Agency for Migration, stated that the prior entry refusal could not be compared with Vogel’s participation in the educational seminar.
On Wednesday, 30 mosques all over Germany were raided. The police were looking for Saudi Islamist literature that promotes discrimination against women.
The Federal Department for Media Harmful to Young Persons had previously classified passages from the book “Women under the protection of Islam” as “dangerous”. The passages of the chapter “Beating of women” says that physical violence against women is permissible if no other measures were “successful”, and describes in detail how to beat women without leaving any visible bruises.
The book, which is the German translation of a Saudi Arabian publication, first appeared at a lecture of radical preacher Pierre Vogel in 2009. The police confiscated books, data storage media and computers.