13 January 2013
Around 60 Salafi Muslims gathered in front of the French Embassy in London to protest against French interventions in Mali. The protestors held placards reading “Ban Ki-moon Terrorist” and “French army, you will pay, the Muslims are on their way” during the demonstration on Saturday.
A speaker expressed his anger by saying that “We got rid of some of our dictators– Ben Ali, Mubarak, and al-Qadhafi. But now it’s time for the dictators in Mali, in Pakistan, in Bangladesh, and all over Muslim lands to be removed and replaced by the shariah, by Islam,”
Germany’s Interior Minister Friedrich warned of an increasing danger posed by Salafi groups in Germany. Salafi Muslims follow a violent and ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam and generally aim at fundamentally re-structuring the liberal democratic order of Western states. According to estimates, there are currently approximately 2500 Salafi Muslims in Germany, who allegedly receive (financial) support from Saudi Arabia. Friedrich warned of a potential growth of this radical group and expressed the need to strengthen the “security partnership” between Muslim organizations and German authorities. This agenda had top priority during the prevention summit held at the end of June.
Documentary maker Masood Khan explores the Muslim community’s struggle against extremism. In the first of three videos, he goes to Luton to see how Salafi Muslims are rejecting the extreme rhetoric of al-Muhajiroun, despite still holding not-very-moderate views themselves. In the second part, Khan meets Kalsoom Bashir, a Bristol community worker who is challenging the conservative Islamic view of women. In the third video, Khan meets Hanif Qadir, who co-founded the anti-extremist youth group Active Change Foundation after training as a mujahid soldier and becoming disillusioned with extreme Islamist ideology.