Police Officer Identified as “Hate Preacher”

The Hessian Office for the Protection of the Constitution found that Roman R., a 40-year-old police officer from Frankfurt, appears on the Internet under the name “Abu Bilal” to preach the Quran, call for an Islamic state, and promote conversions to Islam. Following a report by the “NDR” (a broadcasting corporation from North Germany), Roman R. has close links to the Salafist network “Dawa FFM”; he uses their homepage to disseminate his views, especially those relating to (unveiled) female dress habits that allegedly do not align with Islamic beliefs. Salafists are known as especially extreme jihadis; they aim for an Islamic state and the introduction of Sharia law.


While Roman R. is not actively working for the police any more, he still receives a large share of his salary. So far, there is not criminal prosecution; however, the police investigate internally.


A salafist congress in Vizcaya

On Friday 27 a Salafist congress was opened in Sestao (Vizcaya, Basque Country). Around 2000 people have attended it, many of them from Senegal and Morocco. The Congress has been closed on Sunday. As in previous years, the congress hosted spiritual leaders of Europe and the Middle East. A total of 6 sheikhs from Belgium, Germany, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, were responsible for providing conferences and meetings.

Islamist Groups Raided in Three German Cities

14 December 2010

German authorities mounted raids against two Islamist groups suspected of seeking to overthrow the government and establish a religious state, the Interior Ministry said.

The searches targeted homes and religious schools linked to Salafist jihadist group Invitation to Paradise (EZP) in the northwestern cities of Braunschweig and Mönchengladbach, and the Islamic Cultural Center Bremen (IKZB).

“The EZP and the IKZB are accused of opposing the constitutional order with the aim of replacing it in Germany with an Islamic religious state,” the ministry said in a statement.

The raids were part of a long-running investigation against the groups and had no link to warnings of potential impending terrorist attacks issued last month by Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, it added.

The groups reject parliamentary democracy and believe that Islamic law should replace the constitution, the ministry said.

Salafism in the Netherlands: Nature, Extent and Threat

Report Summary:

The study, conducted by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES, UvA) in collaboration with the Central Bureau for Statistics, involved: 1) fieldwork in the Salafist community in the Netherlands, 2) network analysis of salafist organizations and 3) a survey among Dutch Muslims querying their degree of orthodox Islamic thought.

The study, conducted by the Institute for Migration and Ethnic Studies (IMES, UvA) in collaboration with the Central Bureau for Statistics, involved: 1) fieldwork in the Salafist community in the Netherlands, 2) network analysis of salafist organizations and 3) a survey among Dutch Muslims querying their degree of orthodox Islamic thought.

The report identifies the following findings:

Salafism from the Inside
-The core of salafist thought aims at a moral revival through strict interpretations of the Koran and Sunna which seeks to free these religious sources from innovation and guides all decisions in daily life. Salafis consider it an obligation to convert people to Islam. Salafism in the Netherlands is not a homogenous collection of thoughts, and is loosely grouped into the following categories:
(a) Pure religious salafis seek an ‘uncorrupted’ religious lifestyle and do not involve themselves in politics.
(b) Political salafis aim to actively improve the situation of Muslims in the Netherlands. Although they consider democracy to be inferior, they participate in the political system for pragmatic reasons. This is the most visible salafist group in Dutch society.
(c) Jihadi salafis consider it a religious duty to fight for Islam by any means necessary. This can include the use of violence.

Network Analysis of Salafi Organizations
-It appears that the managerial salafist elite is isolated from more moderate organizations. At the time of the study, there was a movement at the formal elite level to develop an overarching organizational salafist network.
-13% of Islamic schools in the Netherlands are connected to a salafist organization, a strong overrepresentation given the size of the community.
-Note that political radicalization appears to take place outside of these organizations.
-Salafist organizations might be split into three categories:
(a) Organizations explicitly profiled as salafist, including some mosques.
(b) Organizations strongly influenced by salafist thought, and involved in institutional networks with other salafist organizations, but that do not themselves identify as salafist.
(c) Organizations which invite salafist preachers to lecture or teach.

Orthodoxy Among Turkish- and Moroccan- Dutch Muslims
-Survey respondents were cast into five ‘types’ (devout follower, devout pragmatic, critic, salafi pride, fanatic, and born again) based on their degree of religious practices, societal participation, political integration, connection to salafist organization and radical thought.
-According to the survey, those Muslims whose religious attitude structure resembles salafist thought are relatively older, less educated and have a higher chance of unemployment. 8% of all Dutch Muslims are orthodox; this includes 15% of Moroccan Dutch Muslims and 5% of Turkish Dutch Muslims.
-Sensitivity to radicalism and extremism is higher among orthodox Dutch Muslims. This group’s tolerance towards a multi-religious society is lower, they think that Dutch women have too much freedom, they politically participate less in society and identify less intensely with the Netherlands, and are more likely to see violence as a legitimate means for attaining religious goals.

Further, a research summary provided by the University of Amsterdam notes that “The researchers’ findings refute the argument that orthodox Islam is a political ideology that seeks to undermine Dutch democracy….The researchers conclude that there is no evidence of radicalisation within the salafist community in the Netherlands and that it poses no threat to Dutch democracy. Salafist organisations actually function as a buffer in that they reject violence. Radicalisation in the sense of active willingness to use violence takes place outside of the salafist organisations.”

Lleida’s mayor urged to seek another location for the Salafist mosque

September 6, 7, 8, 2010
Ángel Ros, the mayor of Lleida, is putting pressure to the Muslim community of North Street in Lleida to move their mosque to another location. In the last months several incidents has been surrounding this mosque related to the prayer’s room capacity. Consequently, the relations between the members of the Salafist Islamic community and the city council are deteriorated.

“The Radicalization of Diasporas and Terrorism”

Throughout history, diasporic communities have been susceptible to a variety of forms of radicalization. Indeed, even in the pre-Christian era, ethnic and religious diasporas were prone to religious and separatist radicalization. Since the end of the Cold War, ethnonationalism has continued to fuel radicalization within some diasporic communities. With respect to contemporary global terrorism, militant Islamism, and in particular, its Salafist-Jihadist variant, serves as the most important ideational source of radicalization within diasporas in Western Europe and North America. Within the global North, this radicalization has frequently pitted the political desirability of relatively liberal immigration politics against the core requirements of internal security.

© 2009 Center for Security Studies (CSS), ETH Zurich

Radical German Muslim preacher Pierre Vogel barred from Swiss rally

The Swiss authorities have barred a controversial Islamic preacher from Germany from attending a planned demonstration against the minaret ban in Bern on Saturday. Pierre Vogel was not allowed to enter Switzerland because his presence is considered a danger for public law and order, according to the Federal Migration Office. He was scheduled to give a speech at the rally. The convert and former professional boxer is known for his strongly conservative and Salafist views.

Vogel wanted to encourage Muslims in Switzerland to come out of their social isolation and help reduce mistrust, he told Swiss newspapers. In an interview with the Swiss SonntagsBlick after his entry ban, Vogel said that he was against the construction of minarets as they are no necessary part of Islam but rather a decoration. The money should instead be used for social work on deliquent Muslim youths.

Growth of Salafism in the Netherlands Slows

The growth of Salafism in the Netherlands has slowed, the intelligence service AIVD told Nos TV on September 8.

A 2007 report by the agency warned of the increasing influence of Salafist imams on Dutch Muslims, not because of a call to violence, but because they prevent the integration of Muslims by rejecting Western society. But now ” the growth [of Salafism] is stagnating. It is not leading to wide circulation, and that was in particular our concern,” says Wil van Gemert, director of interior security in the AIVD.

Van Gemert says the AIVD’s earlier worries were ungrounded. ‘Our biggest fear [was] that there was a broad forum where this growth could take place,’ he said. ‘But our main conclusion is that this forum no longer exists.’ The AIVD cites several reasons for the decreased growth of Salafism: local councils and leaders are more aware of the existence of such centres and are refusing financial support, and the Muslim community is also coming out against the movement.

EU pushes anti-terror plans for the Web

Europe should strengthen the fight against terrorism by cracking down on militant Web sites and compiling U.S.-style profiles of air passengers, the European Union executive said on Tuesday. The proposals coincided with 17 arrests across Europe in an operation led by Italy against suspected “Salafist jihadi” cells, the latest in a series of major European anti-terrorism investigations this year. Ingrid Melander reports.

Salafist Imam to be Deported

A Salafist imam was arrested in Brest Monday morning and should be expelled to Morocco by Monday evening. Hassan Belabid, 26 years, born in Agadir, was accused “for having encouraged discrimination and violence towards non-Muslims and women” during sermons at the mosque of Pontan_zen, a district of Brest. {(article continues below in French)} Un imam salafiste a _t_ arr_t_ _ Brest lundi matin pour “propos attentatoires aux principes de la R_publique” et devrait _tre expuls_ d_s lundi soir vers le Maroc, a-t-on appris lundi au minist_re de l’Int_rieur. Hassan Belabid, 26 ans, n_ _ Agadir, a _t_ arr_t_ lundi _ la sortie de son domicile, selon des sources proches du dossier _ Brest. Frapp_ d’un arr_t_ d’expulsion en urgence, cet imam doit quitter la France dans la soir_e pour le Maroc, a pr_cis_ le minist_re. Selon une source polici_re, il lui est reproch_ “d’avoir incit_ _ la discrimination et _ la violence envers la population non-musulmane ainsi qu’envers les femmes” lors de pr_ches _ la mosqu_e de Pontan_zen, un quartier populaire de Brest. Une proc_dure d’expulsion avait d_j_ affect_ le milieu salafiste de la ville le 15 avril 2004 avec la reconduite vers Alger de l’imam Abdelkader Yahia Cherif, de nationalit_ alg_rienne, pour “menace _ la s_ret_ de l’Etat”. L’arr_t_ minist_riel d’expulsion faisait _tat d’un “pros_lytisme en faveur d’un islam radical” et de “relations actives avec la mouvance islamiste nationale ou internationale en relation avec des organisations pr_nant des actes terroristes”. Par ailleurs, un ressortissant marocain naturalis_ en janvier 2004, proche de M. Abdelkader Yahia Cherif, a _t_ d_chu fin 2004 de sa nationalit_ fran_aise en raison de “relations _troites avec des islamistes activistes”.