• Germany's news in English

Salafist threat growing, interior ministers say

The Local · 21 Jun 2011, 11:27

Published: 21 Jun 2011 11:27 GMT+02:00

Hesse Interior Minister Boris Rhein of the conservative Christian Democratic Union told daily Die Welt that Salafism was a “centre and pivot for those who want to participate in so-called holy war.”

“Salafism can in this way lay the path to Islamist terrorism,” he said, adding that the law needed to be changed so that “hate preachers” can be more easily thrown out of the country.

“In future, this should be possible when someone spreads material that goes against the liberal democratic basic order or that fosters radicalisation or, as the case may be, terrorism recruitment.

“We should also change the corresponding laws covering the right to assembly and paragraphs of the sedition law.”

Interior ministers from Germany's 16 federal states plan to discuss the issue when they hold a regular meeting on Tuesday. The Financial Times Deutschland reported Tuesday that the Verfassungsschutz domestic intelligence agencies would be intensifying their monitoring of the Salafist scene.

“Salafism is seen both in Germany and on the international level as the dynamic Islamist movement at the moment,” a Verfassungsschutz expert, who was not named, told the FTD.

Salafism is a strict adherence to the Koran and the earliest principles of Islam from between the 8th and 10th centuries. They aim to reorder society, the state and the law according to Salafist values regarded as God-given.

Rhein said that Salafists wanted “a return to a stone-age Islam and want to turn Germany into a theocracy.”

“They demonise anything western. The preach hate, intolerance and exclusion. They call for the stoning of adulterers and death sentences for homosexuals. They reject the equality of men and women. This ideology is at odds with our fundamental values. It is in every way unconstitutional and dangerous.”

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann of the conservative Christian Social Union also warned of the growing danger.

“I am warning against underestimating the danger arising from Salafism,” he told the FTD. “Almost all terrorism issues in the past have been somehow or other traced back to a tendency to radicalisation from Salafism. We have to be especially watchful here.”

One of the most prominent representatives of Salafism in Germany is the former boxer Pierre Vogel, who now goes by the name Abu Hamza, whose sermons and internet videos are popular with young followers.

The young Kosovar Arid Uka who underwent a rapid radicalisation and killed two US military servicemen at Frankfurt Airport at the start of March, followed Vogel as a Facebook friend.

Rhein described Vogel as a “spiritual firebrand” who had the ability to radicalise young men but was careful not to break the law – for example by advocating violence.

Story continues below…

Vogel has expressly condemned violence in the name of Islam, though Rhein pointed out the former boxer had wanted to hold a memorial service in Frankfurt for Osama bin Laden after the late al-Qaida leader was killed by American forces. Rhein said authorities were examining whether Vogel’s group, “Invitation to Paradise” ought to be banned.

Herrmann said: “We must not allow home-grown terrorists to breed and gain control under our noses. We have to come down on Salafism and its ideology decisively and with all legal means.”

Close observation was difficult because there is no clear hierarchy and even clear numbers of Salafists are hard to gauge.

The Local/djw

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

12:09 June 21, 2011 by ame64
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
12:47 June 21, 2011 by William Thirteen
i would think that concerns about individuals and parties advocating violence & espousing anti-democratic values (hate, intolerance, exlusion) would already be covered under current Verfassungsschutz legislation. The changes desired would simply make it easier to deport foreign nationals who had broken existing laws, oder?

12:55 June 21, 2011 by danceswithgoats
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
13:05 June 21, 2011 by mafzal18
I agree with ame64. Then being a western citizen you shouldn't impose your values in their country as done by western madia.You shouldn't invade a country if they wish implement their values in their country.
14:13 June 21, 2011 by michael4096
Boris Rhein of the conservative Christian Democratic Union [said] that the law needed to be changed so that "hate preachers" can be more easily thrown out of the country

What about "hate politicians"?

"Almost all terrorism issues in the past have been somehow or other traced back to a tendency to radicalisation from Salafism"

What? The vast majority of terrorism in Europe was Irish catholics and in Germany, it was atheists!

In summary: Islam in Germany has a puritan wing of unknown size, one member of which murdered some folk and others, number unknown, may yet cause trouble. And, on the basis of this laws should be changed targeting an entire ethnic minority.

@W13 - deportation of foreign hate preachers exists and has been used. This sounds more like the target is local youth that flirt with 'extremist' ideas. Like the way US kids couldn't get a job after listening in on a 'communist' group meeting 60 years ago.
14:16 June 21, 2011 by Landmine
Nice Pajamas the guy is wearing, even better are the two beef cakes around him...

Worried about getting yourself beaten up in your PJ's?
14:43 June 21, 2011 by danceswithgoats
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
14:55 June 21, 2011 by lunchbreak
Well said danceswithgoats. Its all about respect isn't it? The jihadists in europe have no respect for their hosts and The Local has a problem with opinions that they view as politically incorrect.
15:20 June 21, 2011 by danceswithgoats
@lunchbreak - apparently someone at The Local did not agree. I spoke with the editor and he said that if enough people report your comments as abuse then it is automatically removed. I think there is a Salafist or Jihadist troll on here as any comment I make that is viewed as negative toward Islam is removed very quickly. I can't figure out how my comment was anywhere close to ame64 for a violation of terms. Something is wrong with this site.
15:30 June 21, 2011 by William Thirteen
indeed, i was trying to remember what your comment was as i didn't remember it as being particularly offensive. which is not to say i share your opinions - though now of course I can remember what they were!
15:49 June 21, 2011 by jbaker
Remember that People in Fear are Easily controlled by that Fear. I guess you are what you think.
16:39 June 21, 2011 by lecturenotes2009

i think, this vogel-guy, just want to be popular again. ex-boxer who has been despised, forgotten, and people even did not look at him, now becoming famous by playing card as preacher... Yeahh... yeah.. yeah...he is a true german anyhow... :)
16:40 June 21, 2011 by harcourt
Nice to see a lot of unbiased comment here !!
19:47 June 21, 2011 by MrBowlocks
These three blokes look a laugh a minute. Don't they know that Islam is just made-up bolliocks, and would it make any difference if they did? Just look like bullies to me, especially the piece of work on the left.
19:48 June 21, 2011 by mkvgtired
Good to see Germany having a serious discussion about this instead of just convicting whistle blowers of hate speech. I am reminded of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria.
20:44 June 21, 2011 by Nemo2010
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
20:58 June 21, 2011 by lordkorner
I,m not convinced,I still think the geezer in the middle is ex IRA
03:14 June 22, 2011 by lunchbreak
Sounds like some folks around here are beginning to wake up if only a bit. Maybe the government will wipe the sleep from its eyes in time to grasp the size of the problem before we're all overwhelmed. Next stop sharia law for those who can't comprehend the scope of the situation.
09:13 June 22, 2011 by delvek
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
10:47 June 22, 2011 by m0j0
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
11:02 June 22, 2011 by Rory84
This echoes events of 70 years ago when a certain foreigner visited Germany and got everyone excited! Don't think it can't happen again. The main problem is the Germany Government is too soft when it comes to dealing with these kind of issues as they seem to think they still should tred carefully with this huge chip on their shoulders. If they don't do something quickly they might be hearing Heil Abu Hamza on the streets of German cities soon! Keeping a so called "watchful eye" and actually doing something about it is a different matter!
11:41 June 22, 2011 by Traveler33
I don¦#39;t know why Germans are so upset over the Islamic movement in Europe and in Germany. Germany is a free state and allows people to choose what path they want to travel down. Germany has to realize that they have a negative population growth with a substantial population growth of foreigners particularly from the Middle East and Turkey.

It is only nature that as this population demographic changes that the religions of Germany (which is predominately Atheisms) would change towards Islam and the laws towards Sharia to match their changing demographics. People can get mad all they want, with the average German family only having 1 child; Germany is shrinking.
17:29 June 22, 2011 by Deutschguy
Those two goons in the picture wearing tight fitting stylish shirts, jewelry, sunglasses, designer beard, and who obviously go to a gym, don't look at all like they disdain "Western" values.

It's like: "I hate the West and all it stands for, but I really, really need my Starbucks now."
22:38 June 22, 2011 by Jack Kerouac
Totally right, Deutschguy.

Wait, this guy was a boxer? He looks flabby to me. I guess the key word here: "was"

Why are so many comments being removed? I have to agree with some of the comments above - there must be like one guy who is really into Islam pressing the "report abuse" button a bunch of times. Most likely this is because he can't handle discussions that are even slightly critical of his point of view. That's weak.
10:49 June 23, 2011 by MfromUSA
Hey mojo.........are you a bit sick in the head?
20:11 June 23, 2011 by Englishted
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.

Did n't want to be left out.
23:57 June 24, 2011 by rick86
A threat? Congrats on waking up and smelling the coffee.

The truth is that Islam is at the center of almost every conflict on the planet. Of course they'd identify me as a racist for pointing it out even though it's true. Islamic coutries had people dancing in the street after 911. They openly promote terrorism against the west and particularly the Jews. They'd already have ahnialated Israel if they did'nt keep getting thier asses kicked.

GOD bless Israel and thanks for giving them nukes Lord.
20:56 June 25, 2011 by PierceArrow
Germany should deport all Muslim extremists and deny welfare benefits to all foreigners. Every Muslim who wants to work in Germany should be told the truth about Grand Mufti Hajj Amin al-Hosseini and other Muslims' diabolical collaboration with Adolf Hitler.

It is ironic that, while the stupid gays in the USA harass conservative Christians for loving the sinner but hating the sin, those gays want to appease Muslims who want to kill homosexuals.
Today's headlines
Train evacuated as passenger flips out during ticket check
Police at the scene in Leipzig. Photo: DPA

A regional train was evacuated in Leipzig on Wednesday after a passenger became aggressive during a ticket inspection.

Man arrested in Wuppertal as part of Spanish Isis raids
Police detain the suspect in Wuppertal. Photo: DPA

Police have arrested five suspected members of an Isis cell in Spain, Belgium and Germany that spread propaganda for the group online, the Spanish interior ministry said Wednesday.

Germans cut home energy usage by six percent in a year
Hamburg at night. Photo: DPA

The Energiewende is the German government's ambitious policy of drastically reducing carbon emissions. New figures show one remarkable success.

Merkel party MP under fire for using Nazi propaganda term
Bettina Kudla. Photo: Büro Bettina Kudla MdB/DPA.

A member of Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party is in hot water after tweeting over the weekend a Nazi propaganda term in her criticism of the country’s refugee policies.

Govt denies planning bailout for troubled Deutsche Bank
Photo: DPA

Germany's finance ministry on Wednesday said the government was "not preparing rescue plans" for Deutsche Bank, denying a newspaper report that state aid was being considered for the embattled lender.

Munich at high risk of housing bubble: report
A view of Munich. Photo: Pexels.com

Considering buying property in Munich? This report might make you think twice.

After fatal hail storm, south Germany set to see sun
The hail storm in Baden-Württemberg on Monday night left the streets looking like a winter landscape. Photo: DPA.

A hail storm in southwest Germany on Monday night led to the death of one woman, but forecasters predict a bit more sun in the days to come.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

TV celebrity criticized for claiming 70 kg is overweight
Sophie Thomalla. Photo: DPA

Model Sophie Thomalla claimed that promoting models who weigh over 70 kg sets as dangerous an example as skinny supermodels.

UK files show how Spanish spy tricked Nazis over D-Day
Photo: DPA

Secret files released in Britain Wednesday shed new light on how a Spaniard dubbed the greatest double agent of World War II tricked Germany with false intelligence about the D-Day Normandy landings.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Germany's 17 Olympic gold medals in pictures
14 facts you never knew about the Brandenburg Gate
Ten times Germans proved they really, really love beer
Six things you need to know when moving to Germany
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
German scientists prove birds can sleep while flying
London v. Berlin: Which is better for startups?
13 mortifying mistakes German learners always make
Enter if you dare: Berlin's best abandoned haunts
10 rookie errors all Brits make when they arrive in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd