• 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
Merkel party leader admits sexism is a problem
Jenna Behrends complained that a member of CDU's Berlin government had called her a "big sweet mouse" in front of a large group. Photo: Sophia Kembowski/dpa

A leader of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party admitted Sunday that it has a problem with sexism in its ranks.

Ethiopia's Bekele nears record as wins Berlin marathon
Participants in the Berlin marathon take to the streets on Sunday. Photo:Paul Zinken/dpa

Kenenisa Bekele narrowly missed out on the world record on Sunday as the Ethiopian won the Berlin marathon ahead of former winner Wilson Kipsang.

Europe needs deals to send migrants home: Merkel
Angela Merkal poses with Bulgaria's Prime minister Boyko Borissov (L) and Austrian chancellor Christian Kern (R) in Vienna. Photo: Joe Klamar/AFP

Europe needs to secure more deals to send rejected migrants home, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has told counterparts in Vienna.

Germany sees 'turning point' in birth rate decline
Children at a a kindergarten in Swabia. Photo: Nikolaus Lenau/Flickr

Is Germany's three-decade decline in birth rate now over?

Trump protesters rebuild and tear down 'Berlin Wall'
The 'Stop Trump' protest at the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA.

US expats gathered at the Berlin's iconic Brandenburg Gate on Friday "rebuild" the Berlin Wall and protest US presidential candidate Donald Trump's own proposed wall-building.

Accusation of sexism within Merkel's party creates uproar
Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen and Chancellor Angela Merkel, two leading women in the CDU party. Photo: DPA.

A young politician from the ranks of Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union (CDU) has caused a storm by suggesting that the party is institutionally sexist.

EasyJet 'in talks to buy German airline' to duck Brexit
Photo: DPA

EasyJet is in talks to acquire TUIfly, a board member of the German carrier said Friday, as the British no-frills airline looks for ways to keep flying freely within the EU after Britain quits the bloc.

Symbols of migrant plight to go on show in Bonn museum
Photo: DPA

A people smugglers' car, a dinghy and a life jacket are among items related to Europe's migration crisis due to go on display at a German museum.

Green party demand 'quick and easy' citizenship for Brits
Photo: DPA

The Green party has called for Brits living in Germany to be offered a painless path to obtaining dual citizenship as to "reassure them over the future".

Berlin the new London? 10m2 flat to rent for €750 a month
Photo: Immonet.de.

This shoebox apartment in the gentrified Bergmann-Kiez neighbourhood may be a sign that the tides are turning for Berlin’s comparatively cheap housing market.

Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Seven great reasons to stay in Germany this September
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: the secret to dating in Berlin
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