Ger­many raids mosques, flats, bans Is­lamists

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Police launched dawn raids on about 190 mosques, flats and of­fices linked to an Is­lamist group in Ger­many yes­ter­day as the govern­ment banned the or­ga­ni­za­tion, ac­cus­ing it of rad­i­cal­iz­ing young­sters, the in­te­rior min­istry said. In­te­rior Min­is­ter Thomas de Maiziere said the DWR ‘True Re­li­gion’ or­ga­ni­za­tion had con­tacted young peo­ple as it dis­trib­uted Qu­rans and other re­li­gious ma­te­rial, and had per­suaded about 140 of them to join mil­i­tants in Iraq and Syria.

DWR made no ref­er­ence to the raids on its web­site and did not im­me­di­ately re­spond to a re­quest for com­ment. Ger­man Chan­cel­lor An­gela Merkel has faced pres­sure to har­den her line on se­cu­rity af­ter a string of at­tacks claimed by Is­lamic State across Europe and crit­i­cism of her de­ci­sion to let in about 900,000 mi­grants last year.

“To­day’s ban is not di­rected against the dis­tri­bu­tion of the Qu­ran or trans­la­tions of the Qu­ran,” de Maiziere told re­porters. “To­day’s ban is rather di­rected against the abuse of re­li­gion by peo­ple prop­a­gat­ing ex­trem­ist ide­olo­gies and sup­port­ing ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tions un­der the pre­text of Is­lam.” The group had sev­eral hun­dred mem­bers, he added. Con­cern over the num­ber of mi­grants en­ter­ing the coun­try has boosted sup­port for Al­ter­na­tive for Ger­many, a pop­ulist party that says Is­lam is in­com­pat­i­ble with the Ger­man con­sti­tu­tion and has si­phoned off sup­port from Merkel’s con­ser­va­tives.

A spokes­woman for the in­te­rior min­istry said there was no in­di­ca­tion that DWR was planning at­tacks it­self. The ban means DWR is now pro­hib­ited from tak­ing part in in­for­ma­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion cam­paigns. De Maiziere said yes­ter­day’s ac­tions across 10 Ger­man states were the big­gest crack­down on a group since the govern­ment shut down a move­ment known as Kal­i­fat­staat (Caliphate State) in 2001, ac­cus­ing it of “ex­trem­ist ac­tiv­i­ties”. The govern­ment has also banned five other or­ga­ni­za­tion ac­cused of hav­ing Is­lamist-Ji­hadist as­pi­ra­tions since 2012.— Reuters

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