Ber­lin, Ger­many

The Week Middle East - - News -

Raids on Is­lamic group: Ger­man po­lice have car­ried out na­tion­wide dawn raids on more than 200 mosques, apart­ments and of­fices as­so­ci­ated with a newly banned Is­lamic cam­paign­ing group, DWR. Mem­bers of DWR (which stands for Die Wahre Re­li­gion, mean­ing “the true re­li­gion”) have been a fa­mil­iar sight in Ger­man town cen­tres for the past ten years, hand­ing out Is­lamic lit­er­a­ture – in­clud­ing mil­lions of copies of the Ko­ran – to passers-by. Nor­mally, re­li­gious groups are pro­tected in Ger­many, and in­te­rior min­is­ter Thomas de Maiz­ière said there was no ev­i­dence that DWR had been plan­ning any kind of ter­ror­ist at­tacks. How­ever, de Maiz­ière claimed that DWR, which has sev­eral hun­dred mem­bers, was “prop­a­gat­ing ex­trem­ist ide­olo­gies”, and us­ing its ac­tiv­i­ties as a front for rad­i­cal­is­ing peo­ple; some 140 Ger­mans who have gone to fight for Daesh are be­lieved to have had con­nec­tions with DWR.

Paris, France

New can­di­date: The front run­ner in France’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion race, the con­ser­va­tive for­mer PM Alain Juppé, suf­fered a blow this week when Em­manuel Macron declared his own can­di­dacy. Macron, 38, served as a re­form­ing busi­ness min­is­ter in François Hol­lande’s So­cial­ist ad­min­is­tra­tion un­til Au­gust, when he re­signed to con­cen­trate on his own cen­trist move­ment, En Marche. Polls had sug­gested that Juppé, a cen­trist, would de­feat the more right-wing for­mer pres­i­dent Ni­co­las Sarkozy in the Repub­li­can pri­maries, which are about to be­gin; Juppé was then ex­pected to be pro­pelled to the pres­i­dency by vot­ers from all sides who were anx­ious to keep the Na­tional Front’s Marine Le Pen out of the Elysée Palace. But he was al­ready be­ing chased in the polls by François Fil­lon, a for­mer PM un­der Sarkozy. The elec­tion will take place in April and May 2017.

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