Ger­man po­lice rolled out red car­pet for Hezbol­lah-af­fil­i­ated group

The Jerusalem Post - - NEWS - • By BEN­JAMIN WEINTHAL

The po­lice pres­i­dent in Mün­ster, Ger­many, ap­peared for a “nice evening” on Novem­ber 25 at a pro-Hezbol­lah or­ga­ni­za­tion that pro­claims its re­sis­tance against the Jewish state, ig­nor­ing his own state’s in­tel­li­gence re­ports about the rad­i­cal Is­lamic Hezbol­lah en­tity.

Ac­cord­ing to a Face­book en­try on the web­site of the Hezbol­lah-af­fil­i­ated Mahdi AG or­ga­ni­za­tion, Mün­ster’s po­lice pres­i­dent Hajo Kuh­lisch met with mem­bers of the Imam-Mahdi mosque to dis­cuss “anti-Mus­lim racism and Qu­ran learn­ing.”

“It was a nice evening and pro­duc­tive ex­change,” wrote the or­ga­ni­za­tion that is filled with Hezbol­lah sup­port­ers, ac­cord­ing to the state of North Rhine-West­phalia (NRW) in­tel­li­gence re­ports, where Mün­ster is lo­cated.

A pho­to­graph on the Face­book site of Mahdi AG, dated Novem­ber 25, shows a smil­ing po­lice pres­i­dent Kuh­lisch stand­ing next to mem­bers of Mahdi AG.

Last year, the chair­man of the Hezbol­lah-af­fil­i­ated Is­lamic cen­ter Al-Mahdi urged his sup­port­ers to wage “re­sis­tance” against Is­rael.

“Is­rael is the en­emy – we carry out re­sis­tance,” said Has­san Jawad, chair­man of Mün­ster’s Al-Mahdi cul­tural cen­ter. Re­sis­tance for the Lebanese Hezbol­lah mili­tia is syn­ony­mous with armed strug­gle against Is­rael.

When asked by The Jerusalem Post in Septem­ber if the min­is­ter pres­i­dent of North Rhine-West­phalia, Ar­min Laschet, plans to out­law the Lebanese or­ga­ni­za­tion Hezbol­lah in North Rhine-West­phalia, he re­ferred to the state’s in­te­rior min­is­ter who told the Post in 2017 “as­so­ci­a­tions that sup­port Hezbol­lah can presently be banned, if fi­nan­cial sup­port [for them] is prov­able.”

The US, Is­rael, the Arab League, and Canada clas­sify all of Hezbol­lah as a ter­ror­ist en­tity. Ger­many and the EU have merely pro­scribed Hezbol­lah’s so-called mil­i­tary wing a ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion.

North Rhine-West­phalia has ex­pe­ri­enced a growth of Hezbol­lah mem­bers, who are in a po­si­tion to raise funds and re­cruit new mem­bers.

Ac­cord­ing to the state’s 2017 in­tel­li­gence re­port, the num­ber of Hezbol­lah mem­bers in­creased from 100 in 2015 to 105 in 2016. There are 950 ac­tive Hezbol­lah mem­bers in Ger­many, ac­cord­ing to Ger­man in­tel­li­gence re­ports re­viewed by the Post.

The Ger­man daily tabloid Bild re­ported that the po­lice pres­i­dent did not in­form the state’s in­tel­li­gence agency prior to his meet­ing with the pro-Hezbol­lah group. The Mün­ster po­lice listed no no­tices on its web­site about the meet­ing or an ex­pla­na­tion for why its pres­i­dent met with a pro-Hezbol­lah en­tity. Bild re­ported that Kuh­lisch meets reg­u­larly with dif­fer­ent re­li­gious groups in the city, in­clud­ing Chris­tian, Jewish and Is­lamic com­mu­ni­ties, ac­cord­ing to the po­lice com­mu­ni­ca­tion’s depart­ment.

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