A prayer rug © New Africa (shutterstock)
Since the Islamist terrorist attacks last fall, the ideological antecedents of the perpetrators have come under greater scrutiny. A Union position paper now calls for steps against radical instigators in mosques.
The prere on political Islam in Germany is growing. On Tuesday evening, the CDU/CSU parliamentary group in the Bundestag unanimously adopted a position paper that calls for significantly tighter state control of Islamist organizations and mosques. The demands range from the creation of new chairs and institutions to monitor the phenomenon to the surveillance of dubious financial flows from Islamic foreign countries.
CDU member of parliament Christoph de Vries, the driving force behind the paper, told the Catholic News Agency (KNA) it was a "huge success".
For the first time, a parliamentary group is taking a systematic look at the problem. "Political Islamism is poison for our liberal society. Fundamental values such as equal rights, protection of minorities, freedom of opinion and separation of religion and state are non-negotiable. There can be no religious discount on this," de Vries said.
Paper consistently speaks of "political Islamism"
The seven-page paper speaks throughout of "political Islamism" and avoids the more common term "political Islam".
Islamic representatives, but also Christian theologians, had repeatedly criticized him for putting the religion and the legitimate political commitment of Muslims under suspicion.
Until now, policy has focused on the Islamist terror threat. The ideological antecedent has remained underexposed, its structures appearing mainly in reports of the Verfangsschutz. The agitators wear ties and pretend to be law-abiding, but incite among Muslims against democracy, women's rights, religious freedom and sexual self-determination – and thus have a much greater broad impact than any terrorist cell, up to and including fomenting violence.
Especially since they can usually rely on agile organizations such as the Muslim Brotherhood or the Turkish right-wing extremist Grey Wolves. But the Union paper also mentions the Turkish Ditib. Germany's largest mosque association, once a guarantor of secular attitudes among Turkish migrants, has moved more and more into Islamist waters under President Erdogan, de Vries told the KNA.
Again and again, the state accepts Islamists as contacts – "out of misunderstood tolerance," criticizes the document.
"Representatives of political Islamism who are active in politics and society are often perceived as legitimate representatives of religion and not as adherents of an extremist ideology." Their goal, however, remains the subjugation of Western society to the norms of fundamentalist Islam and the prevention of integration in parallel societies with high conformity prere.
Islamists must be treated by the state with the same rejection as political extremists from the left and right, the paper says.
On the one hand, the deputies demand scientific research on political Islamism by means of new chairs, a documentation center "Political Islamism in Germany and Europe" as well as a school study on the influence of Islamist propaganda on young people. One reason is the expressions of sympathy by Muslim students for the murderer of the French teacher Samuel Paty, which caused alarm last fall.
Founded a circle of experts at the Federal Ministry of the Interior?
On the other hand, Islamist actors are to be deliberately put under prere. To this end, the document recommends the establishment of a corresponding circle of experts at the Federal Ministry of the Interior (BMI). In addition, the state should stop "all financial contributions, subsidies, contractual relationships and cooperation with Islamic associations and organizations that are the subject of observation by the Verfangsschutzamter".
To curb influence from Islamic states, the paper also calls for more powers for domestic intelligence services to investigate money flows and for fiscal accountability for associations that draw significant funds from sources outside the EU.
Another focus is on more state impulses for the training of imams in Germany.
Among the victims of the radicals were especially liberal, secular-minded Muslims, de Vries stressed. He hopes for a quick implementation of the requested steps. Thus, the expert group on political Islamism at the BMI could start work before the end of this legislative period.