A year ago, the patrol of the "Sharia police" in Wuppertal caused nationwide outrage and calls for harsh punishments. Now the regional court there says: The appearance in the high-visibility vests was not criminal.
The appearance of Islamists as "Sharia police" in Wuppertal was not punishable according to the regional court there. The court found that there was no violation of the ban on uniforms and declined to open criminal proceedings. The commercial bright orange vests with the inscription "Shariah-Police" did not have an intimidating, militant effect, a court spokeswoman said on Wednesday. However, according to the case law of the Federal Prosecution Court, this is a prerequisite.
Only against Islamist Sven Lau a part of the indictment was admitted, because he is supposed to have not announced the demonstration. The procedure was handed over to the district court. Lau is considered one of the leading figures in the Islamist scene. Interception says he is an "ideological link" of Salafist networks.
Public prosecutor's office to appeal verdict
Last year, Islamists had patrolled the streets of Wuppertal as guardians of morality. They wore vests with the words "Shariah Police" printed on them. Sharia is the Islamic law. The appearance had caused outrage nationwide. It was filmed by the Salafists themselves and distributed on the Internet.
The Wuppertal public prosecutor's office announced that it would appeal against the decision as soon as it was delivered. Until a legally binding decision is reached, further criminal proceedings will be taken against any further appearances by the Sharia police.
Central Council of Muslims had criticized action
A total of nine men, aged between 24 and 34, had been indicted. The Islamists had additionally laid claim to a "Shariah Controlled Zone" with yellow prohibition notices. On it are recorded rules of conduct of radical Muslims, as they are in strict Islamic states: No alcohol, no gambling, no music or concerts, no pornography or prostitution, no drugs.
The federal and NRW state governments had taken a stance against the activities. The Central Council of Muslims had also sharply criticized the action of the Islamists. The ban on uniforms in the right of assembly goes back to the militant marches of Hitler's SA. Already in the Weimar republic there were regional uniform prohibitions against it sporadically.