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Germany's "Sharia Police"

Author: Soeren Kern
Publication: Gatestone Institute
Date: September 8, 2014
URL: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4681/germany-sharia-police

According to Burkhard Freier, the director of domestic intelligence for North Rhine-Westphalia, German Salafists are increasingly inclined to use violence to achieve their aims, and many have travelled to Iraq or Syria to obtain combat training.

"The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others. We will not permit this." — Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung.

"In Germany, German law is determinative, not Sharia law." — Christian Democratic Union (CDU) politician Volker Kauder.

Salafist ideology posits that Sharia law is superior to all secular laws because it emanates from Allah, the only legitimate lawgiver, and thus is legally binding for all of humanity. According to the Salafist worldview, democracy is an effort to elevate the will of human beings above the will of Allah.

Muslim radicals have begun enforcing Islamic Sharia law on the streets of Wuppertal, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany.

In what government officials say is a blatant challenge to the rule of law and the democratic order in Germany, groups of young bearded Islamists — some wearing orange traffic safety vests emblazoned with the words "Sharia Police" — have declared parts of downtown Wuppertal to be a "Sharia Controlled Zone."

The self-appointed guardians of public morals have been distributing yellow leaflets that explain the Islamist code of conduct in the city's Sharia zones. They have urged both Muslim and non-Muslim passersby to listen to Salafist sermons and to refrain from alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, gambling, listening to music, pornography or prostitution.

A seven-minute propaganda video in German, entitled "Sharia Police: Coming Soon to Your City," shows a group of men led by a German convert to Islam, Sven Lau, roaming the streets of Wuppertal at night and pressing wayward youth to embrace radical Islam. In some instances, the men physically attempted to prevent young people from entering bars, casinos and discotheques; those who resisted were pursued and intimidated.

After local residents alerted German authorities, police stepped up their presence in downtown Wuppertal and also established a telephone hotline to enable citizens to report any possible criminal activity.

Local authorities, however, appear uncertain about how to proceed.

Wuppertal Police Chief Birgitta Radermacher said the "pseudo police" represent a threat to the rule of law and that only police appointed and employed by the state have the legitimate right to act as police in Germany. She added:

"The monopoly of power lies exclusively with the State. Behavior that intimidates, threatens or provokes will not be tolerated. These 'Sharia Police' are not legitimate. Call 110 [police] when you meet these people."

Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung said he hoped the police would take a hard line against the Islamists. "The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others," Jung said. "We will not permit this."
 
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