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Germany: Police raid radical Salafists nationwide
From the German edition of The Local and Deutsche Welle
Around 1,000 police officers have been deployed in raids on radical Salafist Islamist groups across Germany, with early reports suggesting around 70 addresses were targeted in seven states. Police were searching more than 70 premises looking for evidence that the Islamists in question were seeking to bring down Germany's democratic system of government, which would be a criminal offense.
Salafist groups the Dawaffm, Millatu Ibrahim and Die Wahre Religion (The True Religion) were the particular focus of the raids which were carried out in Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, Berlin, Bavaria, North Rhine-Westphalia and Hesse.
Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich banned the Solingen-based Salafist mosque network Millatu Ibrahim at the same time. "This association is against our constitutional order and against the philosophy of understanding between nations," he said on Thursday morning.
Salafism is considered the fastest-growing branch of Islam in Germany and is considered radical, and even dangerous, for its fundamental views. Believers want a theocracy governed by Sharia or Islamic religious law. Strict Salafists reject social liberality and try to live what they see as “pure” Islamic lives, imitating how they consider the early Muslims lived – they would see all women completely veiled, and regard homosexuality as a serious sin. It is thought there are around 4,000 believers in Germany.
It became clear that their influence could be deadly after Arid Uka, a Kosovan German Salafist believer was jailed for life in February for killing two American soldiers at Frankfurt Airport in March 2011.