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Germany’s Leftist Government Spurns Tools to Tackle Islamist Threats

- FOCUS ON WESTERN ISLAMISM - Soeren Kern - MAR 31, 2023 -

Germany’s parliament has rejected two legislative proposals aimed at clamping down on political Islam in Germany. The sponsors of the proposed bills argued that Islamism is subversive and must be opposed because it poses a growing threat to liberal democracy and social cohesion.

The German parliament (Bundestag) rejected two legislative proposals aimed at giving German officials more power to stop foreign funding of radical mosques.

Lawmakers representing Germany’s left-wing coalition government countered that measures to curb Islamism would unfairly single out Muslims.

The legislative setback comes just six months after Germany’s government dissolved a high-profile expert working group on political Islam — opting instead to fight “Islamophobia.”

A number of German analysts (who preferred to remain anonymous) told FWI that the government’s refusal to confront Islamism stems from its obsession with woke ideology (which posits that Muslims are an oppressed group and need protection). They asserted that this stance and the policies that result from it represent a security threat not just for Germany but also for the rest of Europe.

Germany’s violent and non-violent Islamism problem is colossal. In its latest annual report, Germany’s domestic intelligence agency (Bundesamt für Verfassungsschutz, BfV) estimated that the country is home to at least 30,000 hardcore Islamists, although the actual number probably is much higher.

The BfV report listed more than 20 Islamist groups active in Germany including: al-Qaeda, al-Shabaab, Hamas, Hezbollah, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Islamic State, Milli Görüs, the Muslim Brotherhood, Tablighi Jamaat, and the Taliban. The groups have ties to — and are believed to receive funding from — governments and Islamist organizations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

BfV warned that violent and non-violent Islamists are seeking “the partial or complete abolition of the free democratic basic order” in Germany. They are “particularly opposed to the principles of popular sovereignty enshrined in the Basic Law [German Constitution], the separation of state and religion, freedom of expression and general equality.”

Despite the burgeoning threat, the German parliament (Bundestag) on March 16 rejected two legislative proposals aimed at giving German officials more power to tackle the Islamist threat. The first proposal (Antrag) — “Disclosing and Preventing the Financing of Political Islamism in Germany” (Finanzierung des politischen Islamismus in Deutschland offenlegen und unterbinden) — was submitted by the opposition center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and its Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union (CSU). The second proposal — “Drying Up the Financing of Islamism” (Finanzierung des Islamismus austrocknen) — was presented by Alternative for Germany (AfD).

The CDU/CSU proposal called on the federal government to require mosques and Islamic associations in Germany to disclose any foreign sources of financing to German tax authorities. It also called for expanding the BfV’s powers to investigate financial and political meddling by foreign governments with respect to the practice of Islam in Germany, and to allow it to coordinate more closely with Germany’s Financial Intelligence Unit, an official agency tasked with investigating money laundering and terrorist financing.


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