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Post time 2012-4-13 04:02:38 |Display all floors

Salafists to distribute 25 million Korans in Germany

Germany monitors conservative Muslims' holy book giveaway; 'Campaign is form of aggressive proselytizing,' authorities say

The Salafist Muslim movement in Germany has launched a campaign to distribute 25 million Korans in the European country, the BBC reported Wednesday.

The initiative is monitored by a branch of the German security service in case it violates constitutional rules on religious freedom.

According to the report, the campaign is led by a Cologne-based cleric, Ibrahim Abou Nagie, who said he wants to save non-Muslims from hell.

The Interior Ministry in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia said the campaign was a form of aggressive proselytizing.

So far, about 300,000 German-language copies of Islam's holy book have been given away in urban areas. Additional copies are also being distributed in Austria and Switzerland.

Salafism is considered a very conservative movement in Islam whose members try to emulate the earliest followers of Prophet Muhammad.

'Aggressive action must be stopped'The Koran giveaway has drawn much criticism from politicians across the political spectrum in Germany.
"Wherever possible, this aggressive action must be stopped," Guenter Krings of the governing center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told the Rheinische Post newspaper, the BBC reported.

Krings admitted that handing out religious material was not in itself objectionable, but said the "Salafist radicals" were disturbing the religious peace with their behavior.

The center-left Social Democrats and the Green Party have also expressed their concern.

"What is presented as the simple distribution of the Koran is in truth the subtle spreading of the Salafist ideology," said a spokesman for North Rhine-Westphalia's Interior Ministry.

According to the BBC, the project has been funded by Koran sales to Muslims and through contributions made by wealthy donors based in Bahrain.


If we all think alike .... then, nobody is thinking

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Post time 2012-4-13 04:17:16 |Display all floors
This post was edited by FreddyAguilar at 2012-4-13 04:42

If I meet someone who gives me some of those books for free, I definitely will take as many as possible, take them home...

b u r n    them ! (it is still cold here!)

I am sure most Germans will do the same !

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Post time 2012-4-13 04:19:53 |Display all floors
Salafist Muslims have been handing out free Korans across Germany in recent weeks. But the group's radicalism has many politicians concerned -- as does a recent video posted on YouTube that allegedly threatened journalists who wrote critical reports on the religious offensive.

At first glance, the project appears relatively harmless. A Muslim group in Germany has set as its goal the distribution of millions of free Korans, so that the holy book of Islam finds its place in "every household in Germany, Austria and Switzerland," as the project website (German language only) states.

For months -- though most noticeably during the recent Easter holidays -- followers of the Salafist imam Ibrahim Abou Nagie have been handing out copies at information stands in city centers across Germany. The group, which calls itself "The True Religion," claims that 300,000 copies have already been distributed.
Increasingly, though, skepticism of the project is mounting among leading politicians in Germany, not least because of Nagie's own radical interpretation of Islam. Indeed, last autumn Nagie was indicted for public incitement to commit criminal offenses and for disturbing the religious peace.

And on Thursday, daily Die Welt reports that a video made a brief appearance on YouTube this week apparently targeting journalists that reported critically on the Koran distribution project. "We now have detailed information on the monkeys and pigs who published false reports about the (Frankfurt Salafist group) DawaFFM and many other brothers and sisters," the video, which has since been taken down, intoned, according to Die Welt.

"We possess a lot of information, for example, we know where you live, we know what football team you root for, we have your mobile phone numbers," it continues. The video names reporters from the dailies Frankfurter Rundschau and Tagesspiegel. Die Welt reports that the producer of the video has worked for Nagie in the past.

Growing Political Debate

Separate from those revelations, the Ulm-based publishing house Ebner & Spiegel (which is not connected to SPIEGEL magazine), which is printing the Korans being handed out across the country, has suspended deliveries and is now examining possibilities for backing out of the contract.

The move was a reaction to the growing political debate in Germany focused on the Koran distributions. Although the Salafist info-stands have been making appearances in pedestrian zones of German towns for months, it is only now that politicians of all stripes have begun addressing Nagie's mission.

In particular, as many make clear, it is the Salafist movement itself that most find objectionable. Germany's Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), the country's domestic intelligence agency, estimates that there are between 3,000 and 5,000 Salafists in Germany. The Berlin office of the BfV warns that the Salafist ideology is almost identical to that of the al-Qaida terrorist network. More concerning, the group has a growing number of followers in Germany. Furthermore, Arid U., the man who was sentenced to life in prison in February for shooting to death two American servicemen at Frankfurt Airport in 2011, reportedly had ties to Salafism.

Disturbing the Religious Peace

Günter Krings, a senior member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democratic Union, told the Rheinische Post that "wherever possible, this aggressive action must be stopped. While the distribution of religious writings is in principle unobjectionable … the aggressive actions of the radical Salafists have disturbed the religious peace in our country."
Green Party co-leader Cem Özdemir was likewise clear in his condemnation of the Salafists. "I have a problem with all religious groups that place their world view above the constitution and above human rights. That applies as well to those Salafists who invoke violence and whose ideology fuels Islamist terrorism," he told Die Welt.

Spokespersons from other political parties have also expressed concern about the Koran distributions, though the business-friendly Free Democrats, Merkel's junior coalition partner, said that they doubt whether the project could be banned. Some leading German Muslim groups have also criticized the Salafists out of concern that the group is seeking to portray itself as the only true representative of Islam in the country.

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Post time 2012-4-13 04:21:16 |Display all floors
A Salafist hands a Koran to a passerby in the western German city of Offenbach.

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Post time 2012-4-13 04:50:32 |Display all floors

The Salafist Jihadist ... first  will have to distribute 25 million copies of the New Testament in downtown Riyadh ... and then we can procede to distribute the Holy Korans in Germany ...

If we all think alike .... then, nobody is thinking

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Post time 2012-4-13 04:51:38 |Display all floors
This post was edited by FreddyAguilar at 2012-4-13 04:52


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Post time 2012-4-13 11:16:59 |Display all floors

By Matthias Kamann
DIE WELT/Worldcrunch

BERLIN - After more than 300,000 copies of the Muslim holy book were reportedly distributed in German cities during Christian holy week, major political parties have announced that they will push for closer monitoring of Salafist groups advocating fundamentalist Islam.

The Christian Democratic Union and the Christian Social Union, known as the Union parties, and Alliance ‘90/The Greens, have all declared their concern about the massive free distribution of the Koran launched by Ibrahim Abou Nagie, a Cologne-based businessman and preacher with Palastinian roots. According to Abou Nagie, the 300,000 copies were distributed at information booths and over the Internet, with the purchase of one copy entitling the buyer to another Koran free.

The timing of the action is thought to be a particular provocation for Christians, as thousands of the copies of the Koran were distributed around Good Friday and Easter.

Abou Nagie -- one of Germany's most influential Salafist leaders -- has been charged in Cologne with inciting the public to commit illegal acts and disturbing the “religious peace.” The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution has been monitoring Salafist groups, which is why this distribution of religious literature – normally not a cause for concern – is being seen in another light.

“I view the distribution campaign of free copies of the Koran by Salafists with great concern,” Kerstin Griese, a spokesperson for the Social Democratic Party (SPD) parliamentary group, told Die Welt. She said she had “fundamentally nothing against the distribution of religious literature as long as this is not associated with encouraging criminal acts or defamation.”

But Griese said in this case, “the ideas and motives of the people behind this action are highly alarming,” adding that their notable financial resources was also of great concern.   

Josef Winkler, a spokesman for the Greens, went even further, calling on the police to investigate the campaign. “Distributing the Koran is certainly not forbidden by the law, but this should be monitored very carefully by the police,"  Winkler said. "An open question is whether the areas around schools should be generally closed off to any type of religious propaganda.”

Moderate Muslims speak up

Winkler added the Koran campaign was “very worrisome, because calls to violence and terror have repeatedly risen from these radical Muslim splinter groups, which is why it is entirely justified for them to be watched by security authorities.”

Peter Uhl (CSU), a spokesman for the Union faction, urged that “an urgent stop” be put to the “machinations of the growing radical Salafist movement in Germany.”

The SPD party's Christine Lambrecht, however, disagreed with the Union position, saying that “there is no legal prohibition against distributing the Koran,” and that “such actions are covered by the right for freedom of opinion and religion.”

Legal issues aside, the SPD, Union and Greens are unanimously alarmed by the Salafist missionary campaign. The group has more than 100 info booths in cities particularly in the states of Nordrhein-Westfalen, Niedersachsen, Hessen and Hamburg. The campaign’s long-term goal is to bring 25 million copies of the Koran into German homes.

Large Muslim associations in German were also critical of the initiative. “The Koran is not some PR flyer to be handed out like mass merchandise,” Ayman Mazyek, the chair of the Central Council of Muslims, told the Catholic News Agency. Kenan Kolat, the chair of Germany’s Turkish community, said the action reminded him of Jehovah’s Witnesses. While it was not forbidden to distribute the Koran, Kolat told Die Welt that “the question to be asked are: Are the Salafists acting aggressively? Are they disturbing people?”

Green politician Cem Özdemir, who for years has been fighting to keep Muslims living in Germany away from the reach of fundamentalists, said: “I have a problem with any religious group that puts their vision of the world above basic law, the Constitution and human rights. So that also goes for the Salafists, who do encourage violence, and whose ideology is a front for Islamic terrorism.”

It was apparent, he said, “that the strategy underlying this campaign is to represent themselves as the mouthpiece of Muslims and to propagate what they would claim is the true Islam. The Salafists can’t be allowed to get away with this.”

Özdemir pointed out that members of the sect also agitated against moderate Muslims. Muslims “who couldn’t care less about fundamentalism” are “also called infidels by the Salafists if they don’t measure up to the sect’s radical standard of devoutness.”

The Christian churches are maintaining a low profile about the controversy, in order to avoid having the entire issue of distributing religious literature, including the Bible, come into question. “Fortunately, in Germany it is not forbidden to distribute religious literature,” said prelate Bernhard Felmberg, speaking for the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD). “Of course I hope that in countries where Islam is the religion of the majority that the distribution of Bibles were allowed.”

For the Catholics, the head of the German Bishops’ Conference Christian-Islamic group, Timo Güzelmansur, speaking on Cologne Cathedral radio, said that the Salafists are not interested in dialogue, and view tolerance and any form of integration for Muslims as toxic.

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