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Germany’s woke government wavers as Islamists declare holy war


The German government’s laissez-faire approach to Islamism has moved the problem into a taboo zone that has strengthened the Islamists.

By Soeren Kern, Middle East Forum

More than a thousand Islamic extremists recently marched through the streets of Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city, demanding that the European Union’s most populous and powerful country be reconstituted as an Islamic state governed by sharia.

The demonstration, organized by a fast-growing Islamist group called Muslim Interaktiv, was allowed to proceed after left-wing parties in Hamburg’s legislature rejected a petition by right-wing parties to prohibit the event.

During the April 27 march in Hamburg’s multicultural Sankt Georg district, the Islamists — mostly young men, but also women in chadors, hijabs, niqabs, and jilbabs — complained about an alleged surge in “Islamophobia” in Germany since October 7, when Hamas terrorists slaughtered more than 1,000 Israelis.

Amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” and “There is no God but Allah,” the protesters reminded German authorities of their constitutional obligation to ensure justice for everyone.

They then described Germany as a “dictatorship of values” and called for replacing it with a caliphate, an Islamic dictatorship in which there is no separation between state and religion.

The audacious display of Islamist power on German streets cast light on a glaring double standard:

On the one hand, the German government continues to trivialize and even express solidarity with the totalitarian challenge to democracy posed by radical Muslims, who openly seek to overturn Germany’s constitutional order; on the other, the government is obsessed with the threats it says are posed to democracy by the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD), the country’s second-largest political party, whose popularity is largely fueled by voters frustrated with the government’s refusal to crack down on those very same Islamists.

The German government’s laissez-faire approach to Islamism has moved the problem into a taboo zone that has strengthened the Islamists.

Some observers argue that if the German government would only take the Islamist threat more seriously, it could instantly solve the populist problem by removing the main issue that makes the AfD so popular.

But alas, key members of Germany’s government — and, apparently, many German voters — are disciples of wokeism, which claims that Islamists are a disadvantaged minority group that must be empowered.

At the same time, Germans seeking to preserve their culture against the encroachment of Islamism are branded as right-wing extremists who pose an existential danger to democracy.

After the Hamburg imbroglio, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser declared: “If you want a caliphate, you’ve come to the wrong place.” And yet, just a few weeks earlier, she’d insisted that the real danger to Germany lies not with the Islamists but with the far right. When asked why she considers right-wing extremism to be more threatening than Islamism, she replied: “Islamism does not want to overthrow the system, right-wing extremists do.”

A New Islamism

Muslim Interaktiv, along with its close cousins, Generation Islam and Realität Islam, is the vanguard of a new generation of German Islamists who have replaced old-school jihadist propaganda with the fresh battle cry of grievance peddling.

While the overall goal — to Islamize Western society — remains the same, the new method of adopting the role of an aggrieved minority is more effective because, rather than being overtly illegal, such speech is constitutionally protected.

Muslim Interaktiv, whose stated goal is to establish Islam as a “comprehensive way of life” in Germany, is a successor of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a global pan-Arab and pan-Islamic group that seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate.

Although Hizb ut-Tahrir has been banned in Germany since January 2003, the government continues to turn a blind eye to Muslim Interaktiv, which was established in 2020 and opposes Western liberal democracy, women’s rights, and the state of Israel.

Muslim Interaktiv has successfully filled a vacuum created after the destruction of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq (ISIS) in 2019.

The leader of Muslim Interaktiv is a charismatic 25-year-old Ghanaian-German convert to Islam named Joe Adade Boateng (he now goes by Raheem) who is studying at the University of Hamburg to become a teacher.

He is adept at using social media and digital networking to propagate victim narratives, a strategy that has made him a superstar within the Islamist subculture.

In its latest annual report, Hamburg’s state-security agency warned that Muslim Interaktiv was leveraging social media to find new recruits from among Germany’s disaffected Muslim youth.

The group’s leaders have been described by security experts as “radical pop Islamists” who “shun beards, drive flashy cars, and hate Israel” and produce professional-looking videos that “appeal to young people via the internet.”

Hamburg’s spy chief, Torsten Voß, said that Muslim Interaktiv is “dangerous” because of its capacity to “increase the number of Islamists in the long term.”

An Increasing Base of Support

Muslim Interaktiv and associated groups have mobilized large numbers of followers at public gatherings across Germany.

In March 2024, hundreds of Salafists gathered in Hamburg to listen to a speech by Marcel Krass, an influential convert to Islam who, according to German intelligence, had contact with one of the terrorist hijackers in the 9/11 attacks.

In February 2023, Muslim Interaktiv mobilized 3,500 people in Hamburg to rally against Koran burnings in Sweden.

In October 2023, the group organized a pro-Palestinian protest during which hundreds of demonstrators carrying Islamist flags attacked police officers with bottles and stones.

And in November 2023, more than 3,000 members of Generation Islam — which, like Muslim Interaktiv, is an offshoot of Hizb-ut Tahrir — participated in a virulently anti-Israel protest in Essen, where they called for the establishment of an Islamic caliphate in Germany

Muslim Interaktiv has a large pool of supporters among younger Muslims in Germany.

A new report from the Lower Saxony Criminological Research Institute revealed that a majority of Muslim students (67.8 percent) agreed with the statement: “The rules of the Koran are more important to me than the laws in Germany.”

Almost half (45.8 percent) believed that “an Islamic theocracy is the best form of government” and 51.5 percent agreed with the statement: “Only Islam is able to solve the problems of our time.”

Turkish-German Islamism expert Eren Güvercin explained the seriousness of Germany’s Islamist problem: “The vast majority of caliphate supporters are not refugees, but German citizens. They are children and grandchildren of immigrants, including those who the German state once ‘recruited’ as cheap labor. They were born in Germany, attended German schools, then German universities. They cannot be deported. It is not just a failure of integration, but also of education.”

Tepid Responses

On May 4, a group of moderate Muslims in Hamburg led by the chairman of the Kurdish community in Germany, Ali Toprak, held a counterdemonstration to Muslim Interaktiv to defend Germany’s liberal democratic constitutional order against the encroachment of radical Islam.

“The Islamists are babbling about the caliphate and sharia,” he said. “We as a civil society shouldn’t put up with that.” In the end, a few hundred people showed up.

One of Germany’s leading experts on political Islam, Ahmad Mansour, lamented that “despite the seriousness” of the challenge posed by Muslim Interaktiv, “only a few are upset, while the majority of the country continues to ignore them.”

He warned the “naïve West” against “tolerating everything — even those forces that would threaten its way of life — in the name of radical diversity and multiculturalism.”

But the mood in the country may now be changing. Germany’s main opposition party, the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), in a stark departure from the years when Angela Merkel ran it, has signaled that it intends to take a much harder line on Islam and migration.

CDU general secretary Carsten Linnemann recently proposed changes to the party platform that would specify that “Sharia does not belong to Germany” and “Everyone who wants to live here must recognize our guiding culture [Leitkultur] without any ifs or buts.”

The CDU is now calling on the federal government to ban Muslim Interaktiv for engaging in anti-constitutional activities. “It is unacceptable that Muslim Interaktiv is openly agitating on our streets against Jews and against our free way of life,” said Hamburg’s CDU leader, Dennis Thering. “We are governed by the Basic Law [Germany’s constitution] and not Sharia law.”

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