Archive for the ‘German values’ category

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: June 2017

July 11, 2017

A Month of Islam and Multiculturalism in Germany: June 2017, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, July 11, 2017

A 10-year-old girl from a former republic of the Soviet Union was raped by an asylum seeker from Ghana, but police and the local government allegedly suppressed information about the crime for more than two weeks.

A student sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl and punched another boy in the face, breaking his glasses. At least six other students have been beaten bloody. The school’s leadership has refused to discipline the child, apparently because of his migrant background, and instead has lashed out at the parents for demanding a safe environment for their children.

Police in Lübeck suspect that refugees are taking over illegal drug trade in the city.

June 1. A Syrian migrant was stabbed to death in Oldenburg by another Syrian because he was eating ice cream during Ramadan. The murder, which occurred in broad daylight in a busy pedestrian shopping area, was just the latest example of Islamic law, Sharia, being enforced on German streets.

June 2. Around one million non-Europeans living in Germany are now on welfare, an increase of 124% in just one year, according to new statistics from the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). The top welfare beneficiaries are from: Syria (509,696); Turkey (276,399); Iraq (110,529) and Afghanistan (65,443).

June 2. Police temporarily halted the annual Rock am Ring music festival in Nürburg because of a possible jihadist threat. Authorities asked the 90,000 visitors to leave the concert grounds in a “controlled and calm” manner. The move was based on “concrete leads which do not allow us to eliminate a possible terror threat,” the police said.

June 3. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency to begin surveilling minors suspected of being involved with Islamist groups:

“I would strongly urge for the age limit for surveillance to be lowered throughout Germany. Minors have already committed serious acts of violence. Normally, the domestic intelligence agency in Bavaria would not place children under surveillance. But if there is concrete evidence that a 12-year-old is with an Islamist group, we have to be able to monitor them, too.”

June 4. Mostafa J., a 41-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, stabbed to death a five-year-old Russian at a refugee shelter in Arnschwang. The Afghan, who had been arguing with the boy’s 47-year-old mother, was shot to death by police after a standoff. It later emerged that the man had a criminal history in Germany and should have been deported but was not. In October 2009, for example, a court in Munich sentenced Mostafa J. to six years in prison for arson. In July 2011, he received a deportation order, but in 2014 he fooled a judge into believing that he had converted to Christianity and would be killed if he were deported to Afghanistan.

June 5. A study conducted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a think tank affiliated with Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, found that half the asylum seekers in Bavaria subscribe to classic anti-Semitic views about Jewish power. Around 60% of Afghans, 53% of Iraqis and 52% of Syrians said Jews wield too much influence.

June 7. A 27-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and killed a Red Cross mental health counselor in Saarbrücken. The attacker and the psychologist allegedly got into an argument during a therapy session at a counselling center for traumatized refugees.

June 9. A court in Cottbus sentenced a 32-year-old Chechen migrant named Rashid D. to 13 years in prison for slitting his wife’s throat and throwing her out of the second-floor window of their apartment. The couple’s five children now live in Chechnya with their grandparents. The man was charged with manslaughter rather than murder because, according to the court, the “honor killing” was done in the heat of passion: the man thought that his wife had been unfaithful.

June 12. A 44-year-old migrant from Syria named Sultan K. was arrested at his home in Bullenhausen on charges of being a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist group. Police said that the man’s three brothers, Ahmed K. (51), Mustafa K. (41) and Abdullah K. (39), were also suspected of being members of al-Nusra. The arrest confirmed fears that jihadists posing as refugees have gained access to Germany.

June 12. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on three German states — Berlin, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia — to introduce random police spot checks. Local laws against “racial profiling” prohibit police in the three states from stopping and identifying individuals. Hermann called it a “blatant security gap that urgently needs to be closed.” He also said he wanted to see random checks extended in border areas, around airports, railway stations and rest-stops, as well as on highways that lead in and out of the country. At the moment, such checks are only allowed within 30 kilometers (20 miles) of German borders. Parliamentary spokesman Stephan Mayer said:

“The demand of Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann to finally introduce so-called spot-checks in the states of Berlin, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia is completely and utterly justified. Given the basically open borders in Europe, random checks are a necessary instrument for preventing terrorists, criminals and illegal immigrants from entering the country.”

June 13. The newspaper, Bildposted on its website a film — “Chosen and Excluded: Jew Hatred in Europe” — that was censored by the Franco-German television outlet ARTE because it showed Islamic-animated anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred in all walks of European life. Julian Reichelt, Bild‘s online editor-in-chief, said:

“The TV documentary proves the rampant, in part socially acceptable Jew-hatred, for which there are only two words: disgusting and shameful. It is suspected that the documentary is not being shown on television because it is politically unsuitable and because the film shows an anti-Semitic worldview in wide parts of society that is disturbing. Our historical responsibility requires us to decisively counter the unspeakable truth that this film establishes.”

June 14. A 33-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and seriously injured his ex-wife at a supermarket in Cologne. He also stabbed his 13-year-old son after the boy intervened to protect his mother.

June 15. A 21-year-old migrant from Nigeria went on a rampage after the manager of a public swimming pool in Rosenheim repeatedly told him that hygiene regulations prohibited him from swimming in his underwear. After police arrived, the Nigerian attacked an officer. He was arrested for refusing to obey a police officer.

June 16. Germany’s first “liberal mosque” opened in Berlin. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque, which holds its services inside the St. Johannis Church in the Moabit district, was founded by Seyran Ates, a women’s rights activist who has been hailed by some as the “champion of modern Islam.” The mosque allows men and women to pray together and the Koran to be interpreted “historically and critically.” The mosque, which is open to everyone, including Alawite and Sufi Muslims, as well as homosexuals, has caused outrage in the Muslim world. Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, generally considered the leading authority on Sunni Islam, issued a fatwa warning against “religious innovation that is not approved by Islamic Sharia.” Turkey’s religious affairs agency, Diyanet, said that the mosque’s practices “do not align with Islam’s fundamental resources, principles of worship, methodology or experience of more than 14 centuries, and are experiments aimed at nothing more than depraving and ruining religion.” Ates, the mosque’s female imam, is now under 24-hour police protection.

Seyran Ates, a women’s rights activist who has been hailed by some as the “champion of modern Islam,” recently opened Germany’s first “liberal mosque” in Berlin, and serves as its imam. Due to the outrage this caused in the Muslim world, Ates is now under 24-hour police protection. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

June 17. In Cologne, a peace march organized by German Muslim groups to condemn terrorism and violence in the name of Islam had an extremely low turnout. Organizers had expected at least 10,000 participants, but actual turnout was estimated at between several hundred to about 3,500. Germany’s largest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB) refused to take part in the march because it would “send the wrong signal to suggest that Muslims were mainly responsible for international terrorism.”

June 18. The parents of student at the Kronwerk Gymnasium, a school in Rendsburg, have been ordered to appear in court because they refused to allow their child to visit a nearby mosque as part of a geography class. The parents, who are not religious, said they did not want their child to be exposed to “religious indoctrination.” No one could be compelled to enter a sacred building against his or her own free will, they argued. The school insisted that the visit to the mosque was compulsory: “The school is designed to promote the openness of young people to cultural and religious diversity, the desire for international understanding and peace.” Each parent was fined €150 ($175), which they refused to pay. They are now being sued. The mosque in question belongs to the Milli-Görüs movement (IGMG), one of Europe’s largest Islamist organizations. According to Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, the movement is extremist and virulently anti-Semitic.

June 18. Local authorities in Hereford reportedly covered up information about the rape of a ten-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in the city. The girl, who is from a former republic of the Soviet Union, was raped by an asylum seeker from Ghana, but police and the local government allegedly suppressed information about the crime for more than two weeks.

June 18. Muslims in Freiburg launched an online petition demanding that the city prohibit male supervisors from working at a female-only swimming pool in the city. The petition says that Muslim women who want a “break from everyday gazes” are unable to use the pool. The petition adds that the “presence and supervision of male staff is deeply reactionary and sexist” and calls for the “creation of a dialogue to promote mutual understanding and acceptance.” Facility managers at the Lorettobad said that it hired male supervisors because of a shortage of female personnel. The pool has been rocked by disputes between Muslims and managers who have been trying to enforce hygiene regulations at the facility: Muslim women have been angered after being told that they are not allowed to wear jeans and other street clothing while swimming, and also that they cannot consume food while in the pool. Some Muslim women have also been told that they have “too little control over their offspring” and that their children are “too wild” and are disturbing other guests. Muslims have reacted with such aggression that police repeatedly have been called to restore order at the pool.

June 19. Jakob Augstein, a German newspaper editor well known for his anti-Israel tirades, wrote an essay for Der Spiegel in which he expressed glee that so few Muslims attended an anti-terrorism rally in Cologne. He said that those Muslims who did attend were “Uncle Toms” and excessively subservient to their German “overseers.” He wrote:

“Terror is not a question of civil society, but one of politics. What is more important, however, is that the demonstration call was addressed to the Muslims in Germany. This is an impertinence. What does the average German Muslim have to do with terrorism? Nothing.

“Just because terrorists justify their crimes with Islam, there is still no special obligation for people of the Muslim faith to distance themselves from these crimes. On the contrary, the terrorists would be given an honor that is not theirs: they are taken seriously as representatives of Islam. But they are not…. Terrorism is a political and social phenomenon, not a religious one. There are more than 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Should all of them demonstrate? If I were a Muslim, I would refuse such requests.”

June 20. Police in 14 German states raided the homes of three dozen people accused of posting hateful comments on social media. Most of the raids were said to have involved “right-wing incitement” while two of the raids involved “left-wing agitators.” The head of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) Holger Münch said: “Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threats or criminal violence to be found either on the street or on the internet.” Critics say the crackdown is part of an effort to suppress criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open door migration policy ahead of federal elections set for September 24, 2017.

June 20. In an essay published by Süddeutsche Zeitung, Benjamin Idriz, an imam in Bavaria, called on the German government to provide language training for imams so that they can become the “driving force behind integration and dialogue” in Germany:

“The demand for imams from around 2,700 municipalities in Germany is usually supplied by imams from abroad. Many of them are thus directly connected with foreign religious authorities and under foreign influence. Imams from abroad also hardly have sufficient language and cultural competence. They are therefore not conducive to the integration of the Muslims, nor do they meet the needs of the Muslim communities, especially among the younger generation. The demand for imams is enormous, and too much time has already been lost. We must begin before we lose the next generation.”

June 21. The parents of more than 20 fifth-graders at the Herder-Gymnasium, a school in Charlottenburg district of Berlin, initiated a boycott of the school over accusations that the school was not dealing with discipline and violence in class. The problem revolves around one male student who has been bullying his classmates since he arrived at the school last fall. The student has sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl and punched another boy in the face, breaking his glasses. At least six other students have been beaten bloody. “Our concern is that our children be protected,” a father said. The school’s leadership has refused to discipline the child, apparently because of his migrant background, and instead has lashed out at the parents for demanding a safe environment for their children: “We deeply regret the fact that because of a single populist exception among the parents such serious damage has been done to the reputation of our school.”

June 22. Aydan Özoğuz, Germany’s commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration, admitted that “there has been a shift in perceptions” and that only a quarter to a third of the so-called refugees in Germany will enter the labor market over the next five years, and “for many others we will need up to ten.” In an interview with the Financial Times, she said that many of the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Germany were doctors and engineers, but they were succeeded by “many, many more who lacked skills.” The Times, citing statistics from the Federal Employment Agency, revealed that only 6,500 refugees of the more than two million who have been allowed into Germany during the past two years are enrolled in work training programs. “We don’t take in refugees according to their skills set,” Özoğuz said. “The only criteria should be to help people fleeing war and political persecution.”

June 22. Police in Lübeck suspect that refugees are taking over illegal drug trade in Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost state in Germany. Since May there have been more than a dozen mass brawls involving Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians and North Africans armed with knives and batons. Some of those involved are known drug traffickers. “The middle level of drug trafficking is targeting migrants in the refugee shelters, promoting them as street vendors or couriers,” said Christian Braunwarth, spokesman for the Lübeck public prosecutor’s office. “Unfortunately, the economically weaker parts of society are vulnerable to such offers.”

June 23. A 37-year-old migrant from Syria sexually assaulted a ten-year-old girl in Tübingen. The girl was riding her bicycle when the man ambushed her from behind. Passersby who heard the girl scream rushed to her aid. Police said the man was a “prior offender” and was known to them. A “southern-looking” (südländisches Erscheinungsbildsexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman in broad daylight in Voerde. A 17-year-old German-Turk raped a 17-year-old woman in Stuttgart.

June 24. An 18-year-old Syrian asylum seeker shouting Allahu Akbar injured four people with a metal chain at the central bus station in Lünen. The initial police report described the perpetrator only as “an 18-year-old” and failed to mention that he had dedicated his attack to Allah. Dortmund police provided more details only after being pressed by a local newspaper.

June 25. A police officer in Duisburg asked a man to move his car, which was illegally parked. The man refused and began shouting at the officer. Within minutes, more than 250 people appeared at the scene and began harassing the police officer, who called for backup. More than 50 policemen and 18 police vehicles were required to resolve what began as a routine traffic procedure.

June 25. Four Iraqi men sexually assaulted three girls, aged 13, 15 and 16, at a public swimming pool in Kassel. A 35-year-old migrant from Romania sexually assaulted two girls, aged 12 and 13, at a public swimming pool in Stuttgart. The man was questioned and released.

June 26. The Berlin Labor Court ordered the city-state of Berlin to pay €6,900 ($7,900) — the equivalent of two months’ pay — to a Muslim teacher whose job application at a grammar school was rejected because she wears a headscarf. Berlin’s Neutrality Law (Neutralitätsgesetz) prohibits teachers from wearing conspicuous religious symbols at state schools, but the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) has ruled that a general prohibition of Muslim headscarves is unconstitutional unless there is a concrete threat to security. In February, the National Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg awarded a Muslim woman compensation of almost €8,600 ($9,800) after her job application was rejected because she wore a headscarf. The judges ruled that it was a violation of the Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz).

June 27. A “southern-looking” (südländisch aussehenden) man raped a woman at a park in downtown Cologne. Two “dark-skinned” men (dunkelhäutigen Männersexually assaulted a 52-year-old woman in Hüfingen.

June 28. A 23-year-old migrant from Iraq was arrested in Immenstaad on Lake Constance on charges of being a war criminal. After the man — who arrived in Germany as a refugee at the height of the migrant crisis in late 2015 — reportedly threatened to kill a roommate at a migrant shelter in Böblingen, police found three mobile phones in his room. One of the phones contained a picture of him posing alongside the decapitated heads of six jihadists from the Islamic State. The photo was created sometime between December 2013 and September 2015 when the man was an Iraqi soldier. The Attorney General’s office in Stuttgart said the man was guilty of “mocking the slain combatants and degrading them in their death” which “should be seen as a war crime…according to the criminal code (Völkerstrafgesetzbuch and Strafgesetzbuch).”

June 29. Mohammad Hussain Rashwani, a 38-year-old migrant from Syria tried to behead 64-year-old Ilona Fugmann at a beauty salon in Herzberg. Less than a year earlier, Fugmann had offered Rashwani a job as a hair stylist at her salon and German media praised him as an exemplar of successful integration. Fugmann and her husband Michael were said to have bestowed “infinite goodness and magnanimity” toward Rashwani. In the weeks leading up to the attack, however, Mohammad reportedly had found it difficult to subordinate himself to his female boss. “I am still convinced that it is 100% correct to help other people, but we have to admit that in this case our attempts at integration have failed,” Michael concluded.

June 30. The German Parliament approved a controversial law to fine social media networks up to €50 million euros ($57 million) if they fail to remove so-called hate speech. The Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG), commonly referred to as the “Facebook law,” gives social media networks 24 hours to delete or block “obviously criminal offenses” (offenkundig strafbare Inhalte) and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases. German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the measure to “end the internet law of the jungle.” Critics say the law will restrict free speech because social media networks, fearing high penalties, will delete posts without checking whether they are within the legal limits and should actually remain online. Others say the real purpose of the law is to silence criticism of the government’s open door migration policy, as well as multiculturalism and the rise of Islam in Germany, ahead of the federal elections on September 24, 2017.

Germany’s Quest for ‘Liberal’ Islam

July 6, 2017

Germany’s Quest for ‘Liberal’ Islam, Gatestone InstituteVijeta Uniyal, July 6, 2017

(Please see also, President Trump’s Remarks to the People of Poland. — DM)

Recently, after dragging its feet for years, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany had agreed to call a march against Islamist terror. The Muslim organization boasted 10,000 registered participants for the “Not with us — Muslims and friends against violence and terror” rally, scheduled for June 17 in Cologne. On the much awaited day, only a few hundred people turned up, many of them ordinary Germans flanked by a huge media entourage. “Many Turkish weddings are larger than this demonstration,” wrote Robin Alexander, columnist in Die Welt.

Merkel and Germany’s establishment have their ground game covered ahead of the election, and know full well where their political interests lie. The question is, do the German voters know where their best interests lie?

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However, the media-driven PR campaign backfired as the news of the opening of the Berlin ‘liberal mosque’ reached Muslim communities in Germany and abroad. The liberal utopian dream quickly turned into an Islamist nightmare.

Why do Muslim organizations in Germany fail to mobilize within their communities and denounce Islamist terrorism? Because, if there really is a belief that “international terrorism should not be depicted as a problem belonging to Muslims alone” this view seems to indicate that, in general, Muslims do not see it as their problem.

The newly unveiled ‘liberal mosque’ in Berlin was supposed to showcase a ‘gentler’ Islam. An Islam that could be reformed and modernized while it emerges as the dominant demographic force in Europe. German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle touted the opening of the mosque as a “world event in the heart of Berlin.”

“Everyone is welcome at Berlin’s Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque,” Deutsche Welle wrote, announcing the grand opening last month. “Women and men shall pray together and preach together at the mosque, while the Koran is to be interpreted ‘historically and critically.'”

German reporters and press photographers, eager to give glowing coverage, thronged to witness the mosque’s opening on July 16 and easily outnumbered the handful of Muslim worshipers. Deutsche Welle reported: “fervent enthusiasm in the media and political realm.”

“For me there is no contradiction in being a Muslim and a feminist at the same time,” Seyran Ates, the mosque’s female imam told the German reporters.

“With Islam against Islamism,” wrote Germany’s leading weekly Der Spiegel. “Society in general will lionize [Imam Ates] as the long-awaited voice of Muslims that speaks clearly against Islamist terror,” prophesied another German weekly, Die Zeit.

The Washington Post, not to be outdone by German newspapers, hailed the mosque’s female founder Ates for “staging a feminist revolution of the Muslim faith.”

In what can only be described as one-way multiculturalism, a Protestant church in Berlin’s Moabit district had vacated its prayer hall to make way for this new mosque.

Prayers at the opening of the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin, Germany on June 16, 2017. Seyran Ates, the mosque’s female imam, is pictured in the second row, wearing a white robe. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

However, the media-driven PR campaign backfired, as the news of the opening of the Berlin ‘liberal mosque’ reached Muslim communities in Germany and abroad. The liberal utopian dream quickly turned into an Islamist nightmare. Islamic fanatics from near and far started flooding the Berlin mosque with death threats. Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the foremost authority on Sunni Islam, issued a fatwa forbidding the ‘liberal mosque.’

The British newspaper The Guardian reported:

[The mosque’s Imam Ates] said she had received “300 emails per day encouraging me to carry on”, including from as far away as Australia and Algeria, but also “3,000 emails a day full of hate”, some of them including death threats.

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyyah, a state-run Islamic institution assigned to issue religious edicts, issued a statement on Monday declaring that the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque’s practice of men and women praying side by side was incompatible with Islam, while the legal department of Egypt’s al-Azhar university reacted to news from Berlin with a fatwa on the foundation of liberal mosques per se.

After countless death threats, the newspapers reached out to Aiman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims. He shrugged his shoulders and said there were 2100 mosques in Germany and he “doesn’t need to comment on each and every one of them.” As the Berlin-based newspaper Der Tagesspiegel reported this week, the ‘liberal’
Mosque’s Iman was finally granted “around-the-clock heightened police protection.”

Within days, this was the second establishment-backed project devised to spruce up the image of Islam in Germany, to go up in flames.

Recently, after dragging its feet for years, the Central Council of Muslims in Germany had agreed to call a march against Islamist terror. The Muslim organization boasted 10,000 registered participants for the “Not with us — Muslims and friends against violence and terror” rally, scheduled for June 17 in Cologne. On the much awaited day, only a few hundred people turned up, many of them ordinary Germans flanked by a huge media entourage. “Many Turkish weddings are larger than this demonstration,” wrote Robin Alexander, columnist in Die Welt.

Germany’s largest Islamic organization, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs, DITIB, decided to skip the anti-terror demonstration. DITIB stated that Muslims fasting in Ramadan cannot be expected to “march and demonstrate for hours.” DITIB controls about 900 mosques in Germany and has 800,000 members.

The German daily, Die Welt, reported on DITIB General Secretary Bekir Alboga’s stated reason behind their withdrawal from the anti-terror march:

“We Muslims are striving to feel the spirituality of the special month that gives us power for the rest of the year.” Through the daily Quran recitation, fasting and helping the needy — in addition to the physical exertion from such a demonstration — political initiatives such as the planned anti-terrorism march are minimized during Ramadan.

“Had we been informed early enough about the rally and its date we would have suggested planning it for after the Ramadan and roping in other Muslim — and also non-Muslim organizations — because international terrorism should not be depicted as a problem belonging to Muslims alone.”

DITIB evidently did not want to divert fasting Muslims away from their spiritual pursuits, but it had no problem using its mosques and preachers to spy in Germany on behalf of Turkey’s Erdogan regime. In January, DITIB officials admitted that their preachers acted as informants for the Turkish regime.

This is not the first time in Germany that Muslim leaders thwarted an “anti-terror march”. The so-called “vigil of Muslims” at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate, after the Islamist terror attack on the Paris offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, was also apparently a disappointment. As it turned out, the “vigil” was not even “Muslim”. It had been financed and stage-managed from the chancellery of Angela Merkel. As Die Welt revealed:

“That time, too, painfully few Muslims turned out. It later emerged that that Muslim organizations only called the vigil after the initiative of a staffer from Chancellor’s office and gentle pressure from the Minister of Interior. The expenses of the ‘Muslim vigil’ were borne by the Christian Democratic and Social Democratic Parties.”

Why do Muslim organizations in Germany fail to mobilize within their communities and denounce Islamist terrorism? Because, if there really is a belief that “international terrorism should not be depicted as a problem belonging to Muslims alone” this view seems to indicate that, in general, Muslims do not see it as their problem.

The Turkish-Islamic organization DITIB would, it seems, prefer to see Christian, Hindu and Jewish organizations address the non-existent problem of terrorism within their communities, than to address the real issue of radicalization of youth within its own congregations or the recruitment by Islamists insides its mosques.

Do not, however, expect the German state to make the Muslim leadership responsible for its failings. The Merkel government continues to hand over millions of euros to DITIB despite what critics regard as behavior that is “unacceptable.”

These stage-managed campaigns to fix the image of Islam in Germany come at an interesting time. With less than three months until the German general election, Chancellor Merkel’s government, with her career at stake, is probably hesitant to take on Islamic organizations with ability to mobilize the “Muslim vote”. Last year’s state election in Berlin already saw such a mobilization.

The September election will effectively be a referendum on Merkel’s “open door” migrant policy. The media’s peddling the liberal, gentler Islam will definitely help ease the German voters’ anxiety, given the ongoing demographic transformation of the country in the wake of the continued mass-migration from Arab and Muslim countries.

Merkel and Germany’s establishment have their ground game covered ahead of the election, and know full well where their political interests lie. The question is, do the German voters know where their best interests lie?

Vijeta Uniyal, a journalist and news analyst, is based in Germany.

Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants

May 14, 2017

Germany Confiscating Homes to Use for Migrants, Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, May 14, 2017

(It’s like watching a corpse rot. Perhaps it’s time to bury it. — DM)

In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.

Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.

Some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?

Authorities in Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, have begun confiscating private dwellings to ease a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow more than two million migrants into the country in recent years.

City officials have been seizing commercial properties and converting them into migrant shelters since late 2015, when Merkel opened German borders to hundreds of thousands of migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Now, however, the city is expropriating residential property units owned by private citizens.

In an unprecedented move, Hamburg authorities recently confiscated six residential units in the Hamm district near the city center. The units, which are owned by a private landlord, are in need of repair and have been vacant since 2012. A trustee appointed by the city is now renovating the properties and will rent them — against the will of the owner — to tenants chosen by the city. District spokeswoman Sorina Weiland said that all renovation costs will be billed to the owner of the properties.

The expropriation is authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months.

The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, is said to be aimed at pressuring the owners of other vacant residences in the city to make them available for rent. Of the 700,000 rental units in Hamburg, somewhere between 1,000 and 5,000 (less than one percent) are believed to be vacant, according an estimate by the Hamburg Senate.

HAMBURG, GERMANY – FEBRUARY 15: A view of the city of Hamburg with the ‘St. Michaelis Church’ on February 15, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany.  (Photo by Morris MacMatzen/Getty Images)

Socialists and Greens in Hamburg recently established a “hotline” where local residents can report vacant properties. Activists have also created a website — Leerstandsmelder (Vacancy Detector) — to identify unoccupied real estate in Hamburg and other German cities.

It remains unclear why the landlord in Hamm left his apartments vacant for more than five years. Some have posited that, given the location of the properties, the renovation costs may have been too high and probably would not have been offset by the rental income.

Others are blaming city officials for not approving more building permits to allow for the construction of new residential units. A study conducted in 2012 — well before the migrant crisis reached epic proportions — forecast that by 2017, Hamburg would have a deficit of at least 50,000 rental properties.

In 2016, however, only 2,433 new residential units came onto the market, while only 2,290 new building permits were approved, according to statistics provided by the City of Hamburg. These numbers were up slightly from 2,192 new units and 2,041 new permit approvals in 2015.

In 2012, Hamburg’s Socialist government presented a plan to build 6,000 new residential units per year. The plan never materialized, however, because prospective builders were constricted by government-imposed rental caps which would have made it impossible for them to even recover their construction costs.

Since then, the city has turned to seizing private property to resolve its self-inflicted housing crisis.

On October 1, 2015, the Hamburg Parliament (Hamburgische Bürgerschaft) approved a new law that allows the city to seize vacant commercial real estate (office buildings and land) and use it to house migrants.

City officials said the measure was necessary because, at the time, more than 400 new migrants were arriving in Hamburg each day and all the existing refugee shelters were full. They said that because the owners of vacant real estate refused to make their property available to the city on a voluntary basis, the city should be given the right to take it by force.

The measure was applauded by those on the left of the political spectrum. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that the refugees are not homeless during the coming winter,” said Senator Till Steffen of the Green Party. “For this reason, we need to use vacant commercial properties.”

Others have argued that efforts by the state to seize private property are autocratic and reek of Communism. “The proposed confiscation of private land and buildings is a massive attack on the property rights of the citizens of Hamburg,” said André Trepoll of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU). “It amounts to an expropriation by the state.” He said the proposed measure is a “law of intimidation” that amounts to a “political dam-break with far-reaching implications.” He added: “The ends do not justify any and all means.”

Katja Suding, the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Hamburg, said that the proposed law is an “unacceptable crossing of red lines… Such coercive measures will only fuel resentment against refugees.”

Similar expropriation measures have been proposed in Berlin, the German capital, but abandoned because they were deemed unconstitutional.

In November 2015, lawmakers in Berlin considered emergency legislation that would have allowed local authorities to seize private residences to accommodate asylum seekers. The proposal would have authorized police forcibly to enter private homes and apartments without a warrant to determine their suitability as housing for refugees and migrants.

The legislation, proposed by Berlin Mayor Michael Müller of the center-left Social Democrats (SPD), would have amended Section 36 of Berlin’s Public Order and Safety Law (Allgemeine Gesetz zum Schutz der öffentlichen Sicherheit und Ordnung, ASOG), which currently allows police to enter private residences only in extreme instances, to “avert acute threats,” that is, to fight serious crime. Müller wanted to expand the scope for warrantless inspections to include “preventing homelessness.”

The proposal was kept secret from the public until the leader of the Free Democrats (FDP) in Berlin, Sebastian Czaja, warned the measure would violate the German constitution. He said:

“The plans of the Berlin Senate to requisition residential and commercial property without the consent of the owner to accommodate refugees is an open breach of the constitution. The attempt by the Senate to undermine the constitutional right to property and the inviolability of the home must be resolutely opposed.”

Since then, both the mayor’s office and the Senate appear to have abandoned their plans.

Following an investigation, Gunnar Schupelius, a columnist with the Berlin newspaper BZ, wrote:

“A strange report made the rounds at the weekend: The Senate would authorize the police to enter private homes to house refugees, even against the will of the owner. I thought it was only satire, then a misunderstanding, because the Basic Law, Article 13, states: ‘The home is inviolable.’

“So I went on a search for the source of this strange report and found it. There is a ‘proposal’ which the Senate Chancellery (Senatskanzlei) has apparently circulated among the senators. The Senate Chancellery is another name for the mayor’s office. The permanent secretary is Björn Böhning (SPD)…

“The proposal is clear: The police can enter private property without a court order in order to search for housing for refugees when these are threatened with homelessness. You can do that ‘without the consent of the owner.’ And not only should the police be allowed to do this, but also the regulatory agencies.

“This delicate ‘proposal’ attracted little public attention. Only Berlin FDP General Secretary Sebastian Czaja spoke up and warned of an ‘open preparation for breach of the constitution.’ Internally, there should have been protests. The ‘proposal’ suddenly disappeared from the table. Is it completely gone or will it return?”

It remains unclear why no one has challenged the constitutionality of Hamburg’s expropriation law.

Meanwhile, some Germans are asking what is next: Will authorities now limit the maximum amount of living space per person, and force those with large apartments to share them with strangers?

Leading German Philosopher: ‘If you Oppose mass Immigration You’re Extremely Backwards’

February 6, 2017

Leading German Philosopher: ‘If you Oppose mass Immigration You’re Extremely Backwards’ Gatestone EU, Willem Cornax, February 6, 2017

Markus Gabriel is a German philosopher, recently dubbed the “young god of philosophy“. He starts his interview with the Dutch website Brainwash.nl by saying:

 “The problem of the refugee crisis is not the refugees. It’s us. (…) The idea of a million Muslims coming to Europe sounds terrible for someone with the mindframe from the 16th century.”

The mass influx of refugees should not be questioned because it “is based on Enlightenment.” Government documented refugees are not a threat to someone with a 21st Century mind frame. Why? Let Gabriel tell you:

“…this shouldn’t be threatening for a very simple reason. These people have rights. These rights are laid down in various constitutions (treaties) and if you deny these people the rights that they have you are thereby undermining European values.”

As for Merkel inviting refugees to come in:

“It is not that Angela Merkel is so nice and moral and lets all the refugees in to help poor people because the Germans were evil in the past and now we should be nicer. (…) She is just doing her job.”

That is the Nuremberg Defense. Nazi officials used it at the Nuremberg trials to deflect (personal) moral responsibility for committed atrocities.

Surely there are better arguments to comfort victims of terrorism, rape, sexual assault, abuse, murder, harassment, theft, burglary by people documented as refugees. Luckily, Gabriel himself provides an argument to soften the pain:

“The fear of the other is the fear of ourselves. The fear that we Europeans do not trust our European values. Our European values are universal and that is the biggest achievement of modernity, Universalism. And that Universalism is threatened, or so we think. But the threat to universalism comes from within. It doesn’t come from the outside.”