Archive for the ‘Germany’ category

Report: Iran Illicitly Financing War in Yemen Using German Companies

July 30, 2018

by TheTower.org Staff | 07.30.18 1:33 pm

Source Link:
Report: Iran Illicitly Financing War in Yemen Using German Companies

{Germany’s dealings with Iran is having a direct impact on stability in the Middle East. – LS}

The Islamic Republic of Iran is using German companies to disguise their illicit support for Shiite militia forces in the fight against the internationally recognized government of Yemen, Benjamin Weinthal reported in The Jerusalem Post on Friday.

Based on interviews with U.S. Treasury Department officials, Time Magazine revealed last week that, “The IRGC had then printed counterfeit Yemeni banknotes potentially worth hundreds of millions of dollars and used the bogus rials to fund its proxy war against the beleaguered pro-US government in the capital of Sanaa. German companies were being used as a cover by the Iranians to finance the world’s worst humanitarian conflict.”

Time added: “For several years, Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) had been using German front companies to buy advanced printing machinery, watermarked paper and specialty inks in violation of European export controls.”

The Jerusalem Post previously reported on German intelligence reports, which revealed extensive links between the Islamic Republic and German-based companies, including using front companies to engage in illicit procurement of nuclear and missile technology in Germany during 2017. A German intelligence report from the city-state of Hamburg charged in July that Iran’s regime is continuing to seek weapons of mass destruction.

According to Time: “The evidence, uncovered by U.S. illicit-finance investigators, was meant to sway the Germans, but not just in hopes of countering Iran’s moves on the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula” but also “to convince Berlin that Tehran cannot be trusted and that the Germans should join the Trump Administration in imposing economy-crippling sanctions on Iran.”

Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported on Monday that Germany’s Ambassador to Iran Michael Klor-Berchtold told an Iranian official that Germany opposes the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

The report charged that U.S. officials involved in the operation met with their German counterparts at the Federal Ministry of Finance in Berlin last April. Weeks after the meeting took place, “American officials presented their hosts with one last set of documents: detailed blueprints on how the Trump Administration was preparing to unleash financial warfare on the Iranian economy.”

The Trump administration designated the IRGC a terrorist organization in October. A U.S. State Department spokesman said in March that the U.S. expects the Europeans to “cut off funding to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps [IRGC], its militant proxies, and anyone else who contributes to Iran’s support for terrorism.”

[Photo: John Smytsky / YouTube ]

Mass Migration Now Sole Cause of Population Growth in Germany

January 17, 2018

Mass Migration Now Sole Cause of Population Growth in Germany, Breitbart, Chris Tomlinson, January 17, 2018

JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images

Mass migration has also brought increasing levels of crime with the German government only recently admitting the causal link between the rise of violent criminality and mass migration.

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Newly released statistics have revealed that the German population grew by 346,000 in 2016 due to mass migration, in a year where the number of births in the country did not exceed the number of deaths.

The statistics from the German Federal Statistical Office show that despite the very low birthrate in Germany, the population has continued to grow through mass migration. While the population grew by 346,000 in 2016, the numbers are still well below the growth of 978,000 in 2015 during the height of the migrant crisis, Die Welt reports.

According to the statistics office, 498,000 individuals migrated to Germany in total in 2016 but the German birth rate has remained very low with 118,000 more people dying in Germany than were born.

The number of foreigners as a part of the overall German population has also increased from 10.5 per cent in 2015 to 11.2 per cent in 2016 and the number is expected to continue growing in the future.

Analysts have predicted that Germany will again see population growth in 2017 as mass migration is once again expected to be the sole driver of growth as birthrates continue to lag behind deaths.

450,000 individuals are thought to have moved to Germany in 2017 and the deficit of deaths over births could be as high as 190,000.

In cities like Frankfurt, mass migration has changed the overall demographics of the city as native Germans have become a minority for the first time.

Frankfurt Becomes First German City Where Natives Are Minority http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/06/29/frankfurt-german-city-natives-minority/ 

For the first time, more than half of Frankfurt residents now have a migrant background, according to official data from the city’s Office of Statistics and Elections.

The mass influx of foreigners has also put strains on the German state with the costs for asylum seekers and other migrants numbering in the billions of euros.

Despite early predictions by economists that mass migration would lead to an economic boom for Germany, others have predicted that mass migration will harm long-term economic growth in the country.

Mass migration has also brought increasing levels of crime with the German government only recently admitting the causal link between the rise of violent criminality and mass migration.

Germany’s Batty Plan to Deter Migrants

December 12, 2017

Germany’s Batty Plan to Deter Migrants, Gatestone InstituteStefan Frank, December 12, 2017

(Reversing course is difficult if you are driving at full speed ahead. — DM

As to the government’s new efforts to scare away migrants by painting a somber picture of the situation of migrants in Germany, Broder says: “It’s as if a drug dealer were advising his customers not to buy from him.”

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Every German knows that hardly any asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are forced to leave Germany. But if their application is rejected and they do decide to return to their home country, they are rewarded with an allowance of between €1000 ($1,200) and €3000 ($3,600).

This information campaign, however, must have been carefully hidden from the German public — no major newspaper reported it at the time.

“The only authentic and honest thing about this movie were the closing credits….” — Henryk Broder, columnist, Die Welt.

The German foreign ministry has launched a website to discourage would-be migrants from making their journey to Germany: “Rumours about Germany: Facts for Migrants”. It aims — In English, French and Arabic — to debunk “some of the most common false promises made by traffickers”, such as:

  • “Every refugee receives a welcome payment of 2,000 euros”,
  • “Germany grants a house to every refugee” or,
  • “The ship for the crossing is very big, it even has a pool and a cinema.”

The new website comes in the wake of “AWARE MIGRANTS”, a similar projectj jointly developed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior and the International Office for Migration(IOM) in July 2016. Whereas the goal of “AWARE MIGRANTS” was to raise awareness about the dangerous journey across the African desert and the Mediterranean, “Rumours about Germany” focuses mostly on the economic aspects of asylum seekers’ lives in Germany — which the website paints as one of hardships and dismal prospects:

“Those entering Germany illegally will not be able to get a job. Also note that the German government does not provide refugees with jobs. … Contrary to rumours and misinformation deliberately spread by human traffickers, Germany does not provide a welcome payment. Nobody will be given his own house. In fact, finding a place to live has become more and more difficult in Germany, especially in the big cities. Also note that you cannot choose freely where to live while you seek asylum and may have to stay in remote places where no one understands your language.”

“With the website http://www.rumoursaboutgermany.info,” the foreign ministry explained in a press release, “the foreign ministry continues an information campaign of the same name which it started abroad in the fall 2015”.

This information campaign, however, must have been carefully hidden from the German public – no major newspaper reported it at the time. To find information about it, one has to go to the foreign ministry’s website and find a press releasefrom January 2016 in which the ministry describes its anti-migration campaign in Afghanistan:

“During the first phase at the end of 2015, large billboards were placed in in Kabul, Masar-e Scharif and Herat on locations with a particularly high volume of traffic. They contain questions in the local languages Dari and Pashtu: ‘Leaving Afghanistan? Are you sure?’ and ‘Leaving Afghanistan? Have you thought this through?'”

Obviously, the billboard advertisement did not have the effect the German government was looking for — probably why it had to launch the new website. The foreign ministry’s press release quotes Andreas Kindl, the ministry’s “Agent for Strategic Communication”, as saying:

“The website is optimized for smartphones and speaks in simple, clear language to people who are thinking about coming to Germany, who are on their way or who already are here.”

Kindl, a graduate in Islamic Studies was, until September 2017, Germany’s ambassador to Yemen. The German government might think that the job requires a certain kind of cultural expertise, but there is a problem: even if a would-be migrant happens to go to the “Rumours about Germany” website — which seems unlikely — why would he be convinced by claims such as this:

“Many asylum seekers do not qualify for protection and their applications are rejected — they are not allowed to stay and have to leave Germany. Then they return [home] with no money and have to start from scratch.”

Every German knows that hardly any asylum seekers whose applications are rejected are forced to leave Germany. If their application is rejected and they decide to return to their home country, they are rewarded with an with an allowance of between €1000 ($1,200) and €3000 ($3,600). Thus, contrary to what “Rumours about Germany” claims, making the journey to Germany still appears as a win-win proposition.

To the German reader, the whole campaign and its central messages must seem disturbing. Since 2015, when Chancellor Angela Merkel opened Germany’s borders to more than a million migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, the German public has been kept under the impression that every single migrant entering Germany was a refugee who had fled a war zone such as Syria or Iraq. To keep up this fiction, politicians and journalists never speak of migrants, immigrants or illegal aliens, but only of “refugees” (Flüchtlinge) or “protection seekers” (Schutzsuchende).

As soon as someone without legitimate papers sets foot on German soil, he becomes, by definition, a “protection seeker”. According to the German statistics agency (Statistisches Bundesamt), for instance, there are 1.6 million asylum seekers currently in Germany. So far, so good. But the foreign ministry’s new campaign now raises a puzzling question: How can the idea that every newly-arriving migrant is an asylum seeker be made consistent with the new finding, according to which many are actually seeking jobs, housing or money?

Moreover, critics were quick to point out another contradiction. In 2014, the government’s own Agency for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge, BAMF) produced a 17-minute-long promotional video supposedly describing the arrival of a fictional refugee from Iraq: how he files an asylum request and is admitted to an refugee shelter. In the entire film, there was no mention of any obstacles or unpleasant situations. Instead, the fictional refugee encounters smiling officials who have seemingly have been waiting just for him — their only client — to show up. One of them even speaks Arabic. Also, the refugee shelter in the film is not an overcrowded hot-spot of violent crime, but a cozy place with just two other residents who happen to be friendly and smiling: “One of them also speaks my language. Arsalan has already been here for a few weeks and offers me his help.”

A promotional video produced in 2014 by the German government shows the arrival of a fictional refugee from Iraq, with no mention of any obstacles or unpleasant situations; just smiling officials who have seemingly have been waiting just for him. (Image source: Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge)

Henryk Broder, a columnist with the daily Die Welt and publisher of the popular blog Achse des Guten (“Axis of Good”) commented on the promotional film:

The only authentic and honest thing about this movie were the closing credits [with the disclaimer]: “The asylum-seekers shown in this film are actors with a fictional escape story.”

As to the government’s new efforts to scare away migrants by painting a somber picture of the situation of migrants in Germany, Broder says: “It’s as if a drug dealer were advising his customers not to buy from him.”

Stefan Frank is a journalist and author based in Germany.

Merkel is the administrator of the West’s downfall

December 1, 2017

Merkel is the administrator of the West’s downfall, Israel National News, Giulio Meotti, November 29, 2017

Merkel never joined the Western efforts to defeat Islamic terrorism. She commands the world’s fourth largest economy and Europe’s financial giant, but her country is a military dwarf, weak and disarmed. For Merkel, sending fighting troops abroad, even to defeat ISIS, always looked unthinkable.

Merkel’s former foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, even made the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany one of his top priorities. Merkel has also been crucial in the political ransom Turkey’s Erdogan has been able to deploy in the migrants crisis, one of the most important factors in causing chaos on the continent since the Second World War.

Merkel’s open door policy is the product of two factors: the German declining birth rates of the last 40 years, a collective demographic suicide, and the permanent sense of guilt for the Holocaust, for the right moral reasons but the wrong political goals.

Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, during the French television show Salut les Terriens just criticized Merkel for allowing one million migrants to enter the country in 2015.

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Angela Merkel and her Christian Democrats should have been the winner in the September 24 German elections. The national unemployment rate is 3.7 percent and the economic growth is 2 percent. But Merkel now faces the biggest political impasse in Germany since 1949 with difficulties in forming a new coalition.

The question is: who is Angela Merkel?

Unlike her Christian Democratic predecessors, Chancellor Merkel has no crosses hanging on the walls of her office. She is the daughter of a Protestant pastor from the period when there was an East Germany. She never talks about “values” in public. She is the perfect mirror of a skeptical and post-Christian continent where faith has been totally privatised.

Merkel has no children. Neither do most of Europe’s current leaders. To mention some, the prime ministers of Italy, Netherlands, Sweden, UK and the French President Emammuel Macron have no chlldren either.

“If the Germans don’t have children, does it matter who inherits their country?”, asked David Goldman in the Asia Times. “Why not their house pets?”.

Merkel is a cunning politician personifying a cynical mixture of wealthy multiculturalism and moral relativism. Merkel allowed the Bundestag to vote on gay marriage, despite her party’s contrary opinion. She did it only for electoral reasons – to deprive the Social Democrats of a big reason to gain votes.

Merkel never joined the Western efforts to defeat Islamic terrorism. She commands the world’s fourth largest economy and Europe’s financial giant, but her country is a military dwarf, weak and disarmed. For Merkel, sending fighting troops abroad, even to defeat ISIS, always looked unthinkable.

Merkel’s former foreign minister, Guido Westerwelle, even made the withdrawal of American nuclear weapons from Germany one of his top priorities. Merkel has also been crucial in the political ransom Turkey’s Erdogan has been able to deploy in the migrants crisis, one of the most important factors in causing chaos on the continent since the Second World War.

Merkel’s open door policy is the product of two factors: the German declining birth rates of the last 40 years, a collective demographic suicide, and the permanent sense of guilt for the Holocaust, for the right moral reasons but the wrong political goals.

Karl Lagerfeld, the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, during the French television show Salut les Terriens just criticized Merkel for allowing one million migrants to enter the country in 2015.

“One cannot — even if there are decades between them — kill millions of Jews so you can bring millions of their worst enemies in their place”, Lagerfeld said. He cited an anecdote in support of his assumptions that Jewish people and refugees are at odds. “I know someone in Germany who took a young Syrian in and after four days he said, ‘The greatest thing Germany invented was the Holocaust,’” he said. Lagerfeld also suggested that Merkel felt she needed to take in more migrants in 2015 to counteract the image she was given as “the wicked stepmother in the story of the Greek [financial] crisis”.

Merkel is the daughter of the German unity that arose after the fall of Berlin Wall, the protégé of Helmut Kohl. “The reunification of Germany was the last big goal for Germans” said Gustav Gressel, a defence expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. “After that everyone fell into this ‘end of history’ feeling – everything is good, we’re all friends and it has to stay that way”.

The Germans feel they must atone for their past deeds and their present wealth by embracing a post-national, post-Christian and post-heroic Western model.

Greg Sheridan of The Australian was right when he called Merkel “the chief agent of Europe’s demise”. But she is more than that. My friend Henryk Broder, the German Jewish journalist, said that Germany has committed to “disappear” from history.

At the time of Western twilight, Angela Merkel is the perfect administrator working for her own downfall.

Palestinian Migrant Who Attacked Hamburg Shoppers Wanted to Kill Christians

November 12, 2017

Palestinian Migrant Who Attacked Hamburg Shoppers Wanted to Kill Christians, BreitbartChris Tomlinson, November 12, 2017

MARKUS SCHOLZ/AFP/Getty Images

German federal prosecutors now believe that Hamburg supermarket attacker Ahmad A. was motivated by religious hatred to kill German Christians, but have refused to charge him with terrorism.

The 26-year-old failed Palestinian asylum seeker will be charged with the murder of a 50-year-old man and six more counts of attempted murder. Prosecutors say that he was upset about the treatment of Muslims, claimed they were being oppressed around the world, and decided to take action against any Christians he could, find Die Welt reports.

The Hamburg supermarket attack occurred in late July and initially many believed it to be an act of terror after witnesses reported hearing a man shouting “Allahu Akbar!”

Prosecutors say that the Palestinian was particularly aggrieved by the growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

“He found the access restrictions to the Al-Aqsa mosque unfair and unbearable,” the prosecutor’s office said, adding: “Therefore, German citizens of the Christian faith should die as an atonement.”

While they believe the attack was religiously motived, prosecutors say they have found no evidence that Ahmad A. had any links to terror organisations like the Islamic State terror group.

Germany Could Have Deported Hamburg Supermarket Attacker in 2015
http://www.breitbart.com/london/2017/08/03/germany-deported-hamburg-supermarket-attacker-2015/ 

New reports show the German government attempted to deport Islamist and failed asylum seeker Ahmad A., who stabbed a person to death last week, but were unable because authorities missed a key deadline by one day.

Intelligence officials say that the Palestinian did, however, show signs of radicalisation, and was known to the domestic security services as an Islamist. He was also known to be “mentally unstable.”

The trial for Ahmad A. is set to begin in January according to the court press office in Hamburg.

The attack is not the first which has not been classified as terrorism by German authorities despite being carried out by a known Islamist.

Last year three Muslim teenagers attempted to bomb a Sikh temple in Essen, but despite their revealed links to Islamic State they were not charged with terrorism.

Prosecutors have seen a four-fold increase in terrorism cases over the last year and a report by the Heritage Foundation think tank found that over half of the plots were being planned by asylum seekers.

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism

November 11, 2017

Kristallnacht, and Our Modern-Day Approach to Antisemitism, AlgemeinerVladimir Sloutsker, November 10, 2017

(Please see also, Family History by our own Anne in PT. She focuses on the Kristallnacht and later experiences of members of her family who were living in Germany. Here is a short video documentary on Kristallnacht:

— DM)

A store damaged during Kristallnacht. Photo: German Federal Archives via Wikimedia Commons.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

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Seventy-nine years ago, Nazis across Germany and Austria razed synagogues, smashed windows and murdered almost 100 innocent Jews in a violent pogrom. Kristallnacht — or the “Night of Broken Glass” — is so named to describe the shattered glass that littered the streets the next morning. In the weeks that followed, approximately 30,000 Jews were transported to concentration camps — a sorrow foreshadowing of what would soon ensue.

On Kristallnacht’s 79th anniversary, I am compelled to address the rising tide of antisemitism sweeping Europe, reaching levels not seen since the end of the darkest chapter in Europe’s history.

In the first half of 2017, some 767 antisemitic attacks were recorded in the UK alone. This represents the highest figure since monitoring began in 1984 — and, staggeringly, was a 30 percent increase from 2016. In the meantime, violent assaults on Jews this year have risen 78 percent compared with the same period in 2016.

The above figures are broadly replicated in other major Jewish communities throughout Europe, including France and Germany. Even in the U.S., according to a recent survey by the ADL, there has been a significant spike in antisemitism across the country.

Kristallnacht is considered by many to represent the transition from the harassment of Jewish communities to outright violence against them.

Seventy-nine years later, many Jews across Europe are once again singled out because of their race — with Jewish property, institutions and even cemeteries, coming under assault.

Clearly, a new way to combat this tide of hatred is required.

Until now, the international community has focused attentions on ‘minimizing’ the problem. This is inherently problematic; it enables us to label a reduction in antisemitism as a ‘success.’ What is needed is the eradication of antisemitism completely. To achieve this, we must be more proactive, smarter and more creative.

As I have said before, I believe that there are five key areas of focus for which all global citizens, not just the Jewish community, should pursue.

First, we must adopt a universal definition of antisemitism in Europe. The Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC) — an organization I co-founded to support Jewish communities —  has advocated for this for some time. Defining the problem is the first step to eradicating it.

In this regard, I commend European countries, including the UK, Germany, Austria, Romania and Bulgaria, for adopting the all-encompassing International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism. This definition accepts that the delegitimization of Israel and attacks on Zionism can also manifest as antisemitism. If we cannot define what we are trying to defeat, how can we defeat it? Therefore, I would call on all IHRA Member States to adopt this definition of antisemitism.

The second necessity is that we promote the value of education in understanding the scale of the problem. This program should not solely focus on the history of antisemitism, bigotry and the Holocaust; we should also touch on the vital contribution of Jewish people and texts to the wider cultural and economic prosperity of Europe.

Kristallnacht is another important reminder that the Holocaust did not begin with the death camps; that’s where it ended. Rather, it began with words, the singling out of one group of people and far too many in society looking the other way in the face of such hatred. Nobody is born to hate; they learn to hate.

Third, we must recognise that oppression is not a uniquely Jewish problem, and that what starts with the Jews, seldom ever ends with the Jews. When we consider the predicament of other minorities, racial or religious, hatred and bigotry is rarely far behind. The Jewish community should consider itself a partner in a wider struggle, and cooperate with other faith groups in the battle for their right to exist peacefully.

Fourth, recognizing that antisemitism and online hatred represents a major challenge today, we need to develop communications strategies that are fit for the digital age. Whilst social media channels are used as platforms for inciting racial hatred against the Jewish community, these platforms can also be used to reach new audiences — and encourage them to be advocates. We must develop engaging and comprehensive strategies to use these tools effectively.

Fifth, we need to energize the global debate on the roles and responsibilities of large technology firms to prevent the sharing of hateful commentary. We can utilize the pre-existing legal frameworks across Europe, as well as supporting modernization efforts to ensure that legislation is fit for the digital age. But the internet knows no state borders, and so our work with technology firms must be conducted at the international level.

In a landmark address before the European Parliament last year, former UK chief rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, described antisemitism as a “mutating virus.” Containment is not enough. It is high time we find an antidote.

Kristallnacht was a murderous example of the capacity of humans to escalate from harassment to violence. Yet the EU was built on a foundation of tolerance and openness. For this reason, it is the responsibility of European governments — and European people — to reconcile this foundation of tolerance with an unequivocal commitment to eradicating harassment and violent antisemitic racism at its source.

Vladimir Sloutsker is the president and co-founder of the Israeli Jewish Congress (IJC).

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.