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German Parliamentary Motion Calls for Financial Independence of Muslim Communities

March 24th, 2022 12:15

A motion in the Ger­man Bun­destag regard­ing the financ­ing of polit­i­cal Islam in Ger­many has con­clud­ed that Ger­many should encour­age the finan­cial inde­pen­dence of Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties from for­eign states and influ­ence net­works. Accord­ing to the Bun­destag Archive:

On Thurs­day, March 17, 2022, the Bun­destag debat­ed for the first time a motion sub­mit­ted by the CDU/CSU par­lia­men­tary group enti­tled “Dis­clos­ing and Stop­ping the Financ­ing of Polit­i­cal Islamism in Ger­many” (20/1012). After 40 min­utes of debate, it was decid­ed to refer the bill to the lead com­mit­tee, the Com­mit­tee on the Inte­ri­or and Home Affairs.[…] The motion also calls on the Ger­man gov­ern­ment to enter into a dia­logue with local mosque com­mu­ni­ties with the aim of work­ing toward open­ness and trans­paren­cy in financ­ing. Fur­ther­more, accord­ing to the bill, it should hold talks with states such as Iran, Turkey or the Emi­rate of Qatar with the aim of “dis­con­tin­u­ing finan­cial sup­port for orga­ni­za­tions of polit­i­cal Islamism from these states.” Fur­ther­more, accord­ing to the motion, the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment should, among oth­er things, work in gen­er­al to ensure that the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty in Ger­many “is financed as inde­pen­dent­ly as pos­si­ble from abroad and thus for­eign influ­ence is sig­nif­i­cant­ly min­i­mized.” [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL]

Read the rest here.

The full motion can be found here.

The motion says that polit­i­cal Islamists in Ger­many have a world­view oppos­ing democ­ra­cy, plu­ral­ism, and indi­vid­ual free­doms and are a dan­ger to soci­ety, as well as a bur­den for the major­i­ty of Mus­lims in Ger­many who want to prac­tice their reli­gion freely and in accor­dance with Germany’s demo­c­ra­t­ic order. The motion also says that polit­i­cal Islam is fund­ed by for­eign sup­port­ers and donors, includ­ing gov­ern­ments, and iden­ti­fies Iran, Turkey, and Qatar as financiers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Europe.

The motion also cites the Europe Trust, a part of the Coun­cil of Euro­pean Mus­lims (CEM), as hav­ing financed an office in Berlin. The Pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­al Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion described the build­ing as a home for orga­ni­za­tions osten­si­bly act­ing accord­ing to the law but in the long term striv­ing for an anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic social and polit­i­cal sys­tem. How­ev­er, the Office could not act against it as it could only con­duct finan­cial inves­ti­ga­tions against vio­lent Islamist groups. The CEM essen­tial­ly rep­re­sents the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Europe.

As oth­er exam­ples of polit­i­cal Islam, the Bun­destag motion iden­ti­fies Mil­lî Görüş, a Turk­ish Islamist group, and the Islam­ic Cen­tre Ham­burg. The Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence agency has found evi­dence that the Islam­ic Cen­ter Ham­burg is linked to the Iran­ian gov­ern­ment, call­ing it one of the Islam­ic Republic’s “most impor­tant pro­pa­gan­da cen­ters” in Europe. As GIOR has report­ed, the Cen­tre has been involved in a state-rec­og­nized orga­ni­za­tion that would allow it to influ­ence mat­ters such as reli­gious education.

The motion rec­om­mends that Germany:

  •  Expand the pow­ers of the Fed­er­al Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Constitution
  • Work with EU part­ners and the UK on the financ­ing of polit­i­cal Islam
  • Hold talks with state financiers of polit­i­cal Islam to get them to stop such funding
  • Work towards max­i­mal inde­pen­dent financ­ing of Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in Ger­many to min­i­mize for­eign influence.