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]
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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.
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