Conservatives in Germany want to ban Salafists from recruiting migrants, as the government admits they see 20-60 attempts made per month.
Radical Salafist groups are actively trying to recruit migrants in Asylum homes to join their groups and potentially wage jihad in Europe. The German interior ministry has confirmed reports that since September of last year the government has seen between 20-60 attempts made per month by Salafists to recruit migrants reports Stuttgarter Nachrichten.
The increasing numbers of attempts at recruitment are causing a stir in German politics. The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) MP Armin Schuster has taken a hard-line stance on attempts at radicalization of migrants. He says that the security services need more power to deal with potential recruitment and that the government needs to reintroduce a law banning the advertising of terrorist ideologies and those affiliated with them.
The law that exists on the books at the moment only covers those actively recruiting for or supporting terrorist groups rather than those who merely push the ideology associated with them.
Expressing sympathy with the causes of terrorists is not a crime in Germany but it used to be. Up until 2002 it was illegal for Germans to advertise any sort of sympathy with those who commit acts of terror or their causes. The law was stuck down because many of the cases brought before courts were dismissed as contravening the freedom of expression of those brought to trial.
The laws were abolished under a coalition of the Socialists and Greens who were previously in power, but now the coalition in Germany comprises of socialists and conservatives which may lead to change. Schuster in particular notes that 2002 was an era where Islamic terrorism was not as pervasive in Europe as it is today and that social media like Facebook had yet to be created.
“If Islamist recruiters noted that they are being watched, they dispense with the concrete – criminal – soliciting of money and leave it at formal expressions of sympathy for fundamentalist ideas,” Schuster said and noted the effect was the same on those radicalized, it was a, “call to battle.”
A member of the Socialist Party was totally against the idea saying,” the Federal Constitutional Court always gives freedom priority,” and expressed that he didn’t want to see a new legal “grey area” form where the law was not entirely clear about what was and wasn’t freedom of expression.
The debate on freedom of speech in Germany has been the subject of many headlines because of a number of high profile cases involving those on the right and on the left.
PEGIDA founder Lutz Bachmann was on trial in a Dresden court over remarks that he made about migrants in 2014 via social media and left wing comedian Jan Böhmermann is also facing prosecution for a poem he wrote insulting Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Many in Germany have been outraged about the decision to take both cases to trial.