“A few weeks ago, an extraordinary email appeared in my mailbox. Khallad Swaid, President of the German Muslim Community (DMG), the most important organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany, asked me to talk.
He wrote that the DMG was an “independent German organization” that called “people to God’s consciousness, freedom and justice.” It is therefore wrong “that the DMG should be placed in an extremist and anti-constitutional spectrum.”
His message was clear: we are harmless, not extremists, let us talk!
In principle, I am in favour of dialogue. But before this happens, it should be clear who you are actually sitting at the table with. This question arises particularly with regard to the DMG.
For the demonstratively exposed constitutional fidelity and conciliatoryness has in practice very little to do with the hostility preached in the mosque communities of the DMG towards other believers, the goal of establishing a state of God and the systematic gender discrimination of women.
It is not without reason that the Central Council of Muslims suspended the membership of the DMG at the end of last year.
Swaid’s claim that one is conservative reminds me a little of the AfD’s external representation that it is bourgeois. At the same time, the DMG also presents itself as a victim: It is alleged that it is not the activities of the DMG and its members that are questionable, but the actions of the constitutional protection.
Mr. Swaid simply ignores the facts: In the 2018 Constitutional Protection Report, the 1040 members of the DMG are attributed to the potential for terrorism/Islamism. The DMG is considered to be the extended arm of the extremist Muslim Brotherhood (MB).
Founded in Egypt in 1928, the Muslim Brotherhood “formed the origin of modern political Islam. […] It aims to establish an Islamic state or to adopt existing state systems through infiltration and to reshape them in their own sense.”
This is how the current constitutional protection report of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia characterizes the Muslim Brotherhood, whose German offshoot, the DMG, is based in Cologne. The aim is a system of governance based on Sharia law and the use of force is not excluded in this way – even if violence is not a priority means.
According to this report, there is no recognition of the DMG’s emancipation or even distancing itself from the international Muslim Brotherhood and its ideology and concepts.
Unlike radical Salafists, who cause a stir with their undisguised radical Islamist demands, the Muslim Brotherhood dominates the art of the floret. They are cosmopolitan, tolerant and stress that they are on the basis of the Basic Law.
At the same time, the head of the constitutional protection in NRW, Burkhard Freier, stated last year: “The Muslim Brotherhood may pose a greater threat to democracy than Salafists.”
Islamic or conservative? No problem, but a Sharia state
The shortened reasoning: outwardly the Muslim Brotherhood is moderate, internally they clearly represent anti-constitutional positions, because they “want in the long term a bourgeois state that is shaped by Islamic values and Sharia law,” Freier continued.
One must therefore assume that the DMG is ultimately part of political Islam in Germany. It is not only about the practice of religion, but about spreading a view of Islam that is incompatible with the German constitution.
Neither the Islamic religion and its practice nor a “conservative” attitude are problematic. The problem is when a particular interpretation of religion is pushed forward and its rules are placed above our constitution. This distinguishes political Islam from Islam itself.
If the DMG uses this to accuse German politics of a general anti-Muslim sentiment, then this is not only perfidious, but rather a method of gaining prestige among moderate Muslims.
So far, the DMG has failed to provide any evidence of a credible distancing from Islamist ideas. But when the DMG and other problematic associations and associations demand social participation, they must finally let action instead of words speak and bring about real change.
The ball is in the field of the Dmg. But I fear that this will not happen. Because we are not experiencing a change in content among the Muslim Brotherhood, but rather a changed communication strategy.
This strategy also seems to be catching on with policymakers in our country. There are always government and party representatives of different stripes who want to talk to the DMG, who visit their institutions and enter into a dialogue.
Anbieg is not a good recipe for dealing with extremism. Anbiederung only leads to the fact that the social acceptance of the DMG as interlocutor as well as the legitimacy of the organization within the Muslim community grows.
Why do some, who take a zero-tolerance course with right-wing and left-wing extremists and consistently distance themselves from political extremists, believe that an appeasement policy towards religious fundamentalists is a promising strategy? Naivety and principle of hope have never been good advisors in politics.
Those who are serious about social peace and cohesion in our country should fight the enemies of democracy with determination. That is why I recommend that every political decision-maker question who is being handed over.
I have followed my principle of not having contacts and discussions with representatives of anti-constitutional organisations and have given Mr Swaid a polite but certain rejection.