Hate Preachers in German Mosques, Part 2

Below is the second half (part 1 is here) of an investigative report by ZDF on the “radicalization” that takes place in German mosques, and the failure of the authorities to take action against it.

Many thanks to MissPiggy for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Video transcript:

00:00   The two teenagers from Essen who planted a bomb at a Sikh Temple
00:04   in 2016 had been to the Assalam mosque.
00:08   They were part of the WhatsApp group called “Adherents of the Islamic Caliphate”,
00:13   which radicalized both 16-year-olds.
00:19   Jasmine was in the Assalam mosque for us. The 28-year-old
00:22   visited the Friday prayer meetings on the woman’s side
00:25   for six months. Near the end, she was even accepted in WhatsApp groups.
00:29   That’s where videos and messages are shared.
00:32   “Important audio, please listen and share”
00:37   Besides that, meetings are also arranged over WhatsApp. She also received an invitation to join in.
00:41   In the beginning it was really difficult. After three months it worked.
00:45   They are really clever, they ask a lot of questions
00:49   and pay close attention. —What did they say about Sharia Law?
00:53   I was told that it belongs to the Sharia, that it is our Islamic right
00:57   to fight against the unbelievers and it is a part of Jihad
01:02   in order to protect Islam properly. We are to fight. —Fight?
01:08   Against the kuffar? —Yes, exactly! —Who is the kafir for them?
01:12   The kafir is everyone else. The Jews
01:15   are at the top of the list, then the Christians.
01:19   Jasmine put herself in danger in order to do our undercover work,
01:24   and she knows it. She told us at every single meeting, no matter where, there is a woman
01:29   who always seemed to be the leader. She made these recordings for us secretly.
01:33   Most of the time, during these meetings
01:38   they watched videos from Salafist preachers such as
01:43   Abul Baraa or Pierre Vogel. Women in the Salafist scene
01:48   play a huge role and are very active. That’s not just because
01:53   they are responsible for the next generation and they aren’t victims,
01:58   says the Islamism expert Susanne Schroeter. —There is a parallel network
02:02   to the male Salafism, which is the female network.
02:05   It is built exactly the same way, with the exact same meaning and
02:09   the women aren’t less radical. They are 100% persuaded
02:13   by the theology, and they pass it on. It is women who speak to other women
02:18   in the mosques, especially in the smaller circles
02:23   where further indoctrination occurs. —Jasmine was in one of the smaller circles.
02:28   What she heard there didn’t have anything
02:33   to do with the peaceful Islam that she knew. The Assalam mosque
02:37   gets attention because of the radical Salafists and jihadists that visit
02:41   there. According to our research, non-peaceful Islam is still being taught here.
02:46   Why do security authorities allow this?
02:51   That’s what we wanted to learn from the president of the North Rhine-Westphalian
02:54   domestic intelligence services. —In the past
02:57   few years, five of these types of mosques have been shut down,
03:00   but no more than that. The reason for that is, firstly, it is
03:03   not always provable that mosque itself is responsible for it.
03:07   With the exception of single preachers. —Why is it so difficult
03:11   to punish the hate preachers who continually damn the unbelievers
03:15   and incite violence? The threshold between the
03:19   feeling that hate is being preached; which is deeply hurtful
03:24   and seems very inflammatory; and the legal question of when
03:29   something can be prosecuted, for example for inciting violence or forming a criminal organization
03:34   or a terrorist organization — this threshold is extremely wide.
03:38   The legal hurdles are very high. —We have discovered
03:41   during these separate meetings that very radical ideologies are being spread,
03:45   including legitimizing the killing of unbelievers.
03:49   Is that information that the domestic intelligence service is also aware of? —Yes. We know.
03:53   We are aware that in the last few years that radicalization is not occurring in the mosques,
03:59   in the open spaces during Friday prayers. It is happening in
04:04   the back alley, other smaller rooms or in private residences. Here the radicalization
04:08   is much stronger. —Why are you not able to do something there?
04:14   Wouldn’t that be enough legal means to take criminal action against the mosque for making these
04:18   meetings possible? —All the information we have and collect
04:22   is given to law enforcement authorities. There it is assessed
04:26   whether to take legal action against a person or the entire association.
04:30   The fact that legal action is not taken
04:33   very often does not mean that the situation is not being monitored.
04:36   It just means there needs to be sufficient evidence
04:39   to initiate criminal proceedings. —Which means tangible actions
04:43   must be verifiable. However, producing the evidence
04:46   appears to be the problem for authorities. We wanted to hear
04:49   how the chairman of the Assalam mosque association responds
04:52   to the accusations against the mosque. Bourmenir Mohammed
04:56   has been leader of the Assalam Mosque for twenty years.
05:00   The Algerian-born leader is also a part-time imam. He shows us his mosque,
05:06   and is proud to report that few refugees pray here.
05:12   The Assalam mosque is under surveillance
05:15   by the intelligence services, because of jihadists like Silvio K.
05:18   What do have to say about that? What does this have to do with your mosque? Can you understand that
05:22   intelligence services are watching what you do?
05:26   Yes, of course I can understand it. As I told the intelligence service,
05:29   these jihadists, whatever they call themselves, visited
05:32   a public place of prayer. They came, they prayed and went their way.
05:36   They didn’t distribute propaganda, didn’t preach and didn’t proclaim
05:40   that they belonged to a certain group — otherwise we
05:45   would have kicked them out immediately. —But you have been quoted
05:49   as saying that Silvio K. called you an unbeliever.
05:52   —Yes. —Aren’t you alarmed or concerned
05:55   that things here could go in the wrong direction? Yes, but we never thought
05:58   it would go that far. Many go through a phase of radicalization
06:02   for two to three months, but then they return to their senses.
06:06   The other headlines your mosque made had to do with the two teenagers
06:10   who attacked the Sikh temple. They came here, too.
06:15   —Here’s what happened. We never saw those two teenagers
06:19   before they came here with backpacks, which the police
06:23   were looking for. They prayed. One stayed outside with the backpack,
06:27   which contained the bomb. From here, they went over
06:31   to those poor Buddhists and then that’s where they threw the bomb.
06:35   You didn’t know anything about that?
06:40   —We never saw these children before! For us they are children.
06:44   We confronted the leader with our undercover research,
06:47   in which the Assalam mosque is used as a meeting hub
06:50   for women’s networks that exchange radical doctrine.
06:53   Bourmenir Mohammed does not feel responsible for that.
06:57   That’s not my job; what should I do? I speak to my congregation here
07:02   and have everything under control. Reasonable Islam is preached here.
07:06   The message that Allah has sent for all of humanity.
07:10   But there are imams here who refer to kuffar and say that they are worth less than…
07:16   We can’t do that. It is in the Quran. We only
07:22   preach what is found in the Quran. —But it is in the Quran.
07:26   You can find everything in the Quran. You can look for yourself
07:30   at what it says. —What is certain is that the Quran is open to interpretation.
07:34   Many verses describe Muslims, Jews,
07:38   and Christians as equals. So is the Assalam Mosque Islamist,
07:43   or just negligent with the radicalized? Does the mosque’s leader
07:49   really not know what is going on during these women’s meetings
07:53   organized by his mosque? We move on to Bad Kreuznach,
07:57   in Rhineland-Palatinate. We have arranged a meeting with refugees
08:00   who will tell us about their experience in a mosque.
08:03   Security authorities have warned that refugees are susceptible
08:07   to radical doctrine, due to their precarious status in society.
08:13   Ali and Yassar came to Germany from Syria three years ago
08:17   and were housed in Bad Kreuznach. The visited the local mosque.
08:22   After one Friday’s prayer meeting they had a conversation with the imam.
08:26   They still can’t believe what he said to them.
08:29   He said he didn’t speak German, because he didn’t want to learn
08:33   such an abhorrent language. He also said Germany was a country
08:37   of unbelievers to be Islamized. —Yes, he was always talking about
08:41   Germany being a country of unbelievers that was to be
08:46   conquered. —He told us we should have many children,
08:51   just like President Erdogan said. That was the way to expand the Muslim community
08:57   throughout Europe. Sharia must be the law of the land.
09:01   He also said killing the unbeliever wasn’t bad, because they are
09:06   unbelievers. —That’s what an imam said? —Yes. The imam. He really said it. Yes, the imam.
09:13   Ali and Yassar have settled in well in Bad Kreuznach
09:17   and are thankful that Germany accepted them, saving them
09:22   from the war in Syria. They can’t understand how such mosques are able to exist in Germany.
09:26   I was really surprised that an imam would be allowed to say
09:30   such things. I was expecting the police to show up at any minute. It can’t be permitted that he
09:34   is able to say such things and nothing happens.
09:39   They never went back to the mosque where the imam was so hateful.
09:44   It was the Masjid Al-Hijrah Mosque, in the middle of a residential
09:48   area of Bad Kreuznach and in a back alley.
09:52   We also visited this mosque for weeks undercover.
09:56   During the Friday sermons that we attended, the imam constantly
10:00   spoke about jihad being important, but he never specified what that meant.
10:04   No one in the mosque wanted to comment on what
10:09   the two refugees told us. Even the domestic intelligence services declined
10:13   an interview with us. This mosque has been under
10:17   investigation for some time now. According to our research, this is true in many German states.
10:20   Just as we found in Berlin, Essen and Bad Kreuznach, radical mosques are simply monitored.
10:25   That’s about it. This shouldn’t be the case, according
10:31   to the Islamic expert Ismail Tipi. —Under the rule of law
10:34   a democratic state must be able to defend itself. We aren’t
10:37   powerless or helpless. We have the necessary laws;
10:41   we just need to enforce them. Under the cloak of religion,
10:45   with false tolerance and the multi-culti romance — we allow too much
10:49   to slip through. In times like these, it is just not enough
10:53   to simply monitor these dangerous nests. We have to intervene and outlaw them.
10:59   That’s why I have been saying
11:03   for many years that we need a general nationwide ban
11:07   on practicing Salafism. —We would have liked to speak with
11:12   the Federal Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer.
11:15   Instead, we receive a written statement with the following response:
11:18   “The Federal Government and the German states are pursuing a comprehensive prevention strategy
11:22   which includes the consistent use of bans on Salafist structures.”
11:27   Based on the guidelines of constitutional law, a general ban on Salafism
11:32   would not be possible. Christian De Vries,
11:35   from the affiliated party of the CDU, warns about being inactive.
11:38   If we continue to allow 100,000 young adults, whether they are
11:42   Muslims with Turkish origins or Muslims with Arab origins,
11:45   to visit Quran schools every single week where they are saturated
11:48   and indoctrinated with hateful messages,
11:51   then they will be open to Salafism and hate preachers later.
11:56   For that reason it is my political goal to examine how this can be
12:01   changed. In practical terms, this means we need to offer an alternative.
12:04   We need to offer Muslim theology at
12:07   German universities and train Muslim theologians according to the rule of law
12:11   and our rules who will preach in mosques in the future.
12:14   Ahmad Schekeb earned his degree in Islamic Studies in Germany
12:18   and became an imam that way. In Essen he preaches
12:22   at the Masjid Mustafa Mosque. The 28-year-old was born in Munich.
12:27   His parents come from Afghanistan. Islamist preachers
12:32   are a thorn in his flesh. —Every single Muslim is obligated
12:39   to respect others, regardless of which faith is practiced, or their mindset.
12:46   —You are familiar with the topic of Salafism. What is the difference
12:50   between believers and unbelievers? Can you explain that?
12:53   Unbelievers are heterodox. We shouldn’t degrade others,
12:56   but speak with them on an equal footing. Anyone who
12:59   becomes radicalized or discriminates has not understood Islam.
13:03   Islam came to connect the hearts of people,
13:07   according to the prophet Muhammad (PBUH). A Muslim, a believer,
13:12   behaves and speaks in such a way that others feel safe.
13:17   Everyone! —And that is the message Imam Ahmad delivers in his mosque.
13:22   Believers here have various nationalities.
13:27   In order to ensure that everyone understands the sermons,
13:31   they are conducted mostly in German. —The best thing about those who
13:34   make mistakes, is that they must ask for forgiveness.
13:40   Imam Ahmad is accused of being an unbeliever by radical preachers.
13:45   He isn’t intimidated.
13:51   The stirring up of hate by radical preachers does damage
13:54   to peaceful Muslims. It places all Muslims under
13:57   general suspicion. Germany must prevent hate preachers from poisoning society. Inciting hatred and
14:04   calls for violence have nothing to do with freedom of religion.
14:09   A nation governed by the rule of law must oppose dangerous Islamists.

9 thoughts on “Hate Preachers in German Mosques, Part 2

  1. I could never be a Muslim. I don’t want to become a murderous psychopath and I could never believe in a god who wanted me to be one.

    • Me also.

      An African man I know who was a former muslim made one of the greatest statements I have heard:

      “You become what you believe.

      Muslims worship a violent, murderous and angry god. Eventually this is what they become.”

  2. Memo for the producers:

    There is no extremist Islam.
    There is no radical Islam.
    There is no moderate Islam.
    There is no reformed Islam.
    There is only Islam.

  3. “I was really surprised…” is the theme of this report.

    Bless them, they conducted the investigation. They had assumed, understandably but erroneously, that because it is a religion Islam must be benign. Bless them, they were really surprised.

    “We are to fight. —Fight?”
    “Against the kuffar? —Yes, exactly!”

    Correct: that is what the Koran says – “Fight them”, in over a hundred verses.

    “non-peaceful Islam is still being taught here.”

    Correct: all through the Koran Islam is commanded to be non-peaceful.

    “very radical ideologies are being spread, including legitimizing the killing of unbelievers.
    He also said killing the unbeliever wasn’t bad, because they are unbelievers.
    —That’s what an imam said?
    —Yes. The imam. He really said it. Yes, the imam.”

    Correct: the Koran does say “Kill them wherever you find them” because of their unbelief.

    Broadcasters would not send a reporter to cover, say, a cricket match who did not know the rules. Is it not better for the mosque reporter to become acquainted beforehand with the rules of Islam? They can be found online, at, for instance, The Religion of Peace website.

  4. Notice the sly way in which the imam suggests (at 5.58) that “radicalisation” is a short-lived phase by some who have lost their senses:

    “Many go through a phase of radicalization for two to three months, but then they return to their senses.”

    “Radicalisation”, according to the UK “Prevent” programme is:

    “a psychological process where vulnerable and/or susceptible individuals are groomed to engage into criminal, terrorist activity.”

    What the definition omits is that the activity which is criminal and terrorist in UK law is applauded, nay instructed, by Sharia law. Perhaps imams were involved in framing that definition.

    The programme imparts the misleading impression that “radicalisation” is not proper Islam, whereas in reality it is observant dutiful conduct.

    • “… groomed to engage into criminal, terrorist activity.”

      Interesting definition.

      It could be interpreted to mean that there are non-criminal, legitimate forms of terrorism.

      I suspect this is the preferred interpretation of the government and muslims.

  5. There are several things to note.

    The security services are aware of the preaching, but the Islamists are smart enough to know the boundaries of the law and stay just within them. In their native countries, the police know the Koran, and arrest the radical preachers for preaching from the wrong verses.

    One solution discussed is for the government itself to sponsor the teaching of “correct”, “peaceful” Islam. They even show an example of a peaceful imam who was educated in Germany. By the way, I believe he’s sincere.

    Let’s say, the government does get involved in sponsoring imam training. The first question that comes to mind is, what is the pathway to recovery in the event that a government-sponsored Islamic training center gets captured by Salafists? Perhaps we could look at the strategies for recovery employed by US colleges for departments which have been captured by radical leftists. Please leave a link here if you can find a US university where a department has gone from hard-left to politically-tolerant.

    It’s also fair to speculate that the more power the intelligence and security services are given to shut down Islamic hate teachings, the more power they have to shut down or punish anti-Islamic teachings.

    • ” the more power the intelligence and security services are given to shut down Islamic hate teachings, the more power they have to shut down or punish anti-Islamic teachings.”


      I can say from personal experience that both groups are often intertwined with each other as one group keeps an eye on the other.

      This then is serrendipitous that as one group is watched by gov’t agents, surely enough members of the opposing group begin appearing as they seek to monitor each other. The government’s job then made easier, all that is necessary is the word from on high to round up both parties.

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