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FTR #721 A Mosque in Munich

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Intro­duc­tion: Authored by Wall Street Jour­nal reporter Ian John­son, A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA, and the Rise of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the West is essen­tial for under­stand­ing the polit­i­cal and his­tor­i­cal back­ground of con­tem­po­rary Islamism, its Nazi and fas­cist roots, in par­tic­u­lar. Titled after, and drawn from, this impor­tant new book, this pro­gram details the oper­a­tions of Ger­hard von Mende, a Baltic Ger­man who presided over the use of Sovi­et Mus­lims as oper­a­tives for the Third Reich’s Ost­min­is­teri­um. (FTR #518 draws on a Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle by John­son, which pre­views this mar­velous vol­ume.)

Build­ing on an activ­i­ty base begun well before the Sec­ond World War, von Mende uti­lized mem­bers of the Prometheus net­work on behalf of the Third Reich and, lat­er, for the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many.

Assid­u­ous­ly recruit­ed by U.S. intel­li­gence, von Mende refused work for the Amer­i­cans (who cov­et­ed his Sovi­et emi­gre net­works, the Mus­lims in par­tic­u­lar.) Instead, von Mende reca­pit­u­lat­ed his Third Reich net­works for the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many, mobi­liz­ing them under the stew­ard­ship of Nazi war crim­i­nal Theodor Ober­lan­der. Ober­lan­der was forced to resign his posi­tion as a West Ger­man cab­i­net min­is­ter when his wartime record came to light. Ober­lan­der’s posi­tion had put him in charge of the ver­triebene groups, expellees Ger­mans under the polit­i­cal of post­war SS net­works.

Many of von Mende’s for­mer Ost­min­is­teri­um employ­ees did make the jump to U.S. intel­li­gence, work­ing under the aus­pices of Amcom­lib.

Of par­tic­u­lar sig­nif­i­cance in von Mende’s net­works were Turko­phone minori­ties, cov­et­ed and uti­lized by pan-Turk­ist activists. Pos­ing as Uighurs from the Xin­jiang region of Chi­na, many of these Tur­kic minori­ties were thus able to escape ret­ri­bu­tion for their mil­i­tary ser­vice to the Third Reich. Those of von Mende’s pro­tegees who did­n’t jump to Amcom­lib con­tin­ued to work for von Mende under the aus­pices of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic of Ger­many.

Of the Tuko­phone activi­tists, one of the most promi­nent was Ruzy Nazar, whose career stretched from ser­vice to the Third Reich, to work for U.S. intel­li­gence and par­tic­i­pa­tion in the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations and WACL.

Per­pet­u­at­ing a dis­turb­ing pat­tern of using fas­cist ele­ments, U.S. intel­li­gence (specif­i­cal­ly State Depart­ment and CIA) have con­tin­ued their use of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the sec­ond half of this decade! Ini­ti­at­ed under the Bush admin­is­traion, the use of the Broth­er­hood (por­trayed as “mod­er­ates”) has con­tin­ued under Oba­ma.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: Von Mende’s close post­war asso­ci­a­tion with SS intel­li­gence offi­cial Wal­ter Schenck; the involve­ment of von Mende and his Ost­min­is­teri­um charges with the Holo­caust; Ober­lan­der’s links to the OUN/B; Schenck­’s wartime work in the Lvov area, site of the mas­sacres per­formed by Ober­lan­der’s charges; Nazar’s work for CIA pro­pa­gan­diz­ing among hajjis in Sau­di Ara­bia in 1954; Nazi offi­cial Johann von Leers’ post­war net­work­ing with Mus­lim emi­gres in the Ham­burg area for the pur­pose of anti-Semit­ic agi­ta­tion; review of von Leers’ links to the milieu of the Bank Al Taqwa.

1. Begin­ning with dis­cus­sion of the Prometheus (“Promethee”) net­work, the pro­gram notes the involve­ment of vet­er­ans of that net­work with Ger­hard von Mende ‘s orga­ni­za­tion. An anti-com­mu­nist net­work bankrolled by a num­ber of coun­tries, the Prometheus orga­ni­za­tion uti­lized pan-Turk­ist ele­ments and oth­er [for­mer] Sovi­et eth­nic minori­ties as agit­prop agents, in order to desta­bi­lize the for­mer Sovi­et Union.

Many of the Prometheus League’s ele­ments served with the Third Reich.

. . . . Von Mende was giv­en con­trol of the min­istry’s Cau­ca­sus divi­sion, report­ing to his old con­tact in the Nazi par­ty, Georg Leib­brandt. Von Mende recruit­ed a group of men who had been in exile for years. Most were part of an anti-Sovi­et move­ment called Prometheus–named for the mytho­log­i­cal hero who cham­pi­oned human­i­ty by defy­ing the god Zeus. It was found­ed in 1925 by men who had hoped the destruc­tion of the czarist empire would free their peo­ples from Russ­ian rule. When that did­n’t hap­pen, the Prometheans pub­lished and agi­tat­ed against Moscow from War­saw and then Paris. By the 1930’s, the group was being backed by French, Pol­ish, British, and Ger­man intel­li­gence. The Ger­man con­quest of France brought the group com­plete­ly under Ger­man con­trol.

Von Mende had known and cul­ti­vat­ed some of these men even before he worked for the Ost­min­is­teri­um. After the war, Prometheans such as Mikhail Kedia of Geor­gia and Ali Kan­temir of Turkestan would play major roles in von Mende’s entan­gle­ment with the Unit­ed States. Kan­temir would also become a key play­er in the Munich mosque.

One man would top them all in impor­tance dur­ing and after the war: Veli Kayum, the polit­i­cal activist who had addressed the Mus­lim sol­diers, includ­ing Syul­tan, in the camp. . . . The Ger­mans were delight­ed with Kayum’s rise in influ­ence because he had been help­ing the Nazis since the 1930’s. They con­sid­ered him loy­al and trust­wor­thy. They embraced the same vision: to build Tur­kic-Mus­lim armies that would fight the Sovi­ets.

Von Mende was a civil­ian, but as the war pro­gressed he was seen as essen­tial to the Nazis’ mil­i­tary suc­cess. In 1943, the SS chief Hein­rich Himm­ler engi­neered the ouster of Leib­brandt, von Mende’s boss in the Ost­min­is­teri­um. Himm­ler installed one of his loy­al­ists, hop­ing to gain con­trol of the rival min­istry. But von Mende emerged from the shake­up unscathed. Indeed, he got a promotion–advancing from head of the Ost­min­is­teri­um’s Cau­ca­sus divi­sion to head of the “For­eign Peo­ples” division–essentially over­see­ing the Ost­min­is­teri­um’s entire pol­i­cy toward Sovi­et minori­ties. . . .

A Mosque in Munich: Nazis, the CIA and the Rise of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the West by Ian John­son; Copy­right 2010 by Ian John­son; Houghton Mif­flin Har­court Pub­lish­ing [HC]; ISBN 978–0‑15–101418‑7; pp. 24–25.

2. Von Mende and his Ost­min­is­teri­um oper­a­tives were involved with the imple­men­ta­tion of the Holo­caust in
East­ern Europe.

. . . At a 1942 con­fer­ence held at a vil­la on Lake Wannsee in a Berlin sub­urb, plans for the Holo­caust took shape. Although the mur­der of Jews began ear­li­er, the meet­ing brought the full might of the bureau­crat­ic, total­i­tar­i­an state into align­ment against them. Key min­is­ters and Nazi offi­cials attend­ed. The meet­ing last­ed just nine­ty min­utes, but its mes­sage was clear: the state would now coor­di­nate efforts in a sin­gle, awful focus.

The Ost­min­is­teri­um was rep­re­sent­ed at the con­fer­ence: von Mende’s boss and pre-war con­tact in the Nazi par­ty, Leib­brandt, attend­ed on behalf of the min­istry. Its offi­cials had called for a def­i­n­i­tion of who count­ed as a Jew, so the Ger­mans could prop­er­ly pre­pare the east­ern ter­ri­to­ry for Ger­man set­tlers by elim­i­nat­ing Jews and oth­er unde­sir­ables.

Nine days lat­er, the Ost­min­is­teri­um held the first of a series of meet­ings to iron out legal details stem­ming from the Wannsee con­fer­ence. Although the Nurem­berg race laws pre­cise­ly spec­i­fied who was to be con­sid­ered a Jew, the sit­u­a­tion in the east pre­sent­ed com­pli­ca­tions: poor record keep­ing made trac­ing a person’s ori­gins more dif­fi­cult, but the Nazis desired to kill quick­ly with­out care­ful delib­er­a­tion. Many want­ed a flex­i­ble guide­line that would allow offi­cials on the ground to kill as they saw fit. Von Mende was one of a dozen midlev­el bureau­crats who par­tic­i­pat­ed in the meet­ing. The min­utes do not set down any of his com­ments. Sur­viv­ing Ost­min­is­teri­um records show no effort on von Mende’s part to use his pow­er to slow down the process or raise objec­tions. And he cer­tain­ly knew of the geno­cide against the Jews by Jan­u­ary 1942. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 27–28.

3. After the war, Amer­i­can pro­pa­gan­da efforts against the Sovi­et Union spawned an ele­ment of CIA called “Amcom­lib.”

. . . The group’s name would change repeat­ed­ly as it strug­gled to find a title that would define its mis­sion. Lat­er in 1951, it became the Amer­i­can Com­mit­tee for the Lib­er­a­tion of the Peo­ples of Russia—it was bad form to men­tion the USSR, which some of the group’s mem­bers con­sid­ered ille­git­i­mate. But the word Rus­sia itself became a prob­lem. It seemed too nar­row because it exclud­ed non-Rus­sians, who made up near­ly half the country’s pop­u­la­tion. So in 1953, the group changed its name again, to the Amer­i­can Com­mit­tee for Lib­er­a­tion from Bol­she­vism. That in turn seemed a bit quaint—even in the 1950’s no one but the hard­est-core anti­com­mu­nist spoke of Bol­she­vism, a term out of the 1920’s and ‘30’s. So the last two words were dropped in 1956, leav­ing the group with a bizarrely gener­ic name: the Amer­i­can com­mit­tee for Lib­er­a­tion. Out­siders often knew it sim­ply as the Amer­i­can Committee—which gave it a whole­some, patri­ot­ic ring. Inter­nal­ly, it was known by the acronym Amcom­lib. The term has a deli­cious jar­gony mys­tique, per­fect for an era that coined obscure and clipped nomen­cla­ture for mil­i­tary and espi­onage mis­sions. Amcom­lib could have been a code word for a para­chute oper­a­tion behind ene­my lines.

Over time, Amcom­lib would com­mand a large bud­get and a staff of thou­sands. Its main duty was to run Radio Lib­er­ty. But it had two oth­er impor­tant tasks. It oper­at­ed a sup­pos­ed­ly inde­pen­dent think tank, the Insti­tute for the Study of the USSR, which pub­lished papers by Amcom­lib employ­ees and peo­ple close to intel­li­gence agen­cies. It also had an émi­gré rela­tions depart­ment that recruit­ed agents, most­ly in Munich, and sent them around the world on covert pro­pa­gan­da mis­sions. U.S. gov­ern­ment involve­ment was care­ful­ly masked. Amcomlib’s board mis­led lis­ten­ers and sup­port­ers in the Unit­ed States into think­ing it was run by émi­grés and promi­nent jour­nal­ists, instead of the CIA. When leaflets were print­ed, lis­ten­ing radio broad­cast times and fre­quen­cies, the Amer­i­can role in the endeav­or was pur­pose­ly obfus­cat­ed, accord­ing to min­utes of Amcom­lib board meet­ings. . . .

Amcom­lib might have been rel­a­tive­ly unknown, but it nev­er lacked mon­ey. Its exact bud­get is hard to recon­struct, although some infor­ma­tion has escaped the CIA’s infor­ma­tion block­ade. Records show that in 1955 its bud­get was $2.8 mil­lion (rough­ly $23 mil­lion in 2010 terms). It grew to $7.7 mil­lion in 1960. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 42–43.

4. Much of von Mende’s Ost­min­is­teri­um found post­war work with Radio Lib­er­ty and Amcom­lib, repeat­ing and rein­forc­ing the dis­turb­ing, preva­lent trend of U.S. intel­li­gence employ­ing World War II fas­cists for post­war anti-com­mu­nist activ­i­ty. Note the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations’ employ­ment of some of the for­mer Third Reich com­bat­ants.

. . . In the 1940’s, [Garip] Sul­tan had joined the Scot­tish League for Euro­pean Free­dom. Backed by Britain’s for­eign intel­li­gence agency, MI6, the league tried to line up mem­bers of Sovi­et minor­i­ty groups such as the Tatars to com­bat the Sovi­et Union. It led to a more durable orga­ni­za­tion, which Sul­tan also joined, called the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations. Both were large­ly the cre­ation of British intel­li­gence ser­vices and rife with von Mende’s ex-Ost­min­is­teri­um col­lab­o­ra­tors. Now Sul­tan was look­ing for some­thing that paid a real salary but would allow him to keep fight­ing com­mu­nism. He found what looked like a per­fect fit: Radio Lib­er­ty.

One rea­son Sul­tan found it easy to choose Radio Lib­er­ty is that he already knew most of its employ­ees. The sta­tion was orga­nized into “desks,” each with a spe­cif­ic nationality—Russian and non-Russ­ian. Pro­gram­ming con­cepts and guide­lines were devel­oped in New York, but the desks in Munich had auton­o­my to pick top­ics to cov­er and peo­ple to inter­view. This is not in itself unusu­al for broad­cast­ers. The non-Russ­ian desks, how­ev­er, dupli­cat­ed the Ostministerium’s nation­al­i­ty com­mit­tees in many ways, hir­ing sim­i­lar per­son­nel and even using Nazi eth­nic terms such Idel-Ural to refer to Tatars from the Vol­ga Riv­er region.

The peo­ple on the desks had almost all worked for von Mende in the Ost­min­is­teri­um. Besides Sul­tan, oth­er top-lev­el Ost­min­is­teri­um employ­ees includ­ed Aman Berdimu­rat and Veli Zun­nun on the radio’s Turkestani desk, Hus­sein Ikhran on the Uzbek desk, and Edi­ge Kir­i­mal on the Tatar desk. The Ost­min­is­teri­um stal­wart Fatal­ibey ran the Azer­bai­jani desk. . . .

Ibid.; p. 49.

5. Next, the broad­cast sets forth the back­ground and activ­i­ties of von Mende asso­ciate Theodor Ober­lan­der, one of the prin­ci­pal archi­tects of using non-Russ­ian Sovi­et nation­al­i­ties as com­bat­ants and agit­prop agents against the for­mer Sovi­et Union.

Leader of the Nightin­gale Ein­satz­gruppe (com­prised of ele­ments of the OUN/B), Ober­lan­der was forced to resign his posi­tion as West Ger­man Min­is­ter of Expellees when his role in the wartime slaugh­ter of the Jew­ish pop­u­la­tion of Lvov came to light.

When work­ing for the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment, von Mende report­ed direct­ly to Ober­lan­der.

(In FTR #556, we exam­ined Ober­lan­der’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the ICDCC–a Ger­man-based intel­li­gence net­work which also fea­tured Nel­son Bunker Hunt of the famous, ultra-right wing Hunt fam­i­ly of Texas. As we saw in that pro­gram, Hunt was also asso­ci­at­ed with Ali bin Musal­im, who ran an account for Al Qae­da with “unlim­it­ed cred­it” at the Bank Al Taqwa. It is inter­est­ing to spec­u­late how far back some of the Islamist/Western fas­cist net­work­ing goes.)

. . . Ober­lan­der was the chief spokesman for these Ver­triebene, the “expellees” or the ‘dri­ven off.” In the 1950’s and ‘60’s, they fought a rear­guard action against those West Ger­mans who want­ed to estab­lish diplo­mat­ic rela­tions with the Sovi­et Union or rec­og­nize the Oder-Neisse bor­der. Ober­lan­der head­ed a key polit­i­cal par­ty that kept atti­tudes firm­ly fixed on loss and griev­ance.

This was the same Ober­lan­der who had par­tic­i­pat­ed in Hitler’s failed beer-hall putsch of 1923 and who had led one of the first Wehrma­cht units made up of Sovi­et minori­ties. Born in the Baltic, he real­ized the val­ue of non-Russ­ian minori­ties. He had par­tic­i­pat­ed in pogroms against the Jews but opposed the Nazis’ pol­i­cy toward the occu­pied territories—like von Mende, he thought Ger­many should be the non-Rus­sians’ ally. For that he had lost his posi­tion in the par­ty and his mil­i­tary com­mand. That set­back became a bless­ing after the war, allow­ing him to posi­tion him­self as a vic­tim of the Nazis instead of a par­ty insid­er who had fall­en out because of infight­ing. That, along with his party’s vot­ing pow­er, was enough to con­vince West Germany’s first chan­cel­lor, Kon­rad Ade­nauer, to make Ober­lan­der the cab­i­net min­is­ter in charge of refugees.

Ober­lan­der was prob­a­bly the far­thest-right mem­ber of the West Ger­man gov­ern­ment, and in lat­er years he came to be con­sid­ered the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of the young democracy’s Nazi roots. The memo he sent to von Mende illus­trat­ed this far-right bent: he want­ed Germany’s bor­ders redrawn and von Mende’s coop­er­a­tion in keep­ing a firm grip on the assets he thought could help achieve that—the for­eign­ers liv­ing on West Ger­man soil who had fought for Ger­many dur­ing the war.

Von Mende had most of the émi­gré groups firm­ly in hand. He financed Bul­gar­i­ans and Ruma­ni­ans, Ukraini­ans and Czechs. But the pre­vi­ous year’s events showed that he was los­ing con­trol of the Mus­lims. Com­pared to Amcom­lib, his bureau was puny, and most of the Mus­lims were work­ing for the Amer­i­cans. Kuniholm’s trip to Turkey and Europe empha­sized Washington’s more ambi­tious goal: using Mus­lims in its glob­al pro­pa­gan­da wars. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 92–93.

6. Among the key employ­ees of von Mende’s appa­ra­tus employed by the Fed­er­al Repub­lic was Wal­ter Schenk. For­mer mem­ber of the Sichere­its­di­enst (the SS intel­li­gence ser­vice), Schenck was head of the SD’s office in Lvov/Lemberg, site of the mas­sacre by Ober­lan­der, the OUN/B and their Nightin­gale group.

Much of the Third Reich’s exter­mi­na­tion mech­a­nism was cen­tered in the Sichere­its­di­enst.

. . . Round­ing out von Mende’s team was a Ger­man, Wal­ter Schenk, who func­tioned as von Mende’s deputy. [Ital­ics are mine–D.E.] Schenk had not worked in the Ost­min­is­teri­um, but von Mende knew him from the war, when he head­ed the Lem­berg office of the Nazis’ Sichere­its­di­enst, or Secu­ri­ty Ser­vice, where one of his respon­si­bil­i­ties was Desk IIIB, which ovr­saw Poles, Ukraini­ans, and Jews. Lem­berg (known between the wars by its Pol­ish name, Lvov, and today by its Ukrain­ian name, Lviv) was at the time in east­ern olanc, mean­ing Schenk was at the epi­cen­ter of the Holo­caust. Schenk had quit uni­ver­si­ty to join the Nazis, mak­ing him even less employ­able than von Mende after the war. He put in long hours help­ing von Mende design his evolv­ing orga­ni­za­tion. . . .

Ibid.; p. 60.

7. Next, the pro­gram ana­lyzes part of the post­war career of Johann von Leers. In charge of anti-Semit­ic pro­pa­gan­da for Goebbels’ pro­pa­gan­da min­istry, von Leers even­tu­al­ly set­tled in Egypt and became head of [then Egypt­ian pres­i­dent] Nasser’s Insti­tute for the Study of Zion­ism, which func­tioned in a mat­ter anal­o­gous to Goebbel­s’s min­istry.

Even­tu­al­ly, von Leers con­vert­ed to Islam. One of the men­tors to Bank Al Taqwa’s Achmed Huber, von Leers (aka Lahars) net­worked with the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, the first leader of the Pales­tin­ian nation­al move­ment and a gen­er­al in the Waf­fen SS.

In Ham­burg, von Leers net­worked with a group of Mus­lim immi­grants with the ulti­mate aim of pro­mot­ing anti-Semi­tism. Are there any links between von Leers’ Ham­burg con­tacts and the asso­ciates of Mohammed Atta and com­pa­ny?

. . . Hus­sai­ni con­tin­ued to asso­ciate with ex-Nazis, such as the pro­pa­gan­dist Johann von Leers, who had moved to Cairo and changed his name to Amin Lahars. Von Mende’s intel­li­gence reports show that Lahars had con­tact with mem­bers of the Ger­man Mus­lim League, a Ham­burg-based group of immi­grants. One report stat­ed that Lahars “intends through this soci­ety to start an anti-Semit­ic move­ment in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic. Ex-Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajji Hus­sai­ni finances the plans of Amin Lahars . . . His goal: Anti-Semi­tism.” . . .

Ibid.; pp. 112–113.

8. Many of the for­mer Sovi­et Mus­lims who fought for the Nazis suc­cess­ful­ly avoid­ed repa­tri­a­tion by pois­ing as Uighurs from Xin­jiang. As seen in FTR #549, the Uighurs have received sup­port from Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and Under­ground Reich asso­ci­at­ed ele­ments in their push for auton­o­my in the fos­sil-fuel rich Xin­jiang region.

. . . For most of the war, Turkey had remained neu­tral and main­tained nor­mal diplo­mat­ic and aca­d­e­m­ic exchanges with Ger­many. A Turk­ish stu­dent union had been formed to rep­re­sent Turks study­ing in Ger­many dur­ing the war. Nation­al­is­tic and pan-Tur­kic in their think­ing, the stu­dents hit upon a sim­ple solu­tion to save their fel­low eth­nic Turks: declare the sol­diers Turk­ish and issue them stu­dent iden­ti­ty papers.

The idea wasn’t as far-fetched as it sounds. Most of the sol­diers were in their late teens or ear­ly twen­ties. If they had had the pres­ence of mind to ditch their Wehrma­cht or SS uni­forms and papers before enter­ing the DP camps, no proof exist­ed of their nation­al­i­ty or pro­fes­sion. Their moth­er tongues were Tur­kic dialects. With a bit of pol­ish they could pass as Turk­ish stu­dents.

The Turk­ish stu­dent union had been based in Berlin, but when the bomb­ing got too fierce, it moved to the medieval uni­ver­si­ty town of Tub­in­gen in south­ern Ger­many. That put the stu­dents in close range of the refugee camps, espe­cial­ly in the U.S. sec­tor. With­in months, they were issu­ing Turk­ish iden­ti­ty papers whole­sale. To vary the sto­ry and thus throw sus­pi­cious offi­cials off their trail, they also claimed that some of the young men were from Xin­jiang, Chi­na, a west­ern province with a large Tur­kic minor­i­ty [the Uighurs].

That became Garip sultan’s new home­land. After the war end­ed, he was sent to a DP camp. There, the stu­dents gave him a new first name, Garip, instead of the Rus­si­fied name he had pre­vi­ous­ly, used, Garif. “We became eth­nic Turks,” Sul­tan said. “They gave me an iden­ti­ty from Kash­gar in Xin­jiang. So that’s why I sur­vived.:

It was a ruse used by many of von Mende’s top deputies, includ­ing two who would play a key role after the war: the polit­i­cal activist Veli Kayum and the mil­i­tary liai­son Baymirza Hay­it. They made their way to Czecho­slo­va­kia and sur­ren­dered to the U.S. Army. They were imme­di­ate­ly sent to be debriefed by the army’s Counter Intel­li­gence Corps, or CIC, and then to a DP camp. The Turk­ish stu­dent group in Munich vouched for Hay­it and Kayum, and the UN did not repa­tri­ate them. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 46–47.

9. Next, we revis­it the career and activ­i­ties of Ruzy [Ruzi] Nazar. A long-time US intel­li­gence oper­a­tive, Nazar fought in an SS unit in World War II and sur­faced as part of the milieu impli­cat­ed in the shoot­ing of the Pope. Recall that Nazar rep­re­sent­ed the anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations at the 1984 WACL con­fer­ence in Dal­las.

Nazar was employed by CIA to agi­tate against the Sovi­et Union at the hajj pil­grim­age in 1954.

. . . For some pil­grims, the 1954 Hajj was a bit dif­fer­ent. Armed with ripe toma­toes and strong lungs, two CIA-spon­sored Mus­lims turned Mec­ca into the site of a Cold War show­down. Two eager young men, Rusi Nazar and Hamid Raschid, had fol­lowed the now-famil­iar path to the West: born in the Sovi­et Union and cap­tured by the Ger­mans, they col­lab­o­rat­ed with the Nazis and final­ly were recruit­ed by U.S. intel­li­gence. Their tar­get: Sovi­et hajjis, who, they claimed, were engaged in spread­ing pro­pa­gan­da. Spon­sored by Amcom­lib, Nazar and Raschid flew to Jed­dah, the Sau­di Ara­bi­an city clos­est to Mec­ca. They claimed to be Turks, got seats on a bus car­ry­ing twen­ty-one Sovi­et pil­grims to Mec­ca, and began their work, talk­ing to the Sovi­et Mus­lims and try­ing to sow seeds of doubt about their home­land. When that didn’t work, they tailed their prey in Mec­ca, heck­ling them. . . .

Ibid.; p. 65.

10. More about Nazar’s post­war activ­i­ties on behalf of U.S. intel­li­gence:

. . . Nazar’s role in the Mus­lim pro­pa­gan­da war was at times opaque. Although he appeared in the media dur­ing the Hajj and the Ban­dung episode, he dis­ap­peared from pub­lic view after­ward. He would reap­pear only after the fall of the Sovi­et Union as an Aksakal, or com­mu­ni­ty leader, of Uzbeks liv­ing in the Unit­ed States. . . . When the war start­ed, he avoid­ed ser­vice and hid with a Ukrain­ian fam­i­ly. After the Ger­mans over­ran the region he heard that the great Tur­kic leader Mustafa Chokay was try­ing to unite Tur­kic peo­ples and form a gov­ern­ment in exile. He found out that Chokay had died of typhus while inspect­ing a Ger­man pris­on­er-of-war camp. Still, Nazar joined a Tur­kic unit and fought for the Ger­mans. He was wound­ed twice and sent to offi­cer train­ing school in the Ger­man province of Lothrin­gen (Now the French province of Lor­raine). Nazar was lat­er attached to the Oberkom­man­do der Wehrma­cht, the Ger­man army’s supreme com­mand. . . .In 1946, he served as a rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the Anti-Bol­she­vik Bloc of Nations but declined an offer from his old friend Baymirza Hay­it to leave the U.S. sec­tor for the British sec­tor and work for the Nation­al Turkestani Uni­ty Com­mit­tee. In the ear­ly 1950’s he was recruit­ed by the leg­endary CIA spy­mas­ter Archibald Roo­sevelt Jr. to go to the Unit­ed States. . . . Nazar might have looked down on Amcom­lib, but evi­dence sug­gests he worked for it. In their arti­cles about Nazar’s Hajj in 1954, both The New York Times and Time mag­a­zine report­ed he had been sent by Amcom­lib (which was depict­ed as a pri­vate orga­ni­za­tion). Min­utes of Amcom­lib board meet­ings show that group mem­bers viewed Nazar as a key to their covert pro­pa­gan­da strat­e­gy, call­ing him a “damn good man, use­ful in sev­er­al oper­a­tions of the Amer­i­can Com­mit­tee.” . . .

Ibid.; pp. 73–74.

11. The con­clud­ing part of the pro­gram turns from the Nazi back­ground of many of Amcom­lib’s Mus­lim employ­ees to the Bush and Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tions’ recent pro­mo­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. In the last half of this decade, the State Depart­ment began open­ly pro­mot­ing and advanc­ing the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, reflect­ing [per­haps] the lob­by­ing efforts engaged in on that orga­ni­za­tion’s behalf by Grover Norquist and Karl Rove.

. . . . A State Depart­ment-spon­sored con­fer­ence on Novem­ber 15 and 16, 2005, called Mus­lim Com­mu­ni­ties Par­tic­i­pat­ing in Soci­ety: A Belgian‑U.S. Dia­logue, brought togeth­er six­ty-five Bel­gian Mus­lims and U.S. tutors from the Islam­ic Soci­ety of North Amer­i­ca. The U.S. diplo­mats thought so high­ly of ISNA that it seems to have been appoint­ed as a co-orga­niz­er of the con­fer­ence.

From a his­tor­i­cal per­spec­tive, this was almost comical—a case of tak­ing coal to New­cas­tle. ISNA, as seen in Chap­ter 14, was found­ed by peo­ple with extreme­ly close ties to Nada and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood lead­er­ship in Europe. The State Depart­ment was import­ing Mus­lim Broth­er­hood Islamists with roots in Europe to tell Euro­pean Mus­lims how to orga­nize and inte­grate. Even more inter­est­ing, some of those Euro­pean Mus­lims invit­ed to the con­fer­ence were them­selves part of the cur­rent Mus­lim Broth­er­hood net­work. . . . State Depart­ment offi­cials acknowl­edged that they had invit­ed peo­ple accused of extrem­ism, but said they did not care about track records. Instead, all that mat­tered were the groups’ or indi­vid­u­als’ cur­rent state­ments. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 223–224.

12. In 2007, the Bush admin­is­tra­tion ‘s State Depart­ment under­took a sim­i­lar project in Ger­many.

. . . . In 2007, a sim­i­lar project took place in Ger­many. The U.S. con­sulate in Munich active­ly backed the cre­ation of an Islam­ic acad­e­my in the town of Penzberg. The group behind the acad­e­my had close ties to Milligorus–essentially a Turk­ish ver­sion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, which reg­u­lar­ly appears on lists of extrem­ist orga­ni­za­tions in Ger­many. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 224–225.

13. Bush’s CIA began pur­su­ing a sim­i­lar pro­mo­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood dur­ing the sec­ond half of his sec­ond admin­is­tra­tion.

. . . . By the sec­ond half of the decade, even the CIA–reflecting its mind­set of the 1950’s–was back­ing the Broth­er­hood. In 2006 and 2008, the CIA issued reports on the orga­ni­za­tion. The for­mer was more detailed, lay­ing out a blue­print for deal­ing with the group. Called “Mus­lim Broth­er­hood: Piv­otal Actor in Euro­pean Polit­i­cal Islam,” the report stat­ed that “MB groups are like­ly to be piv­otal to the future of polit­i­cal Islam is Europe . . . They also show impres­sive inter­nal dynamism, orga­ni­za­tion, and media savvy.” The report con­ced­ed that “Euro­pean intel­li­gence ser­vices con­sid­er the Broth­er­hood a secu­ri­ty threat and critics–including more plu­ral­is­tic Muslims–accuse it of hin­der­ing Mus­lim social inte­gra­tion.” But the report nev­er­the­less con­clud­ed that “MB-relat­ed groups offer an alter­na­tive to more vio­lent Islam­ic move­ments. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 227.

14. The iner­tia gen­er­at­ed by the Broth­er­hood’s advo­cates and spear-car­ri­ers dur­ing the Bush admin­is­tra­tion extend­ed into Oba­ma’s tenure. Note that one of the peo­ple work­ing for State in this episode was Jamal Barz­in­ji, close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with Grover Norquist and Karl Rove’s Islam­ic Insti­tute.

. . . . In Jan­u­ary 2009, for exam­ple, the State Depart­ment spon­sored a vis­it of Ger­man Mus­lim lead­ers to one of the bas­tions of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in the Unit­ed States, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought–the orga­ni­za­tion set up after the epochal meet­ing in 1977 at Him­mat’s home base near Lake Lugano. The Ger­man vis­i­tors were key gov­ern­ment offi­cials in charge of inte­gra­tion or recruit­ment of minori­ties into the police. One of the briefers (or “one of those giv­ing the brief­ing”) was Jamal Barzinji–who as seen in Chap­ter 14 had worked for Nada in the 1970’s and lat­er was one of the tri­umvi­rate who set up a num­ber of key Broth­er­hood-inspired struc­tures in the Unit­ed States. . . .

Ibid.; pp. 227–228.


5 comments for “FTR #721 A Mosque in Munich”

  1. Anoth­er book I rec­om­mend you :

    Amer­i­ca’s Nazi Secret: An Insid­er’s His­to­ry

    John Lof­tus (Author)

    Pub­lish­er: Trine­Day LLC
    ISBN: 13: 978–1‑936296–04‑0: 10:1–936296-04–7

    Posted by HERVE | January 4, 2011, 5:22 am
  2. Hel­lo Dave,

    I found a doc­u­ment on the web, writ­ten in the French lan­guage, that presents links between Nazis and Pales­tini­ans. There’s noth­ing new com­pared with what you already talked about on your shows. HOWEVER, the pic­tures are amaz­ing. You can see Waf­fen SS divi­sions doing Mus­lim prayer, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem vis­it­ing these divi­sions, nazi pro­pa­gan­da mate­r­i­al used by the Pales­tini­ans, Ger­man news­pa­per arti­cles pro­pa­gan­diz­ing against Israel, etc. Even if some­body can’t read French, it has to be seen. There is also a list of pre­vi­ous Nazis that have become advi­sors for Arab coun­tries. Who could­n’t have guessed...

    You can find the link for this web page on my blog at:


    Have a great day.

    Posted by Claude | September 1, 2011, 10:46 am
  3. http://www.jpost.com/International/German-report-Berlin-a-hub-of-Hezbollah-activity-315885

    Ger­man report: Berlin a hub of Hezbol­lah activ­i­ty
    06/09/2013 02:53
    Select Lan­guage??
    950 mem­bers in Ger­many, 250 in Berlin; Hezbol­lah-run orphan­age used to fund-raise for sui­cide bombers tar­get­ing Israelis.

    BERLIN – Hezbol­lah has 950 mem­bers in Ger­many, includ­ing 250 in the cap­i­tal, a report­ed released by Berlin’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency released last week showed.

    A Hezbol­lah-con­trolled orphans orga­ni­za­tion in Low­er Sax­ony state is used to raise mon­ey for the fam­i­lies of sui­cide bombers tar­get­ing Israelis, the 140-page Ger­man-lan­guage report exam­ined by The Jerusalem Post also showed.

    The Lebanese ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion had some 900 mem­bers in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic in 2010, and 950 in 2011, around the same num­ber it has now.

    Dr. Wahied Wah­dat-Hagh, a lead­ing Euro­pean expert on the Iran­ian regime and Hezbol­lah ter­ror­ism, told the Post on Sat­ur­day it had long been known that Berlin was “a strong cen­ter of Hezbol­lah.”

    Many Shi’ites fled the Lebanese civ­il war in 1982 and relo­cat­ed to Ger­many, he said.

    Berlin became a mag­net for Hezbol­lah-affil­i­at­ed Lebanese refugees.

    “It is no sur­prise that Berlin hosts the annu­al al-Quds Day march,” Wah­dat- Hagh said. The al-Quds demon­stra­tion has been an annu­al event in Berlin since 1996 and advo­cates the destruc­tion of the Jew­ish state. More than 1,000 sup­port­ers of Iran and Hezbol­lah turned out for the march last year.

    Accord­ing to the Berlin Agency for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the agency respon­si­ble for secu­ri­ty in the cap­i­tal and which pub­lished the report, “The sup­port­ers of Hezbol­lah in Ger­many behave in a large­ly incon­spic­u­ous way. One dis­tin­guish­able role is played by the Orphans Project Lebanon [Waisenkinder­pro­jekt Libanon e.V] in Göt­tin­gen and sup­ports the sur­vivors of fight­ers against Israel.”

    In a 2009 study of Orphans Project Lebanon, Alexan­der Ritz­mann, a polit­i­cal ana­lyst and senior fel­low with the Euro­pean Foun­da­tion for Democ­ra­cy in Brus­sels, revealed that the char­i­ty is “the Ger­man branch of a Hezbol­lah sub­or­ga­ni­za­tion” that “pro­motes sui­cide bomb­ings” and aims to destroy Israel.

    The Fed­er­al Repub­lic allows the Waisenkinder­pro­jekt Libanon e.V. to oper­ate and raise funds, but elim­i­nat­ed its tax exemp­tion sev­er­al years ago.

    Ger­man Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel says Israel’s secu­ri­ty inter­ests are inte­gral to those of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic, but has refused since 2005 to close down Hezbollah’s Orphan’s Project in Low­er Sax­ony.

    Though Ger­many banned recep­tion of Hezbollah’s Al-Man­ar tele­vi­sion sta­tion in hotels in 2008, it is avail­able in homes.

    France pulled the plug on Al-Man­ar recep­tion in 2004 because of lethal anti-Semit­ic pro­pa­gan­da and the dis­sem­i­na­tion of hatred con­tra­dict­ing French val­ues. The Unit­ed States out­lawed the recep­tion of Al- Man­ar.

    Ger­many, France and the UK favor a ban of Hezbollah’s mil­i­tary wing. Aus­tria, Ire­land, Den­mark, Italy and Swe­den have raised objec­tions to includ­ing Hezbollah’s mil­i­tary appa­ra­tus in the EU ter­ror list.

    Wah­dat-Hagh said that in Ger­many, peo­ple fear that Hezbol­lah will wage war against Ger­many and not Israel. As a result, they have been wary about ban­ning Hezbol­lah, he said.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 14, 2013, 9:27 am
  4. http://www.jpost.com/International/Germany-permits-Hezbolllah-suicide-bombercharity-to-operate-317825

    Ger­many per­mits Hezbol­l­lah ’sui­cide bomber‘charity to oper­ate
    06/26/2013 17:35

    Merkel admin­is­tra­tion refus­es to sanc­tion Hezbol­lah NGO, a group that finances Hezbol­lah-relat­ed fam­i­lies of sui­cide bombers.

    Berlin. Ger­many author­i­ties remained large­ly mum on Tues­day about the con­tin­ued oper­a­tion of a Hezbol­lah-con­trolled NGO in the state of Low­er Sax­ony that finances the fam­i­lies of Hezbol­lah mem­bers who com­mit sui­cide bomb­ings against Israelis and sup­port for the Lebanese Shi­ite group’s assas­sins and mili­tia men.

    Domes­tic intel­li­gence agency reports in June cit­ed the “Orphans Project Lebanon e.V.” (“Waisenkinder­pro­jekt e.V.”) ‚based in the uni­ver­si­ty city of Göt­tin­gen, as a Hezbol­lah oper­a­tion. A spokesman for the state of Low­er Sax­ony’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, where Göt­tin­gen is sit­u­at­ed, told the Jerusalem Post on Tues­day that there are 130 active Hezbol­lah mem­bers in the state. There are a total of 950 Hezbol­lah mem­bers spread across the Fed­er­al Republic,including 250 mem­bers in Berlin.

    When asked if the Ger­man inte­ri­or min­istry plans to ban the Orphans Project Lebanon because of alleged ter­ror financ­ing, Markus Bey­er-Pol­lok, a spokesman for the min­istry, wrote the Post by email that the min­istry can­not as rule pro­vide any infor­ma­tion about a “pos­si­ble process to ban an asso­ci­a­tion.” He said the Orphans Project Lebanon is cit­ed in the fed­er­al domes­tic intel­li­gence report and the inte­ri­or min­istry can­not “issue a state­ment beyond the report about the oper­a­tional activ­i­ties of the secu­ri­ty agen­cies.”

    A 2009 report pub­lished by the Euro­pean Foun­da­tion for Democ­ra­cy (EFD) showed that the Orphans Project Lebanon fun­nels dona­tions to the Al Shahid Asso­ci­a­tion in Lebanon. Alexan­der Ritz­mann, the report’s author, said at the time the Al Shahid group is ‚” dis­guised as a human­i­tar­i­an orga­ni­za­tion” and “ pro­motes vio­lence and ter­ror­ism in the Mid­dle East using dona­tions col­lect­ed in Ger­many and else­where.”

    The EFD report states the Al Shahid asso­ci­a­tion pro­vides finan­cial sup­port to “mar­tyr fam­i­lies in Lebanon, for the pur­pose of reliev­ing mili­ti­a­men and assas­sins of the respon­si­bil­i­ty to pro­vide for their fam­i­lies’ future. In this way, the ‘Orphans Project Lebanon e.V’ encour­ages engage­ment in mil­i­tary and ter­ror­ist activ­i­ties.” It is unclear if the Hezbol­lah orga­ni­za­tion in Ger­many is send­ing funds to its fight­ers in Syr­ia to aid Pres­i­dent Bashar Assad. The Merkel gov­ern­ment has cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly refused to pro­vide lethal aid to the rebels com­bat­ing Assad and Hezbol­lah.

    When asked whether the exis­tence of the Hezbol­lah NGO in Ger­many con­flicts with Chan­cel­lor Angela Merkel’s pledge that Israel’s secu­ri­ty is “non-nego­tiable” for her gov­ern­ment, Bey­er-Pol­lok wrote that “would be a polit­i­cal ques­tion,” adding that there is noth­ing to add to the fac­tu­al answers pro­vid­ed by the inte­ri­or min­istry. He not­ed that there are well-known and clear state­ments from the Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment about the secu­ri­ty of the state of Israel.

    A spokesman for the Fed­er­al gov­ern­ment referred all Post ques­tions to the inte­ri­or min­istry. The for­eign min­istry declined to com­ment and said the inte­ri­or min­istry is respon­si­ble. The EFD report stat­ed the Ger­man gov­ern­ment pro­vid­ed a tax sub­sidy to the Orphans Project. In response to a leg­isla­tive ini­tia­tive by the Chris­t­ian Demo­c­ra­t­ic Union and Free Lib­er­al par­ties , the state gov­ern­ment wrote in 2010 that the tax sub­sidy for the Hezbol­lah NGO was elim­i­nat­ed.

    In response to Post emails and a tele­phone con­ver­sa­tion with Anke Pörksen,a spokes­woman for the gov­ern­ment in Low­er Sax­ony, she refused to com­ment about the state gov­ern­ment tak­ing action to close the Hezbol­lah NGO. Daniela Gäbel, a spokes­woman for the Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty and chan­cel­lor can­di­date Peer Stein­brück, declined to com­ment on whether Stein­brück favored clo­sure of the Hezbol­lah NGO.
    A 2002 com­mis­sioned study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation–a social demo­c­ra­t­ic aligned think tank–,found that in Al-Shahid-run schools and day care cen­ters, which receives funds from the Orphans Project in Ger­many, “more than 50 per­cent of the chil­dren declared that their sole aim was to become a shahid, or mar­tyr.”

    Accord­ing to Ger­man law, there is a basis to out­law the Hezbol­lah NGO in Ger­many. A Fed­er­al Admin­is­tra­tive Court (Bun­desver­wal­tungs­gericht) ruled in 2004 that an asso­ci­a­tion may black­list­ed “if by means of sig­nif­i­cant finan­cial dona­tions over a long peri­od of time, it sup­ports a group that intro­duces vio­lence into peo­ples’ rela­tions and if the result­ing impair­ment of peace­ful rela­tion­ships between peo­ples results from a cor­re­spond­ing intent on the part of the asso­ci­a­tion.”

    Thus far two mem­bers of the 620 par­lia­men­tar­i­ans in the Ger­man Bun­destag have called in 2013 for Ger­many to uni­lat­er­al­ly out­law Hezbol­lah in the Fed­er­al Repub­lic.

    Thomas Feist, who is a MP in the CDU and head of the local Ger­man-Israeli friend­ship soci­ety in Leipzig, wrote recent­ly on his web­site, “we should no longer allow Hezbol­lah to use an asso­ci­a­tion friend­ly legal sit­u­a­tion in Ger­many and Europe to col­lect mon­ey to con­duct ter­ror­ist attacks—also in Europe.”

    He added that hate incite­ment against groups in Ger­many is crim­i­nal. “I have no doubt that is nec­es­sary and legit­i­mate to ban Hezbol­lah in light of the back­ground of the incite­ment of hate of anti-Semit­ic ide­ol­o­gy of this orga­ni­za­tion.” He said a “ban of Hezbol­lah in Ger­many would be the right mes­sage.”

    Philipp Mißfelder, a MP and for­eign pol­i­cy spokesman for Merkel’s CDU par­ty in the Bun­destag, has called for Ger­many and the EU to evict Hezbol­lah from the ter­ri­to­ries of the Fed­er­al Repub­lic and the EU.

    Bulgaria’s inte­ri­or min­istry blamed in Feb­ru­ary Hezbol­lah oper­a­tives for a ter­ror attack in Bur­gas, Bul­gar­ia last July, which killed five Israelis and a Bul­gar­i­an nation­al.

    The 27-mem­ber EU body has failed to reach a con­sen­sus about includ­ing Hezbollah’s mil­i­tary wing in the EU ter­ror list.

    Posted by Vanfield | June 26, 2013, 8:56 am
  5. Ger­many: Silenc­ing the Crit­ics of Munich’s Mega-Mosque

    by Soeren Kern
    Octo­ber 28, 2014 at 5:00 am


    Trans­la­tions of this item:


    Munich May­or Dieter Reit­er said that if the pub­lic ref­er­en­dum were per­mit­ted to pro­ceed, it would give the anti-mosque cam­paign “a demo­c­ra­t­ic veneer, which we want to avoid.”

    In late 2013, the pro­posed mosque was giv­en a new name, the Munich Forum for Islam, appar­ent­ly in an effort to dis­pel grow­ing pub­lic unease about the mosque’s broad­er ambi­tions.

    Anti-mosque activists say that the enforcers of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in Bavaria have deter­mined that the mosque project will pro­ceed, even if it requires bypass­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic process.

    “By stop­ping the vote from going ahead, the City Coun­cil is pre­vent­ing your opin­ion from being abused by the anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic goals of extrem­ists.” — The Munich Forum for Islam.

    A court in Bavaria, the largest state in Ger­many, has reaf­firmed that it is law­ful for the gov­ern­ment to spy on cit­i­zens who are opposed to the con­struc­tion of a con­tro­ver­sial mega-mosque in Munich.

    The rul­ing effec­tive­ly quash­es a law­suit filed by anti-mosque activists who argue that state sur­veil­lance is an intim­i­da­tion tac­tic aimed at silenc­ing pub­lic oppo­si­tion to the mosque.

    The rul­ing comes just days after anoth­er court in Bavaria ordered a lead­ing anti-mosque cam­paign­er to pay a hefty fine for “defam­ing” Islam after he repeat­ed­ly warned that Islam is incom­pat­i­ble with democ­ra­cy.

    Mean­while, Munich city offi­cials have announced that a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum on the mosque—now known as the Munich Forum for Islam—will not be allowed to take place, even though anti-mosque activists have gath­ered twice the num­ber of sig­na­tures need­ed to allow local cit­i­zens to deter­mine if the mosque should be built.

    Anti-mosque activists say the recent actions show that the enforcers of mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism in Bavaria have deter­mined that the mosque project will pro­ceed, even if it requires bypass­ing the demo­c­ra­t­ic process, and that pub­lic oppo­si­tion to the project will be silenced, even it if entails tram­pling on the con­sti­tu­tion­al right to free speech.

    On Octo­ber 18, the Munich-based Admin­is­tra­tive Court of Bavaria (Ver­wal­tungs­gericht) ruled that it is law­ful for the Bavar­i­an branch of Ger­many’s domes­tic intel­li­gence agency, the Bun­de­samt für Ver­fas­sungss­chutz (BfV), to con­tin­ue spy­ing on anti-mosque activists.

    The spy­ing was first revealed in April 2013, when Bavar­i­an Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter Joachim Her­rmann said that anti-mosque activists were engag­ing in poten­tial­ly anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al activ­i­ties.

    Her­rmann sin­gled out a pop­ulist par­ty called Free­dom Bavaria (Die Frei­heit Bay­ern), as well as the Munich branch of a high­ly pop­u­lar free speech blog known as Polit­i­cal­ly Incor­rect [PI], which focus­es on top­ics relat­ed to immi­gra­tion, mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and Islam in Ger­many.

    Both groups have been draw­ing pub­lic atten­tion to plans to build the 6,000 m² (65,000 ft²) mosque, which they argue will become a strate­gic plat­form for spread­ing Islam through­out Ger­many and the rest of Europe.

    Spec­u­la­tion is rife that the 40-mil­lion-euro ($51 mil­lion) mosque will be financed by the oil-rich Per­sian Gulf emi­rate of Qatar, which is build­ing Wah­habi mega-mosques at a break­neck pace across Europe.

    Accord­ing to Her­rmann, mem­bers of Free­dom Bavaria and PI (rough­ly anal­o­gous to Amer­i­can Tea Par­ty activists) are “right-wing extrem­ists, who, under the guise of civ­il involve­ment, are increas­ing­ly estab­lish­ing cit­i­zen’s ini­tia­tives to attract the atten­tion of Ger­man vot­ers.” In this way, Her­rmann claims, they are “using the dis­cus­sion about the con­struc­tion of mosques, for exam­ple, to arouse, in an anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al way, prej­u­dices against Mus­lims and Islam.”

    Her­rmann told the court that the BfV serves as an “ear­ly warn­ing sys­tem” by track­ing poten­tial threats to the con­sti­tu­tion­al order. He accused the leader of Free­dom Bavaria, Michael Stürzen­berg­er, of engag­ing in poten­tial­ly anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al activ­i­ties by repeat­ed­ly refer­ring to Islam as a “fas­cist polit­i­cal reli­gious sys­tem.” By fail­ing to make a clear dis­tinc­tion between Islam and Islamism, Her­rmann argued, Stürzen­berg­er was guilty of tram­pling on the con­sti­tu­tion­al rights of Mus­lims.

    Michael Stürzen­berg­er, leader of Free­dom Bavaria, at an anti-mega-mosque event in Munich.

    Defend­ing him­self against the accu­sa­tions, Stürzen­berg­er told the court that he has said noth­ing against indi­vid­ual Mus­lims and thus he can­not be guilty of act­ing in an anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al man­ner. On the oth­er hand, he argued, Islam and Islamism are two sides of the same coin, and there­fore Islam pos­es an inher­ent threat to Ger­man democ­ra­cy.

    In its ver­dict, the court ruled that the gov­ern­ment may con­tin­ue mon­i­tor­ing the anti-mosque activists. How­ev­er, the court also ordered the BfV to redact cer­tain para­graphs from its 2013 annu­al report, in which Free­dom Bavaria was accused of engag­ing in anti-con­sti­tu­tion­al activ­i­ties.

    The court said the annu­al report pre­sent­ed the accu­sa­tions against Free­dom Bavaria as facts when in real­i­ty they are mere­ly spec­u­la­tions because the group has nev­er been found of actu­al­ly vio­lat­ing the con­sti­tu­tion.

    In a sep­a­rate but relat­ed case, the Dis­trict Court of Munich (Landgericht München) on Octo­ber 7 ruled that Stürzen­berg­er was guilty of offend­ing Islam in a blog post and ordered him to pay a fine of 2,500 euros ($3,200).

    The case dates back to ear­ly 2013, when Stürzen­berg­er wrote a post for the PI blog in which he addressed the top­ic of vers­es in the Koran that encour­age vio­lence against non-Mus­lims. The arti­cle doc­u­ment­ed the expe­ri­ences of Chris­tians and mem­bers of oth­er reli­gious groups that have been per­se­cut­ed by Mus­lims.

    Stürzen­berg­er includ­ed a quote from an Iran­ian exile whose broth­er was pub­licly lynched for con­vert­ing to Chris­tian­i­ty. “Islam is going to destroy Ger­many just as it has destroyed Per­sia,” the Iran­ian warned.

    Con­clud­ing his blog post, Stürzen­berg­er wrote: “Islam is like a can­cer, which decom­pos­es the (still) free peo­ples of this plan­et and grad­u­al­ly infects them with the poi­son of this extreme­ly dan­ger­ous, intol­er­ant, misog­y­nis­tic, vio­lent and pow­er-hun­gry ide­ol­o­gy.”

    The Munich pub­lic pros­e­cu­tor, Judith Henkel, told the court that Stürzen­berg­er was guilty of insult­ing and belit­tling Mus­lims and Islam, and that it would dis­turb the pub­lic peace. Accord­ing to Arti­cle 166 of the Penal Code, she said, Stürzen­berg­er was guilty of a crim­i­nal offense pun­ish­able by a sub­stan­tial fine or impris­on­ment of up to three years.

    Stürzen­berg­er defend­ed him­self by argu­ing that the blog post referred to the ide­ol­o­gy behind Islam, and that his words were not direct­ed at Mus­lims as indi­vid­u­als. He added that he has a duty to warn fel­low cit­i­zens about the dan­ger of the rise of Islam in Ger­many. He said that wom­en’s rights, democ­ra­cy and peace­ful coex­is­tence are being threat­ened by the spread of Islam­ic Sharia law in Ger­many.

    In its ver­dict, the court ruled that by com­par­ing Islam with a can­cer, Stürzen­berg­er was guilty of “insult­ing” and “defam­ing” Islam and ordered him to pay a fine of 50 dai­ly rates of 50 euros. Stürzen­berg­er said he would appeal the rul­ing.

    Mean­while, the Munich City Coun­cil on Octo­ber 1 announced that a pub­lic ref­er­en­dum on the mosque will not be allowed to pro­ceed, even though Free­dom Bavaria has col­lect­ed more than 65,000 sig­na­tures, twice the 30,000 need­ed to force a vote.

    City offi­cials accused Stürzen­berg­er of deceiv­ing the pub­lic by false­ly say­ing that the Mace­don­ian imam behind the mosque project, Ben­jamin Idriz, was being mon­i­tored by Ger­man intel­li­gence due to his links to rad­i­cal Islam­ic ele­ments.

    In fact, Bavar­i­an intel­li­gence, in its annu­al reports from 2007 to 2010, revealed that a mosque led by Idriz, the Islam­ic Com­mu­ni­ty Penzberg (now renamed Islam­ic Forum Penzberg), was being mon­i­tored due to its con­tacts with Islamist groups.

    More­over, a Decem­ber 2007 diplo­mat­ic cable from the Amer­i­can con­sulate in Munich revealed that the for­mer Bavar­i­an State Sec­re­tary, Georg Schmid, had warned about an inter­nal con­cept paper for the mosque that pro­posed a more fun­da­men­tal­ist goal than the one announced pub­licly. The paper report­ed­ly referred to the need for chil­dren to be edu­cat­ed in “pure Islam,” and also crit­i­cized the way Euro­pean Mus­lims were being “to a cer­tain extent com­pelled” to co-exist with a non-Mus­lim major­i­ty in soci­ety.

    The cable also shows that then Bavar­i­an inte­ri­or min­is­ter, Gün­ther Beck­stein, con­fid­ed to Amer­i­can diplo­mats that “Idriz plays two dif­fer­ent pianos.” He was refer­ring to Idriz’s prac­tice of por­tray­ing him­self as a mod­er­ate to some audi­ences and as a rad­i­cal to oth­ers.

    Munich city offi­cials also accuse Stürzen­berg­er of false­ly claim­ing that the new mosque would be a cen­ter for Mus­lims through­out Europe.

    In fact, for many years the mosque was called the Cen­ter for Islam in Europe-Munich (ZIE‑M). But in late 2013, it was giv­en a new name, the Munich Forum for Islam, appar­ent­ly in an effort to dis­pel grow­ing pub­lic unease about the mosque’s broad­er ambi­tions.

    Munich May­or Dieter Reit­er, from Ger­many’s cen­ter-left Social Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty (SPD), said that if the pub­lic ref­er­en­dum were per­mit­ted to pro­ceed, it would give Stürzen­berg­er’s anti-mosque cam­paign “a demo­c­ra­t­ic veneer, which we want to avoid.”

    The Munich Forum for Islam advised those who signed the ref­er­en­dum peti­tion to accept the city’s deci­sion because munic­i­pal offi­cials know best:

    “To all those Munich cit­i­zens who sup­port­ed the ref­er­en­dum with their sig­na­tures, we would like to encour­age you to famil­iar­ize your­self with the City Coun­cil res­o­lu­tion and its exten­sive legal jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. Then you will real­ize that the ref­er­en­dum is not a legit­i­mate right con­ferred by a demo­c­ra­t­ic insti­tu­tion, and that by stop­ping the vote from going ahead, the City Coun­cil is pre­vent­ing your opin­ion from being abused by the anti-demo­c­ra­t­ic goals of extrem­ists.”

    Stürzen­berg­er says the Munich city coun­cil’s efforts to silence dis­sent are sim­i­lar to the tac­tics used by the for­mer Com­mu­nist dic­ta­tor­ship in East Ger­many. He has vowed to fight the city coun­cil in court.

    Posted by Vanfield | October 29, 2014, 2:12 pm

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