Islamists March for Caliphate in Germany; Sparking Backlash

More than a thousand people marched through the streets of Hamburg in Germany on April 27th, calling for a “righteous caliphate” to be established in the country, arguing that it is necessary to fix the issue of media representation of Muslims in the European nation.

Although the protests initially started as a peaceful demonstration against anti-Muslim discrimination in Germany, some protesters began calling for an Islamic state.

Muslim Interaktiv organized the protest in Hamburg, and in a speech, the group’s leader, Joe Adade Boateng, argued that Germany needs a “righteous caliphate” to remedy the misrepresentation Muslim groups have faced in the media.

A primarily male crowd greeted Boateng, cheering “Allahu akbar” (God is great in Arabic). Some of the demonstrators held up signs such as “Caliphate is the solution” and “Stop the media hate.

Protesters were also holding copies of the local tabloid newspaper Bild, with stories about Islam that have been smeared with red paint. Since the war between Israel and Hamas started in Gaza after a deadly offensive by the Islamist terrorist group that killed 1,200 Israelis and took hundreds of Israelis and non-Israelis hostage, many Muslim organizations in Germany have criticized the German government’s support for Israel.

At times, that criticism has led to calls for more radical action, with Islamist groups flourishing on German social media, including Muslim Interaktiv. Despite being under investigation by Hamburg’s domestic intelligence agencies for alleged “extremism,” Muslim Interaktiv has grown to 24,000 followers on social media.

The group’s leader, who calls himself “Raheem Boateng” online, posts videos on social media explaining why homosexuality is a sin. The demonstration in Hamburg on April 27th was not the first time the group has organized protests. At the height of Quran-burning incidents in Sweden last year, Muslim Interaktiv organized a demonstration of 3,500 to protest such incidents. 

The group also organized anti-Israel protests following the October 7 attacks by Hamas last year against Israel, which led to a deadly war that has claimed the lives of over 30,000 Gazans.

Andy Grote, the Hamburg interior senator from the Social Democratic Party, spoke earlier last month and singled out Muslim Interaktiv as he called for a “hard and decisive action” to be taken against extremist Muslim groups.

Lamya Kaddor, a Green MP, described Muslim Interaktiv as “not only very dangerous but also a completely marginal group among Germany’s Muslims” that took advantage “of the Gaza issue.” 

The calls from some German government officials to take action against the group and other Islamic extremists come as German politicians have become hesitant to soften their support for Israel despite massive pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli demonstrations worldwide and other politicians and world leaders criticizing the Israeli army for being too aggressive in its war against Hamas, which has led to a humanitarian disaster.

Earlier this month, Nicaragua called for the UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) to halt German weapons sales to Israel, arguing that the German government violated the UN’s genocide convention with its supply of arms.

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