Shocking Islamist Marches Have Germany on Edge

Around two weeks after they organized a demonstration in Hamburg in April, which included calls for a caliphate to be established in Germany, the Islamist group Muslim Interaktiv organized a new but strictly monitored rally on May 11th, where 2,300 people attended to protest against what they see is censorship against them by the German government.

The demonstration came against a backdrop of Israel’s ongoing war against Hamas in Gaza, which saw the deaths of more than 34,000 people, and a strong public outcry in Germany against Muslim Interaktiv after their April 27th protest, where many called for the extremist group to be banned.

Classified as an extremist group by federal and local authorities in Germany and being investigated by Hamburg’s domestic intelligence agencies, Muslim Interaktiv called for a new protest against what they perceive as "censorship and opinions being dictated” by the German government.

Their previous protest on April 27th, where some protesters called for a “righteous caliphate” to be established in Germany, put the Islamist organization, which has more than 20,000 social media followers, under the spotlight in Germany, with politicians such as Alexander Dobrindt of the Christian Social Union (CSU) describing “anyone who wants to introduce Sharia [strict Islamic law] in Germany and declare a caliphate is an enemy of our democracy” and demanded tougher consequences for them.

In response to the rally by the Islamist group on April 27th, a counter-demonstration was organized in Hamburg on May 1st, where around 1,000 people attended to voice their support for Germany’s democracy and protest against extremism promoted by Muslim Interaktiv and other Islamist groups.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is also from Hamburg and served as the city’s mayor from 2011 to 2018, denounced calls to form a caliphate in Germany, saying that “all the Islamist activities that are taking place must be dealt with using the possibilities and options available to us under the rule of law.

Even though the group was classified as an extremist organization, German authorities allowed Muslim Interaktiv to proceed with their demonstration under strict conditions, which included bans on inciting hatred and violence and denying Israel’s right to exist. Participants were also forbidden from calling to form a caliphate in Germany, whether in word, image, or writing.

Ahead of the protest, German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser welcomed the conditions and said they would allow the police to pursue "immediate, hard intervention" if necessary.

"In Germany, there are equal rights for women, freedom of religion, and freedom of expression," Faeser told the Funke newspaper. "Anyone who would rather live in a caliphate, and therefore in the Stone Age, is against everything that Germany stands for. We defend our constitution — with the means of our constitution."

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