Number of Salafists, mosques in Germany on the rise
The number of Salafists in Germany has risen sharply, with the number given by security and intelligence services now estimated at 10 300. The number of mosques has also increased dramatically.
Published: September 16, 2017, 10:50 am
According to German domestic intelligence services, in 2011 the estimated number of Salafists in Germany was 3 800. At the end of 2015, however, the number has already reached 8 300.
In June, the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the German domestic security agency, told the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) that the number of Salafists living in Germany exceeded the number of 10 000 people.
The security authorities have been monitoring the situation with deep concern, as Salafism has been an unusually fertile ground for terrorism.
Authorities estimate the number of followers of Islam in Germany who adhere extremism at some 24 000, many of whom are classified as serious security threats.
Data shows there are about 1 800 people in Germany who are closely involved in terrorist circles, including about 700 people who pose a direct security risk, meaning they are likely to commit terrorist acts, especially because many of them have recently returned from conflict zones.
At least 940 Salafists left Germany for Syria and Iraq during the past few years, in order to fight in the ranks of ISIS and the related terrorist groups.
About a third of those who left for jihad in Syria and Iraq have since returned to Germany, while at least 145 of them were killed in conflict zones. Saudi Arabia proposed building 200 new mosques in Germany, “one for every 100 refugees”.
Turkey controls 900 mosques in Germany and strongly influences Islamic religious decisions. If Germany by contrast had offered to build churches in Iraq, Syria and Egypt to reconstruct the derelict and dispossessed Christian communities there, it would have resulted in an international outcry.
German architect, Joaquim Reinig, told Die Tageszeitung that to integrate Muslim immigrants better, churches should be demolished and replaced with “highly visible mosques”. In the 1980s Germany had some 700 little mosques and prayer rooms, but today it has grown to 2 500.
The Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) recently opened a new mega-mosque in the German city of Cologne. The mega-mosque has the tallest minaret of Europe.
According to Deutsche Welle, “Christian leaders bristled at the idea of Cologne’s famed Dom cathedral sharing the skyline with minarets”. When the mosque was planned in 2007, citizens complained and said “we want the cathedral here, not minarets”. The Muslim authorities then spitefully announced the plan to “double” the number of mosques.
Christians in Germany will become a minority in the next 20 years, according to German daily Die Welt. The German Bishops’ Conference has in fact just released the data on the decline of Catholicism in Germany for 2016.
In one year alone, the German Catholic Church lost 162 093 faithful and closed 537 parishes. From 1996 to today, one quarter of the Catholic communities have been closed. “The faith has evaporated,” according to Cardinal Friedrich Wetter, the Archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1982 to 2007.
“Christianity is literally dying in Europe,” said Conrad Hackett, head of the researchers who drafted a Pew Forum report recently. In Europe, between 2010 and 2015, Christian deaths outnumbered births by nearly 6 million.
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