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Cologne police dismiss criticism after operation ‘against Muslims’

The police in Cologne, Germany have rejected the criticism of the Integration Council of the cathedral city after an operation against Muslims shouting "Allahu Akbar".

Published: June 20, 2019, 9:05 am

    Cologne

    They have been blamed for acting “against Muslims”. Two weeks ago, security forces in Cologne’s main railway station had temporarily arrested several men, because they had been running into the building in long robes shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

    We would definitely do so again,” said the head of Police Inspection 1, Michael Tiemann, according to the city’s daily, the Kölner Stadtanzeiger .

    Called in to face a panel of parties and migrant organisations, Tiemann described the police operation in detail. According to a citizen, the police could not have ruled out a dangerous situation. Therefore, 20 officials nearby were called and sent to the train station.

    There, a police officer stopped the Muslims at gunpoint and asked them to lie down on the ground. A check done by the officers revealed that the Muslims were unarmed.

    The Deputy Chairman of the Integration Council, Ahmed Edis, fully understood the mission, he said. But he nevertheless claimed that the effect of the police operation on Muslims had been devastating. “They think: they can do it to us and I could be one of them.”

    He said the attack in the city’s Keupstraße, which was attributed to the NSU, could give the impression to Muslims: “When it comes to right-wing violence, you do not react so quickly; but you are immediately on hand with Muslims.”

    Turkish Councilwoman Güldane Tokyürek from the Leftists complained that the men were labeled as “suspects” in a police tweet, although it was already clear at that point had been that they were innocent. “The outside effect was devastating.”

    Other members of the Integration Council also criticised the behavior of the police. Eli Abeke described the procedure as “racial profiling” and “stigmatization”. If someone had called “Heil Hitler”, the mission would have been different, he argued. “That’s not what you would do with home-grown Germans,” complained City Councilor Marion Heuser (Greens).

    The CDU councilman Martin Erkelenz defended the police. “It was a reasonable operation.” The screaming Muslims had to be aware that the central station and the neighbouring cathedral were highly sensitive areas.

    The head of the Central Council of Muslims , Aiman ​​Mazyek, demanded better “cultural training” from the police after the incident. He expressed hope that the authorities would apologize to those affected.

    Wolfgang Uellenberg-van Dawen, spokesman for the Round Table for Integration, emphasized that in Berlin, exclamations such as “Allahu Akbar” often exist. “If the police wanted to arrest all these people, they would be pretty busy.”

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