German authorities ban Islamic group accused of extremism

"We will not tolerate organizations that call openly for the use of violence," says Interior Minister.

islamic extremist 88 (photo credit: )
islamic extremist 88
(photo credit: )
Authorities in Germany on Wednesday banned an Islamic group after seizing material allegedly inciting Muslims to kill Jews and Christians and carry out suicide attacks in Iraq. The state of Bavaria said the activities of the Multi-Kultur-Haus association threatened the coexistence of Germans and foreigners as well as security in the country. "We will not tolerate organizations that are set up aggressively against the constitutional order and call openly for the use of violence," state Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein said. The group backed efforts outside Germany that are "incompatible with the basic values of a government order which respects people's dignity," Beckstein said. The ban was the latest in a series of moves against Islamists in and around the towns of Neu-Ulm in Bavaria and Ulm in neighboring Baden-Wuerttemberg state. On Wednesday, security officials confiscated and searched the association's offices in Neu-Ulm and froze its account at a bank in Stuttgart. There was no mention of any arrests, and no details were released of what was found. However, Beckstein's ministry said the evaluation of books and tapes seized in raids against the association and five of its leading members in September confirmed suspicions that it was promoting extremist ideas and armed "holy war." A ministry statement cited a book in the group's library calling for Jews and Christians to be executed if they did not convert to Islam, and a compact disc titled "Iraq" which featured the words: "Victory is not only killing the unbelievers, but also killing oneself in order to beat back the unbelievers." The ministry said the effectiveness of the campaign was shown by the death in Chechnya of two people from southern Germany. It didn't provide any details. Authorities first carried out raids in January against the group on suspicion that it had formed a terrorist organization and again in February for suspected business offenses. They also have deported two so-called "hate preachers" from the association to Egypt. Beckstein said officials had also seized instructions for the manufacture of explosives, but that there was no evidence that members of the association were preparing attacks in Germany.