Muslims want to distribute 25 million free Korans in German. The security agencies are worried. Again the term "Islamist" is redundant and intellectually dishonest. The ummah (Muslim community) in Germany is funding this effort. "German Muslims are called to buy a copy of the Koran (red cover) in order to fund the free distribution of an additional copy of the Koran (blue cover)." And they are .......
Islamists want to distribute in Germany 25 million free Korans in German. Never before her missionary zeal has taken on such dimensions. The security agencies are worried.
A Koran in every German household Welt Online (google translator) (hat tip Ingo)
By Florian Flade Ibrahim
'Welt Online' (translator: Rembrandt Clancy) (hat tip Ingo)
Islamists wish to distribute in Germany 25 million free Korans in German translation. Never before has their Missionary zeal assumed such dimensions. The security authorities are worried. By Florian Flade Ibrahim
Ibrahim Abou Nagie does not exactly look like the epitome of an Islamist hate preacher. The Cologne businessman with Palestinian roots dresses mostly in Western apparel, with plain shirt or a polo shirt, over which is a bright sports jacket. The beard of the 47-year old is close cropped; and when he preaches, he speaks softly and deliberately.
All in all Ibrahim Abou Nagie is no Islamist bearing the appearance of a Pierre Vogel. But nonetheless the intelligence service [der Verfassungsschutz] classifies him as a dangerous man. The Palestinian born man is regarded as one of the most influential preachers of Salafism, that radical current in Islam which is regarded as a springboard in Islamist terrorism. Who does not believe in Allah and his prophet lands after death directly in Hell, so goes the core message of the Salafist preacher.
But currently Ibrahim Abou Nagie is less in the mood for preaching. He has much to do, for he has big plans. Abou Nagie wants to save the German people from eternal hell fire. All non-Muslims of the land should convert to Islam, to the one true faith in Allah and his prophet. Unbelievers are supposed to become brothers and sisters in faith.
In order to achieve this Abou Nagie initiated the project “Read!” in October 2011. The goal of the unprecedented campaign is to distribute the Koran in German translation to non-Muslims without cost. The proclaimed target: 25 million copies. Or as project organiser Abou Nagie says: A Koran in every German household.
“My dear brothers and sisters: how can we sleep peacefully when we know that our neighbours, when they die, will roast for all eternity in Hell”, warns Abou Nagie the German Muslim. It is necessary to save souls, to spread Allah’s religion and for this good deed to earn brownie-points for Paradise.
300.000 Koran-Translations Distributed
Never before has the missionary zeal of the German Islamist-scene taken on such dimensions as in the past weeks. The Salafists organised more than 100 information stands in countless cities; above all, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Lower Saxony, Hesse, and Hamburg.
The procedural method of the Islamist missionaries is as simple as it is effective: German Muslims are called upon to buy a (red-covered) copy of the Koran in order to finance thereby the distribution of an additional (blue-covered) copy of the Koran. The public distribution takes place at information stands on the street and in market places. In addition any interested party can order a Koran from a website without charge.
The plan appears to be taking off. According to statements made by Ibrahim Abou Nagie, over 300,000 German Koran-translations have already been distributed, not only on the street and by mail, but also in prisons, schools and even kindergartens. Abou Nagie has already ordered ten thousand additional copies. The holy book of Islam is being distributed in a glut over the land.
Actions in 35 Cities
This weekend, precisely at the Christian Easter-tide, the “Read!”-Project passes over to a new phase. The Salafists are beginning a frontal offensive against the unbelievers and those of different creeds. On Saturday, Koran-distributions are taking place simultaneously in 35 cities; among others, in Hamburg, Cologne, Konstanz, Frankfurt am Main, Dresden, Osnabrück, Hannover and in Berlin. It has to do with nothing less, warns the project organiser, than saving fellow human beings from eternal damnation and hell fire.
However German security officials are not so inclined to view the currently ongoing Koran-project as a selfless operation for spiritual rescue. “Read!” is much more a recruiting tool for fundamentalists, according to security circles.
Outwardly, the campaign appears to be an image makeover of the radical scene to a more open and grassroots appeal: Along such lines roughly as: the bearded men in their long robes leave the courtyard-Mosques; they appear populist, friendly and transparent.
Perhaps also for that reason - and differently than in the past - no books lay on the tables of the Salafist information stands about the role of women or the superiority of Sharia law as opposed to Democracy. Only the Holy Book is distributed. And something else gives rise to surprise: the Koran translation is surprisingly temperate. The German version, after the translation by Mohammed Ibn Ahmad Rassoul with commentary by the German convert Frank von Bubenheim, is to be read rather “uncritically”, according to the Office for the Protection of the Constitution: Fundamentalists with a cosy approach.
Ultimately it has to do with Salafism
The Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution warns: behind the campaign, however, stand radical Muslims with an extremist world view and a partly militant ideology. “Salafism is strongly supportive of radicalisation and is ‘conveyed’ by its supporters as putatively ‘the one true Islam’”, says the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
To be sure, not everyone who takes a Koran home with him also converts to Islam; and not everyone who converts automatically becomes an extremist and wishes for a Taliban-state with Sharia laws. But with Abou Nagies Koran-Project, the fertile soil for extremist ideas grows. The danger from those, who in their religious zeal become militant fanatics, grows.
“The objective of this campaign is to bring interested parties into contact with the Salafist scene and to influence them in accordance with their politically extremist ideology”, a woman speaking for the Berlin Office for the Protection of the Constitution says to “Welt Online.” Ultimately it is not about the spreading of Islam, but rather of Salafism.
Pure proselytization is however only an aspect of the “Read!”-Project, thinks the Islamism-expert Claudia Dantschke from the Centre of Democratic Culture (ZDK) in Berlin. The German Salafist-Scene has been splintered for years. There is strife between the preachers over the interpretation of certain Koran verses, above all when it has to do with armed Jihad.
The Koran-Project is for that reason probably also to be judged as Abou Nagies attempt to put himself at the head of the disunited scene with an action which is endorsed by everyone. With the Koran-distribution-action he obtains support from the Frankfurt group “DawaFFM” or the Solingen “Millatu-Ibrahim”-Movement.
Financing Remains Mysterious
Unperturbed by critics and authorities, Ibrahim Abou Nagie and his following will continue to work in the next few days to bring Germany closer to the Koran. For weeks the Cologne preacher has been touring through the Federal Republic and promoting his project in mosques. Everyone can participate, so Abou Nagie, whether by donation or by self-organised info-stands.
How exactly the financing of the Koran-Campaign proceeds remains a mysterious. If one believes Abou Nagie, then it is above all Muslim women and Muslims from the Turkish community who donate to “Read!”. In Bahrain, wealthy Arabs would have offered to finance the German Koran-Project. He rejected the sponsors from the Near East, so says Abou Nagie: “They wanted to register their names”.