Against Islamism in Leipzig!
Demonstration in front of Al-Rahman Moschee
Roscherstraße 33A, 04105 Leipzig
21 December 2018, 12h
At the height of the so-called refugee crisis in the late autumn of 2015 something strange happened in an initial reception center on the Neue Messe area, Leipzig. Responsibles pointed out that every day occupants were inquiring about possibilities of a rapid return to their home countries. The helpers puzzled over what would lead those predominantly Iraqi and Syrian citizens, that beforehand had departed on their journey facing enormous perils and hardships, wanting to return to the very places they fled from.
The Al-Rahman Mosque
After a while the helpers found out that one of the translators in the institution had »translated wrongly and massively proselytized refugees«.1 The putative translator turned out to be a Salafi activist of the circle around Al-Rahman mosque in the north of Leipzig. He had aroused such a strong indignation that many decided it would be better to return to their war-shattered countries than having to deal with islamists now even in Germany. Part of the truth is, however, that the attempts proceeding from the mosque to radicalize refugees did not encounter the form of general rejection that would have been desirable. The mosque had a massive intake of followers in the wake of the migration movements in the years of 2015 and 2016 according to the Landesamt für Verfassungsschutz intelligence agency of Saxony that is observing the mosque, such that meanwhile up to 1.000 people routinely visit the Friday prayers.2 Due to the rapid growth, the mosque had to hold two Friday prayers in a row in order to offer a place to all the listeners of the Salafi preacher.
Imam Hassan Dabbagh
The mosque's imam, Hassan Dabbagh who originates from Syria, is one of the leading figures of the German Salafi scene and well-known to security agencies. According to information of the »International Institute for Counter-Terrorism« (ICT), Dabbagh cultivates contacts to various Jihadists. He is assumed to be one of the close confidents of the former financial head of Al-Qaida, Dr. Adly el-Attar. The Islamic terror organisation Al-Qaida that is responsible for the murder of thousands of people worldwide was formerly giving financial support to Dabbagh.3 This Salafi who officially uses to pretend to be a herald of a religion of peace, was in contact with the so-called »Hamburg cell« around Mohammed Atta, which is responsible for the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington D.C. He allegedly has called the attacks a »just punishment against all infidels«.4 Apart from that, he used to have good contacts to the Salafi scene in Ulm and also was in contact with the terror cell »Islamic Jihad Union« there, also known as »Sauerland group«. Its plan could luckily be prevented by security agencies. The judge in charge spoke of an extent that was »without precedent in Germany«.5 If the plans had been realized, »there would have been monstrous bloodshed including an incalculable amount of dead and injured«.6 Criminal investigation proceedings have also been conducted against Hassan Dabbagh himself by the Bavarian and Saxonian police. He was accused, among others, of the establishment of and membership in a criminal organization, the recruitment for a foreign military service, incitement to hatred, fraud and misappropriation of funds as well as misuse of titles. In the course of house searches in Al-Rahman mosque, propaganda videos that called for armed jihad were found. In Islam seminars that Dabbagh had organized in the area of the entire federal republic, several Jihadist returnees participated as speakers, trying to recruit new fighters for the Islamist militia »Junud Al-Sham«, allied with Al-Qaida.7 In August 2017 the Higher Administrative Court declined permission to the imam to operate a kindergarten on Al-Rahman mosque's compounds. In the verdict the court classified him as a »multiplier of the Salafi scene«, who already had spread »a variety of defamations against Jews, enemies of Islam and of Muslims, nonbelievers and heretics«.8 The court did not share Dabbaghs conspiracy theory, according to which »Salafism was a construct of western intelligence agencies«, and it regarded the interest in social integration as well as children's as endangered by the potential existence of a kindergarten at the mosque's grounds.9 Regardless of this verdict, all criminal investigations against the imam have subsequently been closed due to unresolved questions concerning the range of competence.
The teachings that are spread by the mosque demand of believers a consequent adherence to Islamic instructions for everyday life. Consumption of alcohol, visiting discotheques, sexual liberality, gender equality, wearing jewellery, idleness, self-determination or a secular or even pro-individualistic upbringing of children – all are regarded by the imam as »satanic methods« of a »filthy« and »rotten«, infidel society that is conspirating against Islam.10 Jews, according to Dabbagh, were »enemies of Islam who want to kill believers« and were readily supported by Christians: »They are all against us«.11 This set of regulations of Islam that encompasses the entire daily life and contains countless prohibitions and instructions for its adherents, hence turns into a friend-or-foe identification that immediately regards un-Islamic lifestyle as a conspiracy against Islam as a whole. This attitude that is detrimental to a free society is based on verbatim interpretations of Qur'an by the different schools of jurisprudence (madhahib). Taken as God's literal revelation, the Qur'an ranks as unquestionable (juridic) scripture that one has to obey unconditionally. Besides that, the habits and conduct of the prophet Muhammad that were passed down in the »Hadiths« represent a second source for correct Islamic life, since in Sura 33 of the Qur'an it is said that Muslims can find an excellent role model for a believer in him. The ensuing unlimited idealization of the first Muslim leads to a fatal fuehrer cult, which is being accounted for also in the religion's name: the Arabic word »Islam« can be translated as »subjection«. The interface between the life of observant Muslims on the one hand which is characterized by renunciation, and the suprematist conceit of those allegedly »true« believers on the other is, thus, Muhammad. This inscrutable mass of renouncement and prohibitions that, strictly speaking, have to be observed by all Muslims, also explicates the particular role of an imam. He is, in fact, not only a prayer leader and expert for religious rituals, but at the same time an instructor who, by his knowledge of Qur'an and Hadiths, is qualified to dictate Islam's commandments to the believers concerning their concrete life situations. The difference between moderate Islam and Islamism, thus, is basically not of qualitative nature, but rather determined by the extent to which Islamic rules interfere with people's everyday lifes and attitudes. To be sure, Muslims that do not practice Islam as intensively exist, but even Bassam Tibi who once introduced the concept of »Euro-Islam«, designating a different, liberal Islam more compatible with Western political achievements, had to admit in the summer of 2016: »I capitulate. There will be no Euro-Islam. It was a beautiful hope, but reality unfortunately is different.«12
Neglected critique of Islam
Leipzig's Al-Rahman mosque thus is not a harmless traditional club, but instead a center of radicalization which undermines necessary efforts for integration. Time and again, terrorists such as Anis Amri whose bloody deed of Berlin is two years ago now are recruited from the Islamist scene. It is a harsh setback for a liberal society that the Salafi circles around the mosque have been able to increase their support base in such a way since 2015. The situation in Leipzig does not represent an isolated case, however, but rather confirms the nation-wide trend which for several years now is indicating an increasing radicalization of Muslims in Germany. In particular, the Islamist scene was able to report a massive growth, also due to the large share of Muslim men in the immigration movement since 2015. According to the 2017 report of federal intelligence agency Bundesverfassungsschutz, there are almost as much Islamists in Germany as right-wing extremists. Contrary to right-wing extremist currents, Islamist groups are not confronted with a correspondingly large network of defense activities of the civil society which would equally consist of measures of prevention as well as education and widespread social protest. Three years have passed since the beginning of the so-calld refugee crisis in Germany and the reception of hundreds of thousands people who were socialized mostly in Islamic countries. The ensuing division of the German public seems to have created an unbridgeable trench which on both sides has brought to light mere confessions and truisms rather than real solutions. Resistance against Islamic fanatism, however, must not fall prey to blind tolerance nor to xenophobic identity politics. It should not be accepted that the fight against Islamism is missed over the necessary fight against the right-wing. It should rather be regarded as a necessary defense of a liberal, constitutional society, whose task it is to grant and assert the personal rights of every single individual. The lack of problematization of Islam as the biggest obstacle for integration of many of those people not only leads to the emergence of parallel societies and double standards, but also to unrestricted growth of radical Islamic organizations. The question of how integration of people can be guaranteed whose practiced form of Islam on a daily basis tramples on achievements of civilization cannot be solved with culturally sensitive indifference. The latter would put homosexuals, Jews and dissenters in danger and is, thus, not acceptable. For that reason, the »Leipzig Initiative against Islamism« invites to participate in a manifestation on December 21, 2018 in front of the Al-Rahman mosque. We demand of the Saxonian administration authorities in charge a deprivation of the common public interest status of the mosque's association »IGS-AM e.V.« that entails fiscal benefits and furthermore the initiation of a prohibition lawsuit against it.
Leipzig Initiative against Islamism // Leipziger Initiative gegen Islamismus
The organizers reserve the right to reject or exclude people from participation in the event who adhere to right-wing extremist or Islamist organizations or who have in the past appeared with racist, anti-semitic, Islamist or other inhuman and discriminating statements. Bearing flags and banners is permitted only after consultation with the organizers.