Soeren Kern
Soeren Kern
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Germany: Silencing the Critics of Munich's Mega-Mosque

October 28, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

A court in Bavaria, the largest state in Germany, has reaffirmed that it is lawful for the government to spy on citizens who are opposed to the construction of a controversial mega-mosque in Munich.

The ruling effectively quashes a lawsuit filed by anti-mosque activists who argue that state surveillance is an intimidation tactic aimed at silencing public opposition to the mosque.

The ruling comes just days after another court in Bavaria ordered a leading anti-mosque campaigner to pay a hefty fine for "defaming" Islam after he repeatedly warned that Islam is incompatible with democracy.

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Austria: Civil Law vs. Sharia Law

October 21, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

The Austrian government has unveiled a sweeping overhaul of the country's century-old "Islam Law" that governs the legal status of Austria's Muslim community.

The proposed revisions—which are aimed at cracking down on Islamic extremism in Austria—would regulate the training and hiring of Muslim clerics, prohibit the foreign funding of mosques, and establish an official German-language version of the Koran, among other changes.

The government says the modifications would give Muslims legal parity with other religious groups in Austria. But the leaders of Austria's Muslim community counter that the contemplated new law amounts to "institutionalized Islamophobia."

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Germany: Holy War Erupts in Hamburg

October 15, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

Parts of downtown Hamburg, the second-largest city in Germany, resembled a war zone after hundreds of supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State [IS] engaged in bloody street clashes with ethnic Kurds.

The violence—which police say was as ferocious as anything seen in Germany in recent memory—is fuelling a sense of foreboding about the spillover effects of the fighting in Syria and Iraq.

Some analysts believe that rival Muslim groups in Germany are deliberately exploiting the ethnic and religious tensions in the Middle East to stir up trouble on the streets of Europe.

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Gang Rapes, 'Junior Jihadists' and Runaway Sharia
A Month of Islam in Britain: September 2014

October 12, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

Islam-related issues were widespread in Britain during the month of September 2014. What follows is a summary of the main stories, presented in three broad themes.

1. Islamic Extremism and Syria-Related Threats

The House of Commons on September 26 voted 524 to 43 to approve a request by British Prime Minister David Cameron to join the American-led coalition against the jihadist group Islamic State [IS], but only in Iraq, not in Syria where the IS has established its headquarters.

The vote came after IS jihadists decapitated the British aid worker David Haines in Syria on September 14.

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Belgium: Jihad Mega-Trial Begins

October 6, 2014  •  Gatestone Institute

Belgium's largest-ever terrorism trial has begun under tight security in the port city of Antwerp, where 46 members of the Islamist group Sharia4Belgium are being accused of recruiting dozens of young Muslims to fight for the jihadist group, Islamic State.

Sharia4Belgium, a radical Salafist group, was founded in 2010 with the purpose of implementing Islamic Sharia law in Belgium. The group generated controversy in September 2011, when it announced the opening of a Sharia Law court in Antwerp, the second-largest city in Belgium.

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