FaithWorld

German minister urges local Muslims to help combat militancy

(German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich at a meeting with religious community leaders, politicians and emergency services staff on how to prevent extremism, in Berlin June 24, 2011/Odd Andersen)

Germany’s interior minister urged the local Muslim community to join government efforts to combat radicalism among young Muslims, putting a special focus on the influence of militant websites.

“We want to stand up to the radicalisation and misuse of religion together,” Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said on Friday after talks with leaders of the Muslim community and security experts on how to prevent the spread of militancy. “All citizens of this country, no matter what our political tendency or religion, must take on the fight against radicalism and terror,” he told reporters.

Friedrich gave the example of a 21-year-old Kosovan man, brought up in Germany, who attacked a bus carrying U.S. military personnel at Frankfurt airport in March, killing two airmen. He said Arid Uka, who has been charged with murder by U.S. federal prosecutors, had become radicalised in Germany “not in the classical environment of a mosque or Muslim society but on the Internet”.

Germany’s political opposition said the conservative government risked casting suspicion on all Muslims. “If we want to isolate extremists who are prone to violence, we must support moderate Muslims and make them feel welcome in Germany,” said the centre-left Social Democrats’ parliamentary leader, Thomas Oppermann.

U.S. House panel probes Muslim radicalization, critics see witch hunt

muslimerican

(A woman protests in New York City March 6, 2011/Jessica Rinaldi )

The U.S. House of Representatives will investigate radicalization in the American-Muslim community, sparking outrage that the probe is a witch hunt akin to the 1950s anti-Communist campaign. With al Qaeda and its affiliates openly trying to recruit Americans and Muslims inside the United States for attacks, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Peter King called congressional hearings on the subject “absolutely essential”.

“I am facing reality, my critics are not,” King said on MSNBC. “Al Qaeda is changing its tactics, they realize that it’s very difficult to attack from the outside, they’re recruiting from within.”

King, who will lead a hearing on Thursday, has questioned the cooperation by Muslim Americans with U.S. law enforcement authorities and accused mosques of being a breeding ground for radicalization.