Bavaria Cracks Down on Muslims
At the end of December 2005, amid finger pointing, investigations and umbrage taken over the U.S.’s covert domestic spying program as part of the war on terror, authorities in Germany began taking a more aggressive approach against militant Islam.
While Americans debated the constitutionality of the Patriot Act and rights to privacy, authorities in Germany’s most Catholic and conservative state, Bavaria, shut down an Islamic center in Munich.
Bavarian authorities banned a Bavarian-based Islamic group, the Multi-Kultur-Haus, on Dec. 28, 2005, “after seizing material allegedly inciting Muslims to kill Jews and Christians and carry out suicide attacks in Iraq” (Deutsche Welle, Dec. 29, 2005).
Günther Beckstein, the state’s interior minister, said Bavaria was “making the limits clear to supporters of foreign extremist organizations. … Organizations that aggressively try to oppose our constitutional order and openly call for violence will not be tolerated” (ibid.).
Strong words accompanying strong action.
Elsewhere in Germany, the interior minister of Lower Saxony, Uwe Schünemann, told German newspaper Die Welt that Berlin should consider electronic ankle bracelets “to monitor 3,000 potentially dangerous Islamists, hate preachers and people who had been trained in foreign terrorist camps” (ibid.). He said this move could easily be made law, denying that such action would be unconstitutional.
Imagine such a suggestion coming from a prominent U.S. cabinet member. Germany is taking far more extreme measures to thwart terrorists within its borders than the United States is willing to take.
And though the ankle-bracelet suggestion is only coming from a state official, that type of thinking is not new to Germany, which, at one time, started “monitoring” Jews through a simple piece of cloth worn on the sleeve. Of course, we know where that cultural labeling took the country and what it meant for the Jews in particular.
Also interesting is the fact that the latest crackdown happened in Germany’s most Catholic and most economically prosperous state. Bavaria is not only home to the current pope, it bred the country’s staunchest conservatives and cultural purists like Adolf Hitler and Richard Wagner. Its current premier, Edmund Stoiber, has held his state up as an example for the rest of Germany in how to deal with its economic troubles. He, and the pope, for that matter, may one day call on Germany and the rest of Europe to use how Bavaria deals with militant Islam as another shining example of progress.
The Bible does, in fact, prophesy of such a cultural clash. Germany, leading a united Europe, is destined to collide with an Islamic power. We are witnessing the beginnings of such a clash in Germany today.