Radical Muslim Salafists have formed a “Sharia police force” and are patrolling the city of Wuppertal, targeting the nightlife area of the western German city.
Germany has outlawed extreme Salafist groups, but that has had little effect on fundamentalists bent on enforcing Islamic law on “infidels.”
The self-style police are so brazen that they wear easily-seen orange vests with the words “Sharia police” emblazoned on the back. They distribute leaflets that urge people to refrain from alcohol, drugs, gambling, and even attending concerts.
Police last week arrested nearly a dozen men, but the only charges that they might be able to file are illegal assembly.
“Intimidation or provocation won’t be tolerated,” Wuppertal Police Chief Birgitta Rademacher said on Friday.
That sounds a bit familiar.
As seen in the news report below, a political leader who is a critic of radical Islam said, “I underestimated the danger the Salafists pose…. Now I cannot walk without police protection, not even shopping.”
The Sharia police is a new challenge for German.
“An appearance that intimidates, unsettles and provokes will not be tolerated. There is no legitimation for this “Sharia Police,” Birgitta Radermacher, police chief of Wuppertal was quoted as saying in a statement.
Time will tell.
German Salafists this weekend posted a YouTube video showing a poster with the English headline “Sharia Controlled Zone” and footage of Salafists recruiting young people and visiting gambling halls.
Der Spiegel’s website reported that police in Bonn are investigating reports that Salafists are harassing people, assaulted a youth for drinking alcohol and tried to force a Muslim girl to wear a veil.