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Germany: Interior Ministry to Dissolve Expert Group on Political Islamism  by Robert Semonsen

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Germany: Interior Ministry to Dissolve Expert Group on Political Islamism 

Germany’s leftist-led Federal Interior Ministry, headed by Nancy Faeser (SPD), has announced its intention to dissolve the ministry’s Expert Group on Political Islamism which had been established a year ago under then interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU).

The decision to dissolve the group—whose main focus was to research and analyze the dynamic strategies of political Islamists and develop methods to protect vulnerable groups like women and young people from falling prey to their tactics—has been called a “political decision” by constitutional lawyer and member of the council Kyrill-Alexander Schwarz, Junge Freiheit reports.

Over the weekend, members of the committee, who had been selected from university departments of Islamic Studies, Islamic Theology, Public Law, and Political Science, informed the German Press Agency (DPA) that representatives from the interior ministry’s public security department had informed them that there was no longer any interest in continuing the group’s activities. The ministry gave no information on the reasons why the committee’s work should cease.

The group, comprised of eleven members, included Islamic scholar Gudrun Krämer, constitutional lawyer Kyrill-Alexander Schwarz, Islamism expert Rebecca Schönenbach, legal scholar Stefan Korioth, social scientist Naika Foroutan, political scientist Gülden Hennemann, integration researcher Ruud Koopmans, among others.

The move to terminate the committee’s activities, which many argue is an integral component in the fight against Islamic radicalization, has drawn criticism from experts and prominent figures on Germany’s center-Right and Right.

In a press release published on Sunday, Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) MP Gottfried Curio slammed the ministry’s decision, saying that Faeser’s dissolution of the group “shows that a one-sided left-wing ideology” is the driving force of “her political actions and also reveals a deliberate trivialization of Islamism.”

“All [Faeser] had to do was to take a look at the relevant statistics that show how dangerous Islamism is. After all, the Islamists make up the majority of those who are at risk in this country,” Curio added, citing police statistics indicating that Islamist threats outnumber by three times those from left-wing and right-wing extremists combined.

Curio continued, 

Instead of prioritizing the protection of citizens from dangers from all directions, the traffic light government only wants to look where it is politically opportune and fits into left-wing narratives…By making certain motivational situations and milieus invisible, a culture of looking the other way has found its way into the Federal Ministry of the Interior. If there is an Islamist-motivated attack, Faeser, with her policy of a dangerous ostrich attitude towards Islamism in Germany, must also be held responsible for the consequences.

Deputy Federal Chairman of the CDU Carsten Linnemann also criticized the interior ministry’s decision, saying that “one can only hope that this naivety will not fall on our feet one day.”

Christoph de Vries, an MP for the CDU, said the dissolution of the expert group was “the preliminary culmination of a policy of looking the other way and ignoring Islamism as a phenomenon that endangers democracy.”

It’s worth noting that Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) has previously written for a publication that serves as the main press organ for the Bund der Antifaschistinnen und Antifaschisten (VVN-BdA), which has been classified as a left-wing extremist organization by the Bavarian state intelligence agency.

Robert Semonsen is a political journalist based in Central Europe. His work has been featured in various English-language news outlets in Europe and the Americas. He has an educational background in biological and medical science. His Twitter handle is @R_Semonsen.