German Muslims Help Fight Extremism

"It is a Muslim duty and our duty as citizens to report extremist tendencies," he told public broadcaster ARD on Wednesday, August 23.

German Muslims Help Fight Extremism

German Muslims have offered to enhance cooperation with the security services to fight extremism, an initiative coinciding with a call from the interior minister for more Muslim contributions to fight terror threats in the European country.

Aiman Mazyek, Secretary General of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, said the body is ready to offer more local contacts to police to help efforts to battle extremism, reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).

"It is a Muslim duty and our duty as citizens to report extremist tendencies," he told public broadcaster ARD on Wednesday, August 23.

Mazyek stressed that the vast majority of the sizable Muslim minority, estimated at 3.4 million, stand united against violence.

The Muslim leader, however, warned against lumping Muslims together with "terrorists".

Last March, German Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries said that the Muslim minority was suffering from a growing religious discrimination with many Germans wrongly associating Islam with terrorism.

A German intelligence report has revealed that only one percent of the Muslim population are members of organizations that pose serious threats to national security.

Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.

Muslim Help

In an interview with Die Zeit news weekly published on Thursday, August 24, Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called for further Muslim cooperation to stamp out extremism.

"The great majority of Muslims must say what they think more loudly -- that they reject terror," he said

"After all it threatens Muslims just as much as non-Muslims. We need the cooperation of organizations to fight extremists in their ranks."

Schaeuble also called for tougher measures to fight terror threats in Germany following the foiled train plot.

"It would be irresponsible to conclude from the success of the police search that we do not need to do more," he told Die Zeit.

The interior minister suggested an expanded monitoring of Internet websites and wider observation of suspicious groups.

"More security cameras should be used where it is sensible. We need to step up monitoring of the Internet, for which we need more experts with the right language skills.

"We also need to intensify checks on the rail lines and air traffic security."

Youssef Mohammed E.H., a 21-year-old Lebanese student, was arrested on July 31 in connection to a foiled train terror.

Media reports have said his brother was killed in the Israeli offensive on Lebanon and the bombing plot may have been motivated by anger at the siege.

Neighbors have described Youssef as a likeable man and a deeply religious Sunni Muslim.

The second suspend, Jihad Hamad, on Thursday handed himself over to Lebanese police in the northern city of Tripoli.

The prosecutor's office said the a clean-cut looking 20-year-old has been brought to Beirut and German investigators were on their way to question him and arrange his extradition.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16