The Europe Trust, a UK-based organization with close ties to the radical Muslim Brotherhood organization, has acquired a €4 million property in the Berlin district of Wedding, an area that is already home to several associations that are being monitored by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV).
The supporters of The Europe Trust, which is regarded as the primary financial vehicle of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, are regarded as adherents to so-called “legalistic Islamism” — a strain of political Islam that’s outwardly law-abiding, but aims to establish Islamic states via infiltration of a society’s institutions instead of waging violent jihad to realize its goals, Die Welt reports.
With the help of the Muslim Brotherhood-linked organization’s deep pockets, Wedding — a former Berlin working-class district — has been transformed into a stronghold for political Islam and a hotspot for religious extremists. It is now known as a micro-community filled with mosques, shops, Islamic cultural centers, and associations.
Although the groups and associations operating in the insular community are said to be largely law-abiding, their contempt for Western values is no secret, and their end goal — namely the creation of an Islamic state that’s ruled by the Sharia framework — is no different than of that radical Islamic terrorists.
In light of the recent developments in Wedding and elsewhere in Germany, The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV) is urging politicians to provide their agents with additional instruments that would allow them to take a closer look at the cash flows of these so-called “legalistic Islamic” groups.
“We are only allowed to conduct financial investigations into violent Islamism. The legislature must decide whether our powers should be strengthened in this respect,” said President of the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution Thomas Haldenwan to Die Welt.
MP Stephan Thomae, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP), says it is dangerous that legalistic Islamists are trying “in a creeping, inconspicuous manner” to gradually undermine the free democratic basic order.
“Islamism is the breeding ground for extremism and radicalization,” Thomae warned.
Thomas Strobl, a lawmaker for the centrist Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party who serves as the chairman for the conference of interior ministers, agrees with Thomae, saying: “We should make it easier for our security authorities to track down the activities of legalistic Islamist organizations.”
The fears of Strobl and Thomae are also shared by Seyran Ates, a lawyer, feminist, and the founder of Berlin’s liberal Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, who believes legalistic Islamism will inevitably exert harmful effects on democracy and an open society.
“Because it is a political ideology that has made Islam its tool. Mafia-like structures have developed under the guise of religion and religious freedom,” Ates said, adding that she is not surprised that large sums of cash are flowing from the UK to establish strongholds in Berlin.
In 2018, the German news magazine FOCUS ONLINE revealed that Germany’s state security service considers the Muslim Brotherhood a greater threat to German democracy than Al Qaeda or the Islamic State.