Germany issues early warning report about rise of Islamist antisemitism

The top intelligence agency in Germany has written what is being called its most comprehensive analysis of rising antisemitism by Islamist extremists.

The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or BfV, described its 40-page brochure as a tool for educators, social workers, police and others who work closely with recent Muslim immigrants or refugees.

Titled “Antisemitism in Islamism,” the recently published report represents a leap forward in terms of the agency’s focus on the topic, spokeswoman Angela Pley told. She said the agency has never published such a comprehensive analysis of the subject based on empirical data.

“We are an early warning system,” Pley said. “Recommendations on what can be done must come from society and the political establishment.”

Pley said there had been no public response to the report by Muslim associations in Germany, but that it had been downloaded 1,439 times since its release.

It is one of a few recent government measures born of increased concern about antisemitism in Germany.

In 2018, the government appointed a commissioner, Felix Klein, to focus specifically on the topic. In 2012, a Bundestag commission was established to report on antisemitism nationwide and in all categories.

“Antisemitism in Islamism” homes in on the Islamist extremist component, which represents a looming threat, the agency said, though relatively few antisemitic crimes in Germany have been attributed to Islamist extremism.

The report distinguishes between “Islam” the religion and “Islamism,” which it describes as a form of political extremism that “aims at the partial or complete abolition of the liberal democratic constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany.”

The vast majority of antisemitic crimes in Germany have a right-wing extremist background: In 2018, a total of 755 antisemitic crimes were reported, and 670 were attributed to the far right and 25 to “foreigners.” Of the 707 cases the previous year, 651 were attributed to the far right and 15 to foreigners.

But the new report, which identifies Islamist organizations and movements and their propaganda, warns that radicalisation and incitement to antisemitic hate “form the breeding ground for violent escalations.


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