In March 2019, it became known that the North Rhine Westphalian Office for the Protection of the Constitution was monitoring the Khaled Mosque, which belongs to the Islamic Cultural Association Bochum (IKV). This was triggered by published research on the association’s relations to persons from the network of the Muslim Brotherhood. On Sunday, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) of Bochum wished the Muslims a happy breaking of the fast – and praised the new mosque of the IKV in particular as ” bringing people together”. The message of greeting is also a rejection of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Normally, democratic parties distance themselves from associations that are monitored by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
“Innovative, environmentally friendly & connecting. Thanks to an initiative of the Islamic Cultural Association Bochum e.V., a mosque with the character of an intercultural meeting place is to be built on Castroper Street. A real benefit for Bochum. We wish all Muslims a happy breaking of the fast: Eid Mubarak!” With these words the CDU Bochum addressed the Muslims of the city on its Facebook page on Sunday. “Our wealth is called diversity. We are looking forward to the Green Mosque Ruhr”, was the title of the graphic attached to the text.
However, this message was probably not directed at moderate or secular Muslims. For only in March 2019 major media had reported that the North Rhine-Westphalian Office for the Protection of the Constitution was closely observing the Khaled Mosque, which belongs to the Islamic Cultural Association Bochum (IKV). “Personnel and structural connections of the association to extremism are being investigated as part of the legal mandate of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Thus, the Islamic Cultural Association is also monitored as a contact point for persons with links to possible Islamist activities.
In addition to Salafist activities, this includes above all activities from the spectrum of the Muslim Brotherhood,” was the title of a report by Herbert Reul (CDU), the Interior Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia, to the Interior Commission of the state parliament. “These measures ensure that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution of North Rhine-Westphalia keeps an eye on further developments regarding young people and refugees, also in connection with the Khaled Mosque,” Reul added in a response to a parliamentary question of the AfD parliamentary group.
About two months later, on the 13th of May 2019, Ahmad Aweimer, spokesperson of the IKV and representative for communication of the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD), described the author in the student monthly newspaper “akduell” as the “central trigger for the accusations”. This might have meant an article published here on the 10th of February 2019 and a press release sent out on the same day. It was about the fact that in the Khaled Mosque two long-standing and pertinently known actors from the network of the Muslim Brotherhood have appeared as lecturers.
The activities of IKV imam Hedi Brik also suggest such a direction. The author recently proved that the community imam not only occasionally meets invited members of the Muslim Brotherhood’s network but has also been working with them in various ways for a long time and is obviously welcomed by them as one of their own. Involvement and activities of the Community Imam indicate that the extremist connections of the IKV go much deeper than was known in 2019 and that the ideological orientation of the community has not changed since then.
The greeting message of the CDU Bochum on Sunday also represents a rejection of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution – and of course also of the CDU Minister of the Interior. Normally, democratic parties distance themselves from associations that are monitored by the Verfassungsschutz. The fact that the CDU Bochum knows nothing about the monitoring of the IKV is hardly likely, according to the media coverage. In this case, a democratic party is in fact ignoring the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. This is probably an unprecedented occurrence.