According to the Hamburg Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the illegal Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir is becoming increasingly popular in the Hanseatic city. While in 2018 there were still 220 and last year about 250 German or Afghan and Turkish-born supporters, the “Party of Liberation” today has about 300 members, said Marco Haase, spokesman for the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.The reasons are the general influx into the Islamic communities as well as the new insights into the dark field by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution. A total of 1660 people in Hamburg currently belong to the Islamist grouping, which also includes the new grouping “Muslim Interactive”.
This is represented in the social media, currently has almost 4000 subscribers on Instagram and the target group is primarily young Muslims living in Germany. The circle of supporters for the media campaigns is around 100 people, said Haase. The organisers and supporters of the actions come from Hamburg, according to the findings of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, or at least the videos are usually staged against the Hamburg backdrop. The use of language in the films shows clear parallels to the networks Generation Islam (GI) and Reality Islam, which in turn can be attributed to the ideological context of Hizb ut-Tahrir.
Muslim Interaktiv had drawn attention, inter alia, by protest actions in front of the Austrian and French embassies in Berlin and by a motorcade in Hamburg downtown, all of which were subsequently distributed online. Haase emphasised: “In such actions and campaigns it is not the thematisation of social grievances or the advocacy of those affected for certain population groups that is questionable, but the misuse of important topics while concealing the real intentions.
Hizb ut-Tahrir – which originated from the Muslim Brotherhood – supports the use of violence as a means of achieving political goals according to the Federal Ministry of the Interior’s decree banning the use of violence, spreads anti-Semitic hate propaganda and calls for the killing of Jews. It is striving for a worldwide caliphate and wants the complete introduction of the Sharia. The prohibition of activities issued in 2003 was confirmed by the Federal Administrative Court in 2006. The European Court of Human Rights had rejected an appeal against it in 2012.
Recently, public demonstrations by Islamists in Hamburg, organised by several groups in response to the murder of a Parisian history teacher, had caused a stir.