The Islam expert Prof. Susanne Schröter has warned against trivialising Islamic extremism. She gave a lecture on Islam and religious freedom in Germany on March 22 hosted by the Hayek Club in Frankfurt am Main. The director of the Research Centre Global Islam at the University of Frankfurt am Main, emphasised in this context that she welcomes it if the names of the victims in right-wing extremist attacks are mentioned publicly. “But who knows the names of the victims of the Breitscheidplatz attack or knows the name of the man who was murdered in Dresden last year?”Background: On December 19, 2016, the Tunisian Anis Amri crashed a truck into the Christmas market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin. Twelve people died and dozens more were injured in the attack on Breitscheidplatz. On October 4, 2020, a man known to be an Islamist threat also stabbed two tourists, one of whom died of his injuries in hospital. The influence of Islamism is nevertheless played down by many politicians and also criminal investigators, as if there were no problem in this respect, Schröter said. Yet political Islam in Germany is well organised and networked. “After all, the largest right-wing extremist organisation in Germany is the Grey Wolves, whose supporters belong to the Turkish minority.”
The ethnologist also reported on how other countries deal with political Islam. Although French President Emmanuel Macron has now also begun to identify Islamism as a danger, the country still has a lot of catching up to do. Islamist structures and parallel societies have developed in many places. In the Paris suburbs, women wearing full-face veils have long been part of the cityscape. The case of the murdered teacher Samuel Paty (1973-2020) has also shown that critics of Islam no longer live safely in Europe. Paty had shown caricatures of Mohammed in his classroom and had therefore become the target of a campaign by outraged Muslims. On October 16, 2020, he was murdered in the street by an 18-year-old Chechen. It was also frightening that Paty’s colleagues at the school had not previously protected him from the attacks of radical Muslims.
Schröter, on the other hand, was much more positive about the Austrian government’s policy. The neighbouring country had realised that political Islam was a danger and had already taken measures to protect society from it. Schröter also welcomed the Swiss decision to ban the full-face veil. To voluntarily choose to wear a burqa or a nikab in public is downright “fascistoid”. After all, it is an expression of support for a radical form of political Islam. In a referendum on March 7, 51.2 per cent of the Swiss voted for a “Yes to the ban on veils”, 48.8 per cent against. The popular initiative was launched by the “Egerkinger Committee” (Lucerne), which wants to prevent the Islamisation of Switzerland. It is close to the national conservative Swiss People’s Party (SVP). The Hayek Club Frankfurt am Main was founded in 2014 and has 150 members. It is named after the liberal national economist Friedrich August von Hayek (1899-1992) and, according to its own statements, advocates for a free society and economy.