Germany is considering a ban on Islamic Salafist groups in the wake of violence between Islamic extremists and Germany's far-right anti-Islamists.
The government in Germany is considering a ban as concerns mount over their ideological stance which is viewed as politically threatening. CNBC reported Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich said "We will use all the possibilities at the disposal of a constitutional state to oppose them (violent Salafists) wherever they fight against... our constitutional order."
According to Der Spiegel there are an estimated 1,000 militant Salafists in Germany. Lazaros Miliopoulos, who studies extremism, said the Salafist manifestation of Islam "can lead to violent Islamism, and as such is very political." His views were echoed by Friedrich who said "Without question the Salafists are ideologically close to al Qaeda. They have the clear political goal to destroy our liberal democracy. We will not allow them to do that."
Concerns have also been raised regarding the provocative actions of the anti-Islamists from the far-right group "Pro NRW." DW reported a temporary ban was imposed on far-right groups displaying caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed at protests outside mosques, following violent clashes between the two groups which left 29 police injured.
Recent attempts by the Salafist group "The True Religion" to raise Islam's profile through the distribution of free Korans also alarmed lawmakes. The Salafist brand of Islam is considered by many as dangerously extreme with its adherence to a strict interpretation of Sharia law as practiced in Saudi Arabia.