Germany has banned Islamic organization Ansaar International as part of its crackdown on Islamic radicalism and terror financing. German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Ansaar International has been involved in funding terror groups around the world, especially the Palestinian Hamas and Somalia's Al-Shabaab.
Germany said the the Düsseldorf-based Islamist association has been spreading Salafism across the world in the guise of humanitarian work.
"If you want to fight terror you have to dry up its sources of funding," the minister said, adding that Ansaar and outfits affiliated to it "spread a Salafist world view and finance terror around the world under the guise of humanitarian aid," Reuters reported.
German international broadcaster Deutsche Welle also reported that other associations linked to Ansaar that have been banend include Änis Ben-Hatira Foundation, the Somali Committee for Information and Advice in Darmstadt, the women's rights association ANS.Justice, and second-hand charity stores "Umma Shop" and "Better World Appeal."
These organizations serve "the sole purpose of disguising the flow of money" under the control of the chairman of Ansaar International, the report added.
What are Ansaar International's Activities?
The DW also reports that besides collecting donations in the guise of charity and funneling them to terror outfits around the world, Ansaar also sends German children to Ansaar's institutions abroad in order to radicalize them. There the children are trained to "internalize Salafist extremist content there and carry it back to Germany."
The rising horde of Salafists in Germany seek the implementation of Sharia law, besides advocating violence in order to set up states that follow what they perceive as true Islam.
The paper adds that the German intelligence had figured out last year that the number of Salafists in the country had risen to an all-time high of 12,150.
Germany daily Bild said security personnel conducted country-wide raids against Ansaar leaders and institutions. The raids were held in 10 German states before the interior ministry decided to outlaw the organization.
What Does Ansaar Say?
Ansaar International's home page says it was founded in Düsseldorf in 2012 and it is a "Muslim relief organization that provides humanitarian support to people in war and crisis areas, regardless of their faith."
it says the organization carries out measures like the construction, financing and implementation of hospitals, orphanages, widows' homes, wells, schools or mosques. It adds that Ansaar International eV has around 800 members in Germany and 2,500 members abroad.
No-go zones, Sharia courts, polygamy and child marriages
'Islamisation' of Germany has been a dominant theme in recent years, ever since large scale immigration from the Middle East in the last decade bumped up the country's Muslim population to more than six million. A survey in 2016 showed that more than three million Turkish Muslims living in Germany thought it was more important to follow Islamic Sharia law than German law.
"Mass migration from the Muslim world is fast-tracking the Islamization of Germany, as evidenced by the proliferation of no-go zones, Sharia courts, polygamy and child marriages. Mass migration has also been responsible for a host of social disruptions, including jihadist attacks, a migrant rape epidemic, a public health crisis, rising crime and a rush by German citizens to purchase weapons for self-defense — and even to abandon Germany altogether," the Gatestone Institute said in its report titled 'The Islamization of Germany in 2016'.