Interior Ministry: “Islamist demos like in Hamburg would be banned”

Interior Ministry: “Islamist demos like in Hamburg would be banned”
Thousands of people took to the streets in Hamburg at the weekend.

In Hamburg on Saturday, a demonstration by Islamists caused both excitement and outrage. More than 1,000 participants campaigned for the introduction of an Islamic dictatorship (“caliphate”); posters read the slogans “Germany = dictatorship of values” or “caliphate is the solution”. In Austria, such gatherings would be prohibited – “even with knowledge of the events in Hamburg,” the Interior Ministry said in response to a request.

  • Also read: After Islamist demonstration in Hamburg: Police chief announces examination

The Directorate of State Security and Intelligence (DSN) is closely monitoring developments within the Islamist extremist scene in this country. Young men in particular appear as so-called threats; their number is in the double-digit range. The scene is currently dominated by people born between 1995 and 2010 who are increasingly emerging as contributors to terrorist online propaganda. Both national and international actors and groups use YouTube channels, messaging platforms and social media to distribute content. This online propaganda is particularly aimed at teenagers and young adults due to its language, depiction of trends and style.

Increase in Salafist online content

“In German-speaking countries, religious treatises by Salafist preachers are presented online in German and thus convey authenticity. They communicate their dualistic understanding of Islam in an easily understandable and youth-appropriate language, taking into account the context of life in German-speaking countries, thereby offering young people opportunities for identification,” said the Ministry of the Interior. There has been an increase in the consumption and distribution of Salafist online content: so-called influencer preachers primarily target teenagers and young adults in Austria.

The organization “Muslim interactive” in particular is known to the Austrian Office for the Protection of the Constitution due to its ideological proximity to “Hizb-ut-Tahrir” and the content conveyed on social media channels and at rallies. “The German-language content – also with a connection to Austria – is also popular with Austrian Muslims due to the chosen narrative and the presentation of the videos,” it said.

“No such tendencies”

When asked whether extremist demonstrations like those in Hamburg could be imminent, the Interior Ministry said that they were currently not seeing any such tendencies in Austria. “The developments will of course be monitored continuously,” it was emphasized.

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