germany deports imams

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    Germany Deports 14 Imams in 9 Months

    Beckstein, known for his anti-Muslim stances, said there are new 19 deportation orders being prepared against what he termed "extremist Islamists".

    By Ahmad Al-Matboli, IOL Correspondent
    NUREMBERG, Germany, July 28, 2005

    ( Ð Fourteen Muslim imams have been deported from the southern German state of Bavaria since November last year.

    The latest imam to be sent out of the country is an Egyptian who was sent home by the Bavarian authorities July 26.

    Bavarian Interior Minister Guenther Beckstein claimed the imam was deported after he was proved to be inciting hatred and violence in his religious sermons in the Islamic center in the city of Nuremberg.

    The imam was placed aboard a plane to Cairo at Munich airport Monday, July 25, Beckstein said in a statement.

    He claimed that the deportation of the imam, who was pending arrest since July 15, was a success to the security authorities in dealing with what he termed "hatred-inciting preachers".

    The deportation was the latest step of measures taken by the European countries against what they term "inciting preachers" following the London terrorist attacks, which left 56 people killed and more than 700 wounded.

    Deportation Orders
    The Bavarian interior minister also maintained that there are new 19 deportation orders being prepared against what he termed "extremist Islamists".

    The southern state of Bavaria has been the scene of crackdown measures against Muslims due to policies adopted by Beckstein, known for his anti-Muslim stances, according to correspondent.

    Following the London bombings, Beckstein had called for drawing up a "double strategy" to tighten up monitoring what he termed "extremists".

    He had also proposed planting spies inside mosques, censoring sermons and monitoring Muslim organizations using tiny cameras.

    Since a new immigration law was put into force in January, the deportation drive has been given an impetus, primarily targeting tens of Muslims.

    Days after the law went into effect, German states hurriedly prepared lists of thousands of Muslim immigrants -- whom the German authorities dubbed as suspects -- for immediate deportation.

    In March, Berlin's Federal Administrative Supreme Court has upheld a district court ruling that ordered the expulsion of an imam for "inciting violence."

    A study conducted by the University of BielefeldÕs Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence had shown that Islamophobia was on the rise in Germany.

    In December, 40 Muslim youths, aged 18-30, set up a kiosk in central Hamburg on December 21-24, distributing illustrative materials on Islam among attentive and enthusiastic passers-by.

    Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.

    There are some 3.4 million Muslims in the country, including 220,000 in Berlin, and Turks make up an estimated two thirds of the Muslim minority.

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