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Scientology Crime Syndicate

[The German Islamic "Milli Goerues" have shown themselves to be brothers in spirit with the Scientologists in the past.]

The political elite seek dialogue with the Milli Goerues, but critical journalists are being intimidated by the Islamic association.

Flirting with the Islamists

Berlin, Germany
May 5, 2000
TAZ report

by Eberhard Seidel

The professor bowed deeply to his former opponents. Three years ago, Udo Steinbach, Director of the German Oriental Institute in Hamburg was warning of the dangers emanating from the Islamist groups in Germany. Now his motto is, "There is a new openness in dialogue. And the anti-Semitic duct in many publications has been deactivated.

It was a conciliatory start to the meeting of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation entitled, "Fellow citizens of the Moslem Faith: the neglected minority," which took place on Thursday in Berlin. Steinbach even made a good witness for the Milli Goerues, the most influential organization of political Islam in Germany. He appears to have forgotten that the Milli Goerues systematically lied to the German public for years - about their organizational structure, their ideology, their sources of finance, their connections to Scientology and their dependency upon Turkish Islamic leader Necmettin Erbakan.

"What is wrong with Steinbach?" puzzled Hasan Oezdogan during the coffee break. The Chairman of the Islamic Council of Germany, which is an umbrella organization dominated by the Milli Goerues, was not expecting an answer. He knows that it is no longer the Milli Goerues, but their critics, who are running against the wind.

During the meeting on Thursday, the moderator tried to play down criticism by Cologne journalist Ahmet Senyurt for the Milli Goerues as an irrelevant private discussion. Senyurt's "private war": he revealed the years of cooperation between the Milli Guerues and Scientology, reported on the money transfers for the Moslem rebels in the Chechnian war, and, in recent times, has been devoting himself to the billion dollar financial and commercial empire which the Islamists have been building up in Germany and Turkey.

Hasan Oezdogan had the upper hand. During the podium discussion, he denounced Senyurt as a "bad journalist" who "reported falsely" and "slandered" the Milli Goerues. A superfluous attack. Because the critical public had lost interest in information of that sort. Instead of that it flirts with high-ranking Milli Goerues functionaries. All at the head of the Heinrich-Boell Foundation, which is aligned with the Greens.

False Pluralism labeling

Since the beginning of the year, the foundation has been advertising with a series of events for more tolerance for the Moslem minority. In doing that, organizer Thomas Hartmann also increasingly supports the Milli Goerues. The speakers, however, are announced as representatives of the Islam College of Berlin, the Islamic Basic School of Berlin, the Center for Islamic Women's Research and Promotion of Cologne or the Institute for International Academics and Didactics of Cologne. The apparent pluralism is false labeling. They are all organizations of Milli Goerues, which are centrally directed from their Cologne headquarters.

Politician also seek proximity to the Milli Guerues. Berlin Foreign Commissioner Barbara John (CDU), for example. When she presented the booklet on "Mosques and Islamic Life in Berlin" last year, there was a lively discussion. Reason: the role of political Islam in Berlin was said to have been de-emphasized. No big surprise. The sponsor of the work was Muesiad, a business association dominated by Islamists who the Milli Goerues would like to assimilate. John's justification, "We would be getting into a disastrous discussion if the attempt were made to declare them to be lepers."

The new openness is astonishing. Because neither the liberal Christian Democrat John, the Heinrich-Boell Foundation nor the Evangelical Academy in Loccum bothers to carry out a dialogue with the Deutschen Volksunion (DVU). The DVU and Milli Goerues have much in common - they do not call for the use of violence, but they split society with ideologies of inequality, have a conspirative and undemocratic management and organizational structure and non-transparent sources of finance. They also share a virulent Anti-semitism. There are, however, two differences: the Milli Goerues are more successful. And the DVU has met with determined resistance from civilian society.

Also the foreign political spokesman for the CDU parliamentary faction, Karl Lamers, no longer finds anything to reproach the Milli Goerues about. In 1999 he participated in their annual gathering at the Muengersdorfer Stadium in Cologne. Lamers criticized the image which German agencies have of the Milli Goerues, "It is strongly influenced by the picture which the Kemalist forces in Turkey have of the Milli Goerues. One will not progress with that."

How should one regard the Milli Goerues? They were founded by Necmettin Erbakan in 1976 in Germany. Today he still determines the politics of the organization. He wants to replace the system in Turkey with one based on the Koran and Sharia. This is not demanded in Germany as long as they are in the minority.

Who determines the rules of play

The politics of the Milli Goerues are being implemented in Europe by means of hundreds of mosque, women's, youth and student associations. Many of these associations belie their dependency upon Milli Goerues. The Islamic Federation in Berlin, for example, which recently has been acknowledged as a religious community. That federation has credibly assured the officials, at least, that it has nothing to do with Milli Goerues. In one of the internal Milli Goerues documents which is available to taz [this newspaper] it says, in contrast, that the "Islamic Federation," which is in nearly all German states, belongs to the Milli Guerues.

What does an organization which lies so consistently have to hide? The German public has lost any interest in getting an answer. In the meantime, the Milli Goerues determine the rules of play. One example: on September 30, 1999, the Islamic Council, dominated by the Milli Goerues, arranged a podium discussion in the Willy-Brandt building, the SPD center in Berlin. Those invited included Theo Sommer, co-publisher of "Zeit," Edzard Reuter, Peter Scholl-Latour and Michel Friedman from the Central Council of the Jews. Two Berlin journalists, Claudia Dantschke and Ali Yildirim, were denied entrance to the meeting by Milli Goerues ushers.

The reason: they had published material from a person who had left the Milli Goerues which proved that the Milli Goerues and their cover companies deceive the public and which showed the tricks by which Milli Goerues intend to infiltrate the CDU district group in Berlin-Kreuzberg. Hasan Oezdogan told the taz: "These two journalists are regarded as instigators, slanderers and active opponents of Islam who practice yellow journalism." Oezdogan described correspondent Yildirim as a "former communist and a radical, apostate Alevite with a great desire to exact revenge upon Moslems." Communist, opponent of Islam, apostate Alevite - translated from the language of the Islamists, that means that any means is permitted in taking action against this man. Nobody took the side of the two journalists. Michel Friedman (CDU) praised the event as an "attempt at the conversational principle of respect."

Where does the sudden favoritism for Milli Goerues come from? The answer is clear to Ahmet Senyurt, "the Milli Guerues have influence in the ghetto. And whoever has this influence can win the politicians over." Many politicians are aware of the explosive situation which lies in portions of the city like Berlin-Kreuzberg, where more than thirty percent of the immigrants are unemployed. Milli Goerues offer help. "We bring the young people away from drugs and violence," goes their offer. "If it weren't for us, it would be much less peaceful in Berlin-Kreuzberg and Cologne-Nippes," Mehmet Sabri Erbakan, Germany's chief of the Milli Goerues, gives food for thought.

But things do not have to stay that way. Hasan Oezdogan ominously added on Thursday that if the German public were to force the Milli Goerues into a corner, that there would not be any integration.

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