Zwei maskierte, bewaffnete Islamisten vor dem Schwarzen Banner zur Illustration des Arbeitsfelds „Islamismus“, Keyvisual Islamismus

Islamist organisations

Jihadist Islamists

Jihadist Islamists exclusively refer to ‘small jihad’. In their view, jihad is a violent struggle and thus ‘holy war’. Jihadists use violence to reach their goals. For them, violence is not just one means among others but the only permissible one. Jihadists believe that they can only achieve their aims by using violence. They regard themselves as ‘God’s fighters’ or ‘fighters for Allah’s cause’. Islamist terrorists base their acts of violence on the claim that the latter are allegedly justified by Islam or even requested by 'order of God'. They claim that every Muslim is obliged to participate in the armed struggle. They call for a worldwide fight against the supposed enemies of Islam, and they glorify violent offenders killed during combat actions as 'martyrs' for God's cause.

However, propaganda for terrorist attacks and their execution cannot be legitimised by Islam.

Maskierter Dschihad-Kämpfer im AusbildungslagerZoom© picture-alliance/dpa Masked jihadist in a training camp

Jihadists abuse religion for their purposes. They deliberately interpret religious terms one-sidedly in order to indoctrinate young people and to recruit them so that they can push through their ideological objectives.

Jihadist Islamists’ goal is to fight non-Muslim countries (‘distant enemy’) and to topple allegedly un-Islamic governments (‘close enemy’) in the Islamic world. It is above all foreign troops based in mainly Muslim countries that are time and again named as targets for attacks.

Violence-oriented Islamists

Screenshot des Propagandavideos von 2014: „Abu Talha Al-Almani: Mein Treueeid an den Islamischen Staat“ZoomScreenshot of the 2014 propaganda video called ‘Abu Talha Al-Almani: My pledge of allegiance to Islamic State’

Violence-oriented Islamists are pragmatic as regards the issue of using violence. They do not reject violence in principle, but they only use it in a selective and limited way. For them, violence is just one means among others. Violence-oriented jihadists living in Germany often have close ties with the countries which they themselves or their parents come from and in which the ‘mother organisations’ are based and active. They usually only have recourse to violence to fight the power structures in place there. Their aim is to implement a social order there that is based on their Islamist ideology.

Violence-oriented Islamist organisations are often integrated into the political and social structures of their countries of origin. Many organisations are directly involved in politics as political parties. Their social wings carry out charitable activities, for instance the running of schools or hospitals. Thus, these organisations secure popular support.

Hezbollah

Logo der Hizb AllahThe Hezbollah logo

Hezbollah has an armed wing, Al Muqawama al Islamiyya (‘Islamic Resistance’), which – together with the security service of the External Security Organisation (ESO) – was responsible for staging attacks in the past and which is of military importance.

Approximately 950 adherents of Hezbollah live in Germany. Hezbollah spreads its anti-Israeli and anti-Jewish propaganda for instance via the Lebanese TV channel al Manar, which viewers can receive in Germany as well. Since the channel’s activities violate German criminal law and are opposed to the thought of international understanding, the Federal Ministry of the Interior banned the activities of al Manar by order of 29 October 2008.

On 26 July 2013 the EU Council decided to list Hezbollah’s armed wing as a terrorist organisation.

Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS)

Logo der HAMASThe HAMAS logo

HAMAS' aim is to establish an Islamist state in the entire territory of ‘Palestine’. It demands the elimination of the state of Israel and rejects a two-state solution. The Izzeddine al Qassam Brigades, its military wing, are to a great degree responsible for terrorist activities, especially in the form of numerous suicide attacks against Israeli targets. The activities of the approximately 300 HAMAS adherents in Germany focus on fundraising, winning new members and – on an ad-hoc basis – participating in rallies concerning the Middle East conflict.

Legalistic Islamists

The vast majority of Islamists in Germany are ‘legalists’. This term is used for members of Islamist organisations in Germany who strive to impose ideas of social and individual life based on Islamist ideology whilst abiding by the law. However, their goals are not reconcilable with the free democratic basic order.

Officials and supporters of these organisations engage in lobbying to achieve their aims, intensively using the possibilities provided by the German legal system (‘march through the courts'). They intend to obtain complete and permanent freedom for their members to live their lives in accordance with sharia. This, however, may lead to the development of parallel societies, which hinder integration. It is also possible that legalist Islamists promote the further radicalisation of (young) Muslims.

Muslim Brotherhood (MB)/Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland e. V. (IGD)

Logo der MuslimbruderschaftZoomThe MB logo

The MB, which – by its own account – is present to varying degrees in more than 70 mainly Muslim countries, strives to gradually transform all Arab states into Islamist states with a state order in line with the Koran and the Sunna. This is also true for countries in which Sunni Muslims live. The MB relies on a strategy which consists of efforts to influence religion, politics and society.

After the MB’s rise following the ‘Arab Spring’ and the election of an MB-dominated government in Egypt, the country’s military toppled the MB president, Mohammed Morsi, on 3 July 2013 after countrywide demonstrations. Almost the entire MB leadership was subsequently arrested. On 23 September 2013 the MB was once more banned in Egypt and three months later, on 25 December 2013, the Egyptian government listed it as a terrorist organisation. President Morsi and other MB leaders have been sentenced to death.

Logo „Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland e. V.“ (IGD)ZoomThe IGD logo

The MB has more than 1,040 adherents in Germany. With several hundred members, the Islamische Gemeinschaft in Deutschland e.V. (IGD – Islamic Community in Germany, reg’d assoc.) is the central and most important organisation of MB followers in Germany. In addition to its headquarters in Cologne, the IGD has – by its own account – ‘Islamic Centres’ in Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Frankfurt on the Main, Marburg, Brunswick and Münster. The IGD relies on a strategy – based on the MB ideology – which consists of efforts to influence politics and society to obtain the freedom necessary for their adherents to live their lives in accordance with the Koran and the Sunna.

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Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Anti-terrorist Hotline: +49(0)221/ 792-3366

Publications

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2017 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2018
Further information Download
How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

How can I identify extremists and members of foreign secret services within my environment? - Important information for refugees in Germany

DOI: March 2018
Further information Download
2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

2016 Annual Report on the Protection of the Constitution (Facts and Trends)

DOI: July 2017
Further information Download
Our topics – Facts to know

Our topics – Facts to know

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

Industry 4.0 – Challenges of a new technology

DOI: January 2017
Further information Download
Social media – Risks posed by social networks

Social media – Risks posed by social networks

DOI: March 2016
Further information Download