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In Germany, a Massive Raid, a Ban on the 'True Religion'

Islamic group accused of radicalizing teens
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 15, 2016 1:03 AM CST
Germany Raids 190 Sites, Bans Islamic Group
German-language copies of the Koran sit in a storage facility near Cologne, western Germany, on Tuesday.   (Wolfram Kastl)

(Newser) – Hundreds of police officers searched about 190 offices, mosques, and apartments of members and supporters of the Islamic group "The True Religion" as the German government announced a ban of the organization Tuesday, the AP reports. Police raided places in 60 cities in western Germany and Berlin seizing documents and files, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said. Nobody was detained. The group—also known as "Read!"—has been distributing German-language copies of the Koran across the country. The interior minister said that more than 140 youths had traveled to Syria and Iraq to join fighters there after having participated in the group's campaigns in Germany.

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"The translations of the Koran are being distributed along with messages of hatred and unconstitutional ideologies," de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin. "Teenagers are being radicalized with conspiracy theories." The minister stressed that the ban does not restrict freedom of religion in Germany or the peaceful practice of Islam in any way, but that the group had glorified terrorism and the fight against the German constitution in videos and meetings. "We don't want terrorism in Germany ... and we don't want to export terrorism," de Maiziere said, adding that the ban was also a measure to help protect peaceful Islam. (Read more Germany stories.)

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