Muslim–far right clashes leave 29 police hurt
Published on Monday 7 May 2012 00:00
twenty-nine German police officers were left injured after clashes erupted between an ultra-conservative Muslim group and a small far-right march in Bonn this weekend.
More than 100 Muslim protesters were briefly arrested. They call themselves Salafists, after the strict interpretation of the faith they follow.
The trouble started late on Saturday, when hundreds of Salafists protested against the rally of about 30 supporters of the local far-right party Pro NRW, which has angered Muslims by showing cartoons depicting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Strict Muslims oppose any depiction of their prophet.
About 110 Salafist protesters were arrested after they started attacking security forces with stones and bottles, police said. Two of the injured police officers were in hospital with serious wounds after being stabbed.
Most of the protesters who were arrested were released by yesterday. A 25-year-old German protester of Turkish origin, who is suspected of the stabbings, remained in custody.
“This was an explosion of violence as we haven’t witnessed in a long time,” Bonn police chief Ursula Brohl-Sowa said.
Similar clashes erupted last weekend, leading to the temporary arrest of 81 Muslim protesters. The marginal anti- immigration party has multiplied its public appearances in North-Rhine Westphalia state before state elections there next week. Germany’s security agencies are closely monitoring the Salafists’ actions.
“Salafism is currently the most dynamic Islamist movement as well in Germany as internationally. Its fanatic followers represent a particular danger for Germany’s security,” interior minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told a Sunday paper.