by WorldTribune Staff, July 10, 2017
Police in Berlin are investigating a series of assaults tied to a large mob of Islamists who are openly enforcing Sharia law in Germany’s capital.
Witnesses say Salafists from Chechnya, a predominantly Sunni Muslim region in Russia, are circulating a chilling video on social media and other threats of violence to discourage Chechen migrants from integrating into German society and are also promoting the establishment of a parallel Islamic legal system in Germany which authorities appear unable to stop, Gatestone Institute reported on July 8.
According to Tagesspiegel, some members of the gang, which is said to have about 100 members, have combat experience from the Chechen wars with Russia. The gang members, who also come from Dagestan and Ingushetia, have attacked Muslims as well as non-Muslims, including Christian asylum seekers at migrant shelters in Berlin, police say.
A social worker interviewed by Meduza, a Russian-language independent media organization in Latvia, said that the main obstacle to Chechen integration is their ultra-conservative moral code, the adat. Meduza reported in May that Chechen Salafists released a video warning other Chechens in Germany that those who fail to comply with Islamic law and adat will be killed.
The video, which circulated through WhatsApp, an online messaging service, showed a hooded man aiming a pistol at the camera. Speaking in Chechen, he declared:
“Muslim brothers and sisters. Here, in Europe, certain Chechen women and men who look like women do unspeakable things. You know it; I know it; everybody knows it. This is why we hereby declare: For now, there are about 80 of us. More people are willing to join. Those who have lost their national identity, who flirt with men of other ethnic groups and marry them, Chechen women who have chosen the wrong path and those creatures who call themselves Chechen men – given half a chance, we will set all of them straight. Having sworn on the Koran, we go out onto the streets. This is our declaration of intent; do not say that you were not warned; do not say that you did not know. May Allah grant us peace and set our feet on the path towards justice.”
Around 60,000 Chechens live in Germany, according to official statistics, although the actual number is believed to be much higher. Nearly 40,000 Chechens have applied for asylum in Germany during just the past five years; many have crossed the border illegally from Poland. The Chechen community in Germany is primarily based in Brandenburg and Berlin.
“They have come to Germany because they wanted to live in Germany, but they keep trying to turn it into Chechnya with its medieval ways,” Meduza reported.
“This inability and reluctance to integrate is extremely frustrating and typical of all migrants, not just Chechens. The only difference is that most other migrants come from the 20th century, not the times of feudalism.”
An internal paper produced by the Federal Audit Office (Bundesrechnungshofes) revealed that “the majority of the unauthorized persons in Germany are Russian citizens of Chechen ethnicity, some of whom have been linked to the Islamic terrorist environment.
All Berliners of Chechen origin who were interviewed by Meduza said they were aware of the gang’s existence.
The video surfaced after nude images of a 20-year-old Chechen woman who lives in Berlin were sent en masse from her stolen cellphone to every person on her contact list. Within an hour, the woman’s uncle demanded to speak with her parents. According to Meduza, they agreed to “resolve the issue” within the family by sending the woman back to Chechnya, where she would be killed to restore the family’s honor. German police intervened just hours before the woman was to board a plane bound for Russia.
After the woman was placed in protective police custody, her circumstance went from being a family issue to a communal one. According to Meduza, it is now the duty of any Chechen man, regardless of his ties to her or her family, to find and punish her. “It is none of their business, but it is an unwritten code of conduct,” said the woman, who has since cut her hair and now wears colored contact lenses in an effort to hide her identity. She said that she intends to change her name and undergo plastic surgery. “If you don’t change your name and your face, they will hunt you down and kill you,” she said. Although the woman graduated from a German high school, she hardly ever leaves her apartment because it is too dangerous. “I don’t want to be Chechen anymore,” she said.
According to Meduza, at least half of the population of single Chechen girls in Germany have enough compromising information on their cellphones to be considered guilty of violating adat:
“Associating with men of other nationalities, smoking, drinking alcohol, visiting hookah lounges, discotheques or even public swimming pools can cause communal wrath. A single photograph in a public WhatsApp chat can outcast an entire family and the rest of the community would be obliged to cease all communication with them. With everyone under suspicion and everyone responsible for one another, Chechen girls say they are sometimes approached by strangers in the street who chastise them for their appearance, including for wearing bright lipstick. The theft of a cellphone and the subsequent posting of compromising material is a hard blow; the dishonored person has no one to turn to and the one who posted the victim’s photos does not risk anything.”
Chechens interviewed by Meduza said that expectations for behavior are more rigid and strict in among Chechen emigrants in Germany than in Chechnya itself. The situation has been described as “a competition in righteousness” between Chechens living abroad and those in Chechnya who are loyal to Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov: each party is seeking to prove that they are the better Chechens, and threats of violence against “errant” women are viewed as “acts of patriotism.”
In one instance, a young Chechen woman was recorded on video while walking down a street in Berlin and conversing with a non-Chechen man. That same evening, a few dozen unknown Chechen men drove to her house in northern Berlin. The man she had been seen with was brutally beaten; almost all of his teeth were knocked out. The young woman managed to hide.
On July 4, the Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel reported that several other women and men have been assaulted by the Sharia gang in recent weeks, and that the Berlin Criminal Police Office has now launched an investigation. A police spokesperson said that the investigation is being hampered by the fact that so far no victim has publicly dared to bring formal accusations against the gang. The victims are all, apparently, afraid of retribution.