Berlin bans Islamic conference

20th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

20 September 2004 , BERLIN - - The Berlin senate Monday banned an Islamist conference planned in the German capital early next month. German Interior Minister Otto Schily had been pressing for Berlin authorities to stop the "First Arabic Islamic Congress in Europe" which was scheduled for 1-3 October. Around 800 participants were expected for the conference to discuss among other things "resistance against American Zionist terrorism". The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, an international Jewish human rights group,

20 September 2004

BERLIN - - The Berlin senate Monday banned an Islamist conference planned in the German capital early next month.

German Interior Minister Otto Schily had been pressing for Berlin authorities to stop the "First Arabic Islamic Congress in Europe" which was scheduled for 1-3 October.

Around 800 participants were expected for the conference to discuss among other things "resistance against American Zionist terrorism".

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, an international Jewish human rights group, had called on Germany to ban the meeting. 

German officials said Sunday that one of the main organisers of the three-day controversial Islamist conference in the German capital Berlin has been deported to Lebanon.

The interior department of Berlin state said the Lebanese, named in Lebanon as Fadi Madi, had been flown home on Saturday evening after his residency permit was cancelled.

On his return in Beirut, Madi told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa he was surprised by Germany's charges against him. "They accused me of supporting terrorism ...", he said, adding: "I did not expect such a move from the German government."

Normally resident in Germany and married to a German woman, he had been intercepted as he arrived on a flight after a visit home to Lebanon, where he had been drumming up support for the conference.

Madi, described in Lebanon as spokesman of the "International Movement against American and Zionist Globalisation and Supremacy" accused Israel and Zionist movements of being behind his deportation from Berlin.

"Behind my deportation are Zionist movements based in Berlin and pressures by Tel Aviv," Madi told dpa at his home in Beirut.

Federal prosecutors, who had begun an enquiry against him on suspicion of membership in an illegal group, consented to his expulsion.

Ehrhart Koerting, head of the city-state's interior department, said: "Any alien who does not respect the laws of the land, who agitates against other nations from German soil and who praises terrorist attacks loses his right to stay in Germany."

German Interior Minister Otto Schily and the Berlin authorities were seeking legal means to ban the meeting. On Friday, the federal government said the Foreign Ministry had instructed German embassies worldwide to refuse visas to anyone who says they want to attend.

Germany's national council of Muslims has also dissociated itself from the rally, saying it was set up by splinter groups.

Meanwhile, organisers said up to 800 Islamists may attend but declined to say who would speak at the event.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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