Berlin seeks to deport outspoken Turkish imam

23rd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 June 2005, BERLIN - Authorities in Berlin on Thursday launched deportation proceedings for a second time against an Islamic cleric who made headlines nationwide for saying Germans "stink".

23 June 2005

BERLIN - Authorities in Berlin on Thursday launched deportation proceedings for a second time against an Islamic cleric who made headlines nationwide for saying Germans "stink".

The new proceedings come after the German high court overruled a Berlin court's deportation order issued last March. The Federal Constitutional Court ruled that the imam's constitutional rights had not been adequately protected during the proceedings.

"We're starting from scratch to present a new case with much stronger evidence," said Bjoern Schaefer, a spokesman for the Berlin Administrative Court.

The 59-year-old cleric, a Turkish citizen who has lived in Germany for some 30 years, spawned controversy with remarks during prayers at Berlin's Mevlana mosque in which he admonished his listeners to resist temptations of the flesh.

"You don't want to become like the Germans who revel in eating pork and drinking beer, both iniquitous to good Muslims, and whose women don't even shave under their arms.

"You don't want to be like them and stink both physically in the eyes of man and morally in the eyes of God," he was quoted in news reports as having said.

The deportation order followed a criminal investigation on charges of public incitement.

The cleric initially denied having made the comments. When confronted with tape recordings of his remarks, he later said the remarks had been taken out of context and apologised for any misunderstanding.

DPA

Subject: German news

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