Mathias Rohe at the committee on internal affairs
In the spring of this year, the Bundestag debated a motion submitted by the CDU/CSU parliamentary group entitled “Finanzierung des Politischen Islamismus in Deutschland offenlegen und unterbinden” (“Disclosing and Stopping the Financing of Political Islamism in Germany”) (20/1012).
On September 10, 2022, the Federal Ministry of the Interior and Community met in a public hearing to further discuss the motion with experts from academia and practice. Prof Dr Mathias Rohe, founding director of the Erlangen Center for Islam and Law in Europe and speaker of the Independent Expert Commission on anti-Muslim sentiment in Germany, was invited as an expert. You can view the full hearing (in German) here.
The statement (in German) written by Professor Rohe discusses the motion of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group. First, the author critically examines the different terminologies currently surrounding the topic of “religiously (also Islamically) based extremism”. He criticizes that terms such as “politischer Islamismus” are often only discussed in terms of opinions and rarely based on facts, which leads to a blurring of the subject matter. Rohe demands a differentiated discussion, achieved by identifying existing problematic situations firstly and then naming actors in connection with critical foreign financing. However, Mathias Rohe agrees with the statement made in the motion that financial contributions from abroad are generally not objectionable, although he explicitly welcomes the demand that Muslim communities should be as independent as possible from foreign donations. Professor Rohe, therefore, proposes that communities should receive financial support for their activities within the framework of state neutrality as soon as the legal and substantive conditions for this have been created.