New Book on the History of Germany’s Islamist Scene


In his book “Eine Moschee in Deutschland” (A mosque in Germany), which is based on research conducted for a TV documentary on the rise of political Islam in the West, historian Stefan Meinig offers an analysis of the emergence of political Islam in Germany. Meinig traces the rise of Islamist networks in Germany back to the Nazi period and reconstructs their development through the Cold War until the 9/11 attacks in the US. One of Meinig’s claims is that the Islamist scene in Germany was systematically nurtured by intelligence services, starting with Soviet Muslims who were recruited by the Nazis to fight alongside the Germans against the Russians. According to Meinig’s research, after 1945, German officials encouraged former Soviet Muslims to support German interests and prevented them from collaborating with the Americans; they also helped founding the first Muslim association in Germany in 1953. While Meinig claims that major threads of political Islam in Germany then came together in a mosque in Munich, which also has strong connections to the Muslim Brotherhood, reviewers have criticized that these claims seem a bit far-fetched at times. Nevertheless, the book offers a comprehensive overview of the development of Islamist networks in Germany.

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