Saudi Arabia is known for its notorious religious police, the Mutaween, but now a German newspaper is reporting public enforcers of Islamic law are active in the heart of Europe.
Muslim immigrant women who have adopted a Western lifestyle are particular targets of gangs of Muslim men in certain parts of Germany who have emigrated in the past three years from the Muslim-majority Russian state of Chechnya, including Berlin, reports Der Taggespiegel.
A video of an armed man in a hood began circulating in the Chechen community in March.
“Here, in Europe, certain Chechen women and men who look like women do unspeakable things. You know it; I know it; everybody knows it,” he declared, according to the Latvia-based Russian language news aggregator Meduza.
He said Chechen women “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 Quran, 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.”
Meduza interviewed a woman who was targeted after the Shariah enforcers videoed her walking down the street with a non-Chechen man. When the gang showed up at her door, she hid, but the man was brutally beaten, losing almost all of his teeth.
“Why does my private life concern [them] at all?” the woman asked, according to Meduza. “I don’t know them. I don’t want to. I’m not their sister or daughter. My private life is no one else’s business.”
Meduza said that according to her and other Chechens, “transgressors” of the moral code include Chechen girls who attend German schools, where the curricula include classes on sexual education and the German language courses, and where the Muslim immigrants meet people of other cultures.
An estimated 36,000 Chechens have entered Germany over the past five years.
In East London from 2013 to 2014, a group of young Sunni Muslim men patrolled the streets calling identifying themselves as part of the “Shariah Project.”
Two members were convicted of harassment in November 2013. In one incident, the group shouted “Kill the non-believers” at men drinking beer in the street, before a member attacked them.
Minnesota’s religious police
In April, WND reported a 22-year-old Muslim convert was enforcing Shariah on Somali refugees living in Minneapolis.
Abdullah Rashid, who said he was just trying to be a good Muslim and please Allah, wears a green uniform with a patch marking him as the “religious police.”
He regularly visits Somali households to make sure the women are dressed in compliance with Islamic law, no alcohol is being consumed and nobody is interacting with the opposite sex.
He claims to have 10 other men working under him to patrol the Cedar Riverside community of Minneapolis.
Rashid believes he is performing a service similar to that of the morality police who enforce Shariah in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia and the Islamic State.
Minneapolis has the nation’s largest community of Somali refugees, which have been arriving weekly in the U.S. since the early 1990s.
WND also reported Somalis have taken over politics in the sixth ward in Minneapolis, providing a video that showed their caucus event turning into bloody chaos.
‘Propagation of virtue’
In Saudi Arabia, the government-sponsored Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Elimination of Sin enforces Shariah.
In 2002, Saudi Arabia’s Mutaween caused 15 young girls to die when a fire broke out in their school in Mecca.
The religious police said they blocked firefighters from saving the girls because the youth weren’t properly dressed to be seen in public. With helpless firemen watching, the Mutaween beat back into the inferno girls who were not wearing their headscarves.
While the “Muslim patrols” often are criticized by Muslim communities in the West, Daniel Akbari, a former top Shariah defense lawyer who defected from Iran to the U.S., pointed out to WND in an interview that the Quran provides three basic mechanisms for spreading Islam: Dawa or proselytizing, jihad and the enforcement of Shariah.
The Shariah mission is to be implemented in phases in areas where Muslims already have control and want to maintain their authority.
Shariah can be enforced both privately and collectively, and “private enforcement of Shariah is exactly what Abdullah Rashid is doing,” he said.
“He assumes Muslims have control over the neighborhood he is patrolling.”
He explained that the opposition from other Muslims often is a matter of a disagreement over whether or not Muslims have control over a particular community.