A group of Islamists will face retrial for setting up a 'Sharia Police' unit after the German Federal Court overturned their 2016 acquittal. In 2014, a gang of Muslim men began patrolling the streets of Wuppertal city, telling residents to follow the Islamic Sharia code and carrying notices declaring the area as “Sharia Controlled Zone.”
Seven members of this self-proclaimed “Sharia Police” were charged under the German law prohibiting the wearing of uniforms to show political beliefs, a law originally aimed against neo-Nazi outfits. The Wuppertal regional court acquitted the Islamist gang, claiming that the self-made uniforms were not “militant” or “intimidating.”
The news of the Sharia patrol and the gang’s subsequent acquittal caused considerable public outrage in Germany. The Federal Court has now overturned that acquittal and ordered a retrial.
German broadcaster Deusche Welle reported the court’s ruling:
Germany's Federal Court of Justice ruled Thursday that a regional court had erred when deciding in November 2016 to acquit the Muslim vigilantes, because the chamber had not examined the impact of the vigilantes' actions on the public.
The case revision had been sought by public prosecutors.
The seven men, initially put on trial in Wuppertal for falsely wearing uniforms, had patrolled the western German city of Wuppertal at night in September 2014, wearing orange warning vests bearing the words "Sharia Police."
The Wuppertal regional court subsequently ruled that the vigilantes had not broken German law simply by approaching people while wearing the emblazoned vests.
The Islamist gang’s 2016 acquittal highlights the limitations of law enforcement when it comes to combatting Islamists working to undermine Western democracies.
Out of 5,000 Islamist terrorists who left Europe to join the ranks of the Islamic State, an estimated 1,500 are now back home, according to recent intelligence estimates. Only a small portion of these ISIS-returnees are facing any legal repercussions for their war crimes, which range from beheading people to holding sex slaves.
Most of these terrorists are being ‘reintegrated’ into the European society. Denmark hopes to lure terrorists by its 'Hug-a-Jihadi’ program, giving them free homes and jobs. The UK is offering housing and psychological counseling to ‘traumatized’ ISIS-returnees. Other European countries like France and Germany aren’t ahead on that learning curve either, hoping to appease ever-growing numbers of Islamists living in their countries.
Regardless of the outcome of the German court in the retrial of the ‘Sharia Police’ gang, a mild sentence will not deter other Islamists groups from setting up Sharia-controlled zones in other German cities. Treating Jihadis with kid gloves will only embolden them and pave the way for their next outrage.