Which really is a ‘man bites dog’ story, since the German government has been insisting that immigration even of Muslims is a good idea.
They have also cracked down on ‘far-right’ groups, including racists and those who speak out about their new neighbors.
It was therefore somewhat surprising when nearly 200 police raids smashed an Islamist sect over the weekend, on the charge of recruiting German nationals for service in the Islamic State (ISIS).
The group, which had been under surveillance for a year, had recruited about 140 people to join militants in Syria and Iraq, the German interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told a news conference later in the day. In all, about 500 people in Germany are believed to have some connection to the organization.
Its members have been a familiar sight, handing out German-language copies of the Koran on the streets and in shopping centers across the country since 2011. The group has also posted propaganda videos on the Internet promoting violence, officials said.
The way the UK, Germany, France and other European countries balance the rights of individuals and society will be important. In the U.S. we have done a decent job of balancing the rights of individuals and the need to prevent violence.
On the one hand, passing out the Koran can’t be illegal under U.S. law, and shouldn’t be. On the other hand, we do arrest people for recruiting for ISIS and for certain incitements to violence.
We see already in the ‘hate speech’ debate that many Americans don’t really understand what free speech is, and where society should draw the line. Tough times.