The co-chair of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) faction in the German Bundestag Beatrix von Storch has charged the incoming head of the German Federal Secret Service Thomas Haldenwang with ignoring radical Islamism and Anti-Semitism and attacking the AfD for criticizing them instead.
Haldenwang replaced the former head of the German Secret Service Georg Maassen, who had refused to put the AfD under surveillance and criticized Angela Merkel for claiming there were Nazi “manhunts” in the town of Chemnitz in August, for which no evidence exists.
After Maassen was forced out in November, his successor Thomas Haldenwang recently took the unusual step of announcing the German Secret Service would “examine” whether to put the largest German opposition party under surveillance for alleged unconstitutional activities.
Speaking on Russia Today, AfD spokesman on the Foreign Policy Commitee Petr Bystron said, “we would support the work of the Secret Service if it were to do its job in secret, as its name says. But what we are seeing is the total opposite: They are announcing that they are thinking of putting us under surveillance. Dr. Maassen had to go because he refused to do this, and said there were no reasons to put the AfD under surveillance.”
The German Secret Service (Verfassungsschutz) has so far refused to release its report justifying its announcement, which has instead been leaked to several left-wing media outlets such as the Süddeutsche Zeitung and the Tagesspiegel.
Referring to the reporting in the Tagesspiegel, AfD Bundestag faction co-chair Beatrix von Storch charged Secret Service head Haldenwang with protecting radical Islamists and Anti-Semites while attacking the AfD for political reasons.
The reason given for charging Von Storch with anti-democratic behavior was a quote in which she said “Hate is preached in mosques against our system of government, against Jews and Christians. Mosques need to be observed by the Secret Service”, according to the Tagesspiegel. Von Storch was referring to an exposé on Muslim hate preachers published by pubweb journalist Constantin Schreiber in the book “Inside Islam”, she says.
“A journalist from the not very AfD-friendly pubweb WDR wrote that preaching hate against Jews and Christians is very common in mosques. He quotes Secret Service experts who say that is the case in almost all mosques, and that the Secret Service therefore has to concentrate only on the most radical mosques. This comes at a time when Jews in Germany are suffering more and more attacks by Muslims. Because of Muslim anti-semitism, Jews in Germany are scared to wear their yarmulkes in public. Faced with these threats, I was appealing to the Secret Service to do something about anti-democratic sermons and calls to hate against Christians and Jews in mosques. And what does the new head of the Secret Service Haldenwang do? He terms my calls for him to do his job unconstitutional and anti-democratic, and threatens to put me under surveillance. If it weren’t so tragic, it would almost be funny.”
Beatrix von Storch is the co-founder of the Friends of Judea and Samaria in the EU Parliament. She and Petr Bystron spoke at the founding of the “Jews in the AfD” caucus in October. Both have repeatedly criticized the German government for funding Hamas-related, anti-Israel groups. Now it seems the German government is coming after them in return.
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