Berlin, January 30 (idea) The radical Islamic organization Hamas, winner of the recent Palestinian elections, has a subsidiary in Germany. According to the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution the organization has approximately 300 activists and centers in Berlin, Munich and Aachen.
The federation rejects peace accords with Israel and endorses attacks on Israeli targets in the Holy Land. The Protestant Center for Religious and Ideological Issues in Berlin informs about the federation in the February issue of its magazine.
According to the church institute, the Hamas subsidiary has not been involved in any violence in Germany so far. It raises funds, organizes religious events and participates in demonstrations concerned with the Middle East conflict. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution regards the organization not as dangerous.
Hamas wants to eliminate the state of Israel and is responsible for numerous terrorist attacks on Israeli targets. The organization won 76 of the 132 seats in the Palestinian Parliament, reducing the former majority group Fatah to 43 seats.
The United States and the European Union have threatened to cut off aid to the Palestinians if Hamas does not abandon violence. On her visit to Israel German Chancellor Angela Merkel made it clear that financial aid will only be continued, if Hamas denounces violence and recognizes the state of Israel.
Meanwhile, Hamas leaders have announced changes in internal politics. They would introduce, for instance, the Islamic religious law, the Sharia. An Islamic curriculum will be devised for Palestinian schools and co-education discontinued.
Palestinian Lutheran Bishop Munib Younan has called on Christians not to panic. Christians will continue to work for justice, peace, and reconciliation and remain an integral part of the Palestinian people, he said.
According to Ecumenical News International (ENI) Bishop Younan's comments indicate concern that the Hamas victory could speed up Christian emigration from the Holy Land. Already, the 50,000 Christians make up less than two per cent of the Palestinian population.
Victor Bartaseh, mayor of Bethlehem, paid tribute to the smooth cooperation with Hamas in the town where Jesus was born. The town council consists of five members of Hamas, two representatives of other Muslim organizations and eight Christians.
The Catholic mayor describes Hamas adherents as ³straightforward, honest and hard working². Bartaseh is a member of the Marxist People¹s Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
Evangelical news agency idea. Wolfgang Polzer
Tel: +49-6441-915102, Fax: +49-6441-915118
E-Mail: Wolfgang.Polzer@idea.de - Internet: www.idea.de <http://www.idea.de>
Postal address: idea, PO Box 1820, 35528 Wetzlar, Germany
Home | Articles | Charts | Victory
Email this page