Concerns over Quran distribution in Germany
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MELISSA EDDY & NICHOLAS KULISH
A drive by a fundamentalist Muslim group to give a copy of the Quran to every German, Swiss and Austrian household has tapped into the widespread anti-Islamic feeling in Germany and created an uproar among politicians and security officials concerned that the group handing out the holy books is using the campaign as a cover to recruit radicals.
There is nothing illegal about distributing religious works in Germany but officials are worried about who is doing the distributing. The Quran campaign is the brainchild of Ibrahim Abou-Nagie, a Palestinian who preaches a fiery conservative brand of Islam known as Salafism.
Abou-Nagie, who has lived in Germany for 30 years, has been on the radar of German security officials since 2005, when he set up a website that has been suspected of spreading extremist propaganda. An attempt to prosecute Abou-Nagie on charges of incitement of religious hatred failed this year.
The campaign to hand out the Qurans drew nationwide attention last week after journalists who had criticised the effort were threatened in an online video.
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