Less than six-months after a shocking series of sex attacks took place on New Year’s Eve in the region around Cologne, Germany, there is evidence of a dramatic shift in the attitude of the German people to the 1.1 million Muslim refugees who have flooded their country in the past year.

Now, a backlash is taking hold, with a high court allowing a city in western Germany to prosecute a Muslim vigilante group that accosted people on the street, in nightclubs, and casinos to promote the “virtues” of Sharia law.

The group of young men in orange safety vests with the words “SHARIA POLICE” on the back were arrested in Wuppertal, about 40 miles from Cologne, in September 2014 and charged with violating a law that forbids civilians from wearing uniforms bearing political messages.

Initially, the district court dismissed the charges, but that decision was overturned and eight of the nine men accused will face trial.

Hundreds of sexual assaults, including rapes, were reported in Cologne after groups of Muslim men roamed the city surrounding women, separating them from groups and male companions and assaulting them in public.

More than 1,000 women were victimized and police were later found to have been ordered to deliberately minimize both the number and severity of the crimes, which also took place in Düsseldorf, Stuttgart, Hamburg and Frankfurt.

One of the leaders of the “Sharia Police,” Sven Lau, is a German convert to Islam and was arrested in December for sending money and recruiting fighters for a Syrian group tied to ISIS.

The furor surrounding the New Year’s Eve sex attacks and the “Sharia Police” vigilantes has helped fuel the rise of the Alternative for Germany party which, although branded as xenophobic by political rivals, took between 10 and 14 percent of the vote in regional elections recently on the platform of banning face veils and the call to prayer from minarets.

Source: Chicago Tribune


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