No charges for men who posed as ‘Sharia police’ in Germany
German authorities will not to press charges against nine men who preached radical Islamist views in the street while wearing jackets marked ‘sharia police’, a court ruled on Thursday.
According to the ruling handed down in the western city of Wuppertal, the men’s orange jackets did not constitute a breach of rules on wearing uniforms.
The men, followers of the ultra-conservative Salafist form of Islam, had patrolled the streets of Wuppertal in the summer of 2014, demanding that nightclub revellers stop drinking alcohol and listening to music, and called for an end to gambling.
Sven Lau, a German Salafist convert who acted as the leader of the so-called “sharia patrol”, is the only member of the group who could still potentially face charges — for organising a public meeting without notifying authorities.
The incident sparked controversy in Germany, with Chancellor Angela Merkel responding that no one has a right to do the police’s work for them.