German police carry out nationwide raids as government bans Islamist group

The DWR group is accused of 'spreading hate and anti-constitutional ideologies'

German police carry out nationwide raids as government bans Islamist group

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere. Image: Markus Schreiber AP/Press Association Images

The German government says it has banned and dissolved an Islamist group accused of 'inciting hate'.

The ban applies in 10 German federal states, while around 190 searches were carried out across the country this morning.

Apartments, mosques and offices were among the premises searched, Reuters reports.

According to TheLocal.de, the so-called Die wahre Religion (DWR) or 'True Religion' group is known for a programme called "Lies!", in which they distribute a 'particularly strict' translation of the Koran in German.

German officials have stressed that the ban is not against Islam or distribution of the Koran, but instead a ban on "misuse of a religion by persons who propagate extremist ideologies and support terrorist organisations while claiming to promote Islam".

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said: "With a Koran translation in their hands, [DWR] spread hate and anti-constitutional ideologies and radicalize young people with their conspiracy theories. After taking part in DWR activities, more than 140 young men so far have travelled to Syria or Iraq to join in the fighting by terrorist groups. 

"Germany is prepared to defend its democracy. Freedom of religion does not allow systematic interference with our fundamental values," he added.

It follows the banning of several other Islamist groups in Germany in recent years.

Meanwhile, reports this morning suggest a Garda operation has been launched at Irish ports over fears Islamic State could access the UK easily through Ireland.

The Herald suggests that operations at Rosslare and Dublin ports have been stepped up in recent weeks.