Berlin Deports Islamic Conference Organizer | Germany| News and in-depth reporting from Berlin and beyond | DW | 19.09.2004
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Berlin Deports Islamic Conference Organizer

A Lebanese citizen and organizer of an Islamic conference being planned in Berlin for early next month and which German authorities have vowed to stop was deported on Saturday, officials said.


Islamic demonstrations are not uncommon in Germany, home to 3.2 million Muslims

The decision to revoke the visa and send the man home to Lebanon was made in coordination with the federal state prosecutor's office following an investigation into his membership in questionable organizations, a spokesman for the regional minister of interior for the city-state of Berlin, Ehrhart Körting.

"Those foreign nationals who do not recognize the laws of our state and call on attacks and hate against others from our territory have lost all rights to live in Germany," said Körting.

Berlin daily Berliner Morgenpost reported that Fadi Madi, spokesman for the "International Movement against American and Zionist Globalization and Supremacy" was deported to his home country of Lebanon on Saturday evening for his alleged anti-Israel and anti-US stance.

The paper said Madi had been in Beirut last week drumming up support for the conference and was confronted by Berlin authorities when he returned to the German capital. Federal prosecutors had been investigating Madi on suspicion he belonged to a banned organization, the paper said.

"Struggle against American-Zionist hegemony"

Germany is doing its best to put a stop to the October 1-3 conference, which organizers billed as supporting "the struggle against the American-Zionist hegemony and occupation" in the Palestinian territories and Iraq. Their website also calls for resistance to "American and Zionist terrorism."

A spokesman for the conference's organizers refused to comment on the situation.

On Friday the German government announced it would not provide visas for anyone stating that attending the conference was the purpose of their visit to Germany.

German Interior Minister Otto Schily also said Friday he was examining every possibility to prevent the conference taking place, although he added there had been no formal application to hold the event, and no venue has been advertised. Schily said last week that the conference "seems to fall under the heading of justifying terrorist acts" and that we was trying to ban it.

Berlin authorities have said they cannot ban the event unless they have evidence of specific crimes being committed or planned.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish organization, called on Germany to ban the congress, saying it was an effort to recruit terror operatives in Europe.

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