A group of self-appointed “Sharia police” has been authorized by court in Germany to continue enforcing Islamic law in the city of Wuppertal.
According to Gatestone Institute, the seven Islamists who form the vigilante force have established a “Sharia-controlled zone.”
They have urged Muslims and non-Muslims to attend mosques and to refrain from alcohol, drugs, music, gambling, pornography and prostitution.
The formation of the group sparked public outrage in 2014 and they were charged under a law that prohibits the wearing of uniforms at public rallies.
The law was originally designed to ban neo-Nazi groups from the public, Gatestone Institute reported.
However, the court ruled the group is not breaking German law but is exercising its right to free speech.
Critics say the ruling effectively legitimizes Sharia law in Germany.
Wuppertal Mayor Peter Jung said he hoped the courts would take a hard line stance against the group.
“The intention of these people is to provoke and intimidate and force their ideology upon others. We will not allow this,” Jung said.
Wuppertal Police Chief Birgitta Radermacher, like many of critics of the ruling, said the law threatens German law. She added that only police appointed and employed by the state have the authority to enforce the law.
“The monopoly of power lies exclusively with the State. Behavior that intimidates, threatens or provokes will not be tolerated,” she said. These ‘Sharia Police’ are not legitimate. Call 110 [police] when you meet these people.”