The German-language Islamic state magazine Rumiyah has called on supporters and Islamic State fighters in Germany and Austria to murder moderate Imams who they consider “apostates.”The magazine was released in several languages earlier this week through the various internet channels Islamic State uses to broadcast propaganda to its sympathisers, MEMRI reports. One of the methods used was a “telegram” app, an encrypted messaging service that ISIS often uses and is generally the first place the group takes credit for terror attacks.
The terror group named several prominent members of the Muslim community in both Germany and Austria as potential targets for assassination in an article entitled “Kill the infidel imams in Germany and Austria.”
Among the targets listed is Aiman Mazyek, Secretary-General of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. Mazyek has made controversial statements in the past, such as calling for German leaders to limit the number of migrants flowing into the country in late 2015.
The Muslim leader has also slammed the anti-mass migration Alternative for Germany (AfD) likening them to Nazis after they revealed a platform of anti-Islamisation last year.
Omar Al-Rawi, a Vienna city councilman for the Socialist Party (SPÖ) and a member of the Council Committee on European and International Affairs was also listed as a target. Al-Rawi is also no stranger to controversy – in 2010 he led an official condemnation of Israel in the Vienna city hall over the Israeli raids on a flotilla heading for Gaza, which Israeli authorities claimed was not the humanitarian mission activists stated it to be.
Al-Rawi also led a protest against Israel in Vienna. Among the demonstrators were members of the Turkish far-right nationalist group the Grey Wolves who have clashed with Kurds in Germany and have been accused of trying to infiltrate German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party through its diversity program.
Killing Imams they don’t agree with is nothing new for the Islamic State. In 2014 ISIS executed 13 clerics in the city of Mosul whom they deemed to be too moderate. Imam Muhammad al Mansuri was one of the victims of the terror group and was the imam in charge of the mosque in which ISIS leader Abu-Bakr Al-Baghdadi gave a rare public appearance to lead prayers.
Islamic State killed a further six imams in early 2015 after they condemned the group’s actions when they burned Jordanian pilot Mu’ath Kasasbeh alive.