Global Independent Analytics
Lionel Baland
Lionel Baland

Location: Belgium

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL STÜRZENBERGER, leader of DIE FREIHEIT party: THERE WILL BE A CIVIL WAR IN EUROPE

The terrible story of how the government tries to stop people from practicing their freedom of speech rights

Everybody knows that Germany is a democracy and a place where there is freedom of speech. Michael Stürzenberger lives in Munich and is using his political rights to push for a referendum against the formation of a big Islamic center, financed by Qatar, in his city. The authorities should have allowed him to collect the signatures needed to do that, but in fact, they harass him and try to block him. GIAnalytics met with Michael Stürzenberger to discuss.

Michael Stürzenberger, can you kindly present yourself?

I was born in 1964 in Bad Kissingen, a spa town in the North of Bavaria. Between 1984 and 1988, I studied politology and history at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. I then started working as a journalist.

Between 2003 and 2004, I was the press attaché of the conservative political party CSU (Christian Social Union) of Munich and of Monika Hohlmeier, the daughter of the famous former CSU-chairman, German minister and long-time minister-president of the state of Bavaria, Franz Josef Strauß (1915-1988). In 2011, I left the CSU because it was not possible inside this party to develop criticism of the Islamisation of the country and I moved the Die Freiheit (The Freedom) party. In December 2013, I became the national president of this patriotic political party.

I write articles against Islamisation and speak in differents meetings in Germany, for example, organized by PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West) in Dresden and in other cities.

When did you begin to have problems with the political system?

 Between October 2011 and September 2014, I organized the collection of signatures to get a referendum in Munich, the Capital city of Bavaria, about a planned giant Islamist center. The social-democrat (SPD) mayor of Munich of this time, Christian Ude, started to make trouble for people who handed out flyers against the Qatari Islamic center and asked the people to avoid giving their signatures. The Green Party, the CSU and the liberal-centrist FDP started campaigning in the same direction, some even saying that Michael Stürzenberger and his political friends are enemies of democracy. Some pubs in the city announced my entrance was forbidden: I am not allowed to go to seven of the main pubs of Munich. The SPD organized demonstrations against our collecting of signatures.

The court system and police harassed us when we collected the signatures. One of us gave a Muslim who caused provocations with his dog, a one-finger salute, and for this, he got a 2,400 euro fine. Our speech time in the public was limited to 10 minutes and after some minutes, we would need to restart. By overextending this ten minutes limitation, we would be sentenced to a 500 euro fine. We were not allowed to take pictures of the counterdemonstrators. The mailbox and the door of my apartment were vandalized. I got threatening e-mails. Five banks closed accounts used to collect money for our actions and also my own bank account I had for twenty years was closed.

We needed 33,000 signatures for our petition and got 67,000. We dropped it off by the city of Munich during the time of the visit of the Emir of Qatar. The city authorities said that the text presented to the people to get their signatures on had different mistakes. The court had to decide: it swept away seven of the points made and retained one - the text where it was written that Imam Benjamin Idriz who wants to build this Islamic center should be under the watch of the Bavarian Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the security agency monitoring radical people. Actually, although he was on the list in 2007, he was not anymore on it in 2012, but the Bavarian Minister of the Interior said he still was. For this reason, the petition was rejected by the justice system. In 2016, there will be an appeal procedure against this decision at the High Administrative Court of Bavaria and maybe after that at the Federal Constitutional Court, and maybe if needed, 33,000 new signatures will be collected.

Did you have professional problems or any problems in your neighborhood or in the street?

 I didn’t have problems in my job because in the television company I worked in, my boss Ralph Burkei was killed in the jihadist 2008 Mumbai attacks. I don’t have problems with my neighbors and I speak to them about these issues.

I got some problems in the street when collecting the signatures. I was beaten up by a man who broke my glasses. Another time, a radical Muslim threatened me and said he will cut off my head. The police said that this man was not dangerous. After this, he went to Syria and killed people. When he came back to Germany, he was arrested for this reason and sat for eleven years in prison.

I also had some problems with my Facebook account.

How do you see the future?

The Christian refugees from Iraq and Syria who are living in Germany tell us: We fled out our country and now we start to see the same problems in Germany.

I think that the Western attacks against Muammar Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad were a mistake: now the situation is worse. The Clash of Civilizations is coming and there will be a civil war in Western Europe and the people will find a refuge in Eastern Europe. We want to avoid this situation but the politicians of the system accuse us of propagating lies. The people have to awaken to avoid this cataclysm.

 

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