A German court has ruled that a vigilante patrol of Islamists enforcing Sharia law on the streets of a German city did not break German law, and that its members were simply exercising their right to free speech.

The seven Muslim men often walk the streets of the western German city of Wuppertal wearing orange vests emblazoned with the words “Sharia Police.” They were charged with wearing uniforms of a political nature at public rallies.

This is forbidden in Germany by virtue of a law that was originally designed to prevent neo-Nazi groups from parading in public.

This past Nov. 21, the Wuppertal District Court ruled that the vests were technically not uniforms and did not pose a threat or intimidation. The court ruled that prosecuting the seven Salafi Islamists would infringe on their freedom of expression.

Though it may be appealed, the decision authorizes the “Sharia Police” to continue enforcing Islamic law in German cities, encouraging them in their bid to replace German law with Islamic Sharia.

Salafism is a virulently anti-Western ideology that openly seeks to replace Western democracy with an Islamic government based on Sharia law. It has long been feared that the Salafists have made major encroachments into the German legal system.

German courts increasingly defer to Islamic law because either the plaintiffs or the defendants are Muslim, writes Soeren Kern for the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Specifically, though German law states that “a legal standard of another State shall not be applied where its application results in an outcome that is manifestly incompatible with the essential principles of German law,” German courts often do precisely that. For instance, in July 2012, a court in the city of Hamm ordered an Iranian man who immigrated to Germany to pay his estranged wife €213,000 ($225,000) as part of a divorce settlement, based on their Sharia marriage agreement. Kern cites some ten other similar rulings.

It is also noted that while polygamy is illegal under German law, the phenomenon is commonplace among Muslims in all major German cities. “In Berlin, for example, it is estimated that fully one-third of the Muslim men living in the Neukölln district of the city have two or more wives,” Kern writes.

The country’s largest newspaper, Bild, editorialized after the Wupperal ruling that the country was “capitulating to Islamic law.”

It stated, “Even if we still refuse to believe it, parts of Germany are ruled by Islamic law! Polygamy, child marriages, Sharia judges — for far too long the German rule of law has not been enforced. Many politicians dreamed of multiculturalism… This is a question of law and order. If the rule of law fails to establish its authority and demand respect for itself, then it can immediately declare its bankruptcy.”

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