Clan riots in the Ruhr area: NRW interior minister wants to monitor large families more – WELT


aOn the Monday after the riots, burly young men dressed in black stood in small groups at the salt market in downtown Essen. They speak Arabic to each other and don’t like to answer questions.

Alex, who doesn’t have that name but would like to be addressed by that name, wants to talk. He works in the Syrian restaurant “Al-Midan Al-Dimashki”, which was attacked by 200 members of a Lebanese clan the previous Friday evening. Only the massive police presence was able to stop them. “None of this had anything to do with us,” says the man.

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Several people were seriously injured in a mass brawl between two large groups in Castrop-Rauxel on Thursday evening

The recent riots in the Ruhr area occupied the Interior Committee of the North Rhine-Westphalia state parliament on Wednesday. There, Home Secretary Herbert Rule (CDU) reported the riots related to clan crime. Accordingly, the riot occurred on June 15, that is, on a Thursday Castrop Roxelle their beginning. It appears that a minor injury sustained by an eleven-year-old Lebanese led as many as fifty Lebanese and Syrians to assault one another. Two were seriously injured, and a 23-year-old Syrian was out of danger.

Find guns in the car

The police separated the two groups and are now investigating, among other things, on suspicion of attempted murder. Weapons, including a submachine gun, were found in a car in Castrop-Rouxel. The next day, the Syrian restaurant was attacked He eatsFour police officers were injured by pepper spray. Then the Syrians left on Saturday, June 17th Gelsenkirchen He invited members of the Lebanese clan to come to Essen again.

And the police, who, according to Rowell, were working with 700 officers over the weekend, were able to prevent further rioting. Speaking in the panel about the “powder keg mentality”, Raoul described the fight against clans as a “long distance” and said, “The spontaneous outbreak of violence in the street is also part of the clan crime phenomenon.”

In the restaurant “Demashki Square” it was also said that the troubles began in Castrop-Rauxel. “The Lebanese then met in Essen and looked for us as a Syrian restaurant as a destination,” employee Alex says. Among the guests were Germans, Syrians, Turks and even Lebanese. “They all wanted to eat and drink and have a good day.” They were going to avenge Kastrup.

The country adopts a “1000 pin” policy.

The clan problem was already there when the CDU man, Ryul, took over as interior minister in 2017. Rul wants to fight the clans with a “1,000 needle sticks” policy, which includes raids on hookah cafes and increased investigations, but also offers of integration. The past few years have shown that he is far from his goal: in 2017 he came Ur-Erkenschweck, on the northern edge of the Ruhr, to a crossfire. The victim was a close associate of Abu Shaker’s clan Berlin.

Last year, several hundred men attacked each other in Essen-Altendorf with knives and wooden slats. in Duisburg There was a shootout between the clan members on the one hand and the rockers on the other in the year 2022.

Raoul assured the Interior Committee that the state would confront violence and focus more on Syrians in the future: “Cities do not belong to any clans, but to citizens.” However, some extended families seem to see things differently. According to a report in the Bild newspaper, the two sides were said to have held talks at a “peace summit”.

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Public writer Ralph Ghadhban does not believe that such talks will lead to a permanent end to the conflict: “It was not a one-time incident. The events in the Ruhr area show that the competition between the Syrians and the Lebanese has grown.” Ghadhban, born in Lebanon in 1949, moved to Berlin in 1972 There was, among other things, the head of the Counseling Center for Arabs in Diakonisch Werke.After the publication of the book “Arab Clans. The danger of underestimation” was published, he was threatened by members of a Lebanese clan from Essen and obtained police protection at times.

The Syrians are competing with the Lebanese

When many Syrians came to Germany in 2015, some with the help of Lebanese smugglers, Ghadhban says, the Lebanese initially used them as helpers. “Now the Syrians are taking over Lebanese businesses.” This applies to legal activities such as restaurants as well as illegal activities such as drug trafficking.

In 2010 there were just 500 Syrians living in Essen, according to the city, there were already 17,631 at the end of 2022. That’s more than double the 7,300 Lebanese in Essen. Clans like the Lebanese, but in tribes. “Tribes are bigger and worse than clans.”

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News and society

Essen-based Islamic expert Ahmed Amirat also doesn’t think the conflicts will end anytime soon. He believes that the clashes have a political dimension as well. “Besides the Lebanese, there are not only clans, but also many other Lebanese people who have nothing to do with them.” Regardless of origin and religion, many Lebanese have joined forces against the Syrians.

The decades-long occupation of Lebanon by Syrian forces and the position of many Syrians that Lebanon is not a separate state but only a part of the Greater Syria that will be created would fuel the conflict. The Syrians, in turn, hold the Lebanese responsible for the terrorist organization Hezbollah, which supports Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad in the civil war that has been going on since 2011.

Experts are skeptical

Neither expert thinks Rowell’s tactics will work. Amirat says the ghettos must be dismantled: “If a Syrian arrives in Essen today, he ends up in the north of the city in the streets and neighborhoods where he only meets other Syrians.” Essen has done a lot in recent years in order to contact the Lebanese: there has been cooperation with Muslim justices of the peace, and politicians have entered into dialogue with the Family Union, an association in which clan members have also organized themselves.

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Burkhard Behnken

For Ralph the Angry, Reul was not a complete failure: “He at least formally regained control of public space and gave the population a sense of safety.” What is missing is a comprehensive concept and this is primarily the task of the federal government. “If I bring more than a million Syrians into the country, I have to think about how to integrate them.”

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