A Clear Pattern
Others presenting testimony included Shimon Samuels, director of international liaison of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Paris, and representatives of various faiths, including Mormons, Muslims, Jehovahs Witnesses and Charismatic Christians.
W. Cole Durham Jr., professor of law at
J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University, told the Commission that certain European governments possess an incredible tendency to over-react toward religions and to seek an excuse to control them.
Some of the most heinous acts in Germany include arson attacks on residences, some of which have resulted in the deaths of children and the elderly, said Laila Al-Marayati, president of the Muslim Womens League. Similarly, arson and vandalism have been reported against mosques, cultural centers and businesses owned by immigrants or ethnic minorities.
A clear pattern, she said, has emerged of ill treatment of foreigners and ethnic minorities.
James A. McCabe, associate general counsel of the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, noted that even though Jehovahs Witnesses have practiced their religion in Germany since 1897, 100 years later in June 1997 Germanys Federal Administrative Court denied Jehovahs Witnesses the guarantee of the rights of a corporation under public law. In other words, in the eyes of the German state, they dont exist as a recognized religion.
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