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, Jehovah’s 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 Women’s 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 Jehovah’s Witnesses have practiced their religion in Germany since 1897, 100 years later — in June 1997 — Germany’s Federal Administrative Court “denied Jehovah’s Witnesses the guarantee of the rights of a corporation under public law.” In other words, in the eyes of the German state, they don’t exist as a recognized religion.


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