Berlin bans Islamic conference which calls for resistance in Iraq

An Islamic conference organised by a group calling for resistance to the US-led occupation of Iraq was banned from taking place in Berlin by the regional authorities.

The city's regional minister of the interior Ehrhart Koerting said the aims of the conference stated by the organisers overstepped the line of what was permissible in Germany.

The website of the "first Arab Islamic Congress in Europe", planned to take place on October 1-3, carries the title "No to US occupation of Iraq, no to Zionist occupation of Palestine".

Under the sub-heading "Stand up and perform resistance," the organisers call for the "liberation of all the occupied territories and countries in struggle against the American-Zionist hegemony and occupation".

A Lebanese citizen who is one of the organisers was deported from Germany on Saturday following an investigation into his membership of 'questionable organisations'.

And on Friday the government announced it would not provide visas for anyone who gave attending the conference as the purpose of their visit to Germany.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish organization known primarily for its work in tracking down Nazi war criminals, says the real purpose of the Congress is to recruit suicide bombers and raise funds.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany and the Islamic Council of Germany have distanced themselves from the event, saying they had not been invited to attend and did not know the organisers.