The woman, who preferred to remain anonymous, told the paper that she clearly saw the words “Sharia Police” on the vehicle. The original sharia police were formed in 2014 by radical preacher and Islamic convert Sven Lau. Lau formed the group in order to tackle what he deemed unIslamic or “haram” behaviour in Wuppertal. The group wore high-visibility jackets with the words “Sharia Police” on the back.
The patrols harassed locals in the area who were drinking, gambling, or engaging in any other activity considered socially acceptable in the West which would otherwise be considered haram in Muslim countries. The group also put up stickers – much like their British “Sharia Patrol” counterparts – indicating areas that were “sharia controlled zones” and subject to the Islamic holy law, rather than German secular laws. Alcohol, gambling, music, pornography, prostitution, and drugs were all said to be banned in the area by the group.
Sven Lau himself was revealed to have ties to radical Islamic groups earlier this year after he was arrested on suspicion of aiding and recruiting for Islamic State. German prosecutors alleged that Lau had bought night vision goggles and other equipment in order to aid the group, and had made several trips to the Middle East where authorities say he made contact with Islamic State.