"Speak after me," the red-bearded German convert and Salafist preacher Pierre Vogel says as he publicly summons the young woman. Cheered on by an enthusiastic crowd in the pedestrian zone of the western city of Offenbach, she does exactly that, and repeats the words of the Islamic profession of faith. That was in 2010. The conversion was filmed and uploaded to YouTube — just one example of the many videos shared online from the heydays of Salafist missionary work in Germany.
Until 2016, the scene had a self-confident and sometimes aggressive public appearance. Bearded men in baggy pants and flowing white robes such as Pierre Vogel regularly distributed free German-language editions of the Koran in market squares and pedestrian zones. As part of their "LIES!" campaign (German for "Read"), key figures of Germany's Salafist scene publicly preached their radical interpretation of Islam as converts were invited to join "Islam seminars" up and down the country. Vogel's people also offered leisure activities such as barbecues and football in an effort to create a parallel Islamic society.