The local press here in Wiesbaden....did up a piece over the newest "ban" which the city put into place. After a couple of complaints.....the city came down on the Islamic guys who were attempting to set up regular distribution (freely, I should note) of the Islamic religious document, the Quran.
The complaints came from the walkplatz area of Wiesbaden.....where people simply noted they felt harassed over the face-to-face episode. City cops are now directed to ensure compliance with no Quran distribution on the city streets.
The issue I see....which will come up eventually in court....there's the Basic Law (German constitution) which notes the freedom of religion. It's not exactly a clear note on where harassment would start or be considered. Just offering a free document off the street? Well....it's hard to say how this fits into some violation.
I should note here, in all the years I've lived in Germany.....other than Scientology offering to sell you some of their reference materials, or a free copy of the Jehovah's Witness monthly magazine...you don't have much of an attempt to press religious causes out toward the public. Priests don't do street shows.....ministers don't offer free Bibles.....and Moonies don't sell you flowers (I remember the 1970s and US airport episodes).
The local press notes that Frankfurt is facing the same issues....with higher values of recruitment going on...for foreign war operations (Syria, etc). Frankfurt also had for a while....the "Lies" campaign which went on. This was a artsy and graphic display of the honorable background of Islam and how western society is lying over their various religious practices. Having watched some of the video clips of the "Lies" episode....I'd generally say that they were well versed on topics to stay on, and topics to avoid at all cost.
On a typical Saturday morning walk through the shopping district area of Wiesbaden....especially in the summer months....there's probably a dozen stands put up for political or forum agendas. There's always a green-theme group....talking up the environment or anti-nukes. There's the Scientology crowd who will occasionally appear and show off their e-meter. There's the pro-animal crowd who want to talk wildlife preservation. Last year, we had the pro-Russia crowd come up and talk anti-Ukraine and anti-Merkel for a while (they rarely had more than ten people stand there and listen to the speeches being given).
My general impression of this free distribution of the Quran thing? Well....you can get a free copy of the Quran from Goggle's E-book service.....if you want it. The big issue I see in this gimmick is that it's the trilogy here that matters (three books).....well over a thousand pages. Just getting one of the three doesn't do much, if you ask me.
A guy might stand there and read over the Quran....noting it's problematic book with long verses at the front and short verses at the end, and these not in clear order (whether intentional or just an accident). Suggesting that the book needs a heavy editing process? Oh, my....don't ever suggest that....people would freak out. The fact that sixty percent of the Quran itself has to deal with non-Islamic people....rather than the sacred people that it's written for? Well, yeah, that's noticeable as well. The violent references in the book? Yeah.....that's another issue by itself.
Germans are particular about things. When they walk down a street....they expect things to be in order, clean, and they generally dislike anyone interfering with their walk. I hate to call it harassment.....but that's the general feeling that a German might get. This is why beggars don't get any recognition on the street, and gypsy-folks are immediately seen as a problem. This free-book crowd? By this defined rule......it's harassment.