A court in Germany has authorized a group of self-appointed Sharia police to continue enforcing Islamic law in the city of Wuppertal. The law they were cleared of violating forbade uniforms that are threatening, such as those of Hitler's brownshirts.
The issue has been brewing ever since 2014, when German politicians reacted strongly to reports of young Salafists conducting nightly "Sharia police" patrols in the city, ordering people to stop various activities, according to the International Business Times.
The men were photographed wearing orange hi-visibility jackets emblazoned with the words "Sharia police" on the back.
They reportedly approached passersby near nightclubs and gambling houses to deter them from un-islamic activities such as drinking alcohol and gambling.
Ministers in Angela Merkel's coalition have denounced the actions and said that Germany would not tolerate such Sharia activity.
Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere earlier said that the civilians could not patrol the streets instead of German police.
"Sharia law is not tolerated on German soil," de Maiziere told the German daily Bild.
"Nobody can take it upon themselves to abuse the good name of the German police," he added.
"Sharia patrols" have been seen in other European cities including London, Copenhagen, and Hamburg.