An assault on Sunday morning against a mosque of the DITIB association “Turkish Islamic Union for the Institution of Religion” in Bullay a town in the State of Rhineland-Palatinate has shocked the Muslim community. The perpetrators had greased the slogan: “the NSU will live forever and you will be the next” on the walls of the mosque. Bekir Alboga, General Secretary of DITIB condemned the attacks as further evidence for violence against foreigners.
The coordination council of Muslims published further assaults targeting mosques in the month of May. Mosques in the cities of Mainz, Lengerich and Düren were attacked and their walls had been greased with anti-Muslim slogans. The police is still investigating the cases. The coordination council expects a correlation between the assaults and the NSU trial. Aiman Mazyek, speaker of the coordination council condemned the assaults and warned State authorities and media not to underestimate the threat of anti-Muslim hatred in Germany.
In light of recent findings related to right-wing terrorism in Germany, many German Muslims are concerned about potential attacks and Muslim organisations have called for a firm fight against right-wing terrorism, racism, and Islamophobia. The chair of the Islam Council, Ali Kizilkaya, for instance, criticised that German security authorities have focused too much on Islamism and Islamic fundamentalism, while developments in the right-wing milieu have been largely ignored. He called on German authorities to ensure that people can feel safe again. Similarly, Bekir Alboga, spokesperson for the Coordindation Council of Muslims, the umbrella organisation established by four major Muslim organisations in Germany in 2007, summarised the current fear amongst Muslims and the call for action in an open letter to the government (Frankfurter Rundschau). Alboga criticised that the authorities’ focus on an “imaginary threat” posed by Islamism allowed right-wing extremism in Germany to flourish almost unrestrictedly. He then stressed the urgent need for action against right-wing extremism and to protect Muslims in Germany. The Coordination Council also called for a greater appreciation of Germany’s diversity and a culture of acceptance and tolerance.
Prior to the publication of Alboga’s open letter, Foreign Minister Westerwelle expressed his shock about the recent findings. He emphasized that there was no place in Germany for xenophobia, racism, and extremism. Furthermore, as Focus online reports, he promised a thorough investigation into the actions and workings of the Neo-Nazi network.
Meanwhile, Aiman Mazyek, Chair of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, welcomed the intention to hold a memorial service for those killed by the Neo-Nazi group. At the same time, he called on German authorities to publicly acknowledge Islam as part of German society and suggested to do so during the service by reading from the Koran.
A German book author said he wants to read aloud inside a Cologne mosque from “The Satanic Verses,” the 1988 novel by Salman Rushdie that some Muslims consider blasphemous and led to a 1989 fatwa against Rushdie. Just before political and religious leaders met in Berlin for the second national integration summit, journalist and author G_nter Wallraff, 64, proposed to read from Rushdie’s “The Satanic Verses” at a mosque to be built in Cologne by the western German city’s Turkish community. He said the Ankara-funded Ditib religious foundation had not been insulted and was discussing his proposal. The organization’s secretary for dialog, Bekir Alboga, said Wallraff’s idea had not been rejected outright, and that the Ditib board, would respond to the request.
The leading Muslim organizations in Germany have joined forces to form an umbrella group. Now the German government will have a single negotiating partner on important issues affecting Muslims — that is, if the group succeeds in agreeing on a common position. Henry Kissinger once famously quipped: “Who do I call if I want to call Europe?” The German goverment has long had the same problem when it came to pursuing dialogue with its own Muslim community: Who to call? Now the four leading groups representing Muslims in Germany have banded together so that, at last, the government in Berlin can call that elusive phone number. The founding of the new umbrella group — the Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany (KRM) — was unveiled during a Muslim religious celebration in Cologne on Tuesday. The group will combine the Turkish-Islamic Union for Relgious Affairs (DITIB), the Islamic Council (IR), the Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) and the Association of Islamic Culture Centers (VIKZ). The new council will represent the interests of the estimated 3.2 million Muslims living in Germany to the government. Bekir Alboga, spokesman for the DITIB, made the announcement at the Cologne Arena in the presence of thousands of Muslims who had gathered to celebrate the birth of the prophet Muhammad.