Berlin State Commission “Anti-Muslim Racism” trivialises the Holocaust

Berlin is the first German state to introduce an “Expert Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism”. According to a press release of the federal state, the “independent committee” is to deal intensively with “anti-Muslim racism”. Until spring 2022, the commission is to critically accompany administrative actions and develop concrete recommendations for the further development of prevention work on anti-Muslim racism.

The commission is chaired by Eren Ünsal, head of the anti-discrimination department of the Senate Department for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-discrimination. Other members include two delegates from the Islam Forum, Lydia Nofal and Mohammed Hajjaj, as well as Prof. Zülfukar Çetin from the Protestant University in Berlin. The Senator for Justice, Consumer Protection and Anti-Discrimination, Dirk Behrendt ( Greens), said that anti-Muslim racism is a problem that needs to be looked at more closely.After the “racist attack” in Hanau, the question was raised whether enough was really being done against this form of racism. “That is why we want to put the actions of politics and administration to the test with an expert commission,” said the politician.The lawyer and co-founder of the liberal Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque in Berlin, Seyran Ateş, told the Protestant news agency IDEA when asked that the membership of the commission did not show plurality. In principle, she said, she welcomes expert commissions as long as they produce a result and “make a real contribution to improving a situation for society as a whole”. However, she assumes that in 20 to 30 years the effects of this “identity policy movement” will be judged in the same way as all other so-called “integration policies”, namely as “misguided and subverted”.

She would very much welcome, said the lawyer, if the membership were more pluralistic and the commission had a different name. The term “anti-Muslim racism” suggests that there is such a thing as a race called ” Muslim/Muslima”, but this should be rejected.
Moreover, “anti-Muslim racism” is often compared to anti-Semitism: “Islamophobia and Muslimophobia and the broad dimension of this hostility are not only brought close to the Holocaust, but claimed to be identical.” This form of trivialisation of the Holocaust must be countered with “all forces”.

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