After massive criticism about the invitation of a Turkish historian, the Rhineland-Palatinate state chairman of the mosque association Ditib has announced his resignation. As state chairman, he bears full responsibility for inviting “a person like Ahmet Simsirgil, who openly incited hatred in his texts and statements”, Yilmaz Yildiz said on Saturday.
The deputy state chairperson, Cihan Sen, told the German Press Agency on Sunday that the state executive board would now discuss a new line-up of representatives. With its resignation, Ditib Rhineland-Palatinate reaffirmed its commitment to continue the dialogue with the state government aimed at reaching a basic agreement with four Islamic associations.
Because of the then cancelled invitation of Simsirgil, who is accused of anti-Zionist and homophobic statements, the state government made the first intervention since the signing of target agreements on April the 1st 2020 with one of the four Islamic associations and demanded a statement. “Public statements are known from the invited guest that are in clear contrast to the agreement reached in the target agreement,” explained a spokesperson for the responsible Ministry of Culture. After Ditib’s statement, the state government will decide “what consequences it will have on the target agreement process because of this incident”.
The Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the AfD have demanded that the negotiations with Ditib be brought to an end.In autumn, the state government wants to check compliance with the agreed principles and then decide whether to continue the negotiations on a basic agreement, which have been interrupted since 2016. This should contain regulations on Islamic holidays, Islamic religious education and new teaching professorships for Islamic religious education.