German state of Rhineland-Palatinate continues its cooperation with anti-Semitic and Islamist Turkish association despite criticism

Erdogan’s trolls are still allowed to pretend to be ” statesmanlike” in the left-wing-liberal-governed Rhineland-Palatinate: Although the Islamic association Ditib, controlled by the Turkish government, invited a known Turkish anti-Semite and homophobe to an event, State Premier Malu Dreyer’s government wants to stick to a target agreement that stipulates Ditib’s influence on Islamic religious education in the state’s schools as well as on the planned teacher training in Islamic theology at the University of Koblenz.

The fact that in future the largest German mosque association, de facto controlled by the Turkish religious authority Diyanet (and thus the fascist Erdogan regime), will thus gain influence in matters of state authority, indoctrinate children in schools and be involved in state teacher training, is a scandal and a persistent nuisance which, despite new provocations, continues to loom large.

Since 2018, the Ditib headquarters has been listed by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution as a suspected case of Ditib imams having close ties to the Turkish secret service and the radical Islamist Muslim Brotherhood. There have been repeated incidents of glorification of war and anti-Semitic and anti-Kurdish incitement in the association’s environment.

At an online event last month, Ahmet Simsirgil, head of the Ditib regional association in Rhineland-Palatinate, finally disqualified himself as a partner of a constitutional state under the rule of law: The dubious scientist is notorious for homophobic and anti-Semitic views as well as conspiracy theories.

But instead of sending a really overdue stop signal here, Dreyer’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) Science Minister Konrad Wolf wants to continue negotiating with Ditib in order to achieve the goal of “joint cooperation in Islamic religious education”.

Wolf, of all people, had initially demanded “consequences”. Apparently Dreyer brought him back into line – or the Ditib association lulled him back into line during a crisis meeting held yesterday in Mainz. Apparently, Rhineland-Palatinate still does not want to learn from the example of the neighbouring state of Hesse, which ended all cooperation with Ditib two years ago and thus sent an important signal against Islamism.

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