When a representative of the Muslim community is called upon in Germany, the decision often falls on the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany. But, who does he actually represent?
Central Council of Muslims!
The organization’s name sounds serious and significant, perhaps because it resembles Central Council of Jews in Germany. But is the comparison admissible?
The Central Council of Jews in Germany has over 100,000 members. About 200,000 Jews live in Germany. The Central Council of Jews thus represents over 50% of all Jews in Germany. The Central Council of Muslims has not more than 20,000 members, although more than four and a half million Muslims live in Germany. The Central Council of Muslims in Germany represents actually less than 0.5% of all Muslims in Germany.
These numbers illustrate the fact that the organization, Central Council of Muslims, is nothing more than a brilliant marketing trick. Thus, this tiny and for the majority of Muslims completely insignificant association insinuates a competence, which is supposedly comparable with the Central Council of Jews. This is not the case.
The largest Muslim organisation in Germany is the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion. (DİTİB). Among the goals of the DİTİB rank the religious support and instruction of Turkish Muslims living in Germany. DİTİB builds and maintains mosques and educational facilities, trains imams and organizes cultural events. DİTİB is under the permanent direction, control and supervision of the Turkish State Presidium for Religious Affairs, which is affiliated to the Turkish Prime Minister’s Office. The chairman of DİTİB is also the Turkish embassy counsellor for religious and social affairs. In addition, the imams of DİTİB trained at state theological universities in Turkey are sent to Germany for five years and are de facto civil servants of the Turkish state from which they are also paid.
If there is an organisation that has the competence to speak for Muslims in Germany like the Central of Jews for Jews in Germany, then DİTİB. Many may not like that, but it is so.
DİTİB has definitely had a positive effect. Under the presidency of Çakırs, DİTİB paid special attention to integration and was involved in the demonstration „Together for Peace and Against Terror“ in Cologne on 21 November 2004, in which more than 20,000 people took part. But those times are long gone. Darkness has descended.
The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and the TV program Report München reported in 2015 that radical Islamists were also active in DİTİB-Moscheen. Thus a photo became known, in which a member of the board of DİTİB Dinslaken (Germany) posed with outstretched index finger, a gesture in Salafist circles. The responsible member of the Executive Board resigned immediately. In the same year, the homepage of the DİTİB community in Melsungen near Kassel was used to spew hate against Jews in Turkish. On the website Jews were defamed as „stingy, greedy and mean“ and claimed: „Jews are evil (…) They lie and steal“.
Tobias Huch then filed a complaint for incitement. The proceedings were thrown out of court, however, on the grounds that the statements were quotations from the Quran and therefore represent no ill intent.
The DİTİB denies the genocide of the Armenians. Along with other Turkish associations and organisations DİTİB called for protests in the run-up to the Bundestag vote of 2 June 2016 in order to prevent official recognition of the genocide in the German Bundestag. In April 2018 it was exposed that in various DİTİB mosques in Germany per-schoolers were encouraged to act out war scenes in soldier uniforms and with Turkish flags.
The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg was the first federal state to sign an official state treaty with DİTİB. Green Party leader Cem Özdemir criticized this decision:
„If we open our schools for Muslim religious education via DİTİB, we will allow Erdoğan to spread his ideology in our country. That’s intolerable.“
As much as I can understand Cem Özdemir, it’s undeniable that DİTİB speaks for the largest number of Muslims in Germany. That fact can’t be ignored. It can’t be allowed that the representative of a tiny minority speak for the majority of Muslims just because they’re more agreeable. DİTİB explains on their homepage:
„According to surveys, the DITIB represents more than 70% of Muslims living in Germany.”
The Central Council of Muslims in Germany does not even represent 0.5 percent of all Muslims. So I wonder why the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims is still invited to talk shows? One could just as well invite a German Monarchist to represent Germany.
Unfortunately, it is part of everyday journalistic life in Germany to let people speak for Islam who have no support at all in the community. Another typical example is Khola Maryam Hübsch. She is always invited when a woman with a headscarf is needed to represent Islam. The problem is, she doesn’t speak for Islam. The majority of Muslims don’t even consider Khola Maryam Hübsch to be a Muslim at all. She is a member of the Ahmadiyya community and most Muslims worldwide are of the opinion that Ahmadiyya teachings are heretical.
The Ahmadiyya community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in the 1880s in British India. Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835 to 1908) claimed to be the „innovator of the 14th Islamic century“, the „promised Messiah“, the „Mahdi of the Last Days“. He also claimed that Jesus had survived the crucifixion and then emigrated to India, and that, Ahmad himself operated in the spirit and authority of Jesus.
Also, in the 19th century there was another man active as a self-proclaimed prophet. He lived in the United States. His name was Joseph Smith (1805-1844). He declared that he had the ability to find hidden treasures with the help of a „seer stone“. He claimed that God and Jesus appeared to him in the spring of 1820, and that on September 21, 1823, an angel named Moroni instructed him, by authority of God, to translate several gold plates containing „the fullness of the everlasting gospel“, which became the Book of Mormon. These gold plates were located in a hill called Cumorah near Manchester, in New York state. Smith then founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as the Mormons.
The Mormons see themselves as Christians, just as the Ahmadiyya see themselves as Muslims. But to invite a member of the Ahmadiyya to speak for Islam is as serious as inviting a Mormon to speak for all of Christianity.
It’s simply outrageous to let Khola Maryam Hübsch or Aiman A. Mazyek speak for Islam. Whoever believes that these two personalities speak for Islam also believes that Cherry Coke speaks for cherries.