View Full Version : Muslim voices in Germany get united

04-11-2007, 09:42 PM
As fear grows over Islamist radicalism in Europe, four leading Muslim organisations in Germany, the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (Ditib), Central Council of Muslims, the Islamic Council and the Association of Islamic Cultural Centres, announced uniting under an umbrella group.

"We want to put ourselves to the test on whether we can take decisions together," said Rafet Ozturk of the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (Ditib), adding that the new groups, which seek representing the 3.2 million Muslims living in Germany, specially in dealing with the government as one voice, would remain independent.

The "Muslim Coordination Council” (KRM) will act as a central contact center for political dialogue, aimed to foster commonalities between the four organisations.

The ethnic diversity of Muslim organisations in Germany has been a point of concern for the government for years.

"We represent conservative and liberal Muslims -- we are like a colorful bouquet of flowers and do not represent just one point of view," Reuters quoted General Secretary of the Central Council for Muslims in Germany (ZMD) Aiman Mazyek, as saying.

The government has decided earlier to call for a two-year dialogue between political leaders and Muslim community representatives, after Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats complained about internal divisions among the Muslim community.

The new coalition will be aimed at influencing political decisions, such as about Islam religion classes in school.

About 2.4 million of Germany’s Muslims are of Turkish origin- They’re descendents of "guest workers" who came to Germany in the 1960s and 1970s.

200,000 came from North Africa, 100,000 are Iranians and 100,000 came former Yugoslavia.

-- AJP and agencies

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