Germany: Who represents German Muslims?

One of Germany's main Muslim groups criticised Monday a government minister, Wolfgang Schaeuble, who will be hosting this week a round of talks on aid to the Islamic community.

Four principal mosque federations recently formed a coordination panel to speak on behalf of Islam, but have been dismayed at Berlin's insistence it will give an equal ear to non-religious people of Muslim heritage.

Aiman Mazyek, general secretary of one of the federations, the German Council of Muslims, accused Schaeuble of belittling the coordination council.

Speaking to the newspaper Westdeutsche Zeitung, he called on Germany to grant Islam similar legal recognition to that which it gives to Judaism and the main Christian churches.

Schaeuble is to host a second round of the government-run Conference on Islam this Wednesday in Berlin. The federal government has invited five mosque officials and 10 secular figures to speak for the Muslim community.

Stefan Kaller, a spokesman for Schaeuble, rejected the criticism from Mazyek.

He said the minister had said the coordination council did not have a monopoly to speak on behalf of Muslims.

Only 10 per cent of Muslims in Germany were members of Muslim organizations and there was a "patchwork" of views in the Muslim community, the ministerial spokesman said. dpa jbp sc

Source: Jurnalo (English)

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