Indignation in Germany after Taliban representative speaks at Cologne Mosque

Ditib’s management clarified that it was unaware of the Taliban official’s scheduled address

Abdul Bari Omar. — Tolo News

Germany has strongly denounced the appearance of Abdul Bari Omar, a Taliban official affiliated with the health authority in Afghanistan, at a mosque in Cologne. 

The incident occurred during a conference organized by an Afghan association in the city. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser stated that “the appearance of a representative of the Taliban in Cologne is completely unacceptable and must be strongly condemned.” 

She stressed the need for Ditib, the Turkish-Islamic association managing the mosque, to clarify the use of the venue for such an event.

Ditib’s management said it had no prior knowledge of the Taliban official’s planned appearance.

“Contrary to the original contract, it was transformed into a political event and a speaker who was not known to us had been invited,” it said.

Ditib rejected “any proximity — even spiritual — to the Taliban”.

The German foreign ministry revealed that the Taliban official did not possess a visa to enter Germany, indicating that he utilized a Schengen visa issued by a neighboring country. 

Despite the lack of prior clearance, Abdul Bari Omar managed to attend the event, reportedly arriving from the Netherlands after participating in a World Health Organization conference in early November.

Since the Taliban’s resurgence in August 2021, Western nations have frozen significant amounts of aid and assets, affecting Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economy. 

Ditib, recognized as one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany, now faces scrutiny and demands for clarity regarding the circumstances surrounding the controversial appearance of the Taliban official at the Cologne mosque.

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