IslamismSeptember 20 2022, 15:24 pm

Berlin Islamophobia Commission with Muslim Brotherhood Ties Demands Scrapping Neutrality Law

On 1 Sep­tem­ber 2022, the Berlin Expert Com­mis­sion on Anti-Mus­lim Hatred issued pol­i­cy rec­om­men­da­tions to curb Islam­o­pho­bia in the Ger­man cap­i­tal. It called on the Berlin Sen­ate to abol­ish a state “neu­tral­i­ty law” ban­ning reli­gious cloth­ing in pub­lic ser­vice. Accord­ing to the doc­u­ment:

[…] the Berlin Neu­tral­i­ty Act makes access to jobs in the pub­lic ser­vice much more dif­fi­cult or some­times impos­si­ble for women who have decid­ed to wear a head­scarf. Against this back­ground, the admin­is­tra­tion’s recruit­ment pol­i­cy must be improved and fur­ther devel­oped. The major­i­ty of the mem­bers of the pan­el of experts also see sys­tem­at­ic and insti­tu­tion­al­ized dis­crim­i­na­tion against women with head­scarves in the Neu­tral­i­ty Act with­out objec­tive jus­ti­fi­ca­tion. The neu­tral­i­ty law is there­fore the insti­tu­tion­al and struc­tur­al prac­tice of anti-Mus­lim racism […]. As there have not yet been any appro­pri­ate inter­ven­tion options against pro­fes­sion­al bans based on the Neu­tral­i­ty Act, this must be abol­ished. [Trans­lat­ed from Ger­man original.]

Read the rest here.

The rul­ing Berlin Greens par­ty sub­se­quent­ly pub­lished a state­ment sup­port­ing the commission’s find­ings and call­ing on the state to “sus­pend its dis­crim­i­na­to­ry prac­tice” until the Fed­er­al Con­sti­tu­tion­al Court makes a final deci­sion. The con­tro­ver­sial Berlin Neu­tral­i­ty Act has been in effect since 2005 and pro­hibits the wear­ing of reli­gious sym­bols in parts of the pub­lic ser­vice, espe­cial­ly in the judi­cia­ry and edu­ca­tion. The expert com­mis­sion fur­ther rec­om­mend­ed that anti-Mus­lim racism inter­locu­tor posi­tions be set up at the Berlin State Crim­i­nal Police Office and the Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion, the Ger­man domes­tic intel­li­gence ser­vice. It also demand­ed the abol­ish­ment of a sec­tion of the Gen­er­al Act on Equal Treat­ment, allow­ing unequal treat­ment when rent­ing out liv­ing space in favor of “social­ly sta­ble” res­i­dent struc­tures and “bal­anced eco­nom­ic, social and cul­tur­al conditions.”

The six-mem­ber com­mis­sion was set up in 2021. Over the past year and a half, it has ana­lyzed issues per­tain­ing to anti-Mus­lim racism in Berlin, close­ly coop­er­at­ing with civ­il soci­ety actors and social sci­en­tists. In April 2021, the Glob­al Influ­ence Oper­a­tions Report (GIOR) report­ed that the com­mis­sion includ­ed two indi­vid­u­als with close ties to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB) and the Hamas sup­port infra­struc­ture in Germany.


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