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Turkish-German Mosque Organization Imam Praises Hamas Founder

July 29th, 2021 11:50

Ger­man media is report­ing that an imam at a mosque orga­ni­za­tion con­nect­ed to the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment has praised the founder of Hamas. Accord­ing to the n‑tv report:

June 21, 2021 The imam of a Stuttgart DITIB mosque has praised a founder and for­mer spir­i­tu­al leader of the Islamist ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tion Hamas in a Face­book post. This was report­ed by the “Redak­tion­snet­zw­erk Deutsch­land” (RND). Accord­ing to the report, in the April 18 post, which has since been delet­ed, Imam Hasan Caglayan described Ahmad Yasin, who was killed by the Israeli mil­i­tary in 2004, as one of “five beau­ti­ful peo­ple” with “mes­sages and teach­ings for all those who care about the cause around Jerusalem.” The asso­ci­a­tion has long been crit­i­cized for its prox­im­i­ty to Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan. Efforts to pro­vide inde­pen­dent train­ing for Islam­ic preach­ers recent­ly saw the open­ing of Ger­many’s first state-spon­sored Islam­ic col­lege in Osnabrück, but DITIB’s influ­ence remains immense. Accord­ing to the report, Caglayan, imam of a DITIB mosque in Stuttgart, wrote on his Face­book page on April 18 that Yasin had become a “fight­er for the Pales­tin­ian cause.” Those who have an inner faith can defy the whole world despite dis­abil­i­ties, he said. “If you want Jerusalem, there are no excus­es and obsta­cles,” the imam report­ed­ly wrote, refer­ring to Yasin. The co-founder of Hamas, who was killed by the Israeli mil­i­tary in 2004, was its spir­i­tu­al leader until his death. He was also a pro­po­nent of sui­cide bomb­ings and mil­i­tary attacks on Israel. [Trans­lat­ed by DeepL with edits]

Read the rest here.

The Turk­ish-Islam­ic Union for Reli­gious Affairs (DITIB) man­ages over 900 mosques in Ger­many. At the same time, the Turk­ish  Direc­torate of Reli­gious Affairs  (Diyanet)  deter­mines the the­o­log­i­cal guide­lines for imams’ ser­mons, and the Turk­ish con­sulate pays their salaries. DITIB, how­ev­er, main­tains that it is inde­pen­dent of the Turk­ish state.  Ger­man politi­cians have sought to have imams trained in Ger­many instead of sent over from Turkey in part to reduce Turkey’s influ­ence in the country.

  • In July 2021, we report­ed that DITIB chose not to par­tic­i­pate in cre­at­ing an imam train­ing cen­ter financed by the Ger­man state.
  • In July 2021, we report­ed that the chair­man of a local DITIB branch has said that the group only can­celed an event fea­tur­ing a Turk­ish his­to­ri­an known for homo­pho­bic and anti-Semit­ic con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries because of out­side pressure.
  • In May 2021, we report­ed that DITIB would remain part of an Islam­ic edu­ca­tion advi­so­ry board in the Ger­man state of North-Rhine West­phalia while exclud­ing anoth­er Islam­ic umbrel­la group.