Search

 

Cablegate: German Muslim Leader Flags Islamic Religious Instruction As

VZCZCXRO8512
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBW RUEHDA RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN
RUEHLZ RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHDF #0027/01 1411142
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 201142Z MAY 08
FM AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0145
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUCNFRG/FRG COLLECTIVE
RUEHDF/AMCONSUL DUSSELDORF 0161

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 DUSSELDORF 000027

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KISL GM
SUBJECT: GERMAN MUSLIM LEADER FLAGS ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AS
PRIORITY

REF: A) 07 DUESSELDORF 0010; B) 07 DUESSELDORF 0031

DUSSELDORF 00000027 001.2 OF 002


Sensitive but Unclassified -- Not for Internet Distribution

1. (SBU) Summary: In a recent conversation, the new
spokesperson for Germany's Muslim Coordination Council (KRM),
Ali Kizilkaya, stressed to us that his priority for his six
month term is to advocate for the introduction of Islamic
religious instruction in the public schools. He also expressed
dissatisfaction that the Islam Conference, the German
government-organized dialogue with the main Muslim communities,
focuses too heavily on security matters. We found Kizilkaya
more open and moderate than in past conversations, perhaps
because he now represents the interests of all of Germany's main
Muslim groups joined together under the KRM umbrella. End
Summary.

2. (SBU) On March 28, Ali Kizilkaya became spokesman for the
Cologne-based KRM, a group which represents four national
umbrella groups (Islamrat, DITIB, VIKZ, and ZMD) that united in
2007, through a routine appointment based on the organization's
six month rotating principle (Ref B). His ascendance raised
eyebrows, because he chaired the Islamic Council (Islamrat) --
the most conservative of Germany's Muslim umbrella groups -- for
the past six years and is a former Secretary General of the
Germany chapter of the Turkey-based Milli Goerues (IGMG), the
Islamrat's largest and most influential member organization.
The Office for the Protection of the Constitution (OPC) includes
IGMG in the category of "suspect Islamist organizations" because
"its ideology supports a comprehensive Islamic social order that
is viewed as being contradictory to Germany's free democratic
constitutional structure." This prompted speculation about the
direction the KRM would take under Kizilkaya's stewardship.

-----------------------------------
Representing a Broader Constituency
-----------------------------------

3. (SBU) Aware of the skepticism surrounding his appointment,
Kizilkaya has stressed to the press in recent weeks that he will
not represent the Islamrat or IGMG (of which he remains a
member), but rather the views of the KRM constituent
organizations "just as the chairman of the DGB (labor
federation) represents the entire DGB and not just (the
metalworkers union) IG Metall." He has also maintained that
Milli Goerues is changing internally, that hardline first
generation leaders are being replaced, that extremist and
anti-Semitic statements by members are "isolated cases," that
IGMG is non-violent, and that the Koran does not conflict with
the German constitution.

--------------------------------------------- --------
Focus on Islamic Religious Instruction in the Schools
--------------------------------------------- --------

4. (SBU) Kizilkaya emphasized to Pol/Econ officer that the
introduction of Islamic religious instruction in the public
schools is his most important priority for his term as KRM
spokesman, which ends September 30. He asserted that some
800,000 Muslim public schools students are being "denied their
constitutional right" to religious instruction under Article 7
of the German Basic Law. He added that German authorities are
"dragging their feet" and "hiding behind pretexts" to explain
why Islamic religious instruction are not yet offered as it is
for Christians and Jews, underlining that progress on this issue
would give Muslim integration in Germany an "enormous boost."
He stressed that the KRM and its constituent groups have
accepted the government's position that associations of local
mosque communities (not the KRM or its member organizations)
would be partners for state school administrations in developing
the legal prerequisites for such Islamic religious instruction.
Kizilkaya gave no indication of how he would about doing this.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
Islam Conference: Too much Emphasis on Security Issues
--------------------------------------------- ---------

5. (SBU) Kizilkaya expressed disappointment regarding the
ongoing German Islam Conference, initiated by Federal Interior
Minister Schaeuble in 2006 to promote Muslim integration in
German society. He stated that the KRM was "not satisfied" with
the conference, in large part because of its excessive focus on
security issues. The KRM and the other member Muslim groups
found this "burdensome" and not conducive to a constructive
dialogue. As a case in point, he referred critically to
Schaeuble's efforts to introduce legislation authorizing law
enforcement agencies to eavesdrop on conversations between imams
and suspected Islamist terrorists, while Christian and Jewish
clergymen were protected against such monitoring. This
"discriminatory treatment" of Muslim clergy was "irritating" and
contradicted the spirit of the Islam Conference, Kizilkaya said.
(Note: Confession is constitutionally protected in Germany.

DUSSELDORF 00000027 002.2 OF 002


Schaeuble has justified his position on the grounds that
authorities should be able to monitor suspected terrorists who
have in the past concealed communications during religious
services or conversations with imams. End Note.)

-------
Comment
-------

6. (SBU) In our meeting, Kizilkaya was more open and talkative
than we have known him to be in the past. Usually very
reserved, he stated his views more diplomatically and less
provocatively. This may be because he met with us as KRM
spokesman and not as chair of the Islamrat or member of its
fundamentalist IGMG. With regard to Kizilkaya's view that
Germany is "dragging its feet" on religious instruction, we note
that the North Rhine-Westphalia government has been working
proactively and constructively for some time with local Muslim
communities on religious instruction in the schools and is
intent on reaching an agreement, but sees the onus on local
mosque communities to move that process forward.

7. (U) This message has been coordinated with Embassy Berlin.
BOYSE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC