The Ditib administration said it had no prior knowledge of the Taliban official’s planned appearance
Germany has expressed its strong condemnation of the appearance of Abdul Bari Omar, a Taliban official associated with the health authority in Afghanistan, at a mosque in Cologne.
The event took place during a conference organized by an Afghan association in the city. Interior Minister Nancy Feiser said that “the appearance of a Taliban representative in Cologne is completely unacceptable and must be strongly condemned.”
He stressed the need for Ditib, the Turkish-Islamic association that manages the mosque, to explain the use of the space for such an event.
The Ditib administration said it had no prior knowledge of the Taliban official’s planned appearance.
“Contrary to the original convention, it was turned into a political event and a speaker unknown to us was invited,” he said.
Ditib rejected “any closeness—even spiritual—with the Taliban.”
The German foreign ministry revealed that the Taliban official did not have a visa to enter Germany, indicating that he was using a Schengen visa issued by a neighboring country.
Despite the absence of prior approval, Abdul Bari Omar managed to attend the event, reportedly arriving from the Netherlands after attending 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, is now facing scrutiny and demands for clarity about the circumstances surrounding the Taliban official’s controversial appearance at the Cologne mosque.
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