The German daily Die Welt has published an in-depth report alleging that Islamist associated individuals have been appointed to a new Berlin State Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism. Formed in February of this year, the six-person commission has been tasked with making “recommendations for a further development of prevention work on anti-Muslim racism”. However, Die Welt alleges that two of the members have Islamist connections, with the chairman—Mohamad Hajjaj—said to have been active in associations regarded as Islamist by Germany’s Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
The investigation further reports that approximately 1.3 million euros in taxpayers’ money has gone to the organisation Inssan, of which Mohamad Hajjaj is manging director. Inssan is described as an Islamic association founded in 2002 to promote a “German-speaking Islam”. Another member of the commission—Lydia Nofal—has also been connected with this organisation.
Yet according to this latest report from Die Welt, there have been associations between Inssan and those that the Office for the Protection of the Constitution views as Islamist. In one example provided in the piece, it is reported that members of Inssan have personal connections with the Islamic Culture and Education Centre Berlin (IKEZ), which according to a 2017 Berlin Constitutional Protection Report is a meeting place for Berlin-based Hamas supporters.
The article also presents a number of pieces of evidence alleging that Hajjaj previously had a role with the group the Palestinian Community in Germany (PGD), an organisation which authorities have claimed represents Hamas in Germany. However, Mohamad Hajjaj has denied any connection with that group, and refuted materials presented by Die Welt that appeared to indicate past involvement.
Additionally, Die Welt reports that Hajjaj is still listed as being in a leadership role of the Teiba Cultural Centre. Although Hajjaj did not confirm whether he does in fact still hold the position of vice chairman of the centre, a 2016 report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution included the Teiba Cultural Centre under the description “Islamist mosque associations and aid organisations”, and “connections of Berlin associations to the Muslim Brotherhood”.
The investigation from Die Welt quotes the Islamism analyst Sigrid Herrmann-Marschall as also describing Lydia Nofal as someone acting as a “mediator between the majority society and the network of actions of the Muslim Brotherhood.” Despite these claims, Nofal is known to have publicly distanced herself from the Brotherhood.
The full article from Die Welt can be read here.Die Welt reports Islamists appointed to the Berlin Commission on Anti-Muslim Racism