Germany outraged after Taliban official speaks at Cologne Mosque.
Germany has strongly denounced the presence of Abdul Bari Omar.
The Taliban official did not possess a visa to enter Germany.
Germany has strongly denounced the presence of Abdul Bari Omar, a Taliban official affiliated with the health authority in Afghanistan, at a mosque in Cologne.
The incident occurred during a conference organized by an Afghan association in the city. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser declared that “the appearance of a Taliban representative in Cologne is entirely unacceptable and warrants strong condemnation.”
She underscored the necessity for Ditib, the Turkish-Islamic association overseeing the mosque, to clarify the use of the venue for such an event.
Ditib’s management asserted that they had no prior knowledge of the planned appearance of the Taliban official.
They stated that the event, contrary to the original agreement, was transformed into a political gathering, and an unknown speaker was invited without their awareness. Ditib explicitly rejected any affiliation, even spiritual, with the Taliban.
The German foreign ministry revealed that the Taliban official did not possess a visa to enter Germany, indicating that he used a Schengen visa issued by a neighboring country.
Abdul Bari Omar managed to attend the event, reportedly arriving from the Netherlands after participating in a World Health Organization conference in early November despite the absence of prior approval.
Following the Taliban’s resurgence in August 2021, Western nations have frozen substantial amounts of aid and assets, impacting Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economy.
Ditib, acknowledged as one of the largest Islamic organizations in Germany, now faces scrutiny and calls for transparency regarding the circumstances surrounding the controversial appearance of the Taliban official at the Cologne mosque.