The Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD) announced on Monday that it had expelled the German Muslim Community (DMG). In a press release published on January 31, 2022, the federal assembly, which serves as an umbrella organization for Muslim groups in Germany, officially booted the group from the ZMD at the “state level”.
Although the ZMD, which has existed since 1994, is the smallest of the German Islamic umbrella organizations, it is the most prominent in the German media. In addition to institutions that are close to the Syrian and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, the members also include organizations of Turkish and Iranian Muslims.
The DMG — a founding member of the ZMD — is dominated by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood. However, membership has been suspended since 2019 after the DMG came under increasing public criticism. It is important to note that Iranian and Turkish organizations within the ZMD have also come under media scrutiny for espousing extremist positions.
Several groups within the ZMD have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. For example, the Islamic Center Aachen (IZA) is close to the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood and other groups have their own links and tie ups with MB. Therefore, the official exclusion of the DMG alone does not really solve the problem of the remaining groups within the ZMD with extremist links.
The recent ZMD announcement does not specify what would happen to board members who had been appointed by the DMG. In fact, the ZMD has not made public the names of its members since 2016, which is also the last year in which board election results were announced.
ZMD chairmen have routinely come from IZA, as is the case with current chairman, Aiman Mazyek. IZA was recently mentioned in a final communique of a conference held between the Turkish religious authority Diyanet and the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated European Council for Fatwa and Research.
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