It is unclear how the man managed to get into Europe after a senior Afghan Taliban official was spotted at a mosque in Cologne and the Netherlands. German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser called for clarification. “The appearance of a Taliban representative in Cologne is absolutely unacceptable and must be strongly condemned,” the politician told the German Press Agency in Berlin on Saturday. “No one in Germany is allowed to give a platform to radical Islamists.”
Abdul Bari Omar performed at a mosque in Cologne-Chorweiler on Thursday. The umbrella organization DİTİB initially named the organizing association as “Afghanischer Kulturverein Köln Meschenich”. The club later stated that it was not involved in the incident and that the club’s name was used inappropriately. DİTİB later corrected the information on Saturday evening. In fact, the hall was opened to the use of people who were recognized by DİTİB as the board of directors of “Kulturverein der Kunar Jugend eV” and who acted on behalf of DİTİB.
Omar was previously present at the World Health Organization (WHO) conference held in The Hague on November 6-8. Minister of Health Ernst Kuipers announced on Saturday via the X platform (Twitter) that an investigation is being conducted into how this might be possible. The Dutch Minister of Health also took a photo with the Taliban representative at the conference. The photo was distributed before. Kuipers regretted taking a photo together. He didn’t know who he was. “Of course I do not want to be associated in any way with this terrible regime: I stand for human rights and especially women’s rights.”
Faeser emphasized: The Taliban is responsible for massive human rights violations. “In Germany, we protect many refugees from Afghanistan from the oppressive rule of the Taliban. Therefore, Taliban officials have absolutely no place in Germany.” Responsible authorities investigated the incident intensively. DİTİB, the umbrella organization to which the Cologne mosque belongs, expects “a complete and very rapid explanation of how the view in Cologne emerged.”
The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AA) strongly condemned Ömer’s appearance on Friday. The trip was not announced to AA and the man was not given a visa before entering Germany. When asked on Saturday, the North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Ministry said the man was the head of food and medicine authorities in Afghanistan.
The Chancellery of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia also condemned the Taliban official’s appearance on the scene. “It is an indescribable event that members of a radical organization like the Taliban spread their ideology unfiltered on German soil,” a spokesman told Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger. However, the Düsseldorf Ministry of Internal Affairs on Saturday referred to the Federal Attorney General’s assessment: Accordingly, the Taliban is no longer a criminal or terrorist organization after seizing power and establishing a government in Afghanistan in September 2021. “from this point on.”