Germany strongly condemned the presence of a Taliban official, Abdul Bari Omar, at an event in a Cologne mosque.
The official, affiliated with the Taliban-run health authority in Afghanistan, spoke at a conference organized by the city’s Afghan association.
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser deemed it “completely unacceptable” and insisted on condemning such platforms for radical Islamists in Germany. The mosque is managed by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (Ditib), a major Islamic organization in Germany.
Faeser urged Ditib leaders to clarify how the official was able to attend the event. Ditib claimed no prior knowledge, stating the event turned political with an unknown speaker. The organization distanced itself from any association with the Taliban.
Taliban official delivers speech at the Cologne Central Mosque in Germany.
Should the Taliban be given a platform to spread their ideology in Europe?
— Oli London (@OliLondonTV) November 20, 2023
The German Foreign Ministry revealed the Taliban official did not have a visa for Germany, suggesting he entered using a Schengen visa issued by a neighboring country. Reports indicated Omar traveled from the Netherlands, where he attended a World Health Organization conference in November.
Since the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan, the West has frozen billions in aid and assets, causing an unprecedented fiscal shock to the country’s aid-dependent economy, according to the United Nations.