Most Germans imagine a person such as Ali Kizilkaya when they think of a properly integrated Muslim. Kizilkaya, born in 1963, has lived since 1972 in Germany and he speaks German better than many native Germans, and his wife has married him quite voluntarily. In interviews, he said that he hates violence, racism and anti-Semitism and that imams should preach more often in German. He says that the Koran requires women to wear headscarves, but women have the freedom not to wear them. If such a man on the 28 March became spokesman of the Coordination Council of Muslims (RRM), no one would need to discuss further, one might think.
But there will be discussions. Ali Kizilkaya is Chairman of the Islamic Council in Germany. And he is a member of Milli Görüs, that organization that dominates the Islamic Council. And the civil servants whose role it is to protect the German constitution have observed that the ideology of the Milli Görüs-leader, Necmettin Erbakan is Islamist and believes some utterances from the ranks of the movement to be aggressive and anti-Semitic. These were individual cases said Kizilkaya and refers to the young management team of Milli Görüs, who have nothing more to do with the hardliners of the first generation.
For the specialist journalist and Islamic scholar, Claudia Dantschke this is, at best, half the truth: "There are young, educated and open people at Milli Görüs," she says, "but there's no distancing from Erbakan’s ideology and no separation from the mother party in Turkey. " Financial and ownership issues around the organization remain in the dark.
Too big to ignore
And some of the younger members were particularly radical - some even died in Chechnya in Jihad. Even some RRM member are concerned even before the date after which the Milli Görüs-man Kizilkaya could speak for them for six months. Furthermore, the tightly-run organization that reaches an estimated 70,000 people, is too big and too powerful to ignore.
Especially because the other associations have similar problems with fundamentalists in their own ranks. The Central Council of Muslims has in Aiman Mazyek a General Secretary who is skilled in dialogue and in Ayyub Axel Köhler a charming chairmen – but on the board also sits Farouk Ibrahim al-Zayad, the chief of the Islamic Community of Germany (IGD), who the Constitutional Protection authorities regard as the largest organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany.
Al-Zayad lost to Köhler the election for chairman, but he remains powerful: His company is alleged to be taking part in more than 100 construction projects of mosques in Germany. He has married the niece of Necmettin Erbakan and therefore has the best contacts to Milli Görüs. In the Second Islamic Conference in Germany, he sat as a guest - to the anger of liberal Muslims. Also, the Association of Islamic cultural centres (VIKZ) is controversial - its educational work is considered as hostile to integration.
The largest association of the RRM, the Turkish State Mosque Association DITIB is relatively transparent - but also always depends on the policy of Turkey. Because of this, the Coordinating Conference is still far away from becoming an independent representation of Muslims in Germany, as the new office for Kizilkaya makes clearly evident. But a scandal is probably inevitable: The next Islamic Conference is only in the autumn. The fact is that Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble will unlikely sit on the same podium as a Milli Görüs-man.