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British-Pakistani writer withdraws from German conference after Palestinian disinvited

22nd Jun 2022
British-Pakistani writer withdraws from German conference after Palestinian disinvited

LONDON (AA):  Mohammed Hanif, a British-Pakistani writer, announced his withdrawal from a conference in Germany after Mohammed El-Kurd, a Palestinian writer and poet, was disinvited.

The conference is being organized by the Goethe Institute and is titled Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right. It will take place in Hamburg, Germany from June 23 to 26. El-Kurd was invited on June 17.

Announcing his withdrawal in a series of tweets, Hanif said the reason for El-Kurd’s disinvitation was “even more offensive” that “Apparently Kurd is not respectful enough towards Israel.”

“Mohammed El Kurd’s house was taken over by settlers when he was eleven,” Hanif said.

“Kurd and his sister Muna have been protesting since they were children. Haven’t read much Goethe but I don’t think he wanted the world to be respectful towards a ruthless apartheid regime,” the British-Pakistani writer went on to say.

Hanif said he was supposed to speak about the dynamics of right-wing structures.

“While doing a survey of such structures around the world, maybe Goethe institute should have a good look at itself,” Hanif said. “Can you really have such a conversation after silencing a key witness like Mohammed El Kurd?”

El-Kurd rose to prominence last year campaigning against evictions in his local neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, East Jerusalem.

During the protests, he appeared on multiple US news channels, and in 2021 he and his twin sister Muna were named on TIME magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world. In addition to having a large social media following, Al-Kurd is also a Palestine correspondent for progressive US magazine The Nation.

Late last year, he gave a speech to the UN on the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

[Photo: Goethe Institute, Germany/Henning Schlottmann /Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike/International license]

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