The head of the German Green party Cem Özdemir and the speaker for religious affairs Volker Beck have drafted a position paper rejecting the recognition of Islamic associations as religious corporate bodies under public law. Özdemir and Beck criticise the government of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia and its legal attempts to recognize Islamic associations. The content of the position paper contradicts several core policies of German States, which have been co-governed by the Green party. States such as Bremen, Lower Saxony, Hamburg and Hesse have signed legal contracts with Islamic associations recognizing them as corporate bodies under public law and applied progressive policies towards religious minorities permitting religion as a school subject. Further religious holidays have been legalized and recognized by public authorities. Furthermore, religious rituals such as burials have been accepted by the States.
The paper of Özdemir and Beck has initiated a controversial discussion about the challenging fundamental minority rights. The paper claims that associations such as the coordination council of Muslims, the Central council for Muslims and the Turkish Islamic Union would not be representative with regards to the Muslim population. Out of 2400 mosque communities in Germany, 1800 religious communities are members of the coordination council of Muslims. According to Özdemir and Beck only 20% of the Muslim population in Germany would be represented by the coordination council of Muslims. The national-ethnic and linguistic orientation of the associations would be oriented towards their own clients not representative for the entire Muslim populations