In the mosque of the Turkish-Islamic Union Ditib Association, four to seven-year-old children marched with toy weapons and in military clothing. They loudly shouted commands and saluted, German newspaper the Neue Westfälische reports.
The performance was recorded on video and in pictures that were initially uploaded to Facebook, but have since been deleted.
The board of Ditib commented: “The decision for the performance has been made by the parents’ council and the performance has been designed by them,” said board member Necati Aydin. He said that the board was not involved in the program and ultimately knew nothing. In addition, the performance was not for the public, he added.
Since Thursday, the Family and Integration Ministry of the State of North-Rhine Westphalia, is in possession of the footage. “The pictures from the Ditib mosque are disturbing and completely unacceptable,” said Joachim Stamp (FDP), the department’s integration minister in Dusseldorf.
CDU politician Tim Ostermann told Tag24:
“I find it highly problematic that children are utilised, which blatantly contradicts any attempt at integration, rather it is a typical sign of a parallel society. State and society must do everything to prevent such a thing.”