Tuesday Jun 21 2022
Web Desk

Mohammad Hanif withdraws from conference after Palestinian journalist disinvited

Web Desk

Mohammed Hanif (left), Mohammed El Kurd with sister Muna El Kurd (right).—Dawn, Reuters
Mohammed Hanif (left), Mohammed El Kurd with sister Muna El Kurd (right).—Dawn, Reuters

Pakistani journalist Mohammed Hanif has withdrawn from Goethe-Institut's Hamburg conference after they invited and then disinvited prominent Palestinian writer Mohammed El Kurd.

The journalist announced the news in a tweet saying that the institute was disrespectful toward El Kurd.

He wrote: "Withdrawing from @goerheinstut’s Hamburg conference where they first invited and then disinvited Palestinian journalist and poet Mohammed El Kurd. Reason is even more offensive. Apparently Kurd is not respectful enough towards Israel. How do you say b*gger off in German?"

He posted a thread on Twitter sharing the struggles of the popular Palestinian sibling duo: Mohammed El Kurd and his sister Muna El Kurd.

He said that the institute, which is named after a famous novelist and playwright Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, "should have a good look at itself".

"Haven’t read much Goethe but I don’t think he wanted the world to be respectful towards a ruthless apartheid regime," the author of "A Case of Exploding Mangoes" said.

The Geothe-Institut is organising a conference “Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right” at Kampnagel, which it says "will focus on the impact of far-right movements and their global entanglements."

Famous Palestinian author and activist Mohammed El Kurd was invited in one of the panel discussions. However, he was later disinvited because of his  "comments about Israel" that the institute found "unacceptable".

"Unfortunately, the necessary internal coordination only took place after a premature commitment had already been made," the institute's official tweet said. 

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

He responded to the decision taken by Goethe-institut by withdrawing from the conference asking: "Can you really have such a conversation after silencing a key witness like Mohammed El Kurd?"

"Mohammed El Kurd's house was taken over by settlers when he was elven," he said, stressing on the siblings' struggles.