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German Muslim Group Elects Islam Convert For Top Post

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For the first time the Central Council of Muslims, one of Germany's largest Muslim organizations, has a chairman of German origin -- Ayyub Axel Köhler who converted to Islam in 1963.




Ayyub Axel Köhler succeeds Nadeem Elyas, chairman of Germany's Central Council of Muslims (ZMD) since the organization's founding in 1994.




The ZMD remains one of the best-known Muslim umbrella groups in Germany and according to its own estimates has around 800,000 members. Experts however believe the ZMD's membership to be much smaller, between 20,000 to 30,000 Muslims and predominantly of Arab origin.




Nadeem Elyas is a well-known figure in GermanyBildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift: Nadeem Elyas is a well-known figure in Germany


Köhler's election to the ZMD has triggered widespread media interest in Germany.




For one, Köhler is the first Muslim of German origin to have made it to the top of the umbrella group. As a Muslim of German origin, Köhler, who is a member of Germany's opposition free-market, liberal Free Democratic Party, personifies a so-called European Islam which is largely independent of the Arab World.


Full story: (www.)"you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1894834,00.html"]you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,1894834,00.html[/url]

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