Writer Mohammed Hanif withdraws from Goethe Institut conference over Mohammed El Kurd being disinvited
British-Pakistani writer Mohammed Hanif has announced that he will no longer participate in a conference held by Goethe Institute in Hamburg, Germany after the conference disinvited Mohammed El-Kurd, a Palestinian writer and poet.
According to the writer, Kurd was invited and then disinvited from the “Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right” summit, scheduled to be held from June 23 to 26 in Hamburg, because he was not "respectful enough towards Israel."
In another tweet, Hanif wrote, "Mohammed El Kurd's house was taken over by settlers when he was eleven. 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."
Hanif said that he was supposed to speak about the dynamics of right wing structures and asked how one could have a conversation after silencing a key witness like Kurd. He also suggested that Goethe Institute should have a "good look" at themselves.
In a tweet he also attached a link to read Kurd's poetry collection and asked the public to decide who's being "disrespectful" in this case.
Kurd has been raising his voice against the apartheid for years. Last year, his story about Sheikh Jarrar, his hometown, went viral online when protesters staged a demonstration against the planned expulsion of Palestinians.
The Institut announced that it was disinviting him on June 17.
The 24-year-old has about 790,000 followers on Instagram and almost 249,000 on Twitter.