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British Pakistani writer and journalist Mohammed Hanif announced on his Twitter that he too will not be participating in Goethe-Institut’s three-day conference “Beyond the Lone Offender – Dynamics of the Global Right” to be held in Hamburg, Germany, from June 23 to 26.

He retweeted independent researcher and essayist Sinthujan Varatharajah and visual artist, research and curator Moshtari Hilal’s protesting tweets against the disinvitation of award-winning Palestinian poet, writer and human rights activist Mohammed El-Kurd from a roundtable titled “Selling Fascism? Remembering the Unsold.

The roundtable was a part of the three-day conference. Hanif also followed with tweets of his own and specified why he will not be going. Apparently, the disinvitation came because El-Kurd was not “respectful enough to Israel”.

Hanif called the reason ‘more offensive’ than inviting and disinviting the poet. “How do you say bugger off in German?”

The writer was supposed to talk about the dynamics of right-wing structures and did not think the conversation was possible after the institute was “silencing a key witness like Mohammed El-Kurd”. “Haven’t read much Goethe but I don’t think he wanted the world to be respectful towards a ruthless apartheid regime.”

Hanif also shared some of El-Kurd’s work.

Although the Goethe-Institut in Hamburg has not issued a statement, the state branch in Ramallah has and in it, they have denied all accusations of racism.

On June 17, Varatharajah tweeted that Goethe-Institut Mohammed El-Kurd was disinvited from a conference in Germany and registered a strong protest on Twitter in hopes “to achieve transparency over the state of political affairs in Germany”.

Other notable writers that have boycotted the conference since then include renowned Black US writer Ijeoma Oluo.