Copenhagen: New mosque built by Shiites
Since the mosque is Shiite, it's kind of expected that it would be financed by Iranians.
Only a few Protestants will go to worship in a Catholic Church. Similarly, it's virtually unthinkable that practicing Sunni Muslims will set foot in a Shiite mosque.
Therefore, the new mosque in Copenhagen's Nordvestkvarter will only be used by a minority of the country's Muslims, estimates researcher Lene Kühle of the Center for Contemporary Religions at Aarhus University.
The new mosque in copenhagen is being built by a Shia Muslim association, and this is meaningful for the mosque visitors, says Lene Kühle.
"It's meaningful that it's Shia Muslims who are building the mosque, as it's doesn't satisfy the country's other Muslims. Generally, a Shiite Muslim can go to a Sunni mosque, but not the other way around," Lene Kühle told politiken.dk.
Lene Kühle surveyed the Muslim communities in Denmark and she estimates that there are 2,000-10,000 practicing Shia Muslims, while there are over 150,000 Sunni Muslims. And the two groups practice their religion in a very different way.
She explains that it's very different services, their calendars are completely different, and there are also other holidays. Shia has a hierarchy of ayatollahs, which is not recognized by the Sunnis.
The spokesperson for the Muslims' Common Council (Muslimernes Fællesråd) shares Lene Kühle's opinion. He sees no prospects that the two religious denominations will blend together.
"the mosque will be for a minority in a minority, to a large degree, it will be the Shia Muslims which the mosque will facilitate, and I don't think that there will be a mixing of the two different denominations," says Zubair Butt Hussain of the Muslims' Common Council, who himself is a Sunni Muslim.
Yet Hussain wishes the mosque well, since he sees the building as a positive sign.
"I'm extremely happy for them. It's an important statement for official Denmark, and it's a sign that the municipality of Copenhagen wishes for dialog," he says.
The Islamic Faith Society, whose members are Sunnis, is also enthusiastic.
"It's good that after 50 years of Muslims in the country there's now a mosque. It's a recognition of the Muslims, and even if the building isn't enough, it's a step forward," says spokesperson Imran Shah.
He believes that his organization's members will visit the mosque, since it's a 'house of God', and he hopes that the mosque will pave the way for Sunni Muslims to also get a mosque.
Source: Kristligt Dagblad (Danish)