Germany: Germans see large mosques as provocation

Many German think that mosques which are bigger than churches are a provocation.  This according to a debate which has started up again, after authorities gave their permission to the building of one of Europe's largest mosques in the city of Cologne.

While Cologne's conservative mayor, Fritz Schramma, strongly defends the buildings, his own party members have decided to oppose the projects, because they regard the building as a show of force from the side of the Muslims.

The mosque, which will be in the Ehrenfeld neighborhood, is so large it will be the most dominating building in the area.

Some of the sharpest protests came from immigrants who have turned their back on Islam.

"I can understand it if the citizens in Ehrenfeld see the new mosque as a distasteful show of power from the Muslim side," says for example Seyran Ates, who was born in Turkey.  In recent years she has thought for the rights of Muslim women in divorces and is also a member of the Islam-critical organization Ex-Muslims Central Council in Germany.

A similar debate already took place a year ago.  The then minister-president of Bavaria, conservative Edmund Stoiber, then required that cathedrals should continue to be taller than mosques.  His argument was that Christian Germans still make up a majority of the population and the country's leading culture is pervaded by Christianity.

This attitude is now supported also by representatives of another religious minority in Germany, the Jews.  The vice president of the Jewish Central Council in Germany, Salomon Korn, calls on Muslims to take into consideration the feeling of the population and to renounced buildings which cause the Germans irritations.

"For most Germany mosques look like exotic buildings and minarets are striking as ruling symbols," says Salomon Korn in an interview to newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau. He thinks that Muslims should get more modern mosques, that do not have the same form as traditional mosques.

The new mosque in Cologne will have two 55 meter high minarets and a large dome which is 35 meter high.  The dome will look like a see-through globe, so it will be possible to see into the mosque, which according to newspaper Die Zeit is a symbol of Muslim's openness towards the world.

Famous sociologist and Islam critic Necla Kelek, who herself comes from an orthodox Muslim family in Turkey, interprets the architecture differently.

"The globe is a symbol of conquest, and people can see the dome and the minarets as a Muslim demand to get world domination," she says.

Formerly Muslim congregations often had to pray in slums.  Now Germany is experiencing a downright building boom of mosques and different Muslims and politicians see this development as a sign that Muslims are integrating and becoming part of Germany society.

Ali Kizilkaya, spokesperson for the largest association of Muslim organizations, The Muslim Coordinating Council, is happy that the mosque in Cologne can now be built.

"It's an important signal that Muslims in Germany have a right to build dignified prayer houses.  Minister of the Interior Wolfgang Schäuble said that Muslims are part of German society and so mosques are also part of Germany," says Ali Kizilkaye.

Critics of the mosques, on the other hand, see the building's size as evidence that Muslims don't want to integrate.

"In these mosques lie the seeds for a parallel society.  We have already seen that particularly large mosques develop into their own cities, own Medinas," says Necla Kelek.

Famous humanist and atheist Ralpf Giordano agrees.

"The building permit is an anti-integration decision.  Just the mosque's size shows that Muslims are demanding power," he told TV station WDR.

Both the Catholic and Evangelical churches, on the other hand, officially support the building of mosques in Germany.  The Evangelical church in Cologne has also expressed joy that Muslim fellow citizens will have a dignified place to practice their faith.

Unofficially it looks differently.  Particularly in the Catholic church there is a lot of resistance against the new, large mosques.  Different forces in the church attempt to create a link between Muslim rights in the West and Christian rights in Muslim countries.  Cologne's cardinal, Joachim Meisner, had demanded, for example, that the Muslims in Germany start fighting for Christian rights in Muslims countries in return for the mosques they have been allowed to build here.

Augsburg's bishop, Walter Mixa, had warned the authorities against allowing such large buildings as the mosque in Cologne.

"In countries which are mainly pervaded by Muslim culture, Christian really have no rights, and therefore we shouldn't allow mosques with pompous minarets in Germany.  In a Christian society it's enough if the Muslims have a place where they can hold prayers," says Walter Mixa.

Journalist Rolf Krüger, journalist and head of a Christian Internet portal, estimates on the other hand, that it's much better for Germany's security, if slum mosques disappear and the congregations come out in daylight.

"That which we really are most afraid or, is not Islam's power, but on the contrary the fear of admitting that Christianity at the moment is the weakest in Europe," he writes as commentary to the debate about the large mosques.

Source: Kristeligt Dagblad (Danish)


Lucas said...

While they are sinking, europeans realize that it was their judeo-christian worldview that made them better, but they are not willing to fight for it.

It's irritating to see "christians" condoning the building of more places wherein hatred is preached against europe.

Christopher Logan said...

I too do not understand, where is Europe's fighting spirit?

joe six-pack said...

Loyalty to Islam is over loyalty to any government. Islam was designed as a nation-state long before they became established.

Anonymous said...

The intent of such large mosques is indeed symbolic domination, intimidation, and a form of psychological warfare.

Europeans have embraced a form of complacent insanity. They need to let go of post haste and reconnect with their own identity - before they lose it forever.

-ImanAzlan- said...

Actually, a large mosque is needed to fit the entire Muslim community in Friday Prayers (al-Jum'ah). The Friday Prayers is different from Sunday when people go to churches. The difference is that it is COMPULSORY FOR EVERY MUSLIMS (mind the caps, I do it so that no one would missed it). As far as I know, churches will need only filled with people on Sunday, and that is not every Christians go there.

Since Friday Prayers is compulsory to be performed simultaneously, the mosque need to be bigger so that more people would fit in. I am sure no one would want to see Muslims praying in the middle of the streets and blocking the road. So, yeah. That is the main reason why mosque is bigger than churches :) If I said anything wrong, please, feel free to tell me. But then, keep your cursing and trash-talking to yourself, please. :)

Anonymous said...

Islam is a message that there is only one God, not multiple Gods. This is the essence of Islam. If you say that there are more than one God, then it is your responsibility to prove it. Simple message! isn't it? It is personal freedom that must be respected if someone decides to believe in one God.

Daphne said...

It is islam's responsibility to first prove
1)there is a god.
2) That this god sends angels down to earth with messages
3)That the angel gabriel is who is says he is. Muhammad thought he was the devil and that is far more likely.
4)And this is the hardest one. To prove that Muhammad was not a conman who heard the stories of Judaism in the soux and stole them.

Believing in one god has nothing to do with personal freedom. It all depends what the political doctrine of the belief is. Islam believes in flogging women, cutting off the hands of thieves, punishing apostates, killing homosexuals, apartheid for non muslims and treating women as second class citizens.
Just one of those beliefs would send any political party into the dustbin of history. Islam is no different. Don't use the excuse of believing in god for committing heinous crimes against humanity.

Joachim Martillo said...

Religions don't prove anything. They are faiths and not science.

Every slur Daphne attempts to fling at Islam I could probably formulate even more forcefully against Judaism or Christianity.

Because my original field was the formative period of Rabbinic Judaism, I have to state for the record that Rabbinic (and Karaite) Judaism are the youngest of the Abrahamic faiths.

Christianity crystallizes with Constantine while Islam for the most part reaches its final form by the end of the eighth century. Medieval Judaism as a religion shares very little with 2nd Temple Judaism and does not reach its final form until Saadyah Gaon in the 10th century.

In many regards of the ensemble of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, the last is the most synthetic and artificial.

Linguistics, Islam and the Beatitudes is a good place to start to understand the relationships among Christianity, Islam, and Judaism (as well as why Zionism is something evil to any genuine Christian, Muslim or Jewish believer).

Daphne said...

"Religions don't prove anything. They are faiths and not science."

Thank you for that. As religions do not prove anything then why give them special privileges? In a democratic and secular society religions should be treated just l;ike any other doctrine. They are no different from communism, fascism and nazism. Therefore there should not be special laws to accomodate them such as halal meat, uniform concessions, faith schools and most definitely not any aspect of the neo nazi sharia law.
Any doctrine that calls for the flogging of women the chopping off of hands the killing of pagans and apartheid against non members of their neo-nazi organisation is an abomination.

Joachim Martillo said...

Dear Daphne,

If you really do not like the status that legal systems throughout Europe and NA accord religions, why are you not working for democratic change instead of wasting effort in slandering Islam?

I can provide some informed speculation about the reason.

The attempt to equate Islam with Nazism is just the latest racist Jewish Zionist propaganda offensive.

Islam simply is not much different from traditional Rabbinic or Karaite Judaism in practices or beliefs.

In contrast, Zionism particularly in its Jabotinskian formulation of a form of politicized ethnic fundamentalism that differs little from German Nazism.

In fact the founding Zionist leader Max Nordau -- second only to Herzl in importance -- was at least as influential on German Nazis as he was on Zionists, who should more properly be identified as ethnic Ashkenazi Nazis. See the Haaretz article entitled `Do not have children if they won't be healthy!'.

Genuine opponents of Nazism must focus their attention on the State of Israel, Zionist, Zionists, and allies of Zionism as the enemy.

Ethnic Ashkenazi Nazis and their allies accuse Muslims of Nazism in order to distract the world from the Nazi ideology that forms the foundation on which the State of Israel is consolidated.

Daphne said...

In democratic countries laws are meant to apply equally to everyone. We do not (or are not supposed to have) one law for the rich and another for the poor. Nor one law for the aristocrats and another for the plebs. Equally there should not be one law for muslims and another for non muslims. A law should be applied equally to everyone. If it cannot be applied equally to everyone then it should not be on the statute books.
Islam is little different from judaism because Muhammad stole his doctrine from jews and christians. He probably heard jews and christians talking about their religion in the souk and thought 'What a great idea for making money, getting sex and power'. And it worked.