Mosque ignites German hostility

London Daily Telegraph | June 25, 2007

LONDON DAILY TELEGRAPH – COLOGNE, Germany — The construction of one of Europe’s biggest mosques near a globally famous Christian landmark has sparked a furious dispute in Germany.

Immigration and integration are extremely sensitive issues in Germany, which is home to a Turkish community of several million.

But almost within the shadow of Cologne Cathedral, political correctness was replaced by bitter confrontation, as the city’s Muslims began building a 2,000-capacity mosque whose twin minarets will reach 170 feet.

“Muslims have been here for 40 years, yet people are praying in back rooms,” said Seyda Can, an Islamic theologian at the Turkish Islamic Union in Cologne. “There are 120,000 Muslims in Cologne, that’s 12 percent of the population. We should not hide.”

Work will begin this fall on the $30 million mosque, which will include huge glass and stone cupolas and two six-story minarets.

Ms. Can, who speaks fluent German, is an eloquent advocate for the mosque, arguing that when completed in 2009, it will aid the integration of a population sometimes regarded as outsiders. “With this mosque, Muslims will no longer think of their old countries as their home, but of Germany,” she said.

“Two hundred years ago, the first Protestant church was built in Cologne. It was a long process for Protestants to be accepted, but today, of course, they are. Why can’t we be the same?”

However, others believe the mosque in the city’s Ehrenfeld district, just two miles from the Gothic spires of Cologne Cathedral, will foster, rather than heal, divisions.

“It’s not a popular plan,” said Jorg Uckermann, the district’s deputy mayor.

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4 thoughts on “Mosque ignites German hostility

  1. Since the Copts have been in Egypt for centuries before the creation of Islam, why not ask Ms. Can they are unable to build churches in Egypt and why religious freedom should be extended to Muslims whose theology denies it to others and why when the Koran recommends that Muslims lie to Infidels why we should believe anything she says.

  2. If Ms. Can is a Turk it would be also fair to ask why the Turkish governement keeps the Orthodox seminary closed, refuses to return Hagia Sophia to Christian hands, refuses to allow anyone but a Turkish citizen to be Patriarch of Constantiople while at the same time denying citizenship to qualified candidates? Also why she is advocating a policy, integration, that is directly in opposition to the Koran?

    Also how she can be a spokesperson for a faith in which her testimony is only worth half as much as a man’s? Does that mean we can only belief half of what she is saying?

    As proof of the sincerity of the Turks in Germany, I’d say that there should be a petition from them to the Turkish government requesting that the rights and priviledges they are asking in Germany be granted to the Christians in Turkey. Without such action there is nothing that denotes any integration.

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