Germans Split Over a Mosque and the Role of Islam

(Mosque construction has proved a contentious issue for German society. For more information on mosques in Germany, see the Germany country profile). In a city with the greatest Gothic cathedral in Germany and no fewer than a dozen Romanesque churches, adding a pair of slender fluted minarets would scarcely alter the skyline. Yet plans for a new mosque are rattling this ancient city to its foundations. Cologne’s Muslim population, largely Turkish, is pushing for approval to build what would be one of Germany’s largest mosques, in a working-class district across town from the cathedral’s mighty spires. Predictably, an extreme-right local political party has waged a noisy, xenophobic protest campaign, drumming up support from its far-right allies in Austria and Belgium…