The history of mosques in Germany

June 27

 

In an article published by Die Zeit, the political scientist Claus Leggewie writes about Islamic architecture in Germany. The first mosques were built in Germany in the 18th century. In conformity with the idea of religious tolerance, the Prussian King Frederic William IV allowed the construction of the first minaret in Prussia. This gesture actually had a symbolic value: the mosque was built by the Ahmadyya community, who at the time was persecuted as heretic in Pakistan and India.

 

Leggewie shows how architecture styles, the composition of immigrant population and the attitude of German society have changed over the decades. Today, mosques in Berlin or Duisburg-Marxloh represent places of intercultural dialogue, and are capable to reduce mistrust between the religious community and the local neighborhood.

Germans less tolerant of Islam than neighbours, study finds

2 December 2010

Germans are more critical of Islam and less tolerant of building mosques than their neighbours in France, Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal, a new survey has found.
Despite the other European countries’ often fractious relationships with their Muslim communities, people there were relatively positive about Islam and its followers compared to Germany, according to the survey commissioned by a research group based at the University of Münster.
According to weekly Die Zeit, which reported on an advance version of the study on Thursday, four out of 10 Germans in the former west of the country and 50 percent in the former east feel threatened by foreign cultures.
“Compared with the French, Dutch and Danish, a rigid and intolerant grasp of foreign religions predominates in Germany,” said the head of the project, sociologist Detlef Pollack. “The statement that Islam is part of Germany is completely disregarded in the opinions of Germans.”

Legitimate criticism or racism? The debate on criticising Islam goes on

In late February and during the ongoing debate on how to criticise Islam, DIE ZEIT published an article entitled “Liberal Racism”. The author claimed that the opponents of Islam claimed to defend enlightenment and modernity, while actually preaching racism and making every single Muslim responsible for any crime that may or may not be related to Islam.

Now the same paper has published a response by another author, who rejects this accusation and who suggests that it is not racist to state the differences between Islam and Islamism. He criticises in particular the Islamic associations in Germany for not being open to discuss Islamism and for promoting a very conservative and orthodox morality.

It seems that the debate, which started in early January, is far from being over.

Legitimate criticism or racism? The debate on criticising Islam goes on

In late February and during the ongoing debate on how to criticize Islam, DIE ZEIT published an article entitled “Liberal Racism”. The author claimed that the opponents of Islam claimed to defend enlightenment and modernity, while actually preaching racism and making every single Muslim responsible for any crime that may or may not be related to Islam.

Now the same paper has published a response by another author, who rejects this accusation and who suggests that it is not racist to state the differences between Islam and ‘Islamism.’ He criticizes in particular the Islamic associations in Germany for not being open to discuss ‘Islamism’ and for promoting a very conservative and orthodox morality.

It seems that the debate, which started in early January, is far from being over.

Turks in Germany feel unwelcome

Over half of Turks living in Germany feel like unwanted guests. The survey was released ahead of the German Islam Conference on Thursday, March 13, where the thorny topic of integration tops the agenda. Over three quarters of the Turks surveyed, both with and without German passports, said German Chancellor Angel Merkel didn’t adequately represent those in Germany with a Turkish background. The report, based on 400 responses, was published in the Wednesday edition of Die Zeit.

Ninety-two percent said they thought that “Turks in Germany should preserve their own culture,” and nearly as many (89 percent) felt that German society should be more considerate about the customs of Turkish immigrants. Nevertheless, a sweeping majority (83 percent) considered the German language a key to success as an immigrant and two-thirds didn’t regret their decision to come to Germany.

Read full-text article (in German).

View report (in German)

German Minister Calls on EU Press to Publish Mohammed Cartoon

More European newspapers should publish the hotly disputed Mohammed cartoons, said German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble as violent protests broke out in Sudan over the recent reprinting of the caricatures. “All European newspapers should print the [Mohammed] caricatures with the explanation, ‘We also think they’re pathetic, but the use of press freedom is no reason to resort to violence,” Schaeuble told the weekly edition of Die Zeit. The minister added that he “respected” the decision of 17 Danish newspapers earlier this month to reprint a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed with a turban that resembled a bomb with a lit fuse. The re-publication came a day after Danish authorities uncovered and foiled a plot to murder the cartoonist whose drawing first appeared in 2005.