November 7, 2013
Members of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU) have protested against the construction of a mosque in the Northern suburb of Leipzig. Among them is the CDU member Dorothee Dubrau who has initiated an online petition, which has been signed by approximately 3.000 citizens. Local political and religious representatives such as the Evangelical community raised their concerns about the construction of the mosque, whose construction is planned by the Ahmadiyya community. Even the right-wing extremist party NPD used this occasion to organize a demonstration against the mosque.
Meanwhile, CDU Federal parliamentarians criticized the initiative of Dorothee Dubrau, arguing in favor of the mosque construction. The project was approved and legalized months ago. Robert Clemen, parliamentary member of the CDU opposed the initiative, emphasizing that the “freedom of religion would guarantee the peaceful coexistence of religions”.
Die Tageszeitung: http://www.taz.de/Streit-um-Bau-einer-Moschee/!127041/
Members of the Muslim Association of Narbonne (Aude) found a blood trenched pig head and four of its paws placed on the construction site of a mosque in the city. The attack follows a number of islamophobic attacks against mosque construction sites in other French cities.
This 90 minute documentary shows moods and positions relatively to the construction of Germany’s biggest mosque in the city district of Collogne-Ehrenfeld. Since 2007 the construction of the mosque has been a bone of contention between the project supporters and local inhabitants, who openly oppose the construction. The documentary focuses on polarized attitudes and statements for and against the project, contributing interviews with local politicians, citizen initiatives and the Turkish-Islamic Union Institute for Religion (Ditib). Ditib had actually initiated the mosque construction but withdrew its order in 2011, after popular initiatives and the City Council raised “technical” demands for a transparent untraditional architecture and a lower height of the mosque’s minaret.
September 20-22, 2010
The controversy about the Lleida´s mosque location goes on. Currently, the town council urged the Muslim community of Nord Street to find a new location for their prayer room. The city council offered an alternative location in an industrial zone but a report commissioned by the business owners of that area concludes that the construction of the mosque isn’t viable there. The main argument to support this conclusion is that this area has been classified as industrial zone and the construction of the mosque is contravening the Catalonian law about town planning.
June 28, 2010
By: Khaled Aljenfawi
A Republican candidate for Congress from Tennessee Lou Ann Zelenik argued against building a mosque in a Nashville’s suburb because according to her it poses a “threat to her state’s moral and political foundation.” I do agree with Zelenik about the need for sane and rational people to condemn radicalism, terrorism and all sorts of intolerance. However, a Muslim individual whether he or she is an American, a Kuwaiti or a Somali is not obliged to condemn terrorism 24/7 nor do they need to feel guilty or feel an urge to separate themselves from any mad act of intolerance, which allegedly happen in the name of Islam!
In this article, the author sums up the major 2009 events concerning German Muslims. She refers to surprising statistics and remarkable conferences as well as political progress, pointing to the increased goodwill and determination of politicians to improve German Muslim living conditions.
The most painful event was, without doubt, the racist murder of Egyptian Marwa el-Sherbini in a Dresden courtroom. However, the author closes on a positive note and welcomes the start of Cologne’s mosque construction and the fact that minarets are present at many mosques throughout the country.
Plans to build a grand mosque in France’s second-largest city of Marseille have set off fears. “I’m going to bomb it when it opens,” an older French man told The New York Times Monday, December 28, wishing to be unnamed.
Plans are underway to build a $33-million grand mosque in the port city in April 2010. “It’s a good symbol of assimilation,” said Noureddine Cheikh, the head of the Marseille Mosque Association.
The new worship house will have a minaret that would flash a beam of purple light, instead of Adhan, for a couple of minarets to call for prayers five times per day.
But the mosque plans have stirred opposition from far-rightists in the city, where Muslims make up a quarter of its more than 1.5 million population.
The far-right Regional Front and local politicians have filed lawsuits to block the Muslim building.
Analysts agree that the Marseille mosque opposition reflects the growing anti-Muslim sentiments in the country and across Europe. “Today in Europe the fear of Islam crystallizes all other fears,” said Vincent Geisser, a scholar of Islam and immigration at the French National Center for Scientific Research. “(Islam) is a box in which everyone expresses their fears.”
The vote to ban the construction of minarets in Switzerland has been a wake-up call to both the government and Swiss Muslims, round table talks have shown. Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf met six representatives of Islamic organisations in Bern on Monday, to discuss the situation of Muslims in the light of the anti-minaret vote passed by the Swiss public on November 29.
It was the third such meeting since the anti-minaret initiative was launched, but the first since it was passed. Follow-up meetings are planned where specific proposals will be discussed. Topics discussed included mosque construction, Islamic cemeteries and growing Islamophobia.
When Switzerland recently voted to ban the construction of minaret towers at mosques, some observers interpreted it as an expression of European xenophobia that would never find a home in multicultural America. That isn’t entirely the case.
In hundreds of communities across the U.S. where Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and other religious minorities have sought to build or expand their houses of worship, private citizens have gone to great lengths to block their construction. Tactics range from using eminent domain and citing traffic concerns to running pig races and stirring up fears of terrorism.
Such cases are currently unfolding in Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Georgia, and California.
British architects have slammed the Swiss vote of blocking the construction of minarets. Ali Mangera, of Mangera Yvars Architects, who masterminded the original London super-mosque proposals, said: “Decisions like this should be placed on architectural factors, not a pretext against Islam. This is more to do with the emasculation of a group of people – the right wing is behind this.” He added: “[Minarets] are not ideal for every part of London and they are not just about the call to prayer. But they are interesting features and also function as natural air conditioning mechanisms.”
Adrian Stewart, director of Do Architecture, which designed the minaret-less Al-Furqan Mosque in Glasgow for the UK Islamic Mission, said: “This is being used to isolate a community. A minaret is not a critical component of a mosque and does not always have to be involved. The debate has been blown out of proportion. We know from experience there is a desire to generate a regionalism, which makes a mosque very much more about its location.”