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Germany tries to get hold on mosques

How can mosques more modern and more independent? Germany is considering a compulsory tax paid by the faithful – such as those for churches – the salafi influence can reduce.

How many mosques has Germany? No one knows exactly. The German Central Council of Muslims, estimates the number at 2,500, but it can just as well 2.800. Official figures are not there, because …

How many mosques has Germany? No one knows exactly. The German Central Council of Muslims, estimates the number at 2,500, but it can just as well 2.800. Official figures are not there, because if a mosque wants to open, is in Germany not obliged to register. Often they are unrecognizable, hidden behind an anonymous wall.

That is becoming more and more Germans uncomfortable. In recent years, it was always clear that in many mosques, salafism is being preached. They are financed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait or other Gulf states where these fundamentalist form of islam professed. Especially in North rhine-Westphalia is the influence of the salafists large.

The Turkish mosques are used as propagandahuizen of president Erdogan or of the radical nationalist Grey Wolves. That was the end of september, clearly, when the Turkish president in Cologne is the largest Turkish mosque in Europe – there may be more than 2,000 believers rightly – opened. During the opening ceremony he pleaded for similar houses of worship as in other German cities. According to Erdoğan these mosques are the best guarantee against muslim terrorism. But many Germans see it differently. Imams in those mosques are in the service of the Turkish state and walk to the hand of Erdogan.

Believers pay

Therefore, at a high political level, thought about ways to get a better grasp on the sprawl. The idea that more and more of the field will win, is to mosques the same rules to topics such as jewish synagogues and christian churches. They are for their operation largely depends on the load that the believers pay. For so-called Kirchensteuer they need on their investments on tax show to which sect their contribution should go. But since the majority of mosques are not officially registered, that for the time being not for islam.

It was Interior minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) that the proposal late last month launched during the annual Conference of the German Islam, where the more organized part of the German muslims collect blows. According to Seehofer, it is urgently necessary that also the islam self-organizing ‘according to the great principles of the German constitution, the relations between the church and the state regulates’. Kirchensteuer is an important part of this.

The past few days has also raised the Bundestag itself to the idea. It received acclaim from the coalition partners CDU and SPD. “It is our goal to islam in Germany from the interference of foreign states to progress and a stronger domestic orientation to get,” said CDU/CSU-vicefractievoorzitter Thorsten Frei in die Welt. Also, the Greens found it not a bad idea.

But when muslim organisations reigns earlier skepticism. Seyran Ates, founder of the liberal Berlin Ibn-Rushd-Goethe-mosque, thinks that something can be organised through the voluntary system of zakat, the islamic form of charity. But see, the politicians probably not.

Cash flows

The German ministry of Foreign Affairs examines the possibility of all the donations that the Gulf states do, to the German mosques to register. On the way to Berlin to get better insight into money flows. The government has the intelligence turned on to flow in. According to reports in the German media would Kuwait ready access to the donations, but are the other countries much more cautious.

According to a report from the Centre for the Combating of Terrorism, countries like Saudi Arabia long-term strategies for radical groups to influence. Riad remains, however, to deny. According to the same leaked report, there would be also groups active which muslims have converted to salafism.

Also in our country is the Great Mosque of Brussels is suspicious of the spread of salafi islam. Therefore, the non-profit association that the mosque manages to leave. At the latest by march 2019 should they are gone. But the saudis who are behind the vzw sit, work for the time being not really.

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