New Mosque in Germany Opens Its Doors
A new mosque was opened in the German town of Wülfrath in September 2003. Celebrities from Germany and Turkey attended the official opening ceremony.
According to its website, Wülfrath is a town worth loving and living in. Since the opening of its new mosque, the town’s Muslim community has one more reason to love living in Wülfrath. The 1,200-strong community can now pray and hold social gatherings in the spacious building, which has a symbolic minaret. The mayor considers the mosque to be the logical consequence of the fact that many Muslims have made Wülfrath their home.
Celebrities from both Germany and Turkey travelled to the town in western Germany to attend the opening ceremony. President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Thierse, said that the mosque was proof of the religious freedom in Germany which, he said, can only work when the division of church and state is strictly observed. He went on to say that he did not know of any country with a state religion - Islamic or otherwise - that guaranteed this freedom.
Ali Bardakoglu, president of the Office of Religious Affairs in Turkey, thanked everyone who had been involved in the project, which cost approximately 1 million euros, including the citizens of the town, the churches and the Federal Government.
But there is another reason why Wülfrath is worth loving and living in: in sharp contrast to many other German cities and towns, there were no heated debates here about the building of the mosque. The town’s officer for foreigners, Irene Class, believes that this is all due to the openness of the Islamic Association.
© 2003 Qantara.de
Translation from German: Aingeal Flanagan