"Hidden" Mosques More Accepted Than Highly Visible Traditional Architecture

May 27, 2004

Source: Deutsche Welle


On May 27, 2004 Deutsche Welle reported, "Most Muslims in Germany pray in mosques that are hidden from view in old factory buildings and basements. The Muslim community would like that to change, but projects to build traditional mosques are often controversial...With few exceptions, [the 70 mosques in Berlin that serve the capital's 200,000-strong Muslim community...are] hidden from view in converted offices, basements, and garages. For [Erdal] Ayvaz, [head of...[a]...mosque's committee...in the Berlin neighborhood of Neukölln] it's a frustrating reality. But he says most Germans wouldn't accept a more traditional looking mosque in their midst. 'We know that we live in a Christian country, and we respect that,' Ayvaz said. 'But churches also have a certain style, things that identify the buildings as a church. It's the same with mosques. A church should look like a church, and a mosque should look like a mosque. And in Germany, they talk about multi-culturalism, but they don't really accept it. As long as this acceptance is missing, maybe a few traditional mosques will be built, but there'll always be a huge fuss and protest about it.'"