Germany: Huge mosque stirs protests in Cologne

UK Telegraph, June 2007

The construction of one of Europe's biggest mosques near to a globally famous Christian landmark has sparked a furious row in Germany.

Immigration and integration are hugely sensitive questions in Germany, which is home to a Turkish community of several million. But almost within the shadow of Cologne Cathedral, political correctness has now been replaced by bitter confrontation as the city's Muslims begin to build a 2,000-capacity mosque with twin minarets that will reach 170ft ...

"It's not a popular plan," said Joerg Uckermann, the district's deputy mayor. "We don't want to build a Turkish ghetto in Ehrenfeld. I know about Londonistan and I don't want that here."

Mr Uckermann is part of a curious coalition of protest that has united Jewish intellectuals and neo-Nazis. Leading the charge is Ralph Giordano, a prominent Jewish author, who wrote recently that Germany was witnessing a "clash of two completely different cultures" and questioned whether they could ever be reconciled.

Stating that he had received death threats for his opinions, he added: "What kind of a state are we in that I can face a fatwa in Germany?" ...

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