October 27, 2007, the Age
MODERN Germany's sometimes uneasy relationship with multiculturalism appears to be facing a new test after moves by the nation's large Muslim population to expand the number of mosques in the country.90% of Muslims in Germany are of Turkish origin. This is the future that Muslim apologists like Dr Liza Hopkins can't wait to bring to Australia.
Apart from plans to more than double the number of mosques in Germany, a push has been under way by Muslim leaders to buy some of the country's large stock of empty or barely used Christian churches and convert them into mosques.
Indeed, the sale of two churches in Berlin to Muslim associations, combined with the release of details of the program to build 184 new mosques (presently there are about 160 mosques) across Germany, has sparked angry responses from both Catholic and Protestant leaders, as well as triggering a new round of soul-searching about the nation's burgeoning migrant population ...
Somewhat unique in the world of religious affairs, the tax is levied on all people in Germany who declare themselves to be members of the Protestant, Catholic, Jewish or several smaller faiths. But with about 3.5 million Muslims living in Germany, the nation's Islamic associations have been campaigning for years to receive some of the funds collected under the Church Tax ...
That said, however, the controversy of the expansion of the number of mosques represents the latest challenge to Germany's attempts to grapple with the emergence of a multicultural society.
The head of the German Protestant church, Bishop Wolfgang Huber, questions the motives behind the building of the mosques and linking the issue to what he claimed was Muslims' "claim to power".
But the president of the Central Committee of German Catholics, Hans-Joachim Meyer, said Muslims had the right to "dignified houses of God" with the Germany's Muslim population having worshipped for years in makeshift surroundings.