16 June 2017

Where burqas are banned: Germany's first 'liberal mosque' to open in Berlin

The country's very first "liberal" mosque is set to open its doors on Friday in the capital - and inside a Protestant church.

The brainchild behind the mosque is feminist, peace activist and lawyer Seyran Ates, who moved to Germany from Turkey at the age of six. It will allow men and women to pray and preach together rather than separately.

“Fundamentally, the mosque’s door is open for everyone, with one exception: No one will come in with a niqab or burqa,” Ates told Spiegel Online.

“This is for security reasons, and also it is our belief that full-face veils have nothing to do with religion, but rather are a political statement.”

Lesbians, gay men, and transgender believers will also be welcome.

Ates explained that she felt it was “ultimately irresponsible” as a progressive Muslim woman to simply rant about conservative Islamic organizations, rather than to start her own. She also said the Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble had once told her that liberal Muslims should band together, which helped inspire the idea. [The Local] Read more