In Germany, Syrians find mosques too conservative

Young Muslims listen to a Turkish imam during Friday prayers at the Turkish Kuba Camii mosque located near a hotel housing refugees in Cologne's district of Kalk, Germany, Oct. 14, 2016. Youth in foreground wears a shirt reading, "German-Turkish culture club Cologne-Muehlheim." Photo courtesy REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

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  • “The problem may be rooted in the schisms in Islam, but it is made worse
    by the structure of religious funding in Germany. Since the start of the
    20th century Germany has had a system of collecting taxes for worship,
    which are then paid out to religious groups like Catholics, Protestants
    and Jews.”

    The problem lies in the lack of separation of church and state which is ingrained in the German system. If all religious groups had to rely on their congregations/faith networks for funding, there would not be this sort of disparity. The best funded houses of worship and the ones which may be the most popular among the adherents would be one in the same.

    Europeans have a way to go before getting themselves to the run of the mill heterogeneity which America takes for granted. The influence of Saudi based Wahhabis is limited in the US due to a number of factors having nothing to do with ties to international terrorism:
    1) The polyglot nature of the US Muslim population. Urdu speaking South Asians make up one of the largest groups of Muslim immigrants in the US as opposed to Arabic peoples/speakers. Iranian Shia also make up a large % of American Muslims.

    2) US has one of the largest Muslim convert populations in the developed world with its own homegrown versions of Islam

    3) Mosques have to fund themselves. A popular moderate mosque has a better chance of surviving with local donations than one dependent on foreign funding.

  • It would seem that the tensions that plague Christianity, plague Islam as well. No surprise I suppose. Skeptics will view this as the pointlessness and irrationality of religion. As the world shrinks, metaphorically speaking, these tensions will become more pronounced. My Christian worldview compels me to suspect that this is simply the unfolding of God’s winnowing out process, and the ultimate ushering in of the Apocalypse at some undetermined point in the future. While I claim no special insight on these future developments I am convinced they will occur. Skeptics are invited to demur.

  • “So you end up with a situation where people with little or no knowledge of modern theology are serving as imams.”

    The same problem exists in many American Christian churches. Although the leader may have good intentions such ignorance stunts and distorts the growth of the congregation. I found this situation mostly in small towns that can’t afford well educated and informed clergy. He’s attended part of a year of bible college, which can be anything, and is sent out. He doesn’t even know the questions while a seminary graduates knows the answers.

  • I agree. A solid separation of church and state would be as good for the houses of worship as it would be for the state.

    I can see that Muslim integration in Minnesota going well. We have the largest Somali population in the US and they’re nearly all Muslims. Somalis are integrated into all areas of government. Muslims serve on the city council, state legislature, school board, and Congress. That kind of representation is critical to creating a feeling of belonging, being heard, and having a stake in the country’s success. Our Muslim population includes really terrific people. Yes, trouble makers too, just like three white skinned and brown skinned folks,

    The more any country includes all its citizens, more peaceful it will be.

  • Interesting thing about Muslims in North Jersey is their pop culture representation. Marvel Comics character Ms. Marvel is currently a second generation Pakistani American teenager living in Jersey City (which has a sizable Pakistani and Arab population). The comic series is well received. The character was used in a series of anti islamaphobic ads in San Francisco.

  • ” In Hamburg, Abu Mohammad says he has stopped attending mosque at all.
    “I pray at home,” he said. “I’m sure Allah listens.”

    Of course he does.
    Every Imam must realize the power of ‘love’. Love is greater than any holy book and its contents.

    Islam’s troubles (and the troubles of all other religious expression) can be significantly reduced if the following Twelve Amendments would accompany and apply to ALL preaching and teaching from the Koran and all other Holy Books —


    Twelve, new, heavenly directives that ‘encourage mature attitudes and behavior’.

    1. A good Muslim is TRUSTWORTHY. He tells the truth. He keeps his promises. Honesty is a part of his code of conduct. People can always depend on him.

    2. A good Muslim is LOYAL. He is true to his family, friends, leaders, school, nation, and world community.

    3. A good Muslim is HELPFUL. He is concerned about other people. He willingly volunteers to help others without expecting payment or reward.

    4. A good Muslim is FRIENDLY. He is a friend to all. He is a brother to others. He seeks to understand others. He respects those with ideas and customs that are different from his own.

    5. A good Muslim is COURTEOUS. He is polite to everyone regardless of age or position. He knows that good manners make it easier for people to get along together.

    6. A good Muslim is KIND. He understands there is strength in being gentle. He treats others as he wants to be treated. He does not harm or kill anything without reason.

    7. A good Muslim is OBEDIENT. He follows the rules of his family, school, and group. He obeys the laws of his community and country. If he thinks these rules and laws are unfair, he tries to have them changed in an orderly manner rather than disobey them.

    8. A good Muslim is CHEERFUL. He looks for the bright side of life. He cheerfully does tasks that come his way. He tries to make others happy.

    9. A good Muslim is THRIFTY. He works to pay his way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

    10. A good Muslim is BRAVE. He can face danger even if he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.

    11. A good Muslim is CLEAN. He keeps his body and mind fit and clean. He goes around with those who believe in living by these same ideals. He helps keep his home and community clean.

    12. A good Muslim is REVERENT. He is reverent toward God. He is faithful in his religious duties. He respects the beliefs of others.

    Many will recognize those 12 mature attitudes and behaviors as Scout Laws that can be found in the Boy Scout Handbook. They are universal around the world.
    See —