Berlin is having its first liberal mosque

Berlin is havving its first progressive moque./Ph. AFP
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To break up with the stereotypes linked to Islam, Seyran Ates, a German-Turkish lawyer and well-known Muslim women's rights activist, inaugurated the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe mosque in Berlin on Friday, the first «Progressive» mosque in Germany, reports the Swiss newspaper Le Temps.

In this mosque that stands out aside hundreds of others in Berlin , men and women pray side by side and homosexuals are explicitly welcome. The place of worship is open to all religious currents of Islam, Shiites as Sunnis, Alevis or Sufis.

The prayer room bears the names of the Arab doctor and philosopher of Castille Ibn Rushd (1126-1198) and the German thinker Wolfgang von Goethe, a connoisseur of Islam and author of the «Western Oriental Divan», his last major poetic collection Composed of 12 books.

The mosque wants to be a place of debate and questioning, where the faithful can criticize the prophet Mohamed and discuss reforms of Islam. «Only niqabs and chadors will be banned,» says the founder.

Very open-minded, the new mosque is located on the third floor of a Protestant ... building, which also includes a church and a nursery, says the Belgian radio RTL.

Among the founding members of this mosque is the Swiss Yemeni imam Elham Maea, Saïda Keller-Messahli, founder of the «Progressive Islam Forum» in Switzerland, and the researcher of Freiburg Abdel-Hakim Urghi.

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