Turkey says liberal German mosque 'incompatible' with Islam

Published: June 21, 2017


ISTANBUL: Turkey’s religious affairs agency has expressed distaste over a new mosque in Berlin where men and women mingle freely, saying it was incompatible with the principles of Islam.

Diyanet, which oversees religious activity in Turkey, said that such ideas were in line with projects led by the group of Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey blames for the July 15 failed coup.

Men and women pray side by side at the mosque that opened earlier this month in Berlin, which has female imams and where Muslims of all sects of the faith are welcome to worship together.

Supporters of the Berlin mosque said it would allow liberal Muslims to worship freely but in a tough statement Diyanet took a different stance.

Taboo-breaking liberal mosque opens in Berlin

It said that the mosque “neglects” the basic principles of Islam and was “incompatible with the worship, knowledge and methodology” accumulated since the faith was founded by the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH) 14 centuries ago.

“It is clear that this has been a project carried out for many years by FETO and other ill-gotten structures for the engineering of religion,” it added.

“We are convinced that all fellow believers will keep their distance from such provocations and show wisdom in the face of this,” Diyanet said in the statement published late Tuesday.

Turkey says that the failed coup was carried out by the Fethullah Terror Group (FETO) led by the US-based Gulen. Gulen denies leading any terror organisation and rejects having any hand in the coup bid.

Diyanet has influence over Muslim worship among the Turkish diaspora through the Ditib organisation controlled by Ankara that manages some 900 mosques or religious communities in Germany. Diyanet sends clerics to work in its mosques.

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Reader Comments (20)

  • Bunny Rabbit
    Jun 21, 2017 - 9:44PM

    Some body go and tell them that No body owns Islam . There are no strict rules of any religion today . Most religions took birth several centuries ago . how can same set of regulations hold good to this day ?Recommend

  • Inam
    Jun 21, 2017 - 10:54PM

    @Bunny Rabbit:
    Why don’t you keep ur thoughts to ur urself… Islam is not “any religion” and some basic principles of it can’t be amended, hence Fitnaa. This is maligning Islam in the name of liberalism.I agree that people of all sects should pray together as there was no such compulsion in Prophet’s(saw) time, but theres no example when females worshipped alongside men.Liberals would call it barbaric, anti-social and other nonsense, but there’s always a reason for such rules. Recommend

  • AA_Southpaw
    Jun 21, 2017 - 11:04PM

    They are absolutely right.Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 21, 2017 - 11:04PM

    we should all realize that Turkey has apparently assumed the role of deciding how Muslims pray worldwide, though curiously I don’t recall anyone of authority giving Turkey that responsibility!Recommend

  • Xyz
    Jun 22, 2017 - 12:29AM

    So what’s the reason for this rule?Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 22, 2017 - 12:42AM

    Since when did Turkey become the Thekedar of Muslims ?Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Jun 22, 2017 - 1:56AM

    @Inam: please go a local gurdwara of us Sikhs. When there is no space then women are allowed to sit with their relatives and friends. No question asked. It is a personal matter between waheguru and us their children.Recommend

  • Prabhjyot Singh Madan
    Jun 22, 2017 - 2:05AM

    I always thought and studied in school turkey was a beacon of the Islamic world courtesey kamal attaturk. He was one person in the whole gammit of leaders I could never find a fault. A total turk by heart and soul. Now, I find his huge photos on the net with erdogan destroying everything that true muslim stood for in the background and i am talking about the cultural repercussions and not the political one. Rab rakha.Recommend

  • Huzur
    Jun 22, 2017 - 2:31AM

    It is best that people live in their own countries na practice as they wish to.Why go to nations with a different culture and impose your style.Emigrate to your home country.Recommend

  • ezanius@gmail.com
    Jun 22, 2017 - 3:18AM

    @Inam: Women can pray in mosques in a seperate section, but women can NEVER lead prayers in any case. Recommend

  • Hassaan
    Jun 22, 2017 - 4:18AM

    I don’t understand the problem? Is it the female Imams, or men and women praying together, or is it? what is it? none of these things are forbidden in Islam.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Jun 22, 2017 - 5:32AM

    Just like I don’t recall anyone asking you to comment on the matter….Recommend

  • imran ali
    Jun 22, 2017 - 5:55AM

    women cannot do imam,and should pray separately behind men Recommend

  • numbersnumbers
    Jun 22, 2017 - 6:41AM

    Hmmm, and just WHO decided that men and women could not pray together? Are they not equal before God? Recommend

  • Vham
    Jun 22, 2017 - 8:06AM

    Is somebody forcing you to go to that mosque snd pray? They can pray the way they seem fit.Recommend

  • Mohammed Mirza
    Jun 22, 2017 - 12:04PM

    Bottom line is that ladies cannot be imams and they cannot read with men side by side. That is not allowed in Shariah.This is a big fitnah whats happening in GermanyRecommend

  • Inam
    Jun 22, 2017 - 1:09PM

    Its to preserve sisters’ modesty and give them respect.Thats why its recommended that they pray separately to men in a mosque.Its quite basic.You would want to remain at ease and focused while praying.While performing Hajj, they are together but while praying there are different sections for men and women.Recommend

  • Inam
    Jun 22, 2017 - 1:14PM

    @Prabhjyot Singh Madan:
    Dear Mr Singh, I respect your religion and your practices.Recommend

  • Liberal
    Jun 22, 2017 - 2:45PM

    @Feroz: Ottoman Caliphate … rings any bells?Recommend

  • Umar
    Jun 22, 2017 - 2:49PM

    A gradual reformation in Islam and Islamic practices.

    Islam is a beautiful religion that adopts local culture, like the Sufi Qalam and Darwesh practices. Recommend

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