In an effort to circumvent radicalization, Germany’s Foreign Ministry wants Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and other Gulf States to register with the government any donations they send to mosques in Germany.
At present, these countries are required to notify German authorities if a request for funds or advice is received from a religious group in Germany.
Notably absent from the list is Turkey, which is believed to be the largest contributor to Islamic institutions in Germany and has influence in over 800 Muslim communities in the country.
Curbing Turkish influence in this area would come with its own diplomatic consequences and complexities.
Another idea floated to curb radicalization of Germany’s Muslim citizens is s “mosque tax.” The idea, recently proposed by lawmakers from members of the ruling coalition, involves a payment to the government by every practicing Muslim.
These funds, in turn, would be distributed to all registered Islamic religious institutions. A similar tax exists in Germany and other European countries for Catholics and Protestants.
According to Thorsten Frei, a member of the governing Christian Democratic Union party, the mosque tax is aimed at helping “Islam in Germany free itself from the influence of foreign states and get a stronger domestic orientation.”
Seyran Ates, founder and imam of a progressive mosque in Berlin, reacted positively to the tax, saying, “In the future everything that the [Muslim] community needs could be paid for by its members themselves.”
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