The founder of a new liberal mosque in Berlin says she is resolved to keep the institution open despite death threats and fatwas against the project.
Seyran Ates, 54, says she is being sent “3,000 emails a day full of hate,” reported the Independent.
“The pushback I am getting makes me feel that I am doing the right thing,” she said.
The mosque has been slammed by Egypt’s state-run Islamic organisation, Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyyah, which objects to men and women praying together.
Egypt’s Al-Azhar University, considered one of the highest Sunni religious authorities in the world, issued a ban against the establishment of such mosques.
Turkey’s religious authority, Diyanet, said that practices in the mosque “do not align with Islam’s fundamental resources, principles of worship, methodology or experience of more than 14 centuries, and are experiments aimed at nothing more than depraving and ruining religion.”
Since former the ouster of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi (who was aligned with the Brotherhood), Brotherhood members have fanned out in Germany as well as in the UK, Austria, Sweden, Turkey and Qatar.
In Germany, the organization has managed to significantly expand its base and activities, specifically in the eastern part of the country, according to German security officials.
“It is notable that this part of Germany was previously under the communist regime in the era of the Soviets,” stated a German security report. “The citizens in the former East Germany were far from religion and held secular beliefs. Also, in this part of Germany, there are no Muslim residents that need mosques to be built.”
The report noted with alarm that the Brotherhood has moved into this area and created a presence. Officials say that all Islamist extremist groups in Germany have stemmed from the Brotherhood.
German officials initially looked at the Brotherhood as a benign group that would blend into the German political scene. Now, they view the groups as extremists, noting that the Brotherhood in Germany has achieved political influence and acceptance more than anywhere else in Europe.