Citizens’ Protest Halts Munich Mega-Mosque
Action speaks louder than words:
by Baron Bodissey
This report from theÂ Pro-KÃ¶ln websiteÂ has just been posted. Â Flemish correspondent VH kindly translated it for Gates of Vienna:
Citizens protest stops huge mosque in Munich
The Turkish-Islamic DITIB headquarters in Cologne will, according toSÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung, withdraw its financing commitment for the building of the huge mosque in Munich, because it had to deal with too many complaints from the native citizens.
The huge Munich mosque is therefore cancelled! This has been reported bySÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung. The main reason for the cancellation is the withdrawal of the financing commitment of the DITIB headquarters in Cologne. The reasons for this, according toÂ Sueddeutsche Zeitung: “Too open, too liberal!”
Specifically, this is what theÂ SÃ¼ddeutsche Zeitung says:
“Apparently crucial for the change of mood among the members is that theÂ DITIB, based in Cologne and coordinating nationwide more than 800 Turkish-Islamic Associations, is becoming increasingly more critical of the project, and declines any financing.
“According to observers at the Cologne TÃ¼rkisch-Islamischen Union der Anstalt fÃ¼r Religion [DITIB, Turkish-Islamic Union for the Institution of Religion], which answers directly to the Turkish government, the Munich project became too open and too liberal. From critics within the board it also becomes apparent that the mosque at Gotzinger Platz [planned location in Munich] was even going to hold prayers in the German language and wanted to intensify the dialogue with the Christian churches.”
In addition, the chairman of the Islam-critical Pro-KÃ¶ln movement, the 45-year-old lawyer Markus Beisicht responded: “the DITIB lost their democratic and liberal cover, and showed their true face again: Islamist through and through, Turkish nationalist through and through. And above all, this umbrella organization wants to establish the largest ‘splendor mosque’ of all Germany in Cologne!
“But like the citizens of Munich, together with the citizens of Cologne we will put a thick spoke in the wheel of the DITIB! No to the large mosque! We are against Islamization and Turkization! Cologne should not become Istanbul! With this motto, a demo will take place on December 24 at 11:00 am, our second Saturday demo right in front of their headquarters on the corner of the Venloer StraÃŸe / Innere KanalstraÃŸe.
“And to prevent the building of huge mosques, we will also make the local election in June 2009 a referendum on this mega-Islamizing project. Then the Council decision on this huge mosque will be sent away immediately by the new majorities in the City Council, just the way it came!”
Russia Insists on Reciprocity
by Baron Bodissey
Many people who share the Islamophobic persuasion have suggested the idea: for every mosque built in the West, one church should be built in Mecca, or Medina, or Cairo, or Islamabad, or Tehran.
Fair is fair.
This has remained a mere fantasy for those of us who live in dhimmified countries â€” which includes most of Europe, the United States, Canada, and Australia. None of our leaders would have the temerity to ask for such a thing.
But Russia â€” that’s another matter. According toÂ The Washington Times:
A Russian Church for a Saudi Mosque?
This delightful story just came in thanks to getreligion.org: The Saudis have recently asked permission to build a mosque in Moscow, a city where there are only four mosques and 2 million Muslims. The Russians, however, are saying they want, in return, an Orthodox church in Saudi Arabia.
As we all know, the Saudis have a habit of constructing mosques in dozens of world capitals while forbidding houses of worship for any religion whatsoever outside its Wahabist brand of Islam. They’ve gotten some bad PR locally for some of the hate language in textbooks at the Saudi Academy in northern Virginia. Not only are hapless Christians terrorized and jailed for daring to hold private prayer services in Saudi Arabia, but God help them should they try to convert someone to their religion. And that’s for a fellow People of the Book: One can only guess at what the treatment of Buddhists and Hindus must be like.
Wouldn’t it be so ironic if the Russians were the first Christian body to win acceptance of the right to build a church in, say, Riyadh? (Some of the Russians are calling for a church in Mecca, but the chances of any other religion getting a foothold within walking distance of the world center of Islam is less than zero.) Of course we all know the Saudis aren’t about ready to let Bibles or other religious literature, let alone a church, anywhere near their homeland, but all the same, it’s amusing to see the Russians give the Saudis a taste of their own medicine.
Indeed it is.
The source for the WashTimes article wasÂ Window on Eurasia. Here’s more detail:
– – -Â Â – – – – –
Vienna, November 26 â€” The king of Saudi Arabia has announced that he is ready to support the construction of a mosque and Islamic cultural center in Moscow, a city with only four mosques for its more than two million Muslims. In response and probably to block this, Orthodox Christians in Russia have called for opening a church in Saudi Arabia.
These two proposals have sparked an often intriguing discussion by Russia’s Muslims and Christians over the role religion plays in defining the two societies and about the role of law in regulating that, a discussion that could either enrich or complicate the Kremlin’s relations with Muslims inside Russia and Muslim states abroad it is currently trying to court.
Last Thursday, Rushan Abbyasov, the head of the international department of the Union of Muftis of Russia (SMR) announced that the Saudi king had agreed to finance the construction of a mosque and a cultural center in Moscow “if the Russian authorities will offer a site” appropriate for them (www.interfax-religion.ru/islam/?act=news&div=27412).
Given that Moscow has only four mosques â€” the same number it had at the end of Soviet times â€” but a Muslim population that may number as many as 2.5 million, Muslims in the Russian Federation were delighted by the offer and the attention from abroad it suggests. But many non-Muslim Russians were horrified that another mosque might be opened in their capital.
After the Saudi offer was reported, three Russian Orthodox groups â€” the Moscow section of the Union of Orthodox Citizens, the Radonezh Society, and the Byzantine Club â€” released an open letter to Saudi King Abdullah suggesting that there should be another mosque in Moscow only after a Russian Orthodox church was opened in Mecca.
Their appeal noted that “Saudi Arabia is building mosques in dozens of Christian countries” and then asked whether it would not be only just if permission were given to Christians to build a church within its borders for Christians living there, something Riyadh has been reluctant to permit (www.interfax-religion.ru/islam/?act=documents&div=835).
And in support of their argument, the three groups cite the comment of Jean-Louis Cardinal Toran, the head of the Papal Council on Inter-religious Dialogue that “if Muslims consider it correct to have a large and beautiful mosque in Rome, then it is equally correct for Christians to have a church in Riyadh.”
The Orthodox groups also argued that it would be “very important” to lift the restrictions now in force against Christians visiting the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina,” to all visitors to Saudi Arabia to wear crosses, and to create special courses about Christianity in general and Russian Orthodoxy in particular.
Moreover, they suggested that if the Saudis want to begin broadcasting their television programs to the Russian Federation and its Muslims, then “it would be just” to offer “Your subjects the opportunity to watch Russian Orthodox channels and thus to learn that “Christians don’t believe in three gods, don’t distort the Bible and don’t pray to idols.”
Individual Russian commentators were more outspoken about the Saudi proposal. Arkady Maler, who writes frequently on cultural issues, said that the king’s offer should be rejected not only because Christians can’t build churches in the kingdom but also because Saudi Arabia is the homeland of Wahhabism, which some Russian jurisdictions have declared illegal.
Consequently, he said, no more mosques should be built, especially by the Saudis, in the Russian capital until there are churches in Saudi Arabia, because there is no reason to build another mosque in Moscow which at most would serve only “a few thousand people,” far fewer than the number of Christians in Saudi Arabia (www.rus-obr.ru/opinions/1267).
Dmitry Volodikhin, a Russian nationalist fantasy writer, added an additional reason for opposing the construction of a Muslim center in Moscow: The Russian capital, he said, needs to restore more Russian churches for Orthodox Christians before it thinks about building new mosques for Muslims (www.interfax-religion.ru/islam/?act=news&div=27460).
What makes this interesting is that Ashirov, whose comments have often put him at odds with both other Muslim leaders in Russia and with the Kremlin, here adopts a position that the Russian government likely would be very comfortable with, while the Russian Orthodox nationalists are staking out one that could cause trouble for Moscow at home and abroad.
So the Russian nationalists, who take their Orthodoxy seriously, are more interested than their own government in pushing the Saudis into a corner.
This is a story that’s worth following. The Saudis will never give in, of course, but it’s the thought that counts.
Don’t you wish that the political leaders of the West â€” not to mention the Church of Rome and the major Protestant denominations â€” could show half the spine that these guys have?
Brand new mosque for Athens/Greece
Reciprocity? What’s That?
Stella L. Jatras reports on the building of a grand new mosque in Athens:
Greek authorities have given approval for a mosque to be built in Athens. Saudi Arabia first requested that the mosque be built near the Athens airport. Undoubtedly, the intent was that the first thing tourists and visitors to Greece would see would be the huge mosque, giving the impression that Greece was or soon would be a Muslim country rather than a Christian one. Fortunately, this did not happen.Saudi Arabia made its original proposal for the mosque in 1983; some local citizens and the powerful Greek Orthodox Church objected. European critics shamed Athens for being the only capital in Europe not to have a mosque. AnInternational Herald TribuneÂ article in 2007 reported that a large-size temporary mosque had been established in an abandoned factory at Moschato in the greater Athens area. It lacked minarets, and its presence has not created any issues with the locals. Now, the state-funded mosque is to be built on 18 acres currently used by the Greek Navy, according to Greece’sÂ Ekathimerininewspaper, in an area of the city that is being revitalized as a sports and parks complex.
“State funded” merely means that instead of the wealthy Saudi government building the mosque, Greek citizens, the majority of whom oppose the building of a mosque, are now committed to pay for a project which they find offensive. To see the crescent and to hear the Islamic call to prayer (five times a day) once again is but a painful reminder of Greece’s submission of 400 years under Islamic rule, the tragedy of Cyprus, the present day persecution of Greeks in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), and the slaughter of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians in Asia Minor.Greeks would do well to look at the example of how the breakaway Serbian province of Kosovo proclaimed independence after gaining a Muslim Albanian majority. The camel’s nose under the tent is more than a quaint expression. During NATO’s bombing of Kosovo, ethnic Albanians fled to Orthodox Christian countries such as Greece, Romania and Bulgaria. As their numbers increase, there are more demands for satisfying their religious needs. That is how it starts. In Kosovo, ethnic Albanian Muslims crossed illegally into Christian Kosovo. They first demanded autonomy, which they got. Then they fought for and were granted Independence, gratis, by the U.S. administration. If Greece isn’t more careful, she will soon be confronted with an ever-growing Islamic population that will demand that Greece remove the Cross from her flag because it offends them.
Author Ioannis Michaletos writes in his commentary entitled, “Greater Albania’s attack on Europe“:
As it can be understood, the Albanian nationalists are mainly interested in creating a larger state by encompassing all Albanian minorities in the neighboring states. Inevitably that means conflicts across the Balkans for years to come, and it is puzzling how the international community is not interested enough to control the aims of the Albanians that first and foremost put in danger the European prospects of the whole of the region.
According to the Greek newspaperÂ ElefherotypiaÂ in the November 7, 2007, issue, the Greek government has also committed itself to establishing a cemetery for Muslims in the Athens area, in addition to the planned Athens mosque. A series of new mosques is also being built for Greek citizens of the Muslim faith in Thrace. These are built with private donations (although there are suspicions that Turkey may be involved in the financing). There have been some disputes with Greek government zoning authorities, which regulate the height of the structures and do not permit minarets above a certain height. The local Greek Muslims reportedly want to have higher minarets than what is permitted, and “do not mind” whether or not they can withstand an earthquake.
In “The Real Greek Tragedy,” Ioannis Kolovos writes:
Taking into account that Greece’s total population is about 11,000,000 then, officially, non-Greek immigrants make-up 8.2% of the country’s total population. In US terms, this would be the equivalent of receiving a population of 17,000,000Â ex post factoÂ regularized immigrants (through amnesty bills) and 8,200,000 illegal immigrants in the last 18 years.The Greek governments made a catastrophic mistake in starting the dominoes of successive regularizations falling. This policy sent out the wrong message. It gave the impression that Greece is soft touch and if someone somehow makes it into the country they will get a chance of regularization sooner or later. Moreover, Greek governments, by offering regularization, essentially rewarded the breach of the law both by illegal immigrants (illegal entry/stay) and by those who employed them (hire of illegal labor).
And so it keeps coming! Mosques, cultural centers, cemeteries, legal and illegal Muslims from the entire Islamic world.
Don’t think that what happened to the Serbs cannot happen to the Greeks. Serbia, as well as Greece, was our ally in two world wars. Now that the rhetoric with Russia is again heating up, Turkey will once again become more vital to United States security interests than will Greece. Loyalty seems no longer to be a word in our American dictionary.
Hasn’t anyone ever heard ofÂ reciprocity? Hasn’t anyone in the Greek government the courage to speak up and say to the Saudis, “You can have your mosque in Athens as soon as you let us build our Orthodox church in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia”? The same holds true regarding the United States and all the European nations, as thousands of mosques have sprung up, many funded by Saudi Arabia, without reciprocity.
In my estimation, Greek authorities are making a terrible mistake. One only need look at the tragedy of Kosovo or moves to establish Sharia Law, as we are seeing now in Great Britain. Today, there are more practicing Muslims in Britain than there are practicing Anglicans. If Greece is not more careful, she will soon be confronted with an ever growing Islamic population whose demands may someday cost Greece her very existence or national identity.
Vatican: Church backs more mosques for worship
At first, this sounds like another dhimmi gesture. However, the monsignor makes clear that the Church’s backing is only for the mosque’s “cultural and spiritual identity, as well as its own religious identity”; but “if (the mosque) becomes something different [say, a breeding ground for jihadists and terrorists], civil society has a right to intervene.” The monsignor goes on to ground this view in the Christian notion of separation of church (spiritual affairs) and state (politics). The problem, of course, is that there is no such separation in Islam, as affirmed by the popular slogan,Â Deen we Dawla: “Religion and State [are one].”
Vatican City, 4 Dec. (AKI) – Italy’s Muslims can have more mosques as long as they are used as places of worship, said a senior Vatican official on Thursday. “The place of worship must have its own cultural and spiritual identity, as well as its own religious identity which is a fundamental element, and must not acquire any other identity,” said Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi, Vatican Cultural Council chief.Â
Speaking after the arrest of two terror suspects in the northern Italian city of Milan, Ravasi made the remarks at a conference on interreligious dialogue at the Vatican.
“If (the mosque) becomes something different, civil society has a right to intervene,” Ravasi said. “Here we are talking about a western society that distinguishes between religious and political spheres, however the mosque carries out a charitable function which is a special quality so that religion also has a social function.”
“However, that sphere must not be exceeded. The mosque cannot turn into a centre for other means because it loses its function.”
Ravasi’s remarks came two days after two alleged terror suspects were arrested in the northern Italian city of Milan. The arrests sparked the anti-immigrant Northern League party to call for a freeze on mosque construction.
Recorded telephone conversations published in the Italian media suggested that the two Moroccans, Rachid Ilhami and Abdelkader Ghaffir were planning a terror attack on Milan’s famous cathedral, the Duomo, during this year’s forthcoming Christmas festivities.