What far-right threats?
This article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung claims that the typical Friday open air prayer on Marienplatz will not take place due to fears of right-wing threats. Not coincidentally, that was where a 54-year-old German man set himself on fire to call attention to the threat of jihad and sharia.
The real reason why there are no official operating mosques in Munich is not because of “far-right threats.” It is because the mosques have all been shut down for preaching jihad and/or for building code violations. The Newsweek article is trying to give the impression that Germany won’t allow Muslims freedom of religion. That is laughably far from the case.
“Muslims Persist After Far-Right Death Threats Shut Down Mosques And Public Prayer In Germany,” by Chris Riotta, Newsweek, May 19, 2017:
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There is no longer a single operating mosque in central Munich as of Friday; the final closure occurred earlier this week when the center was unable to accommodate the massive numbers of Muslims seeking a refuge for prayer.
A dramatic rise in Islamophobia across the U.K. and unending threats of violence and terror have forced mosques and public prayers to shut down without notice. And yet, Islamic organizers in Germany continue to persist, telling Newsweek they can raise awareness for their plight with the help of other religious leaders and churches throughout the region.
Some of that interfaith assistance has already arrived, with a local church opening its doors in the midst of fear and hatred, inviting Muslims in for prayer and safety.
A coalition of young Muslim students and community activists organized a prayer in Munich’s Marienplatz, a public square in the heart of the city, to bring attention to their lack of local spaces to practice their faith. The event was cancelled in its original form, however, after a bevy of violent threats from the German far right stated their intention to spur the same Islamophobic terror that’s been seen across the U.K. more so than ever since 2015, when anti-Muslim abuse surged 326 percent in a single year, according to the monitoring group Tell MAMA.
Massi Popal, who spearheaded organizing the public prayer before ultimately deciding to cancel it, said he’s found a new space where Muslims can pray in unity for the time being: a church in central Munich that invited the Islamic community to host a prayer session on its property Friday, May 26.
Related: U.S. Muslim Group Reports Sharp Rise In Anti-Muslim Incidents In 2016
“We don’t want to cause trouble or protest,” Popal tells Newsweek. “We just want to inform our mayor and City Council in a very peaceful manner that there is no more place for us in central Munich.”
“After right extremist groups said they want to attack us and protest our prayer, we decided that we won’t give them the attention they want,” Popal says. “That’s when the church stepped in and gave us a safe and dignified space.”
The church will host the Islamic community on the eve of Ramadan, a month-long fasting and holy tradition for Muslims globally. Islamic advocacy groups around the world are calling on religious activists to host interfaith community sessions throughout the month to allow for an exchange of dialogue and to create a deeper understanding on the Muslim religion….
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