IRNA, Nov. 3, 2008
A liberal lawmaker from the south German state of Bavaria has supported the introduction of the Sharia law in his conservative home state, the daily Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported Thursday.
Georg Barfuss of the Free Democratic Party (FDP) said the Sharia should be allowed if there areas which are “compatible with the constitution.”
The MP, who is also the integration commissioner in Bavaria, added that key elements of Muslim life like prayers, fasting and the pilgrimage to Mecca should be officially recognized in Bavaria.
Barfuss voiced explicit support for building new mosques in his state.
“Muslims should be allowed to build as many mosques as they want,” he stressed.
Based on statistics released by Islam-Archive Central Institute, headquartered in the west German town of Soest, there are presently 159 mosques throughout Germany in addition to around 2,600 prayer rooms, congregation houses as well as school mosques and Islamic prayer sites.
There are also plans for the construction of around 184 mosques mostly in the western part of Germany where a sizeable Turkish Muslim community lives.
The western city of Duisburg has been the home to Germany’s largest mosque.
German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble has repeatedly emphasized that the building of churches, synagogues and mosques should not be regarded as a “threat but as an enrichment.” “Islam has become a part of our country,” the minister reaffirmed.
There are 3.5 million Muslims living in Germany of which 2.5 million are Turks.
Most of Muslims reside in what used to be traditional blue-collar cities like Cologne, Hamburg, Duisburg, Essen, Berlin, Frankfurt and Mannheim.
Islam has also become one of the fastest growing religions in Germany, as some 4,000 Germans converted to Islam between July 2004 and June 2005 which is four times as many as in the prior space of time.
Some 14,352 out of 3.5 million Muslims in the country are of German-origin, according to figures released by the Islam-Archive Central Institute in May 2005.
Faced with daily verbal abuse and racial discrimination, Germany’s Muslim community is also grappling with educational problems for their children and a chronic lack of job opportunity.