SEARCH BLOG: BACKLASH
Germans are once again in the middle of religious disputes. Centuries ago, it was Catholics against Protestants. Then it was Nazism against Judaism. Now it appears to be a general antipathy toward Muslims in the form of protests against building mosques.
In Cologne [Köln],
Cardinal Joachim Meisner, spiritual leader of the city's Roman Catholics and a close friend of Pope Benedict XVI, has said the proposed mosque leaves him with an "uneasy feeling."Mosques are more than houses of worship:
"Muslims have come out ... and have become visible," says Claus Leggewie, a political scientist at Germany's University of Giessen who wrote a study on the evolution of the mosque landscape in Germany. "By building expensive, representative mosques, they're sending a message: we want to take part in the symbolic landscape of Germany. We are here and we'll stay here."
Major mosque projects from Cologne, Germany, to Amsterdam to Seville, Spain, have met with fierce opposition and fears that they will serve as breeding grounds for terrorists. Family members of two of the suspects in the Glasgow, Scotland, car bombings this month said the men had been radicalized by Tablighi Jamaat, an Islamic revivalist group with plans for an 18-acre complex near London's 2012 Olympic stadium that would house Europe's largest mosque.
It's beginning to get difficult to discern if it is religion causing cultural problems or cultural differences creating a sharp, negative focus on Islam... or both.
But the concern about mosques is one more aspect of the growing tension in Europe with Muslim immigrants...