Open day draws 900 visitors to German mosques

26th Oct 2018
Open day draws 900 visitors to German mosques

Cologne Central Mosque hosted hundreds of visitors on the Open Day on October 3. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the President of Religious Affairs of Turkey Ali Erbas opened the mosque on September 29 (Photo: Kayhan Özer/Anadolu Agency)

Aqila Mumthaz

Thousands of non-Muslims visited their local mosques across Germany on October 3 to encourage dialogue and overcome misunderstandings about Islam.

Burhan Kesici, spokesman for Germany’s Muslim Coordination Council (KRM), said, “This day gives an opportunity for more than 100,000 visitors to learn more about Islam and get into conversation with Muslims.”

“By opening our doors to the public, we want to show that we are transparent, we are open to dialogue, and we are also part of this society,” Kesici explained.

“When people know less about something, then they have more concerns and fears about it. And such fears could be exploited by others with bad intentions. Having more transparency, enhancing dialogue and communication is an antidote to this,” he told Anadolu Agency.

Hundreds of visitors came to see the Cologne Central Mosque, the most prominent place of Muslim worship in the country, run by the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB).

During the event, imams answered visitors’ questions, gave speeches and made presentations about Islam and Islamic culture.

Nevzat Yaşar Aşıkoğlu the union’s chair, told visitors that DITIB has promoted peace and tolerance since its foundation in 1984 and would continue to work with its German counterparts to enhance dialogue.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Integration Minister, Joachim Stamp, also visited the mosque.

Germany has a population of over 81 million people and the second largest Muslim population in Western Europe after Franc. 4.7 million Muslims live in Germany, representing 5.7 per cent of its total population.

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