The Germans

The Muslim community in Cologne, Germany wants to build a big mosque. A big mosque. (Read the Bloomberg story here.)

Cologne mosque protestSome Germans are, predictably, upset by the possibility that some Oriental looking minarets will mar their perfectly Aryan skyline, which is currently dominated by one of the world’s largest cathedrals.

I congratulate Cologne’s Muslim community on their desire to publicize (and maybe, in the eyes of Germany, legitimize) their faith. It’s unfortunate that some Germans are so unsympathetic, but I see this as yet another symptom of Europe’s xenophobic (and Islamophobic) immigration complex, the same issue that was raised during the 2005 riots in France and the ongoing tension between Dutch filmmakers and their country’s Muslim community.

I know that I am an American and this makes it difficult for me to criticize how other countries deal with their immigrant populations. The United States, while far from perfect, does a much, much better job integrating immigrants, whether they are Arab or Latino or whatever. But I find it hard to imagine people in Queens or Detroit getting upset about plans to build a mosque.

Bonus: To check out what the mosque will look like, go to the website of the architect who designed it. It looks cool.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “The Germans

  1. MDH

    I’m sure you know that the largest mosque in Europe is in Rome, Italy. When I was there in 11th grade, it was sort of a surprising building among the likes of the Pantheon and Colosseum, but I actually found the variety quite nice– much nicer than Mussolini’s fascist type writer (talk about eyesores!) I’m sure the German’s can relate to this, considering that Hitler was responsible for the tragedies in architecture per capita.

  2. Max

    I actually didn’t know that Europe’s biggest mosque is in Italy. I’ll have to look for pictures of it.

    Also, we should talk sometime about Hitler’s war on architecture. I’d love to know more.

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