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