Woman Who Founded Liberal Mosque Faces Death Threats Daily
A female imam who opened a new mosque in Berlin has been receiving a daily barrage of death threats. Religious authorities in Egypt have even issued a decree saying that the mosque is un-Islamic.
The mosque’s founder, Seyran Ates, says that she founded the Ibn-Rushd-Gethe mosque so that all Muslims from any sect could come together and worship. She wanted to create a place of worship where men, women, the LGBTQ community, Sunni, Shias, and Sufi Muslims could come together.
Seyran is a lawyer and a women’s rights activist. She has also requested female visitors not to wear full-body garments like the burqa and niqab as it “would only send a political statement”.
Liberal Muslims love the initiative, but more conservative members have expressed their outrage.
“I receive hundreds of death threats every day. I rely on personal protection, but I will continue to stand up for my organisation. Islam needs a change, and together with our supporters across the world, we can make a difference,” she told CBS News.
Turkey’s religious affairs agency, Diyanet, has said that mosque’s practices “do not align with Islam’s fundamental resources, principles of worship, methodology or experience of more than 14 centuries, and are experiments aimed at nothing more than depraving and ruining religion”.
She receives so many death threats a day, that she has had to hire personal protection. But she won’t back down. She says that she will continue to stand up for her organisation as Islam needs a change.
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Picture Credit: Asian Age