Seyran Ates, a Turkish lawyer who opened the Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque in Germany, sparked a massive Muslim backlash for her liberal views of Islam — so much so that she now lives in fear for her life and has to have around-the-clock police protection.
So what’d she do that was so offensive to the very Muslims she tried to serve with creation of a mosque?
First, she opened mosque doors to all kinds of Muslim worshippers — Sunnis, Alewives, Suffis. Secondly, she opened arms to homosexuals and atheists.
And thirdly, she did away with the requirement that face veils had to be worn.
She now faces threats from other Muslims.
The Express has the news:
Ates told The Times: “Since setting up the mosque I have received so many death threats through social media that the police decided they have to protect me around the clock.
“The hostile reactions proved how necessary the project was.”
Ms Ates has been called “the devil incarnate”.
Other social media posts called for every attendee to “burn in hell”.
Turkey’s main religious authority for Muslims, Diyanet, has also condemned the mosque founders.
The authority said it is a threat to Islam and accused those attending of being tied up with Fetulah Gueln, the Muslim cleric blamed for the failed coup of July 2016.
Diyanet in a statement: “The 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.
“We are convinced that all fellow believers will keep their distance from such provocations.”
Ms Ates said: “They are labelling us as terrorists. Instead of engaging in a sensible religious debate, we’re being pilloried politically. That’s woeful.”
The premises of the mosque is currently a protestant church in Moabit, Berlin, and it attracts just a few dozen worshipers.
However, police stand guard at Friday prayers after the number of death threats. …
Ates said the abuse she gets come directly form Turkey – which has a long reach into Europe through large communities.
She said: “It’s getting more and more ridiculous.
“It’s no longer a religious matter, it’s about Erdogan and his aim to oppress progressive, liberal Turks.”