Decongestion necessary

Decongestion necessary

Ahead of the integration summit on Thursday, the German Bishops' Conference's commissioner for interreligious dialogue, Auxiliary Bishop Hans-Jochen Jaschke, called on Muslims and Christians to show mutual consideration. Parallel societies must not exist, the Hamburg auxiliary bishop emphasized in the "Berliner Zeitung" on Tuesday. At the same time, the Catholic theologian emphasized that the larger Islamic associations are showing a great deal of willingness to integrate. Christians, too, need to help "ease the relationship".

On the possible equality of Islam with Christianity, Jaschke said Muslims still have a long way to go on this point. In the case of a public corporation, it is a matter of clear membership and a tangible catch.Germany is an open society with rights for every person and every group, Jaschke continued. At the same time, however, the "evolved culture" must be preserved. This included Sundays and holidays, churches with bells ringing and religion in the media: "A public muezzin call does not fit into our society," said Jaschke.

Church expects compromise on Cologne mosque dispute

In the dispute over the planned mosque in Cologne, the German Bishops' Conference spokesman for interreligious dialogue, Hans-Jochen Jaschke, expects a compromise to be reached. Muslims have the right to build mosques, Hamburg suffragan bishop told "Berliner Zeitung" (Tuesday). But this right would have to be exercised with sensitivity. He expressed skepticism on the question of a legal equality of Islam in Germany.If a mosque building competes with Christian churches and "dominates an area by power and size," one must view this critically, Jaschke said. Mosques would also be financed with money "from outside. "It will probably end with a compromise." The controversial mosque is to be built in the Ehrenfeld district of Cologne. Plans call for 55-meter-high minarets. The builder is the Turkish-Islamic Union of the Institute for Religion (Ditib), a mosque association close to the Turkish government.

"Muslims on a long road

A corporate status for Islam and thus an equality with the churches, he considers "not yet appropriate," emphasized the auxiliary bishop. It is true that everyone should be able to practice their faith without discrimination. But a corporation under public law is about clear membership and a tangible catch. "Muslims still have a long way to go."Only about 15 percent of the Islamic believers living in Germany are organized.

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