Monday, 13 October 2008

Why is Islam scary?

I am not sure if this is even a word, but is Europe afraid of being "Islamicized" again? The Muslim world was successful once in controlling a major part of the Iberian Peninsula for more than 7 centuries, which have left a fundamental presence on what is now known as Spain. That being said, this was only possible after long years of wars and battles. Today, however, "Islamicization" is re-emerging in a different way. Islam is spreading throughout Europe by the integration of Muslim immigrants in European countries for generations now. Their participation in the economical and even political development paved the way for Islam to become an accepted part of the European culture.

Now these are rough figures taken from Wikipedia, but with around 1 million Muslims in Spain, 1 million in Italy, another 1 and half million in the UK, 3 million in Germany and almost 6 million in France, some non-Muslims will naturally get scared. And if the numbers themselves are not enough, the government aid and protection for the Muslim minorities in many European countries is ringing alarm bells all of Europe.

Perhaps the latest sign of this is the approval of building Germany's largest mosque in Cologne. Situated 2 miles away from Cologne Cathedral, the largest Gothic Church in Europe maybe even the world and a UNESCO world heritage site, the amazing mosque is designed by architect Paul Böhm whose specialty is church design. When asked whether he is personally religious, the architect answered:
Religious, yes, but I am not a practicing believer. And I am also not a Muslim. I am often faced with this question. Yet, you don't have to be a criminal to build a prison or be sick to build a hospital! Instead, what is important is the art of empathizing with the needs of those who will later use the building being designed.

The opposition that the mosque is facing is incredible. Some people are seeing it as a threat since it may become a symbol of power while others see it as a positive sign of integration. Personally I don't see a big deal in building a mosque, especially when it is so elegantly designed. But again I am biased.

More info can be found here

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