“We speak to the people as human beings”
Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque is the first liberal mosque in the world
Preaching a liberal Islam and therefore being under constant attack by fellow Muslim believers – that is the reality of the team working at the Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque. Imam Mohamed El-Kateb openly shared insights from his work with a delegation from Malaysia and Indonesia, who currently visits Berlin as part of an International Visiting Program by the IAF.
“Cooperation and dialogue with the surrounding conservative mosques is still the exception” says El-Kateb. Since its opening in 2017, the Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque is the first liberal mosque in the world, which allows men and women to pray together in one room, women to pray without head cover and provides services such as same sex blessings and inter-faith marriages. One of the founders is famous lawyer and human rights activist Seyran Ateş, who herself preaches at the mosque as one of very few female Imams worldwide.
LGBTQI is not a taboo
The mosque even has an LGBTQI coordinator, who patiently answered all questions by the FNF delegation. Tugay Sarac impressively reported about racism, Islamic fundamentalism and homophobia in Germany and the challenges he is facing as a queer Muslim theologian.
We are encouraging children to use their own brains and to reflect about religious and cultural traditions
"Love is halal"
One major task of the liberal mosque is the outreach to the surrounding community, especially children and youth in schools. “We are encouraging children to use their own brains and to reflect about religious and cultural traditions” states Imam El-Kateb. The visitors from Malaysia and Indonesia found, that they are facing the same challenge of an increasingly strict and radical interpretation of the Islam in their countries.
In an appeal to speak to the people as human beings and to respect love in all its incarnations the team of the Ibn Rushd Goethe Mosque bid farewell to our delegation, by alerting them on the initiative “Love is halal” to promote the freedom of sexual diversity in Islam.