Commentary Cut eastern influences

Germany is considering church tax for Muslims

Muslims should pay the same church tax in Germany as members of the Christian Churches. Not only German politicians but also some liberal Islamic institutions came up with this proposal before the end of last year. According to them, the tax would help limit the influence of Islamic fundamentalism.

German Christian Churches are paid by the state via a so-called “church tax”. Germany wants to introduce the same tax for Muslims, because the Muslim church is being paid from Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Basically, Germany wants to cut this eastern influence which can cause serious problems and violent ideology. This tax can lead to greater independence for Muslim churches in Germany.

"Everything that our religious societies need for their work should be covered by the money of their members themselves," said Seyran Ates, a Berlin lawyer and Muslim activist. She is the founder of the Berlin "Ibn-Rushd-Goethe.mosque" organization supporting the ideas of so-called liberal Islam.

Thorsten Frei, member of the conservative CDU, said in a statement to German newspaper Die Welt that the goal is "to free Islam in Germany from the influence of foreign states and get a stronger domestic orientation," and described the "mosque tax" as the most important step ahead of this.

The German government wants to cut the support of Muslim associations who receive financial support from abroad, especially those of Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), which currently runs more than 900 mosques in Germany for the country's nearly 5 million Turkish community and other Muslim minority groups.

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