Due to the coronavirus crisis, the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany has requested financial aid for the mosques, many which now allegedly face bankruptcy, according to Junge Freiheit.
The German government’s strict measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, including a ban on gatherings of more than two people, have also brought traditional religious services in the country to a complete halt, including for Christians, Muslims and Jews.
The Islamic Council wrote in as statement that many mosques are reaching their financial limits.
“Due to the loss of daily prayers and Friday prayers, a considerable proportion of the donations were canceled and no suitable replacement has been found,” Burhan Kesici, the chairman of the Islamic Council for the Federal Republic of Germany, said in the statement.
Now many mosques fear they will be unable to pay bills, rent or the salary for imams.
Muslims also fear that coronavirus preventative measures will also be in place during the fasting month of Ramadan, which takes place between April 23 and May 24. Donations during that period make up a significant portion of the annual budgets for many mosques.
Currently, there are signs that the restrictions will indeed be in place during that period, which means many mosques would no longer be solvent, according to Kesici.
“Against this background, we call on the federal and state governments to take measures to protect and preserve the mosque communities,” he wrote.
Mosques in Germany need money
Kesici says mosque communities now need urgent financial help and argues that mosques make an important contribution to society.
“The vast majority of Islamrat mosques can look back on decades of tradition. They were built with great effort and with the own resources of the former guest workers. Leaving them and their communities alone in this difficult time would be inappropriate and would not do justice to the life’s work of the founding fathers of these mosque communities,”warned Kesici.
Kesici also expressed understanding for preventative measures, saying the Islamic religious community fully supports the measures.
“The protection of life and health are entrusted to us by Allah and enjoys the high priority,” he wrote.
Despite Kesici’s claims, not all members of the Muslim community appear to support the ban on religious gatherings. Video from Berlin shows dozens of Muslims gathering at a mosque and chanting “Allahu Akbar” in what was a clear violation of social distancing measures.
Police in the video try to disperse the crowd but are mostly ignored. Once the call to prayer ends, many of them get into taxis or cars and drive away from the mosque while others were filmed hugging.