news_Berlin_19062017

A liberal mosque

Berlin (dpa) - Prominent German lawyer, writer and feminist activist Seyran Ates on Friday opened a mosque in Berlin where all Muslims - men and woman, straight and gay, Sunni and Shiite - will be able to pray together.

Located in Berlin's Moabit district, the Rushd-Goethe-Moschee - named after Andalusian philosopher Ibn Rushd and Germany's Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - will allow women to pray alongside men, choose whether or not to wear headscarves and preach as imams.

Joerg Steinert of LSVD, the Lesbian and Gay Federation in Germany, said that the group would launch a partnership with the mosque, adding that Berlin required an "enlightened Islam" that does not discriminate according to sexual identity.

Ates, an Istanbul-born Turk with Kurdish roots who moved to Germany as the daughter of guest workers at the age of 6, is releasing a new book to coincide with the opening of the mosque.

In it, she talks about conservatism within Germany's Turkish community and the process of opening a liberal mosque.

In 2009, Ates came under fire from some in the Muslim community for releasing a book called "Islam Needs a Sexual Revolution," which argued the Islamic world had to undergo a process that would lead to sexual self-determination.

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