Germany aims to curb foreign donations to mosques

COMPILED FROM WIRE SERVICES
ISTANBUL
Published 29.12.2018 00:00
Updated 29.12.2018 08:00

The German government wants to regulate foreign donations and state subsidies to the country's mosques, aiming to prevent the spread of fundamentalist ideologies.

The federal government has asked Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries to notify the Foreign Office prior to making any donations or government grants, Suddeutsche Zeitung reported. The newspaper said German intelligence agencies will look into the senders and recipients of the funds. Those countries are also requested to notify German authorities if a religious group from Germany seeks support or advice in their country, according to the report. It also said Germany is also concerned about the radicalization of refugees who receive financial aid from Saudi Arabia in particular.

In another controversial move that aims to curb foreign influence, politicians in Germany called on implementing a "mosque tax" for the country's Muslim population in order to "free the mosques" from the alleged foreign influence. Members of three coalition parties, the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) supported the initiative.

In another controversial move that aims to curb foreign influence, politicians in Germany called on implementing a "mosque tax" for the country's Muslim population in order to "free the mosques" from the alleged foreign influence. Members of three coalition parties, the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), its Bavarian sister party the Christian Social Union (CSU) and the Social Democratic Party (SPD) supported the initiative. Thorsten Frei, member of the conservative CDU said in a statement to German newspaper Die Welt that the aim is for "Islam in Germany to free itself 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. Supporting the mosque tax, Michael Frieser from CDU said that their aim is to have free financing in order to ensure the independence of mosques' communities.

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