Police protection for founder of liberal mosque in Berlin

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Having received a large number of death threats, Seyran Ateş is now under non-stop police protection, according to a report. Her newly founded mosque in Berlin was envisaged as a trailblazer for a secular, liberal Islam.

In reaction to the founding of a liberal mosque in Berlin, author, lawyer, and women’s rights activist Seyran Ateş has been subject to fierce criticism and even death threats in the social media, leading to the police’s decision to grant her permanent personal protection. As sources from her entourage have confirmed, she has also received threats from passers-by on the street.

In 1984, Ateş had already been the victim of an assassination attempt at a Turkish women’s counseling center in Kreuzberg, Berlin – an attack she survived despite life-threatening injuries. In the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque founded in Berlin-Moabit, women and men, Sunnis, Shiites and Alevites will be allowed to pray together. The mosque stands for a secular liberal Islam.

Did Erdoğan call for closure of mosque?

According to a report, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has demanded the closure of the liberal mosque by the federal government. Ateş confirmed the intervention: “This shows once again the ideological orientation of Erdoğan, who has never understood, or never wanted to understand democracy. Erdoğan doesn’t care about personal liberties.”

The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Auswärtiges Amt), however, did not confirm Erdogan’s alleged demand, replying to an inquiry from the weekly newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”: “We are not aware that the Turkish government approached the federal government on this matter.”

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