As in many other cities in Germany, the issue of the call of the muezzin is currently stirring up public opinion in Gelsenkirchen, a city in the Ruhr area. For years, the call of the muezzin has been heard from two mosques in the districts of Hassel and Horst, which are run by the Ankara-based Islamic association DITIB. If the Alliance 90/Green Party in Gelsenkirchen has its way, the muezzin call is to be extended to other mosques in the city area, from which the call is to be heard daily during the Corona pandemic and then permanently every Friday for the notorious Friday prayer.
However, there is growing resistance to this. In the city council, the Green motion was rejected with the votes of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Free Democratic Party (FDP), the AfD and also some representatives of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). However, it was an extremely close result. The motion was then passed on to the education committee, where, however, there is great interest in dropping the hot potato, as can be learned from the city council. The Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa (BPE) has also contributed with extensive flyer distribution campaigns in Gelsenkirchen to raising the level of information among the population about the totalitarian and threatening significance of the muezzin call.
The Greens, on the other hand, seem to remain ignorant of the facts. Today, Tuesday, from 6 to 8 p.m., they are organising the online conference entitled “Ways of interreligious dialogue: Why does the desire for an Islamic call to prayer in Gelsenkirchen trigger such controversy?”, for which one can also register by email at “firstname.lastname@example.org”.
The most prominent participant is Lamya Kaddor, who has been a Green politician since October 2020 and is aiming for a candidacy for the German Parliament, and is also the founder of the “Liberal-Islamic Federation”. She will be in the company of “religious educator” Dr Darjusch Bartsch from the “Centre for Islamic Theology” at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster and Dr Detlef Schneider-Stengel, advisor for “Interreligious Dialogue” at the Diocese of Essen. A fact-based critical discussion can hardly be expected from this panel. Perhaps it will at least be possible to follow up with questions.