Post photo: Mosque in Abu Dhabi | © Jörg Peter from Pixabay

There are also mosques in Heilbronn and have been for a long time. However, most people in Heilbronn do not and do not notice these, although many Muslims themselves like to live in a kind of parallel society and have meanwhile made themselves very comfortable there.

Sometimes Muslims try to bring their faith into our society, but unfortunately these attempts are either misunderstood or they are meant wrong from the start. Added to this is the fact that Turkish flags in front of mosques and loud campaign noise for foreign dictators hardly contribute to the fact that a thoroughly disconcerting and certainly also very backward religion finds acceptance in an open society.

I myself grew up with Turks and still have Turkish friends today. The very nice neighbor next door is a Turk, but also the less nice one. Most of these people of Turkish origin in Heilbronn are Muslims. And even if there are Arab and Balkan Muslims in Heilbronn, Islam in Heilbronn is perceived as Turkish - this perception is certainly not invalidated by the aforementioned Turkish flags, Turkish shops and Turkish religious officials in the mosques.

My examination of Islam, at least with its Sunni and Shiite variants, could not convince me of this religion and my own experiences make me doubt whether Christians and Muslims actually believe in one and the same God. But we live in a country of religious freedom and so everyone can believe what they want, but only as long as their belief is based on our free-democratic basic order!

But now again back to the mosque in Heilbronn — one of several. This was again an issue in Heilbronn and last Thursday the municipal council voted once again on a corresponding building application for the new construction of the mosque that already exists at this location. And as I said, it wasn't about Islam itself or whether a parallel society was (had) established there that could still be very dangerous for us Heilbronn residents, but whether the mosque community already established there should be allowed a new building.

From a technical point of view, it was about permission to construct a slightly larger building there and to have fewer parking spaces than is usual with commercial buildings. This is also because the mosque not only houses prayer rooms, but also shops and training rooms.

This vote in the municipal council was there in advance, as was the case with some people in Heilbronn, to settle accounts with the Islam they felt in general and the Turkish parallel society in Heilbronn in particular. Regardless of my own position on Islam, these discussions have shocked me again, for the opinions and beliefs expressed are little better than those of the worst Muslim fundamentalists.

Which makes me suspect that some long-established people from Heilbronn also live in their very own parallel society and only participate in social life triggered by special events that they themselves have not understood for a long time or even want to understand.

On Thursday, the municipal council approved the development plan for the mosque (cultural center) by majority. In addition, there were quite a few soul massages in the factions on Monday and once again massive use was made of faction coercion. The Free Voters, on the other hand, have left it up to their two city councilors to decide - because that is exactly the principle of the Free Voters!

To my regret Eugene Gall decided against the development plan, but Herbert Burkhardt for this. And as I said, it was about a development plan and not about the Turkish parallel society in Heilbronn. If the construction plans are implemented as shown, then the new building will be an urban development asset.

Unfortunately, as we can read today in the Heilbronner Voice (April 29.4.2023, 28: XNUMX), the discussions are still only about a lack of parking spaces and increased traffic. Because after years of false promises being made to the mosque community by the community council and the city administration, probably only because it was assumed that the community would never get the money for a new building, the only way to prevent a new building there is to start with the missing parking spaces argued. I had already commented on this last year as follows: This also has something to do with "ass in the pants"!

And so the subject of mosques, actually Turks and perhaps also Islam, will continue to be hotly debated in Heilbronn in the back rooms, the faction rooms and some regulars' tables. It would be better if these discussions were also held with the affected fellow citizens! And, above all, completely transparent and thus understandable, at least by the interested Heilbronn residents.

Then you might not only get a very attractive mosque building and a new cultural center in Weinsberger Strasse, but also an even more attractive district center that is open to all Heilbronn residents - regardless of their religious beliefs.

And then German Islam could show that it can easily keep up with the Christian religions, that it is committed to all people and, as part of an open society, is a great asset for our country and our city!

"What kind of a god is it that's upset by a cartoon in Danish?"

Salman Rushdie, BILL MOYERS ON FAITH & REASON (23.6.2006)

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