A new mosque in Germany is banning the niqab and the burqa.
The Ibn Rushd-Goethe, named after Islam scholar Ibn Rushd, and German author Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, will open its doors to the German population, but will not allow women to wear the face-covering veil.
Turkish founder, Feminist activist and lawyer Seyran Ates told German publication Spiegel Online:
This is for security reasons, and also it is our belief that full-face veils have nothing to do with religion, but rather are a political statement.
The country’s first “liberal” mosque was built inside the St Johannes Protestant church.
Gay men and women, as well members of the trans community are welcome to pray in the new place of worship.
They will also be allowed to pray together, rather than in segregation as is the case in the majority of Muslim mosques around the world.
Ates said it was “ultimately irresponsible” to condemn conservative Islamic organisations without offering an alternative, and that was the reason for the mosque’s creation.
Writer and human rights activist Elham Manea, along with Ates will lead the first prayer in German, Turkish and Arabic, an act traditionally reserved for male practitioners.
The mosque’s creation, while welcomed by many has been condemned by others, and Ates has reportedly received threats of violence, prompting police protection at its opening.