In a movement against the conservative values of Islam, Seyran Ates has founded a mosque in Germany where wearing burqas will be banned, men and women will pray together and members of the LGBTQ community will also be welcome to pray.
With her head uncovered, Ates delivered the first Friday prayers this Friday in a makeshift room that will now be known as the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque across the world. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, the first “liberal mosque” of Germany is set up in Berlin where it shares space with St. Johannes Protestant Church.
The Church welcomes everyone, but those wearing a burqas. Ates says that she has been fighting against intolerance all these years, and its not the headscarf that she is against, its only the burqa.
54-years old Seyran Ates moved to Germany from Turkey in early childhood. A lawyer and women’s rights activist, Ates condemns oppression of women and calls for liberal values. Telegraph quotes her saying,
We are defending the good name of Islam. Ever since 9/11, Islam has been associated in people’s minds with violence and terror. It is up to us to defend our religion from the extremists. If not us, then who? We are fighting Islamism with Islam, and extremism with religion. I wanted to set up a place where modern, moderate Muslims can come together and pray. And not only Muslims: we had Christians here today, and atheists. We are open to dialogue with all. We respect their beliefs.
Very well familiar with the risks associated with taking such a stand, Ates says that she is frightened and she would be a fool if she wasn’t, but she hasn’t ever let fear stop her from doing what she believes she should do.