Anti-Sharia ‘Liberal’ Mosque Welcoming Gays and Women to Open in UK

Seyran Ates

A Muslim feminist who was threatened with death after founding a ‘liberal’ mosque in Berlin has traveled to the UK under police protection to set up a similar place of worship, whilst demanding the UK’s sharia courts are shut down.

Seyran Ates, a Turkish-born lawyer and human rights campaigner, arrived in London this week to scope out locations for the mosque, which will welcome male, female, and gay Muslim from all sects to pray together.

When in the UK, Ates slammed the nation “more than any other” for allowing sharia courts and sectarianism to spread and called for more debate on extremism.

Her trip was kept secret for security reasons, and she visited the infamous Finsbury Park mosque in north London, where Al-Qaeda-linked imam Abu Hamza once preached and inspired numerous jihadi attacks.

 Seyran Ates (R) introduces the first Friday prayers during the opening of the Ibn-Rushd-Goethe Mosque that she helped found on June 16, 2017 in Berlin, Germany. (Sean Gallup/Getty)

Ms. Ates said hardline Sharia courts support fundamentalists and are alienating moderate Muslims, telling the Mail Online: “Britain has a multi-cultural society and London, especially, is a melting pot.

“But you have made mistakes in the case of Islam. There have been a number of attacks in a very short time. More than any other country, you need to talk about extremism in Islam. You need a more open debate about secularism.

“I don’t accept that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam,” she said. “It has to have something to do with Islam because these people are shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.

“Britain’s big mistake was to install sharia courts. They have to be forbidden. They are fighting against women. You won’t find an objective judge in a sharia court.”

Since opening her mosque in Berlin, Ms. Ates has been attacked in the street, received death threats, and had fatwas issued against her, leaving her under 24-hour police protection.

Her mosque in Germany has banned the full-face veil, with Ms. Ates describing the garment as a “political statement” with nothing to do with religion.

Police officers are posted at the entrance of the Ibn Rushd-Goethe-mosque in the St. Johannis Protestant church in Berlin on June 16, 2017.

The activist believes a cultural revolution in Islam is underway and aspires to open a similar mosque in every European capital, with the London venue opening its doors within a year.

She insists the threats will not deter her and hopes the project will help “fight fundamentalism and extremism in all forms”.

“I can block it out, I never give up,” she told The Times. “I can look in the mirror each morning and say I did something… If you’re afraid, nothing changes. I would prefer to die than live in a world where we do nothing about extremism.”

Despite her optimism, the threats against her and the opposition from the Muslim world have been substantial.

Egypt’s Dar al-Ifta al-Masriyyah, a state-run Islamic body, has declared the Berlin mosque incompatible with Islam and the legal department of Cairo’s al-Azhar University issued a fatwa against liberal mosques.

The main religious authority in Turkey, Diyanet, has also attacked the mosque as “nothing more than depraving and ruining religion” and a religious institution in Hamburg has joined in the denunciation.


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