Germany’s Muslim community is planning to more than double the number of mosques in the country over the next few years, according to figures released by an Islamic institute this week.
“We have recorded 184 projects to build new mosques, of which some are already under construction,” Salim Abdullah, of the German Institute of Islamic Archives, told the AFP news agency this past week.
“We are talking here about buildings with a dome and a minaret, which are clearly recognizable from the outside, and not the 2,600 prayer areas housed in various buildings throughout the country,” Abdullah added.
Of some 1,200 institutions used as mosques in Germany, only 159 are recognizable mosques, serving a community that numbers over 3 million. The remaining are so-called “backyard mosques,” meaning they are in rooms in buildings that have other purposes or would not obviously appear to be mosques to unaware passers-by. In 2004, mosques with minarets numbered just 141.
The growth in the construction of mosques over the past two decades has made Germany one of the “best-equipped” countries in Europe for Islamic worship, Abdullah said.