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Germany debates 'mosque tax' to replace foreign funding

AFP  |  Berlin 

Support is growing in for a "mosque tax" to make Islamic institutions less dependent on potentially anti-democratic or "radical" foreign funding sources, a media report said Sunday.

The sees it as "a possible path", according to an answer to a parliamentary query, newspaper reported.

Several of Germany's 16 states had also signalled support in principle for the idea which would mirror Germany's voluntary Christian "church tax", the newspaper said.

Concern has grown in about the influence of foreign funding sources on mosques for the country's estimated five million Muslims, who hail mostly from and Arab countries.

Some 900 mosques in are run by the of the (Ditib), under the authority of

Its imams are paid by the Turkish state, and the group has come under scrutiny with some of its members suspected of spying on Turkish dissidents living in Germany.

At the height of a bitter row between Germany and in mid-2017, two German ministers warned in a Spiegel that Erdogan's "dangerous ideologies must not be imported to Germany via certain mosques."

In other cases, some mosques have come under police scrutiny or been closed for preaching radical and militant Islamist ideas.

said that, in the newspaper's own survey, several states had affirmed that mosque communities in Germany should be able to finance themselves.

The interior ministry of the regional state of had said it was open to "mosque financing based on the church model" to reduce foreign influence, including "the danger of possible radicalisation".

A for the interior ministry of state had also pointed to the threat of outside influence "on theological content and political opinion".

"In the worst case", the had told the newspaper, this included "radical Islamist or anti-democratic content or aspirations".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, May 12 2019. 18:16 IST