Mayor welcomes reduction in mosque height
14 July 2007, Cologne, Germany (dpa) - Plans to reduce the height of a planned mosque in Cologne were welcomed Friday by the mayor of the German city, Fritz Schramma, after months of controversy.
14 July 2007
Cologne, Germany (dpa) - Plans to reduce the height of a planned mosque in Cologne were welcomed Friday by the mayor of the German city, Fritz Schramma, after months of controversy.
He said that Ditib, the Turkish mosque association, had offered two alternative designs involving minarets between 45 and 50 metres high. The original design included towers nearly 55 metres tall.
The Islamic minority has faced vehement criticism in the city, with some opposed to any mosque being built.
The most widespread criticism has been that the proposed building would be too dominant.
In an interview to appear Saturday in a city newspaper and released Friday by the municipality, Schramma said the alterations were a "first and important step."
He said many city residents still had difficulty accepting the size of the mosque's domed roof in the city's Ehrenfeld inner-city area.
A recent survey of city residents by Omniquest pollsters showed 36 per cent favoured the original design, 31 per cent opposed the project and 27 per cent said they would accept a mosque on a smaller scale.
Ditib, backed by the Turkish ministry of religion, is a a major builder of mosques for ethnic Turkish Muslims in Germany.
Ralph Giordano, a novelist of Jewish heritage and atheist views, has been one of the most vocal critics of the project. He said Friday that mosques were "popping up like mushrooms, named after Ottoman conquerors."
Subject: German news