Germany: Lawmakers from Germany’s grand coalition government said on Wednesday that they were considering introducing a “mosque tax” for German Muslims, similar to the church taxes that German Christians pay, it was reported by DW News.
Thorsten Frei, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) told Die Weltdaily that a mosque tax was “an important step” that would allow “Islam in Germany to emancipate itself from foreign states.”
In Germany, church taxes are collected from practicing Catholics and Protestants in order to fund church activities. They are collected by the state and then transferred to religious authorities.
In the absence of a similar tax, mosques in Germany are reliant upon donations, raising concerns about possible financing by foreign organizations and governments, which has sometimes prompted questions about the promotion of fundamentalist ideologies. For example, there has been growing concern about the influence of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), an arm of the Turkish government based in Germany.
Officials estimates report that there are between 4.4 and 4.7 million Muslims living in Germany, but those figures include people whose families are Muslim by tradition and the number of practicing Muslims could be much lower.