SHARE
COPY LINK

EQUALITY

Berlin mosque flies rainbow flag for pride month

A mosque in Berlin on Friday became the first in Germany to fly a rainbow flag in support of the LGBT community, ahead of two major gay pride events in the city this month.

Members of the religious community stand in front of a rainbow flag after it was hoisted outside the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque in Berlin, Germany on July 1st 2022.
Members of the religious community stand in front of a rainbow flag after it was hoisted outside the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque in Berlin, Germany on July 1st 2022. Photo: Adam BERRY / AFP

The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in the central Moabit neighbourhood unfurled the flag ahead of Friday prayers in front of a small crowd, including Berlin’s culture senator Klaus Lederer.

Many of those attending wore rainbow stickers that read “Love is Halal”.

The mosque, founded five years ago, is Germany’s only self-described liberal mosque and allows men and women to pray together, as well as being open to LGBT worshippers.

Mo El-Ketab, one of six Imams at the mosque, said he wanted it to provide a “safe place for people who are different, so they too can experience the spiritual side of their lives”.

“I hope that many other mosques will also show the flag in this way or set other positive signs for the LGBT community,” he said.

Two major events in support of the LGBT community will take place in Berlin this month – the Lesbian and Gay Festival on July 16th and 17th, and Christopher Street Day (CSD) on July 23rd.

Marc-Eric Lehmann, a CSD board member, said flying the flag sent “an incredibly strong sign” and it was “really important” to find a place for religion in LGBT communities.

“Queer people can also be religious and believe in God,” he said.

“We should not just be talking about safe spaces in bars and clubs in Berlin, we also have to talk about safe spaces in the places of worship.”

READ ALSO: Meet the Berlin pride co-founder continuing the fight for LGBTQ rights

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

EQUALITY

Germany launches plan to protect LGBTQ rights

The German government on Friday unveiled a plan to protect sexual and gender minorities from discrimination, including a bid to anchor their rights in the constitution.

Germany launches plan to protect LGBTQ rights

Sven Lehmann, the government’s commissioner for LGBTQ affairs, said it was a “historic day” as he presented the plan at a press conference in Berlin.

The move marks the first time Germany has adopted an interdepartmental strategy at the federal level to protect diversity and the rights of LGBTQ people, he said.

The plan has six strands, including legal recognition for so-called “rainbow families” whose make-up differs from the traditional family set-up.

The centre-left coalition government also wants to change the constitution to ban discrimination on the grounds of sexual identity.

However, this would need a two-thirds majority in parliament and would therefore require the support of the opposition conservatives.

“I hope that we can create momentum to achieve this two-thirds majority,” Lehmann said, adding that “discussions are ongoing”.

This was all the more important at a time when LGBTQ people are being increasingly discriminated against in many countries, such as Russia, Turkey and Hungary, he said.

“We absolutely must use the next three years to anchor the legal provisions” in this area, he said.

Other plans include easing bureaucracy for transgender people and improving health, counselling and security for LGBTQ people.

There are currently three to four reported attacks against LGBTQ people in Germany every day and the true figure is thought to be much higher, Lehmann said.

The new strategy comes as the World Cup is about to kick off in Qatar, which has been heavily criticised for its stance towards LGBTQ people ahead of the tournament.

READ ALSO:

SHOW COMMENTS