In Germany, the government already requires active Catholics and Protestants to pay a “church tax.” The church tax is used in order to cover the expenses of the church, and about 70% of the churches revenue in Germany come from these taxes. These church taxes are also administered in other nations such as Austria, Sweden, and Italy as well.
In the past, these religious taxes, specifically church taxes, have been criticized by the public for violating the boundary between the church and the state, but many politicians consider these religious taxes as essential in modern day society.
Recently, German politicians have assessed imposing a new religious tax on Muslims— a “mosque tax.” The idea of the “mosque tax” has been discussed due to Germany’s worry over foreign influence over-funding the mosques in the country. As many mosques are supported by donations, German politicians worry about the creation of outside organizations and other governments financing the mosques.
DİTİB, a Turkish government based in Germany, has been fueling the creation of these mosque taxes. DİTİB was started up in 1984 and currently funds around 900 mosques in Germany; however, due to suspicions of the government spying on Germany for Turkey, the funding was suspended in 2017.
Many German mosque founders, like Seyran Ates, have actively supported the independence of Islam in Germany and believe that it is a chance for “Muslim Germans to do something for Islam in Germany.”
Essentially, the mosque tax is intended to create a divide between Islam in Germany from being financially supported by other nations. Many lawmakers, including Burkhard Lischka, agree with German politicians that imposing the mosque tax can benefit Germany by creating independence for Islam in Germany.
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