“If not now, then when?” thought Dana and Julia. The two young women have travelled from their hometown of Olpe to the Central Mosque in Cologne, not despite but precisely because of the negative headlines surrounding its opening by the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
It’s already hard enough for Muslims, Dana and Julia say. Too many people are going around with prejudices and irrational fears. For these two women, participating in the mosque open day was also a way of signaling that Islam is part of Germany.
Dana, Julia and the other visitors have been sitting on the soft blue carpet in the big prayer room of the Central Mosque, listening to the speaker’s words of welcome.