As one walks the streets of Cologne, Germany these days, it is easy to encounter young men passing out leaflets about an organization that is “Pro Cologne. They are securing support in the liberal minded city of Cologne to oppose construction of a large mosque, and they already have secured over 30,000 signatures for their efforts. Out of the Pro-Cologne protests has emerged a new political party, “Pro NRW”(Pro North-Rhine Westphalia) whose leaders for see becoming a force to halt the expansion of Muslims in Germany. Officials of the office for the Protection of the Constitution believe their leaders, Markus Beischt and Manfred Rouhs are attempting to supplant existing Neo-Nazi groups by transforming the fight against Muslims as a political weapon that leads toward political power.
A major concern being exploited is over the size of the mosque minarets. It is fascinating that Christian churches can grow to any size, but a large mosque is somehow the concern of many people. There are German right wingers who still insist that Jews are the source of problems, and now they are joined by those blaming Muslims. Fortunately, the overwhelming majority of Germans are committed to democracy and the integration of their Muslim citizens.