Berlin mosque becomes ‘first’ in Germany to fly rainbow flag for Pride

The liberal Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque welcomes LGBT+ communities

<p>The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin have displayed a rainbow flag in support of LGBT+ people for the first time</p>

The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Berlin have displayed a rainbow flag in support of LGBT+ people for the first time

A mosque in Berlin has said that it is the first German mosque to fly the rainbow flag in support of LGBT+ communities, as Pride begins.

The Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, which claims to be the only “liberal” mosque in the country, unfurled the symbolic flag in front of a small audience on Friday (1 July).

Berlin’s culture senator Klaus Lederer and state chairman Kai Wegner were present for the ceremony, where attendees wore badges with the slogan: “Love is halal.”

Seyran Ateş, founder of the mosque, said that putting up the flag is “extremely important” for LGBT+ people of Muslim faith.

According to Queer.de, she added: “It shows that they do not have to choose between their faith and their sexual identity, but are accepted as such, as they are.”

Mo el-Ketab, one of the six imams at the Ibn Rushd-Goethe mosque, told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle that the religious institution is 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.

The gesture comes ahead of Pride weekend, with many cities expecting to see thousands of people taking part in parades and marches in a display of LGBT+ solidarity.

In Berlin, Pride is commonly referred to as Berlin Christopher Street Day (CSD) and will be held on 23 July instead of this weekend.

CSD board member Marc Eric-Lehmann, who was also present at the mosque’s flag ceremony, called the display an “incredibly strong sign” for LGBT+ people.

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

On Saturday 2 July, Pride in London is expecting to see more than a million people descend on the capital to take part in or watch the parade.

The march will celebrate 50 years since the very first Pride in London parade in 1972.

The Independent is the official publishing partner of Pride in London 2022.

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