COLOGNE – 50-Year-old Italian craftsman, Sarafino Pagetti, has presented a faience painting to the Selimiye Mosque in Bamberg in Bavaria, to express his gratitude.
“Whenever I came here, I was treated with a warm, welcoming feeling. I have never felt alienated, they treated me like a brother,” Pagetti, who spent last Ramadan at the Turkish mosque, told Anadolu Agency.
“Nobody has treated me like Mehmet Cetindere, president of the mosque’s association, in my entire life; I love this place and congregation because of this,” he said.
The Italian craftsman, a non-Muslim, has lived in Germany for 50 years and specializes in making tiles.
The mosque officials thanked Pagetti for the meaningful gift.
“When he saw the Hagia Sophia portraits hanging in our office, he wanted to portray it as a tile table. He made us this present in a short time,” Cetindere said.
Members of the association also gave Pagetti a copy of the Holy Qur’an and a book explaining Islam in the German language.
According to Pew Forum, between 2010 and 2016, the number of Muslims living in Germany rose from 3.3 million (4.1% of the population) to nearly 5 million (6.1%), while the rest of the population shrank modestly from 77.1 million to 76.5 million.
Even if there is no more Muslim immigration to Germany, Muslims will continue to increase as a share of Germany’s population in future decades because German Muslims, on average, are much younger and have more babies than Germans as a whole.