MUNICH – Plans for a public Friday prayer in Munich to spread awareness about the lack of mosques in the city were canceled on Thursday, after threats from far-right groups.
“A few hours ago, it became clear that alongside the hundreds of people who will participate, and the broad support from Muslims, Munich residents and the media, right-wing groups have also been called to action,” organizer Massi Popal wrote on his Facebook page, Local.de reported on Friday, May 19.
The event had been organized to raise awareness among the public and the city’s politicians about the fact that there is not a single mosque in the center of Munich.
According to the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the last mosque in the city center closed at the start of the week after the number of people coming to pray put too much pressure on its resources.
Describing threats of violence that would pose a danger “to the life and limb of the praying Muslims”, the organizers decided to cancel the event so as to avoid far-right groups the platform they were seeking.
The Friday’s event would instead take place in a “worthy and safe” place provided by a local church.
Muslims pray five times a day, with each prayer made of a series of postures and movements, each set of which is called a rak‘ah.
The five prayer times are divided all through the day which starts with Fajr prayer at dawn.
Every week, Muslims hold their weekly Friday prayer, known as Jumm`ah, in mosques across the world.
Germany has Europe’s second-biggest Muslim population after France, and Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.
It has between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims, making up some five percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies.
Germany took in 1.1 million refugees in 2015, most of them Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans who fled wars and conflicts. The numbers have put a strain on local authorities and triggered anti-refugee sentiments.