German religious media is reporting that the German Muslim Brotherhood is planning to construct a new mosque in Marburg, a German city of about 80,000 residents close to Cologne and the birthplace of the leader of the German Brotherhood. According to the report:
A mosque is to be built in Marburg. The architect Shakil Shmed has presented a first draft of the plans according to Bilal Farouk El-Zayat, chairman of the Islamic Community of Marburg which is the sponsor of the mosque. “We are planning a transparent mosque, and we also want to show the structural design.” large glass fronts, adorn the building. A restaurant and student housing are also part of the concept. The association has already filed a preliminary construction plan and soon will obtain a building permit according to El-Zayat. The construction time is expected to be two years, according to the city. The building will cost around 1.2 million euros but it it is hoped to stay under that amount, added El-Zayat. The association has received the land, lying between a highway and railway line, partly as a gift. On the site, there is currently a building. El-zayat has received criticism over the site. “it is a compromise,” he said. The land was in central Marburg, but has no direct neighbors who may feel disturbed by the mosque’s visitors. “Our goal is to provoke as little as possible,” said El-Zayat in reference to the plan. About three years ago the mayor of Marburg had set up a round table, which involved not only the muslim community, but also the two christian denominations (protestant and catholic) and the jewish community. Now, further “discussions in several directions” are planned. The planned construction was “functional and inexpensive,” without the classic elements of a mosque, such as minaret and dome. Public muezzin calls to prayer also will not take place. The building only has one tower, which is only slightly higher than the building.”Tgere was also criticism,” about the restrained construction, admitted El-Zayat. Both within its own community and in the churches there were voices that spoke for a representative mosque. For many years the muslim community used a four-room apartment, added El-Zayat. The community had grown and had become well integrated into the university town located on the Lahn river. The Islamic Community of Marburg numbers about 70 permanent members.
Bilal El-Zayat is the brother of Ibrahim El-Zayat, the former leader of the of the Islamische Gemeinschaft Deutschland (IGD) which is generally considered to be the representative of the Muslim Brotherhood in Germany and both men grew up in Marburg, the sons of an Egyptian immigrant who founded an Islamic facility in Marburg. Both Bilal and Ibrahim El-Zayat were leaders of German Muslim youth organizations such as the Muslimische Jugend in Deutschland (MJD). Previous posts have discussed Ibrahim El-Zayat’s ties to the Turkish Islamist organization known as Milli Gorus and previous posts have discussed the ongoing German law enforcement investigation in which El-Zayat is one of a group of individuals suspected of forming a criminal association and intending to commit a crime by obtaining funds for its “politico-religious and ultimately Islamist goals.
Previous posts have discussed the government’s rejection of plans for construction of a 4800 square meter Berlin mosque and culture complex that was sponsored by an Islamic association known as Inssan whose earlier plans for the construction of a facility twice the size were rejected after running into trouble in 2004 when German media revealed that the property was actually purchased on behalf of the European Trust by Ibrahim El-Zayat. The Europe Trust is the endowment/funding arm of the European Muslim Brotherhood in which Mr.El-Zayat is a prominent leader.