Lawmakers from Germany's grand coalition government are mulling introducing a "mosque tax" for the country's Muslims, according to Deutsche Welle.
The news network quoted Thorsten Frei, a member of the governing Christian Democratic Union party, as saying that a mosque tax is "an important step" aimed at helping "Islam in Germany free itself from the influence of foreign states and get a stronger domestic orientation".
Burkhard Lischka, a lawmaker from Germany's other governing party, the Social Democrats, described the initiative as something which is "worthy of discussion", arguing that a mosque tax could help Islam in Germany become more independent.
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Seyran Ates, founder of a progressive Berlin mosque, was cited by Die Welt as saying that "in the future everything that the [Muslim] community needs to could be paid for by its members themselves".
The lawmakers' proposal stipulates the introduction of a special tax to be paid by all practicing Muslims in Germany, which would then be redistributed by the government among officially registered Islamic religious institutions.
A similar tax is already in place in Germany and some other European countries for Catholic and Protestant Christians.
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According to official estimates, between 4.4 million and 4.7 million Muslims currently live in Germany.