There are more than 100,000 Muslims in Munich, but there is no functioning mosque in the city center

No place to pray

There have been no open mosques in downtown Munich since May 2017, when the last remaining mosque was shut down. Five other mosques in the city center were closed in the months before that, some as a result of overcrowding, others because the tenants were forced to leave after landlords declined to renew their rental agreements.

Text by Judith Vonberg

CNN 2017

Friday prayers with Imam Ahmad Popal at a makeshift mosque in an old pub in the city center; The social foundation ›Stiftung Sternenstaub‹ temporarily lends out the room for Muslims to pray

Ahmad Popal earns no money from his work as an imam in Munich; He has a job in a drugstore to pay the bills

Koran at MFI mosque

Plans for a new mosque in the city were abandoned in 2016 after the Muslim community could not raise the necessary funds

Imam Ahmad Popal during his Wuḍū, the Islamic washing procedure prior to the prayer

›I have the feeling that people have been waiting – and hoping for – this more liberal form of Islam,‹ says Popal

At Imam Popal’s prayer men and women can pray side by side

Popal’s Friday prayers attract Muslims of all backgrounds

After Friday prayers, Popal and other Muslims from the community clear the place and carry their prayer rugs back to the MFI

S. Sohbi and S. Haddad, attend the Friday prayers led by Popal; They feel attracted by the content of his sermons, in which he combines the original teachings of Islam with modern practice, and the fact that he speaks in German

One of two rooms at the Münchner Kammerspiele theater used by Muslims for Friday prayers

Marian Offman from the Jewish community is a city councilor with the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) and helped Muslims to find places to pray

Anne Schulz from the Kammerspiele

Friday prayers were held in the Evangelical Reformed Church in Munich three times during Ramadan – the Muslim holy month – in June 2017

Karl Kern, Jesuit priest at St. Michael’s Church in central Munich, in the room used by the Muslim congregation in May 2017

Munich’s central train station area shows a particularly high density of muslim communities from different origins