Tuesday, October 28, 2008

National Integration

We Indians take pride in the concept of National Integration. When I was a child, I came across the concept of "Unity In Diversity" very often in my school. I only hear this now-a-days during the commentary at the Republic Day. Things surely have changed!

An unique example of national integration comes from Germany. Remember there was a protest against building mosques in Cologne and Berlin. However, the biggest mosque opened in Germany without a protest from the local community.

Here area few excerpts of the article from Der Spiegel.

The governor of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jürgen Rüttgers, said: "We need more mosques in this country, not in the back yards, but visible and recognizable."

Why did everything pass off so smoothly in Marxloh? Is it because the 34-meter minaret is only half as high as the spire of the local Catholic church? Or because the Islamic community decided from the start to do without the muezzin call?

"We spend a lot of time talking to each other, not about each other," said Kücük, 39, while giving a tour through the mosque.

Do you see a spirit of give-and-take?
That's what National Integration is all about.

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