Germany opens its first liberal mosque in Berlin

Seyran Ates’ vision of a liberal mosque where all Muslims can pray together — women and men, Sunni and Shiite, straight and gay — turned into reality Friday as dozens of people came together in Berlin to inaugurate a new house of prayer.

Ates, a well-known women’s right activist and lawyer, preached in front of the crowd which filled the mosque. A female imam from the United States, Ani Zonneveld, called for prayer as the faithful kneeled behind her in rows, all turned in the direction of Mecca.