With an onion dome and crescent moon, one of Berlin’s newest public playgrounds is coming under fire for entangling religion into something as casual as a public playground. Most decry it as resembling a mosque, and defenders insist that there is no element of religiosity about it, and that it is meant to mimic an “Oriental castle.” Authorities allocated approximately €220,000 ($255,629 USD) towards the project.
Some have expressed concern that because the project possesses religious themes, taxpayer money should not be used. Ruptly reports that one local taxpayer commented, “in my opinion religion, no matter which one – Christianity, Islam, Judaism – should be private and not be financed by tax payers’ money.”
However, some have come to defense of the playground, saying that it is appropriate, because “many Muslim children live here.” This is true, as 30% of Berlin’s demographical cohort is from the Middle East, East Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa. However, does the presence of a community that does not resemble its indigenous surroundings justify the federal implementation of foreign elements?
The mayor of Berlin has labeled discussion on the matter as “absurd,” and insists that the entire matter has been blown out of proportion. What do you think? Was the project a perfectly innocent endeavor to create an exotic-themed playground? Or is the existence of a mosque-themed playground a cause for alarm over a greater cultural issue?
Featured image courtesy of Ruptly.