German club FC Cologne have welcomed a decision taken by an Islamophobic supporter to terminate membership in reaction to the team’s new kit that featured a mosque.
As posted by the club on Twitter, the unidentified fan wrote to the Bundesliga club saying: “Today I have come to the realization that FC will be playing in kits that have a mosque on them.”
“Due to the fact that I can’t identify with Muslims and mosques, I am now making known my exit from the religious organization,” Deutsche Welle reported.
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The club’s logo features the Cologne Cathedral, but in a silhouette on the shirt the mosque shape is visible.
Above an image of the fan’s note on Twitter, the club wrote: “We received notice from a member who wanted to cancel their membership due to the mosque on our kit. To that, we say: goodbye and thanks for the idea!”
The club’s Managing Director, Alexander Wehrle, expanded on the theme in German tabloid Bild.
“The mosque is symbolic of the large Turkish community in Cologne, where there are many diehard FC fans. And it has become an unmistakable part of the Cologne skyline” he said.
“This applies regardless of how one stands politically in relation to the operator of the mosque [the DITIB].”
Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.
The country has nearly 4.7 million Muslims. According to estimates, over 11% of Cologne’s population is Muslim.
The city has several mosques, including the Cologne Central Mosque, Germany’s largest mosque and one of the largest in Europe.