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In Germany, Syrians find mosques too conservative
by Joseph Nasr
Hani Salam escaped civil war in Syria and survived the journey from Egypt to Europe. But when he saw men with bushy long beards at a mosque near his current home in Cologne last November, he was worried.
The men's appearance reminded him of Jaish al-Islam, the Islamist rebels who took over his hometown near Damascus, said Salam, 36, who wears a mustache but no beard. One of them told Salam that "good Muslims grow beards, not moustaches," he recalled – a centuries-old idea that he dismisses.
"Everything about this mosque made me feel uneasy," he said.
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