Lawmakers from Germany's grand coalition government said on Wednesday that they were considering a “mosque tax” for German Muslims, similar to the church taxes that German Christians pay.
The intention is to distance mosques in the country from foreign influence.
In Germany, church taxes are collected from practising Catholics and Protestants in order to fund church activities.
They are collected by the state and then transferred to religious authorities.
This ensures churches in Germany do not have to depend on donations from foreign lands. But mosques in Germany do not have such a system, making them reliant on voluntary donations.
Lawmakers fear this has opened a path for foreign countries to influence mosques. News reports in 2016, citing intelligence agencies, said Arab nations of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar have increasingly been providing support to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.
Religious organisations from the three countries have been sending preachers to Germany as well as financing the construction of mosques and schools, the report said.
Turkey is also said to have influence in mosques in Germany — this year, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugurated a mosque in Cologne. But passing such a law will not be easy.
Germany’ interior ministry is headed by Horst Seehofer of the Bavaria-based Christian Social Union, a party more conservative than its larger ally, the Christian Democratic Union of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Seehofer in March had said “Islam doesn't belong to Germany”, though he added that “the Muslims who live with us obviously belong to Germany”.