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Germany: Anti-Muslim hate crime surges in Germany

4th Mar 2018
Germany: Anti-Muslim hate crime surges in Germany

By Ayhan Simsek

 

BERLIN (AA): There were 950 attacks reportedly on Muslims and mosques in Germany in 2017, according to new government figures.

At least 33 Muslims were injured in the attacks, which included assaults against Muslim women wearing headscarves and attacks against mosques and other Muslim institutions, the Interior Ministry said in its reply to a parliamentary question.

Anti-Muslim crimes, including physical assault, threatening letters, hate speech and spraying Nazi-themed graffiti on mosques, were rife in Germany in 2017.

The ministry recorded at least 60 attacks last year that targeted mosques and other institutions of the Muslim community.

In most of the incidents, the perpetrators were far-right extremists, according to the ministry.

The Left Party’s expert for internal affairs, Ulla Jelpke, welcomed the recent reduction in the anti-Muslim crime rate, but said there was no reason to be complacent. She also warned that “Islam haters” had made it into the German parliament, in a reference to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which currently holds 92 seats in the 709-seat assembly.

“The haters of Islam have now made the jump from the streets into the Bundestag and contribute to poisoning the social climate with regard to Muslim life in Germany from the parliamentary tribune,” she said.

Last January, police began registering Islamophobic crimes under a special category, after calls by the country’s Muslim community to take more serious measures against the growing number of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

Germany, a country of 81.8 million people, has the second largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.

Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin. Many of them are second or third-generations of Turkish families who migrated to Germany in the 1960s and are well-integrated.

The EU’s largest economy has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.

Additional report from The Muslim News

[Archive Photo:  Demonstration by right wing PEGIDA against Muslims on 9 January 2016. AA]

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