Elham Asaad Buaras
A mosque under construction in Dormagen, Germany, was spray painted with swastikas and Islamophobia graffiti. The act of vandalism comes as anti-Islamic demonstrations continue to grow across Germany.
The perpetrators are reported to have entered the building site late December 20. As well as the symbol associated to Nazis, the vandals also wrote slurs such as “off with you to the concentration camp!”
The attack on the mosque has coincided with the rise of the controversial “anti-Islamisation” PEGIDA movement in Germany. The group has been holding a series of demonstrations in cities throughout the country in December.
Head of Neuss district police, Hans-Jürgen Petrauschke, said he was horrified by the racially motivated crime. There is “no place for the spread of xenophobia or the glorification of the Nazi past in the Rhein-Kreis Neuss area,” he told reporters.
State security from Düsseldorf have begun an investigation into the crime and have also announced an reward of €1,500 for information leading to the arrest of the vandals.
Generally, anti-Islamic sentiment has become far more vocal in Germany in recent weeks, especially in the eastern German city of Dresden. PEGIDA, which loosely translates as “Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West,” held their largest demonstration to date, with over 18,000 people taking to the streets in protest.
Some observers fear that the protests are a sign that Islamophobia is becoming increasingly socially acceptable in the country. A number of violent incidents, including an arson attack on a hostel for immigrants in Bavaria, have raised fears about the far-right in the country.