Anti-Muslim incidents double in Germany, says NGO

By Reuters
June 25, 2024
Muslims attend Friday prayers at the Dar Assalam mosque in Berlin, Germany, October 13, 2023. — Reuters

BERLIN: Attempted arson on a mosque in Bochum that had been marked with a swastika, the door of a Muslim family in Saxony shot at by a right-wing extremist neighbour, a woman pushed onto train tracks in Berlin after being asked if she belonged to Hamas.

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These are some of the record 1,926 anti-Muslim incidents registered in Germany last year by the CLAIM network of NGOs monitoring Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. That marked a 114 percent rise on 2023, with incidents shooting up in particular after the Oct 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel from Gaza.

Yet authorities are paying insufficient attention to this phenomenon, and even denying its existence, as mainstream parties take over policies of far-right, anti-Islam parties that have surged in popularity, Rima Hanano told a Berlin news conference on Monday to present the report.

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), which states in its programme that Islam does not belong to Germany, has jumped to second place in polls over the past year, prompting mainstream parties to talk tougher on migration.

“The streets, buses or mosques are no longer safe places for people who are Muslim or perceived as such,” said Hanano. “Anti-Muslim racism was never as socially acceptable as today and it comes from the middle of society.”

The incidents recorded, likely only a fraction of the total given a fear of coming forward and a lack of monitoring institutions, included 90 attacks on Islamic religious sites, cemeteries and other institutions, CLAIM wrote. Most attacks on individuals consisted of verbal abuse and were aimed at women. There were also four attempted murders.

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