Mosques targeted every two days in Germany

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 09.08.2019 00:16

In Germany, last month, a mosque became the target of bomb threats and attacks every two days with more than 20 incidents in July. As the Bild daily reported, mosques have been heavily targeted by neo-Nazi groups with bomb threats or attacks. Twenty threats targeted mosques of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD). Moreover, mosques linked to the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DİTİB), which has nearly 850 mosques in Germany, were targeted nine times with bomb threats. The statement also included events that turned the threat stage into an attack. Seven attacks were carried out in DİTİB mosques, and

ZMD President Aiman Mazyek said that these numbers only show attacks reported to the police, as the actual number of threats to Muslims and mosques is unknown.

Security sources recently received reports that mosques in Iserlohn, Cologne, Munich, Mannheim, Duisburg, Mainz and Villingen-Schwenningen would be bombed and that places of worship must be evacuated immediately.

Although expert teams carried out searches after evacuating the mosques, there were no traces of explosives. In the past months, some mosques were set on fire. In some mosques, the Quran was torn, various things were written on the walls, and the mosques were damaged financially.

Germany's Muslims call for an Islamophobia commissioner

Germany's Muslim community has called on the government to create a new government post to counter growing Islamophobia in the country.

ZMD President Mazyek proposed on Wednesday the appointment of an Islamophobia commissioner. "We have seen the importance of such a post after the federal government appointed a commissioner to combat anti-Semitism," he told the Bild daily. Mazyek noted that the appointment of an Islamophobia commissioner would be an important signal, and authorities would become more sensitive to anti-Muslim crimes. Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition government created an office last year for a federal commissioner to fight against anti-Semitism, following calls by Jewish organizations. Despite suggestions for creating a similar post to address concerns of the Muslim community, the government has so far been reluctant.

Mazyek said growing anti-Muslim propaganda in the country has reached worrying levels in recent months, as more than 20 mosques received bomb threats in July.

"One who is against Muslims or other minorities is in fact threatening us all in a free, democratic country. It is crucial that society recognizes this," he stressed. Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by far-right parties and movements, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism. Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including insults, threatening letters, physical assaults and attacks against mosques.

Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. The country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims include the country's Turkish minority of 3 million.

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