Elderly Germans were surprised to see a group of Muslim youth knocking on their doors to help them as the country is dealing with the coronavirus crisis.
Turkish associations in the German city of Wiesbaden decided to unite under a single roof and provide assistance to elderly people who are in the high-risk category.
One of the volunteers, Osman Bilgili, told Yeni Şafak daily that an elderly German woman started crying when she saw them at the door.
“Are you really coming from the mosque?” the woman said, adding that she’d had a wrong perception of the Muslims and Turks for decades.
The woman apologized to the volunteers, saying that she really appreciated their helpfulness.
“We were actually surprised to see such a reaction,” Bilgili said, adding that they have been trying to help everyone regardless of their religious affiliation, gender or race.
“We’ve launched the ‘Help your neighbor’ campaign, which aims to provide assistance to those who need it the most,” he said.
Bilgili noted that other German citizens have sent letters expressing their thankfulness for the campaign.
The Turkish associations have also distributed food packages to the Paulinen Hospital workers.
Some 871 criminal offenses targeted the Muslim community in Germany last year, according to a report by Germany's New Newspaper of Osnabrück.
Germany has been recording anti-Muslim crimes since 2017. The total number of cases in 2019 has not been officially announced, but in 2018 there were 910, including 48 attacks on mosques alone. That year was a little lower than the number in 2017 – 1,095 crimes. More than 90% were attributed to politically motivated crimes by far-right groups. While the overall number of crimes has decreased, violent assaults have increased, according to news agency Die Tageszeitung. In 2017, authorities reported 56 anti-Muslim assaults resulting in 38 injuries. In 2018, there were 74 offenses and 52 injuries – including two attempted murders.
Every other day, throughout 2019, a mosque, a Muslim institution or a religious representative in Germany was targeted in an anti-Muslim attack, an inquiry by the Left Party recently showed.
Germany is home to 81 million people and the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.
Of the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, at least 3 million are of Turkish origin.
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