Turkish mosques in Europe continue to be a frequent target for Islamophobic attacks, the latest of which took place on a mosque in the city of Zaandam in the northwestern Netherlands on Tuesday. The windows in the mosque were broken during the attack.
“We don’t know who carried out the attack, but we are worried. We are worried that the weather gets dark early especially in the winter and our students study religion in the mosque in the evenings,” mosque official Ismail Genç told Anadolu Agency (AA).
Genç said the caretaker who came to the mosque noticed the vandalism, adding they had never experienced such an incident before.
He said there was no damage to the mosque other than broken windows, and details of the attack would become more clear once the security cameras were examined.
Islamic houses of worship have endured dozens of attacks in recent years in the Netherlands. The extent of the attacks varies, involving attempted arson with Molotov cocktails or other explosives or graffiti containing terror symbols or racist slurs spraypainted on the walls of the mosques.
Frightened by the violent attacks on establishments run by the Muslim community and mosques coming from mostly far-right individuals and members of the PKK terrorist organization, Muslims in the country have demanded better security measures from the government.
In another attack on Tuesday, a mosque in Germany’s western Duisburg city received a letter with Islamophobic and racist remarks for the third time.
The letter, sent to the Muradiye Mosque, included severe insults against Turks and Muslims.
Ramazan Ceylan, the chairperson of the mosque administration, said: “We carry out our activities within the framework of social responsibility and try to contribute to the society in Germany. The perpetrators of the hate letters which were sent before could not be found.”
The Muradiye Mosque, run by the Turkish-Muslim umbrella organization DITIB, has also received anti-Muslim letters.
Attacks on mosques in Germany are not a rarity.
Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country's nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million have Turkish roots. Many Turkish Germans are second and third-generation descendants of Turkish immigrants, who moved to the country during the 1960s.
The country has witnessed growing anti-Muslim sentiments and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by far-right parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.
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