Germany’s Muslim community have called for a more determined stance against anti-Islam racism, saying Muslims continue to experience prejudice, hate crimes and discrimination in their daily lives.
“The anniversary of Christchurch mosque attacks painfully reminds us that stirring up prejudices and hatred against Muslims do not stop at words, but they can be carried into action,” the president of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said in a statement on Wednesday.
“This also makes it clear that we have to take a much more determined stand against Islamophobia in our society, even if it sometimes hypocritically portrayed as the criticism of Islam,” Aiman Mazyek said.
On March 15, 2019, an Australian white supremacist shot dead 51 Muslim worshippers and wounded 40 others at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Last year, the UN designated 15th March as the International Day to Combat Islamophobia.
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Growing hate against Islam
Mazyek called on the German government to take concrete steps to address the problem, and reiterated the Muslim community’s demand to appoint a commissioner to combat anti-Islam racism.
Germany witnessed growing racism and anti-Islam hate in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.
Authorities registered at least 272 anti-Islam crimes in 2022, including verbal and physical assaults, threatening letters and arson attacks targeting mosques.
A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to nearly five million Muslims, according to official figures.