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Anti-Muslim attacks double in Germany as authorities tend to ignore Islamophobia: NGO Report

An attempted arson on a mosque in Bochum that had been marked with a swastika, a Muslim family’s door in Saxony shot at by a far-right extremist neighbor, and a woman pushed onto train tracks in Berlin after being asked if she belonged to Hamas are some of the 1,926 anti-Muslim incidents registered in Germany last year by the CLAIM network of NGOs monitoring Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred.

This marked a 114 percent rise in 2023, with incidents significantly increasing after October 7.

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

The Alternative for Germany (AfD), which states in its platform that Islam does not belong to Germany, has risen to second place in polls over the past year, prompting mainstream parties to take a tougher stance 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 has never been as socially acceptable as it is today, and it comes from the middle of society.”

The recorded attacks, likely only a fraction of the total due to 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.

The CLAIM report noted a 140 percent increase in Islamophobic crimes last year, as recorded by the interior ministry, and a survey showed that one in two Germans holds Islamophobic views.

The government published its first-ever independent report on Islamophobia by experts it commissioned last year, with a series of recommendations for tackling discrimination.

Family Minister Lisa Paus said the recent rise in anti-Muslim and antisemitic attacks was “dramatic,” and the government was trying to do prevention work from an early age by funding civil society projects working on the issue.

CLAIM’s Hanano said, however, that insufficient action had been taken so far.

“Despite the fact … that we have been warning about this situation for years, it is still barely acknowledged,” she said. “What we really need is the political will to truly fight anti-Muslim racism.”

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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