Germany sees sharp decline in anti-Muslim attacks

The number of racist incidents dropped from 960 in 2017 to 824 in 2018.

Muslims were victims in almost half of religious hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in 2018/19. EPA
Muslims were victims in almost half of religious hate crimes recorded in England and Wales in 2018/19. EPA

There has been a sharp decline in Islamophobic attacks in Germany over the last two years, a new report has found, following a parliamentary inquiry by the country’s Left party.

The research, which appeared in German newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, found in the first three months of 2017, there were 221 recorded cases of racial criminal offences against Muslims, mosques or Islamic community centres. During the first quarter of 2018, that number dropped to 196, before falling to 132 for the corresponding period in 2019.

Over the full year, there was also a decrease from 960 incidents in 2017 to 824 in 2018.

The report defined Islamophobic crimes to include violent attacks, religious hatred, discrimination against Muslims, and property damage, vandalism and trespassing on Islamic buildings. The first quarter of 2018 saw 17 injuries from Islamophobic attacks, compared to four in 2019.

Despite the encouraging news that there had been less attacks, Left party domestic affairs spokesman Ulla Jelpke warned that Germany had to remain vigilant.

"The hatred of Muslims — to the level of criminal liability — continues to be an everyday occurrence on the Internet, in the pub, and, unfortunately, in the legislatures," she said, adding that racism "must continue to be consequently opposed in all of its manifestations".

Ms Jelpke’s words come after Turkish news agency Anadolu reported that a 27-year-old man from the northern city of Bremen was arrested on for stabbing a man and shouting anti-Muslim slurs.

The 16-year-old victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries to his neck and is receiving treatment at a hospital.

Elsewhere in Europe, Islamophobia has been on the rise, following the massacre of 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in March by a far right extremist.

In Britain, Muslim groups have renewed calls for extra security after worshippers stopped a man wielding a hammer from attacking them on Monday morning, during the final days of Ramadan.

Tell Mama recorded a 593 per cent rise in reports of Islamophobia in the UK in the week following the Christchurch attack.

In France and Spain, far-right nationalist parties such as Vox and the National Rally have gained traction in European and general elections after projecting anti-Muslim views.

Published: June 6, 2019 02:41 PM

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