Anti-Muslim attacks becoming more violent in Germany

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The number of attacks on Muslims and Muslim institutions in Germany has been around 570 this year, lower than in 2017. However, the number of people who were injured in anti-Muslim attacks has increased, compared to 2017, according to German media.

From January to September, the authorities counted 578 attacks on Muslims, mosques and other institutions in Germany. The figure is well below the approximately 780 Islamophobic offenses committed in the first nine months of 2017.

According to German regional newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 40 people were injured in attacks this year. This marks a significant increase compared to 2017, when 27 were reported in the same period and a total of 32 injured in the year as a whole.

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 are of Turkish origin. In recent years the country has seen growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties. Dozens of mosques have been vandalized in Germany this year by far-right groups and supporters of the PKK terrorist group. German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas acknowledged that Turks in Germany still face hostility and discrimination while speaking at the 25th anniversary in May of a neo-Nazi arson attack that killed five Turks.

The German Left Party also related the ongoing attacks against Muslims to far-right riots in Chemnitz. In August, massive far-right rallies rocked the city of Chemnitz, in eastern Germany where skinheads hounded migrants and performed the illegal Hitler salute. After the violence in Chemnitz, German police detained six men suspected of forming a far-right militant organization that assaulted foreigners in the eastern city of Chemnitz and also planned attacks on politicians. German authorities are increasingly concerned over growing right-wing terrorism in the country. Lately, far-right groups have drawn up several “enemy lists” containing names and addresses of more than 25,000 people, a parliamentary inquiry revealed in July. The Interior Ministry said the lists were found in various police investigations and operations against far-right groups in the last seven years.

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