Threats against mosques in Germany - the state is required to protect Muslims Politics and Economy -

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It was a good thing for Norhan Suikan. After threats, in July alone, of bomb attacks on mosques in Iserlun, Villingen-Schwenningen and Munich, as well as the central mosque in Cologne of the Turkish Islamic Union DITIB, the largest Islamic complex with a mosque in Germany, In the past few days have seen other threats against mosques in Duisburg, Mannheim and Mainz.

Norhan Suikan, a 49-year-old lawyer, is the spokeswoman for the Muslim Coordination Council of Germany (KRM), which was founded in 2007, to serve as the platform for the four largest Islamic organizations in Germany. Its members are the Central Council of Muslims in Germany (ZMD), the Turkish Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), the Islamic Council of the Federal Republic of Germany (IR) and the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers (VIKZ).

For Suyakan, renewed threats are enough to address the German authorities through an urgent appeal: "Muslims are very insecure and the state must take confidence-building measures," she said Tuesday (23 July) in Cologne. Adding that it is simply the responsibility of the Federal Republic to allow all people to practice their religion without fear or threat of violence, "our coexistence at risk, and therefore our democracy." This is unacceptable, Norhan Suyakan continues.

"The silence of politics and society is increasing and thus strengthens anti-democracy and strengthens extremists," said Ayman Mezik, president of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, who wrote on Twitter about these threats.

50-year-old Aymen, born in Aachen, said in an interview with Deutsche Welle (-) that he did not hide his concern about violence against Muslims. For him, it is clear that "Islamophobia or anti-Muslim sentiment has increased dramatically." "Almost every week we complain of attacks on mosques or even desecration," he says. Muslims are also "increasingly attacked".

"Since 2017, the year when anti-Muslim attacks on Muslims and Islamic institutions began to be counted for the first time, attacks that caused physical harm to people have become even greater," explains the head of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany.

"The quality of the attacks has become more acute and the numbers that have not been dealt with are much greater, because the police and the judiciary have not been sensitized and trained so far on this subject." In addition, many Muslims have not lodged any complaints.

ReservationstowardsMuslims

There are official figures that support the Mizik thesis. According to the Federal Ministry of the Interior, in 2017 registered 1075 crimes were classified as anti-Islam. Of which 239 were attacks on mosques only. Although the final figures for the Federal Ministry of the Interior for 2018 were not yet available, there was a small inquiry from the leftist party. Preliminary figures showed that the number of wounded increased in 2018. Forty people were injured in anti-Muslim attacks until September. While in the same period of 2017, there were only 27 wounded, and the number in the whole year was 32 injured.

Symbolbild Antimuslimischen Rassismus (imago images / M. Heine)

Many Muslims in Germany have long felt threatened, and there were many events in 2016 that included marches against racism

The so-called "center study" of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung shows how widespread reservations are in society towards Muslims. Since 2006, the Foundation has been conducting a study every two years on the prevalence of extreme right-wing positions in Germany. Among other things, researchers in this study compare biases against different population groups, and the result: nearly one out of every five respondents is less Muslim.

NoprotectionAlwaysPolice

Given these figures, it was not surprising that some mosque associations had already begun several years ago to prepare themselves for threats through seminars, Mr Mazik said a few months ago. Security inspections have been introduced in associations, the police response has improved, awareness of the problems has been raised to prevent associations from ignoring crimes.

Deutschland Sehitlik-Moschee in Berlin-Neukölln (- / C. Strack)

A police car stands in front of the "martyrdom" mosque in Berlin to protect worshipers. The landscape remains exceptional in Germany

One thing is clear: there is currently no permanent police protection for mosques. "Even religious institutions can be targets for terrorists, and when there is evidence of danger, protection will be enhanced," said the country's top police chief, Federal Interior Minister Horst Zehover.

However, Norhan Suikan, spokeswoman for the Council of Muslim Coordinators in Germany (KRM), is no longer sufficient in light of the recent bomb threat: "The threat of the current threat has been underestimated and our calls for more protection of the mosques have not been met." Although the threats of bomb attacks did not materialize, fortunately, Muslims, under the present circumstances, are far from going to the mosque; they have no fears.

Daniel Heinrich /

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