World, Europe

‘Islamophobia on the rise in Germany’

Politicians fail to recognize Islamophobia but consider it form of xenophobia, says head of Berlin-based Islam Council

Erbil Basay  | 01.07.2021 - Update : 01.07.2021
‘Islamophobia on the rise in Germany’ FILE PHOTO


Islamophobia has increased in Germany but politicians have not put enough effort into fighting it, the head of the Berlin-based Islam Council said Thursday.

For the day against Anti-Muslim Racism on July 1, Burhan Kesici told Anadolu Agency that it dates to 2009 when Marwa El-Sherbini was stabbed to death by a man she accused of an anti-Muslim hate crime during a trial in Dresden.

"After the Marwa al-Sherbini massacre, Islamophobia and its dose have been increasing,” said Kesici.

He said that politicians have not acknowledged the presence of Islamophobia in Germany but considered it as a form of xenophobia.

Although a commission was established to combat far-rightism, he said it always tries to find fault in Muslims when an incident occurs.

The latest Islamophobic attack in Canada did not come to the fore in Europe, he said. ”There is enough Islamophobia or violence against Muslims in Germany. German society does not notice this either. Even though the police record and there have been increases in violence against our mosques, places of worship and women with headscarves, it is not spoken in German society.”

Muslims are not taken seriously in Germany, he said, and there would have been a much greater social response if people of any other race or religion were exposed to these incidents.

The government tries to "do something" on this issue, but there is not a very serious study, he said.

“We realize that some sections of the government support this and when we talk to politicians, we realize that it does not reflect on politics and the government,” said Kesici.

Stressing that his group wants politicians to reflect the truth and protect Muslims, he said he expects politicians to fight Islamophobia and understand that Muslims are a part of society.

Islamophobic crimes in 2020 increased 8% compared to the previous year, according to the Political Crimes Report prepared by the German Interior Ministry and the Federal Criminal Office.

A total of 1,026 Islamophobic crimes were recorded in 2020. It was 950 in 2019, 910 in 2018 and 1,075 in 2017.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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