Increasing attacks on mosques

Increasing attacks on mosques

Last Friday, there was another attack on an Islamic cultural center in Halle. The human right of freedom of religion is increasingly at stake, according to the Central Council of Muslims.

The Central Council of Muslims in Germany deplores an increase in attacks on mosques in the country. Almost every week there are new attacks, many Muslims are unsettled, said Chairman Aiman Mazyek on Tuesday in Cologne. He called on the state to protect citizens.

Attack in Halle

Specifically, Mazyek referred to a renewed attack on an Islamic cultural center in Halle last Friday. The Central Council's member mosque was apparently shot at with an air rifle. A 34-year-old Syrian man was slightly injured in the hand when a projectile ricocheted off the wall. The cultural center has reportedly been the target of Islamophobic attacks on more than one occasion. In addition, the mosque community complains of persistent harassment. Walls were smeared, Muslims were disturbed in their prayers with deliberate noise, and firecrackers were thrown into a group of people praying.

The state government in Saxony-Anhalt must ensure the safety of the mosque community in Halle and Muslims living in Saxony-Anhalt, the Central Council of Muslims demanded. At stake is "the human right of freedom to practice one's religion". All democratic forces must join forces to counter these attacks, Mazyek demanded.

Warning against right-wing websites

The Central Council of Muslims has warned of a new dimension of anti-Muslim racism. Right-wing Internet sites are partly responsible for growing violence against Muslims, chairman Aiman Mazyek told the "Heilbronner Stimme" (Tuesday). "Websites with such hate language have been chronically underestimated for years. Thus, a type of thinking has taken root that is now responsible for the fact that we are now experiencing a new dimension of anti-Muslim racism."

He said the inhibition threshold to violence had dropped massively. However, Mazyek praised the measures taken by German Justice Minister Heiko Maas (SPD) against hate speech on the Internet. "Social media must not become anti-social media, otherwise violence will ignite ever faster." A few years ago there had been "merely" the throwing of a Molotov cocktail at a mosque from time to time. "Today, on the other hand, there are targeted bombings of imams," Mazyek complained. The fact that Islamophobic crimes are now recorded as a separate offense under the politically motivated crimes, is an important step.

The Central Council chairman added: "We need to raise awareness among the public, the judiciary, the police, but also among our mosques themselves."Mazyek ames a high number of unreported cases and refers to a case in Halle. "In one of our mosques, where shots were fired as recently as Friday, the imam has stated that he only contacted the police when the second incident occurred. I asked him, why are you only saying this now??"Mazyek often experiences something like this. Among this group of victims, there is a great inhibition to reveal themselves to the authorities, he said. Many victims also did not come forward at all.

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