Germany sees rise in number of Muslims injured in hate crimes

Germany sees rise in number of Muslims injured in hate crimes
Police guard a mosque in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA
The number of Muslims injured during racist attacks in Germany clearly increased last year, as Islamophobic crime went up slightly overall.

According to a report in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 48 Muslims were injured in racially motivated crime in 2020, an increase from 34 in the previous year.

A further 77 incidents of attacks on mosques were also recorded, with neo-Nazis believed to have been behind most of the crime.

In total 901 Islamophobic crimes were recorded, up slightly from 884 the previous year.

The police started collecting figures on anti-Muslim crime in 2017, when 950 cases were recorded. The decision to pay more attention to this form of hate crime came after a spike in anti-Muslim campaigns by groups such as Pegida during the refugee crisis of 2015.

Crimes recorded as Islamophobic range from online hate speech to attacks on women wearing hijabs to Nazi symbols painted on Islamic buildings.

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The news was met with condemnation from various rights groups. The American Jewish Committee wrote on Twitter that “this increasing propensity for violence must be fought determinedly by politics and civil society.”

Ulla Jelpke from the Left Party said that the statistics likely only represented the “tip of the iceberg”, adding that many people did not report the crimes due to a sense of shame.

Jelpke said that the government needs to bring in stronger anti-discrimination laws “so that the battle against discrimination towards Muslims becomes more than just empty promises”.

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