Anti-Muslim ‘incidents’ surge in Germany, Spain

Dresden Mosque bombing
Picture shows a mosque in Dresden, Germany on September 27, 2016, one day after an improvised bomb destroyed the entrance. [Photo/Tobias Schlie/Reuters]

There were 950 attacks reportedly on Muslims and mosques in Germany in 2017, according to new government figures.

In Spain, more than 500 Islamophobic incidents were recorded in the same year, including incidents against women and children and several mosques, according to a civil society group.

Islamophobia in Germany

  • Special category: Last January, German police began registering Islamophobic crimes under a special category, after calls by the country’s Muslim community to take more serious measures against the growing number of anti-Muslim hate crimes.

  • In most of the incidents, the perpetrators were part of Germany’s far right, according to the ministry.

  • Death toll: In Germany, at least 33 Muslims were injured in the attacks, which included assaults against Muslim women wearing headscarves and attacks against mosques and other Muslim institutions, the Interior Ministry said in its reply to a parliamentary question.

  • The ministry recorded at least 60 attacks last year that targeted mosques and other institutions of the Muslim community.

  • Anti-immigration protests took place in the German town of Kandel on Saturday, with some protesters carrying placards that read “Freedom instead of Islam.” 

Muslims in Germany

  • Germany, a country of 81.8 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.

  • Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, three million are of Turkish origin. Many of them are second or third-generations of Turkish families who migrated to Germany in the 1960s.

  • The EU’s largest economy has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis.

Islamophobia in Spain

  • Rising trend: In Spain, details of anti-Muslim incidents were documented in the report “Islamophobia in Spain 2017” released Friday by the Citizens’ Platform Against Islamophobia (PCI).

  • According to the report, a rising trend of prejudice against Islam was noted among various political views in Spain. Street, media and internet campaigns by far-right groups were also recorded, said the report.

  • Incident types: Out of the 546 Islamophobic incidents, 386 were media and internet-based while 48 percent comprised verbal attacks against Islam and Muslims.

  • Twenty-one percent of the incidents were against women, eight percent targeted men, four percent were directed against children and seven percent targeted mosques. There were also attacks against Muslim communities’ businesses and associations.

  • By region: Of all the Islamophobic incidents documented by PCI in 2017, 51 percent occurred in the northeastern Catalonia region, followed by Andalusia with 22 percent and Valencia with 20 percent.

Source: Anadolu