Mosque attack in Germany underscores growing Islamophobia in Europe

2022-01-25 17:43:29
Mosque attack in Germany underscores growing Islamophobia in Europe

A mosque in Germany’s Saxony-Anhalt province has been targeted in an assault rifle attack, in a latest case of anti-Muslim violence in Western Europe.

A report in Anadolu Agency, citing a police statement, said two individuals heard shots being fired near the Islamic Cultural Center in Halle, a city in central Germany.

The police discovered three bullets on the ground, the report stated, but no casualties took place.

The suspect was identified as a 55-year old-man living in an apartment across the mosque.

Eyewitnesses had seen him opening fire on the mosque from his home. Two weapons – a long gun and a gas pistol – were recovered from his possession by the police.

The Central Council of Muslims, a leading Islamic organization in Germany, condemned the shooting incident in a statement on Monday.

“Thankfully nobody was injured. Police are still investigating and interrogating. Anti-Muslim hatred and racism are not just in words,” it said, noting that the mosque had faced similar attacks in the past.

"We must continue to work together and resolutely oppose hostility to Islam, anti-Semitism and every form of misanthropy,” it added.

Islamophobia and racism are on the rise in Europe. In Germany, mosques are targeted by supporters of the terrorist organization PKK.

The attack comes as Germany, especially its eastern part, has experienced a rise in anti-Muslim hate in recent years, fueled by far-right groups and parties after the massive refugee influx into Europe.

Many blame Western powers for the exodus of refugees from their conflict-ridden home countries, where they face violence at the hands of West-backed militant groups.

Germany has seen an alarming rise in racism and anti-Muslim hatred in recent years. The country is home to 81 million people, the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France.

According to a report by TRT World, the percentage of crimes against Muslims in Germany has seen a steady surge over the years.

At least 1,026 crimes against Muslims were recorded in 2020, compared to 950 in 2019, and 910 in 2018, it said in an Instagram post.

The situation in Germany is emblematic of the overall grim situation in Europe – growing hate crimes against Muslims fueled by the rising wave of Islamophobia.

A recent report on Islamophobia in Europe said that hate crimes against Muslims in the continent had "worsened, if not reached a tipping point," over the last two years.


Error! Error occured!