As right-wing German political parties incite racism and xenophobia, it is the country’s 4.7 million Muslims who shoulder much of the burden.
Rabat – Germany’s police documented over 900 Islamophobic hate crimes in 2020, up from 884 the year prior, according to official figures released earlier this week.
Nearly 80 German mosques were attacked between January and December of last year, per a recent report from the German Interior Ministry. Notably, the number of people injured in anti-Muslim attacks jumped over 40% from 2019, rising from 34 to 48.
German lawmaker Ulla Jelpke warns that these numbers are presumably only “the tip of the iceberg.” She argues that the real figures are likely much higher, seeing as many victims choose not to report hate crimes to the police out of fear of personal retribution.
Police explain that right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis predominantly carry out Germany’s Islamophobic attacks, often emboldened by worsening trends of racism and xenophobia across the country.
Many blame Germany’s far-right Alternative fur Deutschland (AfD) party for the recent rise in Islamophobic attacks, accusing the populist party of inciting fear of Muslims and immigrants to win more ballots.
AfD’s hold on German politics has grown significantly in recent years, from not winning any Bungestad seats in the 2013 federal elections to securing 94 in 2017. It is now the largest opposition party in Germany as well as the country’s fastest growing political faction.
The party advocates numerous anti-Muslim policies, including banning the burqa, prohibiting the call to prayer in public spaces, and putting all imams through a rigorous “vetting procedure.”
Germany boasts the second-greatest number of Muslim citizens in Western Europe, trailing only France. Of the country’s 4.7 million Muslims, around 3 million are of Turkish origin, followed by Arabs and then Muslims from former Yugoslavia.
There are an estimated 150,000 Moroccans and people of Moroccan descent currently living in Germany.