May 29, 2024
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Understanding 'Islam Belongs to Germany' Insights from the President

Understanding ‘Islam Belongs to Germany’: Insights from the President

German Presidency Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Saturday that Islam is part of Germany amid a rise in discrimination against Muslims and racism that is fueled by the extremist organizations and political parties that have profited from the refugee crisis and tried to incite fear of immigrants.

“Islam is that is the Muslim faith, Muslim lifestyle, Muslim culture have rooted themselves in our nation,” Steinmeier said at the celebration marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Association of Islamic Cultural Centers (VIKZ) in Cologne.

“Today the variety of Islam is the variety of more than 5 million Muslims is also a part of our nation,” he said.

Steinmeier emphasized his belief that the freedom to practice religion was safeguarding the rights of everyone who believes.

“Germany is an unconstrained state in terms of ideology. However, religious freedom doesn’t mean that the country is a free country for religion. It’s about giving religious groups space and ensuring the rights of all believers, including believers.”

His comments came in the following of a recent report stating that Islamophobia and racism have become an everyday occurrence in Germany.

An estimated 898 incidents against Muslims were reported during the year 2022 in Germany in 2022. Meanwhile, the amount of cases that are not reported is still high, as per the report on situation released in June by Berlin-based non-governmental organisation known as The Alliance Against Islamophobia and Muslim Hostility.

Racism is a fact of existence in the lives of Muslims in Germany and there are numerous documented instances of women being victims according to the study.

The cases documented included 500 verbal assaults that included infuriating statements, insults, threats, and coercion. 11 letters of threatening letters sent to mosques that contained “often exaggerated threats of violence or death” were documented. The letters were laced with Nazi symbols or mentions of the Nazi period.

The report cited 190 instances of discrimination as well as 167 cases of “injurious behaviour.” The latter category comprised 71 instances of bodily injury and 44 instances of property damages, three arson incidents and 49 other incidents of violence.

Additionally, racially-motivated assaults on children and young children are growing as well, according to the report. There are instances where women were assaulted by their children, and women who were pregnant struck or kicked in the stomach.

The researchers behind this study think that the amount of unreported cases is significant because there isn’t a lot of media coverage. The initial report on the situation contained information from 10 advisory centers across five German states, as also reports through the “I-Report” portal, as well as statistics on violence motivated by political motives and press and police reports.

Many anti-Muslim crime aren’t acknowledged as such, or those who are affected have not reported the incidents due to a lack confidence in the authorities, stated the report. The report recommends for, among other things, the creation of more reporting structures and the raising of awareness about the issue among schools, authorities and the health sector.

A nation with more than 84 million people, Germany is the second-largest Muslim number of Muslims in Western Europe after France. There are over 5 million Muslims as per official figures.


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