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Germany: Islamophobic crimes more than double in 2023

June 24, 2024

A lobby group says it tallied just over five criminal acts motivated by Islamophobia each day in Germany in 2023. Most of the cases were insults, discrimination or threats, but just under one case in 10 was violent.

People walk into a mosque facility in Leipzig with an unknown substance that resembles spray paint on its walls. Archive image from 2017.
The organization also logged almost 90 crimes targeting Muslim places of worship or congregationImage: Jan Woitas/dpa/picture alliance

A German alliance against Islamophobia and discrimination against Muslims, also known as Claim, on Monday said that crimes with Islamophobic motivations more than doubled in Germany last year. 

The group said it had logged a total of 1,926 criminal cases, a little more than five each day on average and an increase of more than 1,000 over the previous year. 

"Anti-Muslim racism has never been so socially acceptable as today and it comes from the center of society," Claim's director Rima Hanano said. 

The report's headline played on the first article of Germany's post-war constitution, which states that human dignity should be "inviolable," saying instead that it was "violable," even as Germany marks its constitution's 75th anniversary this year.

Claim said it compiled its list using a variety of open-source information, not least the various German police forces' own communications. 

The most common crimes in question were verbal attacks or insults, followed by cases of discrimination, but also including threats and coercion. In 178 cases, just under one in 10, physical harm was documented. Claim's tally also included four attempted homicides and five arson cases.

Israel-Gaza conflict had visible impact on German crime stats

The group also said there was an observable spike in Islamophobic crimes in Germany in the aftermath of Hamas' October 7 terror attack on Israel. 

Figures published last week in Germany also showed that crimes with antisemitic motivations more than doubled in 2023, fueled by an accelerated rate following October 7 — with more than 60% of the year's cases taking place after that date.

The report on Islamophobic crime in Germany is the second of its kind published by the Claim group, following the inaugural one last year. This year it is being launched along with a campaign to raise public awareness. Various German officials, academics and politicians have signed up.

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msh/ab (AFP, epd, KNA)