German gov’t vows to combat Islamophobia, discrimination

BERLIN : The German government will take resolute measures to combat Islamophobia, Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said on Wednesday.

Faeser delivered a speech at the German Islam Conference, a forum for dialogue between authorities and the representatives of the Muslim community.

“Many people face racism each and every day in Germany. Muslims experience double racism. They are often facing hostility and rejection as members of the Islamic religion, but also as people with immigration background,” she said.

Faeser promised that the coalition government will take measures to combat racism and Islamophobia, and support projects to promote integration and stronger participation of Muslims in German society.

She also said the Interior Ministry will adopt a new approach for the work of the German Islam Conference, and advocate broader participation to ensure that it reflects the diversity of Muslims in the country.

A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to nearly 5 million Muslims, according to official figures.

The country has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups and parties, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.

German authorities registered at least 662 Islamophobic hate crimes in 2021. More than 46 mosques were attacked between January and December last year, and at least 17 people suffered injuries as a result of anti-Muslim violence. — AA

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