Germany sees rise in number of Muslims injured in hate crimes

The number of Muslims injured during racist attacks in Germany clearly increased last year, as Islamophobic crime went up slightly overall.

Germany sees rise in number of Muslims injured in hate crimes
Police guard a mosque in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

According to a report in the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung, 48 Muslims were injured in racially motivated crime in 2020, an increase from 34 in the previous year.

A further 77 incidents of attacks on mosques were also recorded, with neo-Nazis believed to have been behind most of the crime.

In total 901 Islamophobic crimes were recorded, up slightly from 884 the previous year.

The police started collecting figures on anti-Muslim crime in 2017, when 950 cases were recorded. The decision to pay more attention to this form of hate crime came after a spike in anti-Muslim campaigns by groups such as Pegida during the refugee crisis of 2015.

Crimes recorded as Islamophobic range from online hate speech to attacks on women wearing hijabs to Nazi symbols painted on Islamic buildings.

The news was met with condemnation from various rights groups. The American Jewish Committee wrote on Twitter that “this increasing propensity for violence must be fought determinedly by politics and civil society.”

Ulla Jelpke from the Left Party said that the statistics likely only represented the “tip of the iceberg”, adding that many people did not report the crimes due to a sense of shame.

Jelpke said that the government needs to bring in stronger anti-discrimination laws “so that the battle against discrimination towards Muslims becomes more than just empty promises”.

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Germany shocked by teen murders

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in Germany on suspicion of murdering a 14-year-old girl, investigators said Friday, the day after a conviction in another high-profile teen murder.

Germany shocked by teen murders

The 20-year-old was known to the victim, who went missing on Wednesday in Bad Emstal, north of Frankfurt, police and prosecutors said.

Police found a body in the forest near Bad Emstal on Thursday and the suspect, a German citizen, was arrested on Thursday evening.

Police did not provide a possible motive, and the cause of death is still unknown.

In the second case, a 30-year-old man named as Jan Heiko P. was sentenced to life in jail on Thursday for murdering a 14-year-old girl known as Ayleen.

Ayleen went missing in July 2022 from Gottenheim in southern Germany and was found dead a week later in a lake 300 kilometres away in the central state of Hesse.

Ayleen and the man had met via a messaging app in April and had exchanged thousands of messages.

According to the indictment, Jan Heiko P. drove Ayleen in his car from Gottenheim to a wooded area in Hesse where he killed her before dumping her body in the lake.

Presiding judge Regine Enders-Kunze said he had killed the teenager because she refused to have sex with him.

“Because Ayleen did not want this, she had to die,” the judge said.

“You acted diabolically, you were the devil,” she said.

He was found guilty of murder, attempted rape, driving without a licence and procuring child pornography.

According to the judge, Jan Heiko P. had a history of wanting to have sex with young girls and had tried to rape an 11-year-old when he was 14.