Germany fails to protect Muslims from hatred, says Human Rights Watch

germany fails to protect muslims from hatred, says human rights watch (1)

 Germany is failing to protect Muslims from growing racism because of a ‘lack of understanding’ about the issue, Human Rights Watch has warned.

The nation has yet to implement a working definition of anti-Muslim racism and often fails to minimise data on incidents of racial hatred, the organisation said on Tuesday.

One of the main shortcomings of the German government is its ‘lack of understanding that Muslims are victims of racism and not just faith-based hostility’, said Almaz Teffera, HRW’s researcher on racism in Europe.

‘Without a clear understanding of anti-Muslim hatred and apartheid in Germany, and without solid data on incidents and community awareness, the response of the German authorities will be ineffective. Germany recorded 610 ‘anti-Islamic’ pains in 2022, but between the start of 2023 and September that year, the number rose to 686. It is feared that the number of coats of arms has risen further since the outbreak of the Gaza conflict last October.

The German Interior Ministry told HRW that it was unable to provide data on anti-Muslim pain between October 2023 and the end of the year

However, civil society groups have seen an increase in reported incidents, leading Germany’s Federal Commissioner for Combating Racism, Reem Alabali-Radovan, to join an EU-wide statement of concern to monitor the rise in hatred.

The Alliance against Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hatred, a network of German NGOs, recorded ‘an average of three anti-Muslim incidents per day’ last November.

The network’s director, Rima Hanano, told HRW that ‘2023 marked a frightening new record for anti-Muslim incidents’.

Although the network collects its own internal data on the frequency of hate incidents, the German government ‘has not yet laid the groundwork for nationwide monitoring and data collection’, HRW said.

The government has also classified hate incidents against Muslims as ‘anti-Islamic’ since 2017, removing nuances surrounding victims’ ethnic identities, HRW added. A three-year review commissioned by the government and published last year recommended that the authorities ‘not separate anti-Muslim hatred from racism’, but rather ‘recognise their link’.

However, the Interior Ministry has failed to implement the report’s recommendations, HRW said, adding: ‘Any focus on anti-Muslim hatred and xenophobia that does not include racism or recognise the intersectional justiciability of this hostility will be unable to dominate the full picture or inform real policy responses.

Muslim communities in Germany are a ‘group with a diversity of ethnicities’ rather than a ‘monolithic religious group’, said Teffera. ‘Germany should invest in the protection of Muslims and all other minority communities in Germany, because it is an investment in the protection of German society as a whole.



Raven Ruma is a professional journalist with a keen eye on domestic and foreign situations. His favorite pastime is to keep the public informed about the current situation through his pen and he is fulfilling this responsibility through the platform of Arab News.

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