Germany’s Turkish-Muslim community called on authorities on Wednesday to take stronger action against far-right extremists, amid growing number of threats and attacks targeting mosques and community institutions, Anadolu reports.
Kazim Turkmen, chairman of the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), underlined that despite an increase in anti-Muslim crimes in recent years, perpetrators often go unpunished.
“If perpetrators are not brought to justice, if they are not held accountable, it would not be possible to stop these attacks,” he told a news conference in Cologne.
A bomb-threat sent to DITIB on Tuesday, forced the evacuation of Germany’s largest mosque in Cologne, which is run by the group.
After searching the complex with bomb-sniffing dogs, the police found no bomb and the area was deemed safe.
Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia in recent years triggered by the propaganda of far-right parties.
More than 100 mosques and religious institutions were attacked in 2018.
Police recorded 813 hate crimes against Muslims last year, including insults, threatening letters and physical assaults. At least 54 Muslims were injured in the attacks.
Germany, a country of over 81 million people, has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 4.7 million Muslims, 3 million are of Turkish origin.