Mosques afraid of wave of violence from extreme right groups

After members of the extreme-right group Identitair Verzet [Identitair Resistance] shortly occupied the Al Hijra mosque in the city of Leiden, the Contact Body Muslims and Government (CMO) is afraid for an escalation of anti-Muslim violence.

CMO, representing 80% of the Dutch mosques takes the incident very serious, says spokesperson Yassin Elforkani. There have been incidents before, but this was the first time that an action was committed and coordinated by a ideological driven group. There are moreover signs that more actions will follow.

Muslim associations demand better protection for mosques after repeating assaults

August 24, 2014

A new episode of assaults against mosques has shocked Muslim communities last week in Germany. Furthermore, a Jewish synagogue was attacked in Wuppertal. A prayer room and samples of Koran books were burning in a mosque in Bielefeld. The next day, firefighters turned off fire in a new constructed mosque in Berlin. Perpetrators attacked again the mosque in Bielefeld burning Koran books. The police expects a political motivation for the recent assaults. Eight days ago, after the first assault, police authorities excluded every hint or suspicion regarding a xenophobic, political or religious motivation.

The chairman of the association ´League of Islamic communities in Bielefeld´ (BIG) Cemil   Şahinöz, showed had understanding for the hasty conclusions of the police. The goal of the perpetrators would be “maximal destruction”. The signs of the assaults would be evident. The mosque communities would be “deeply disappointed” by the lack of solidarity within German society. According to Şahinöz, racism would flourish when the majority of society would keep silent. The chairman of BIG called politicians and the public to break their silence.

The speaker of the coordination council of Muslims (KRM) Ali Kizilkaya called the society to stand united. Kizilkaya condemned the assaults against mosques asking security authorities to do everything possible to arrest the perpetrators and to protect the mosques. He regretted the low amount of solidarity with Muslims. Statement defining “Islam as part of Germany” would be meaningless without solidarity in such critical moments. Nevertheless Kizilkaya welcomed the visits Sigmar Gabriel (SPD) to the attacked and burned Mevlana mosque in Berlin.

During his visit at the Mevlana mosque, SPD chairman Sigmar Gabriel condemned the assaults underlining that criticism against the terror organization ´Islamic State´ would not target Muslims and Islam. “Islam is a part of Germany” Gabriel repeated. The chairman of the the central council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek asked for more protection of mosques and called for a united society across Muslims and non-Muslims. Fazli Atin, president of the Islamic federation in Berlin, welcomed the visit of Gabriel as a clear sign for Muslims, showing that they would not be left alone with these assaults.