Clothing donation bin in front of Hicret mosque in the German city of Bielefeld caught on fire on Wednesday. The mosque congregation quickly responded to the fire before firefighters and the police arrived at the scene. If the fire was not put out quickly, it could easily spread to the mosque, according to the members of the mosque. When the police arrived, the incident was reported as a petty crime instead of an Islamophobic attack.
German Interior Ministry released the latest statistics on Islamophobic attacks on Thursday responding to a Parliamentary question from the Left Party. The embattled Horst Seehofer’s Interior Ministry’s numbers claim that in the first 9 months of 2018, total of 578 Islamophobic attacks took place, according to German media. The number of attacks on Muslims during the same period of 2017 were 780 so that amounts to almost 25 percent drop in 2018.
Muslims in Germany quickly reacted to the government statistic saying the real number is much higher. Freelance journalist and an activist Tuba Sarialtin who lives near Munich said on her Twitter account that German government must be teasing Muslims by claiming Islamophobic attacks dropped in 2018. “If the incidents (Islamophobic attacks) are covered, then the numbers would drop,” she continued on her tweet.
According to Turkish NGO’s in Germany, police does not classify most of the crimes on Muslims as Islamophobia so the real numbers are much higher. And a lot of Islamophobic attacks also go unreported since most Muslims have little faith in German police.
Mustafa Durmus, 55 years old taxi driver in Cologne says Interior Minister Horst Seehofer is known for his anti-Islam views so it would be a great irony to claim Islamophobic attacks dropped during his tenure.
German government only started to classify Islamophobic attacks in 2017. The total number of attacks on Muslims in Germany last year was near one thousand. In 2018, more than 100 mosques were attacked in Germany and only in one case German police apprehended 3 persons as part of the investigation.