BERN - Leaders of the German Muslim community have urged the government to take stronger measures against far-right groups after several mosques have come under Islamophobic attacks over the past two weeks.
Attacks against Muslims and their houses of worship have been increasing for years, Aiman Mazyek, spokesman of the Coordination Council of Muslims in Germany (KRM), told World Bulletin website on Friday, May 24.
And this shows us that this issue should be addressed not only by security units, but also the whole of society.
Four mosques in different German states have been attacked after the trial of the terrorist National Socialist Underground (NSU) group began
The trial, in which neo-Nazi suspect Beate ZschÃ¤pe and four alleged supporters of the NSU terrorist group stand accused of 10 murders, started earlier this May, bringing back the issue of Islamophobia to light.
In the period between May 10 and May 20, the KRM has announced that mosques in Bullay, in the Rhineland-Palatinate state, as well as its capital, Mainz; the town of Lengerich in the Steinfurt district and the town of DÃ¼ren in the district of the same name in North Rhine-Westphalia were attacked.
The attackers wrote on the door of the mosque in DÃ¼ren on May 20 that, The NSU is alive and you will be the next victims.
In Mainz, another attack occurred on May 18, when two unidentified assailants hung anti-Islamic posters on the walls of the mosque.
The other recent attacks on mosques involved stones thrown at mosques and other damage to mosque property.
The KRM also noted that about 30 attacks took place against mosques in 2012, nine of when included arson.
The KRM condemned the incident, calling for stronger measures and a more determined fight against Islamophobic attacks in the country, especially during this sensitive period while the NSU trial is ongoing.
Based on the new statistics, Muslims said the government should predict the places that might come under Islamophobic attacks.
We should be more careful now at a time when the NSU trial is ongoing. Muslims should be reassured, too, Ali KÄ±zÄ±lkaya, the head of Germany's Islamic Council (Islamrat), said.
The state should adopt a stance that will be a deterrent to the extreme rightists.
Once the existence of the NSU murders was revealed, nothing should have been the same again and the state should have fought against the extreme right-wing more seriously and determinedly. Yet, sadly, we have not seen any greater determination to this end, he noted.
The danger of right-wing violence has received heightened attention in Germany since November 2011 when two members of a National Socialist Underground (NSU) cell were found dead in an apparent murder-suicide in the eastern city of Zwickau.
The cell, which had been murdering immigrants for years, was discovered by chance on 2011 by German authorities.
Authorities found that at least nine immigrants, eight Turks and a Greek, and a policewoman were killed by the cell between 2000 and 2000.
Weapons involved in the murders were later found at a burned out house nearby in Zwickau that had been used both by them and by a woman called Beate Zschaepe, who has given herself up.
Germans, burdened by their Nazi past, were horrified by the revelations and Chancellor Angela Merkel had publicly apologized to the families of the murder victims.
A recent study in November showed that right-wing extremism is notably rising in Germany, particularly in the east of the European country.
The study, "The Changing Society: Right-wing Views in Germany 2012", found that the number of Germans identifying themselves has grown.
The report indicated that 9 percent of Germans have adopted extreme right-wing beliefs, up from 8.2 percent two years ago.