Islamophobic crimes in Germany more than double in past year

Muslims in Germany. Editorial credit: Sharkshock /

The number of Islamophobic crimes in Germany more than doubled last year, according to government figures, with the rise linked to Israel’s war on Gaza.

In 2023, some 1,464 crimes nationwide were classified as Islamophobic, compared to 610 anti-Muslim hate crimes in the previous year, German Press Agency dpa reported, citing a government reply to an inquiry by Christian Democratic Union (CDU) lawmaker Christoph de Vries.

Meanwhile, police reported 137 Islamophobic crimes in the first quarter of this year.

The dramatic surge in anti-Muslim hate crimes is linked to the escalating Gaza war, according to the report, with Germany being one of Israel’s staunchest allies.

Despite this, the German government had repeatedly expressed concern about the rise in Islamophobia in the country since the start of Israel’s attacks on Gaza following attacks by Hamas on October 7.

Any attacks on Muslims in Germany, for religious or other reasons, are “absolutely unacceptable,” government spokesperson Steffen Hebestreit was quoted as saying.

“The nearly five million Muslims in Germany have every right to be protected,” he added.

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The Berlin-based Alliance Against Islamophobia and Anti-Muslim Hate had also warned of growing anti-Muslim racism amid the escalating Israel-Palestine conflict in Gaza.

“We are witnessing an intensification of anti-Muslim racism in Germany. This is something we should all be concerned about and needs to be taken seriously,” said Rima Hanano, the head of the nongovernmental organisation.

“We must not allow inhumane positions to be further normalised and thereby jeopardise social cohesion. All people must be protected from racist, antisemitic and other inhumane violence and threats,” she added.

With a population of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. Among the country’s nearly 5.3 million Muslims, more than three million are of Turkish origin.

The German government remains one of the strongest supporters of Israel’s military offensive in Gaza, despite growing public pressure.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz has repeatedly said Germany bears special responsibility for Israel because of its Nazi history.

Berlin approved €326.5 million ($354 million) worth of weapons exports to Israel in 2023, the majority of which were approved after October 7, 2023, a tenfold increase compared to 2022.

Germany was also the second biggest donor to UNRWA before it cut funding in January following Israeli allegations that members of the UN agency were connected to the October 7 Hamas attacks.

Last week the International Court of Justice (ICJ) began hearings on Nicaragua’s case against Germany, accusing Berlin of facilitating “genocide” in Gaza by providing political and military support to Israel.

Nicaraguan Ambassador Carlos Jose Arguello Gomez requested that the court order Germany to stop providing support for Israel in its war in Gaza.

“Nicaragua is requesting the court to order that Germany to cease providing support to Israel in its campaign of destruction of the Palestinian people,” he said.

“Germany cannot but be aware that the munitions, the military equipment, and the war weapons it is supplying” to Israel are supporting its attacks in Gaza, says Gomez, even if such equipment is not immediately being used for that purpose.”

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