Hate crimes soar in Germany as 91 mosques attacked

Hate crimes soar in Germany as 91 mosques attacked
1 min read
12 February, 2017
The German government has released statistics highlighting the growing concerns of mosque attacks last year, amid a climate of xenophobia across Europe.
The majority of attacks took place in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia [Getty]
Germany's government has said that 91 mosques were attacked in the country in 2016.

Twenty one of the attacks took place in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, which is home to the highest number of Muslim immigrants in the country, according to a report sent to AP by the German interior ministry.

While it did not detail the extent to which mosques were damaged or desecrated, the report said police identified suspects in 12 cases and made one arrest.

Anti-Muslim hate crimes have risen in Germany since the arrival of around 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015. This move, coupled with widely publicised cases of refugees being accused of rape and sexual assault led to a backlash last year from Germany's far-right, who capitalised on anti-migrant sentiment.

According to a recent poll by Chatham House, 55 percent of people polled in ten European countries said they were in favour of an end to all further migration from Muslim countries.

The poll of 10,000 people shed light on the widespread level of public anxiety over Muslim immigration with only 20 percent of people disagreeing with Muslim immigration bans.