Germany: Attempted arson attack on mosque in Dresden
By Anadolu staff
BERLIN (AA): Police in Germany launched an investigation into an attempted arson attack that targeted a mosque in the eastern city of Dresden on Tuesday night.
A 34-year-old man, who spilled flammable liquid inside the Fatih Mosque and tried to set the building on fire, fled the scene but was later arrested at his home, the police said in a statement.
No one was injured but the small fire caused damage, according to the statement.
Ramazan Yildirim, the chairman of the mosque’s foundation, said the assailant was known to the police, and it was his second attempted arson attack within a month targeting the mosque.
Turkish-Muslim umbrella group DITIB has called on German authorities to take necessary measures to protect the Muslim community.
“We are deeply saddened and concerned about such attacks targeting our mosques. We expect authorities to take all the necessary measures and hope that such attacks will come to an end,” Emre Simsek, an advisory board member of DITIB, said in a statement.
Germany has witnessed growing racism and Islamophobia in recent years, fueled by the propaganda of far-right groups, which have exploited the refugee crisis and attempted to stoke fear of immigrants.
According to the latest data, police registered at least 610 Islamophobic hate crimes last year across the country.
Some 62 mosques were attacked between January and December last year, and at least 39 people were injured because of anti-Muslim violence.
The figures also included dozens of hate crimes against Muslims, cases of intimidation, vandalism and property damage.
A country of over 84 million people, Germany has the second-largest Muslim population in Western Europe after France. It is home to nearly 5 million Muslims, according to official figures.
[Map of Germany from CIA Factbook/Public Domain]
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