Berlin’s Integration Commissioner, Katarina Niewiedzial, warned of the increase in anti-Muslim racism in the capital, noting that increasing numbers of people of Israeli origins no longer feel safe due to the war in Gaza.
“I worry that the current debate is amplifying anti-Muslim racism,” Niewiedzial told the Tagesspiegel newspaper.
She added: I would like the suffering of the civilian population to be recognized on both sides, including the Palestinian side. We must not allow ourselves to be divided as a society.”
At the same time, she described it as “horrifying that people of Israeli origin no longer feel safe in Berlin and need police protection.”
Niewiedzial spoke about the need of having school classes in which the conflict in the Middle East can be talked about and discussed effectively, according to the “Amal, Berlin!” website.
The police banned many demonstrations and arrested a number of participants for chanting “anti-Semitic” and “anti-Israeli” slogans, while the demonstrators said that they were expressing their support for the Palestinian people who have been living under Israeli occupation for nearly 60 years.
A number of football players of Islamic origin in the Bundesliga were criticized for their posts sympathetic to the Palestinians, most notably the Moroccan international player Nassir Mazraoui, the Tunisian Issa Al-Aidouni, midfielder for the German club Union Berlin, and Dutch of Moroccan origin Anwar Al-Ghazi, who plays for the German club Mainz, as well as Darmstadt player of Albanian origin, Klaus Ghiasola.
The media reported that some voices had recently begun to demand the imposition of a new law, which consists of placing a clause in the contract obligating every player to recognize the existence of the State of Israel, and the newspaper “Bild” called it “the penal clause for Israel.”
Gaza has been subjected to daily Israeli bombing for more than two weeks, killing about 6,000 Palestinians, most of them women and children, following a bloody attack launched by the Islamic Resistance Movement “Hamas” on Israel, which has occupied the Palestinian territories for 56 years.
A report presented by the German Ministry of the Interior, last June, stated that racism, hatred, and sometimes violence against Muslims in Germany is widespread, and often on a daily basis.
The Independent Expert Group on Anti-Muslim Hostility worked for three years to prepare a comprehensive report on racism and hostility towards the 5.5 million Muslims in the country.
The report concluded that at least a third of Muslims in Germany suffer from hostility because of their religion.
However, experts have indicated that the real numbers are likely to be much higher, as only 10 percent of Muslims are likely to report hostility and hate crimes committed against them.