Persecution of Non-Muslims (Germany)

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Note that the persecution of apostates and the persecution of homosexuals are covered in separate pages

Female Jewish medical student beaten and wounded by a mob of women in a "Muslim area" of south-west Berlin after they hear her talking in Hebrew on her mobile phone

A serious anti-Semitic assault took place in Berlin last week, when an Israeli medical student was attacked at night by a group of young women after they heard her talking in Hebrew on her mobile phone. The Israeli woman was beaten and wounded.

The incident happened last week after the 26 year-old student attended a party at the house of friends in the Steglitz neighborhood in south-west Berlin, where a large Muslim community resides. At about 2 a.m., the woman, who holds a dual Israeli-German citizenship, decided to walk back to her apartment after she missed the last bus home, Israel's leading daily Yedioth Ahronoth reported.

While she was walking home and holding a conversation in Hebrew with a friend from Israel on her cellular phone, the student passed by a group of young women.

When they recognized the language the student was speaking as Hebrew, one of the girls suddenly walked up to the Israeli woman and slapped her in the face. The other women then joined in, pulled her hair, beat her up and kicked her. The abuse eventually stopped when the attackers thought they heard a police car approaching, and they fled the scene.

The student, who sustained injuries in the attack, received medical treatment and filed a complaint with the police.

The women's identity has not been established thus far, but they were apparently Muslim.

This recent incident is the first anti-Semitic crime to be registered in the German capital in over a year. Ever since the beginning of the second intifada, there have been many cases in which Jews and Israelis suffered attacks, usually at the hands of young Arabs or Turks. The German police have failed to apprehend any of the assailants until now.

"Attacks on Jews are becoming a daily ritual," police escort provided after Muslim youths chase, taunt and beat a 14 year old Jewish girl in Berlin’s mainly Muslim Kreuzberg district

The head of Berlin's Jewish community has said that attacks on Jews are becoming a daily ritual on the streets of the German capital.

“We have been getting reports from school children about them having been at the centre of verbal and physical attacks,” Gideon Joffe told the DDP news agency.

“Almost every day, we have been witnessing that the word ‘Jew’ is being used as a sexual and racist explicative… and that the children are beginning to think of this as something totally normal,” he said.

Joffe was reacting to a physical attack by a group of Arab youths, last Friday, against a 14 year old Jewish girl in Berlin’s mainly Muslim Kreuzberg district.

According to a police report, the girl was had often been at the centre of verbal attacks by Arab youths. The taunting began during the Israeli-Lebanon war, this summer. During one of the girl’s walks to school, she and a friend were even chased.

Last Friday, the taunts and the chasing ended in blows to the girl’s head and back.“This is a new dimension, which anti-Semitism has been taking,” Joffe said.

He stressed, however, that many of the reports of anti-Semitic taunts did not only stem from Muslims. Such attacks have come from across every religious and cultural group,” he said.

However, according to police reports, most attacks have been verbal and have come from segments of society made up primarily of migrants, usually Arabs.

Unreported attacks

The Berlin police told EJP that most physical attacks are not reported to them because there are no physical injuries. Thus they have not been able to put together a statistic of conclusive numbers to work with at this time. “Nevertheless, we should not underestimate the mental scars that can be left behind,” one officer said, adding that he believes even verbal attacks should not go unreported.

Joffe is concerned that potential attacks keep Jews from living out their traditions. “Stars of David, hanging around the necks of kids or the wearing of Kippas (scullcaps) have almost totally disappeared from the Berlin landscape,” Joffe said.

Joffe blamed most instances of violence on the lack of education in non-college-prepratory high schools. “The college prepratory schools have been dealing with this topic but it is hight time that the other schools deal with these issues as well – before they get out of hand,” Joffe continued. Most migrant children do not graduate from college-prepratory schools and are thus not receiving the information they should be getting on the subject.

Increase registered

Berlin’s Jewish community had registered an increase in anti-Semitic violence, in particular from among Muslim youths, during flair ups in the Israel-Arab conflict. It has put the number at one attack, mostly verbal, per day.

Joffe has called on teachers and politicians to constructively discuss the Middle East conflict in such a way as to make it clear that within the Jewish communities there are also dissenting opinions about Israeli policies. He said that conflict management teams need to be built up to confront these themes, concluding that “all attacks on minority groups are an attack on democratic values”.

In the meantime, Joffe has appealed to parents to send their children to Jewish schools – which are located away from neighbourhoods where such attacks have taken place.

One of the Jewish schools has reported an increase in enrolment since this summer’s Lebanon war.

The 14 year Jewish girl attacked last Friday, however, is still going to her own school. But she is now accompanied from her home by a police officer.

Police are now investigating one of the presumed assailants of the 14 year old girl, a 15 year old Palestinian girl.

Muslim of Afghan origin stabs an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the stomach, causes serious injuries while calling him a "Jewish pig" and other anti-Semitic insults

A German court has jailed a Muslim of Afghan origin for three and a half years for stabbing an Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the stomach in the street.

The court in the south-western city of Frankfurt convicted Sajed Aziz, 23, of grievous bodily harm.

Witnesses said he had shouted anti-Semitic insults at the victim, Rabbi Zalman Gurevitch, 43. The case sparked a discussion in Germany about whether there were no-go areas for Jews in some cities.

Passing the sentence, Judge Klaus Drescher said there had not been enough evidence to support the original charge of attempted manslaughter.

However, he noted that Aziz had clearly called Mr Gurevitch a "Jewish pig".

Aziz admitted in court that he had stabbed his victim on a Frankfurt street on 7 September 2007 but called it self-defence, saying Mr Gurevitch had grabbed him by the collar.

The rabbi said Aziz had first shouted anti-Semitic slurs at him, then plunged a nearly three-inch (7-cm) blade into his lower abdomen.

Son of an Egyptian Imam receives death threats for criticizing Islam for the backwardness of the Muslim World and making it a breeding ground for intolerance and violence

What would the world lose if the Islamic nations disappeared from the map? Almost nothing, says Hamad 'Abd-al-Samad, and he adds that the Islamic world has stopped innovating, and become a burden on the civilized nations. Indeed it has become a breeding ground for intolerance and violence. The researcher at the University of Munich says in his book, which was published in German and Arabic under the title "The Fall of the Islamic World," that the Muslims are fixed on the past, and are unable to answer the difficult questions of the future. Therefore they flee to the successes of a glorious past."

The book has caused serious controversy since its release in Germany, between those who accuse 'Abd-al-Samad of disseminating and establishing stereotypes, and those who consider him a "brave writer" who has placed his finger on the problem for many people, calling on Muslims to take charge of the reform of their own societies. In this book, 'Abd-al-Samad considers Islam a part of the problem in the Islamic world, and he looks at the Qur'an as a stumbling block in the way of Muslim development, due to the enormous influence the text of the Qur'an has over Muslims. The author has received a number of death threats, and also received accusations that he--the son of an imam of a mosque in the Egyptian countryside--is swimming in the current of hostility to Islam and Muslims. [...]

Head of the small Jewish community in Pinneberg, a town near Hamburg, is put under police protection after being called a “dirty Jew” and receiving death threats from a local Muslim convert

A German Islamist has reportedly issued death threats against Wolfgang Seibert, the head of the small Jewish community of Pinneberg, a town near Hamburg. On the internet, the man, named as Harry S., called Seibert a “dirty Jew”, crossed out Seibert’s photo with red ink and wrote: “Be careful, Allah might punish you with death already in this world. That is not a threat from me, but from Allah the Almighty.” Harry S., a native German who converted to Islam and now calls himself Isa al-Khattab, also wrote on a webpage: “May Allah destroy the infidels.”

Seibert has been put under police protection. He told the German newspaper ‘Bild’ that he once met Harry S. on the street. “He is dangerous and mad,” Seibert said. In recent months, the small mosque in the town of Pinneberg, which is 20 kilometers from Hamburg and has less than 50,000 inhabitants, has become a meeting point for radical Islamists following the decision last August by authorities in Hamburg to close a mosque there over concerns of anti-constitutional activities.

The Jewish community of Pinneberg has 250 members.

Ethnic Albanian from Kosovo shouts "Allahu Akbar" and opens fire on a bus carrying US airmen in Frankfurt, killing two and wounding two others before his gun jams. Shouts "Jihad Jihad" while being subdued

A gunman shouting "Allahu Akbar" opened fire on a bus carrying U.S. airmen in Frankfurt, Germany, killing two and wounding two others before his gun jammed and he was subdued, officials said.

An ethnic Albanian from Kosovo was taken into custody and the FBI was heading an investigation because U.S. citizens were killed and to determine whether the shooting was an act of terrorism.
. . .
Sources told ABC News that the victims were on a bus at Frankfurt airport. The bus was marked United States Air Force and was carrying 13 or 14 people, plus the driver. U.S. intelligence is trying to determine whether the shooting occurred while the gunman was on the bus or while he was trying to board the bus.

When he opened fire, the gunman, identified as a long-term resident of Germany, shouted "Allahu Akbar," according to sources. He fired nine times, killling two and critically wounding two others before the gun jammed and he was subdued by other passengers. While being wrestled into submission, the suspect shouted either "Jihad Jihad" or "Allahu Akbar," sources said.

One of the dead was the bus driver, military officials said.

The servicemembers who were attacked were members of a Security Forces team assigned to RAF Lakenheath in Great Britain. They were being transported to Ramstein Airbase and were en route to support Overseas Contingency Operations, although their exact destination was not stated.

Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., said at a House Homeland Security Committee hearing today that the shooting looks like it could be a terrorist attack. Meehan said he was briefed by his staff, who are continuing to collect information.

The gunman was identifed by sources to ABC News as Arid Uka, although other spellings give his name as Arif Uka. Although he has lived in Germany for years, he is a citizen of Kosovo and his family is from the northern town of Mitrovica.

Turkish member of the Berlin state parliament enters a restaurant in Berlin for food, but is beaten by the restaurant staff for ordering pork sausages during Ramadan

Turkish member of Berlin state parliament Orjam Mutluin was beaten in the restaurant, because he dared to order a sausage during Muslim Ramadan.

Turkish Radikal reports that the incident took place in the restaurant the owner of which is Turkish in one of famous streets of Berlin.

According to the report, the MP entered the restaurant and ordered a pork meat sausage. But the restaurant staff said that the MP should not eat pork sausage during the Ramadan. After short dispute the restaurant staff beat the MP.

Tunisian-born male attacks a Jewish synagogue in the city of Lübeck with rocks on New Year’s Day

Two men broke four window panes by throwing rocks and were arrested while fleeing. A little later they returned unhindered to the crime scene. They wanted to apologize.

In the early afternoon of New Year’s Day there was rock throwing at the synagogue. There were four window panes broken in the first and and in second story where there are apartments. The perpetrators could be arrested on Mühlenstraße only a few minutes afterward through tips from the police officer on duty responsible for the permanent surveillance of the Jewish house of worship on St.-Annen-Straße. “I just happened to look out the window,” a resident said, “over a longer period of time there were two men standing there in front of the wall at the synagogue. All at once they took rocks out of their jacket pockets and threw them at the building. Then they ran quickly away.” Later, it came out that the rocks were anywhere from three to five centimeters in size.

The police secured the personal data of the 20-year-old and the 28-year-old and produced a charge of property damage. What happened after called the protectors of order back to duty: the two men – free on foot in the meantime – returned only one and a half hours later. They were able to get to the site unhindered through the unsecured and unlocked entryway and get within a few meters of the building. Two officers of the so-called 24-hour criminal readiness service were directly at the site in order to gather clues and to question the residents after the incident.

Both perpetrators went directly to the two plainclothes officers and a resident of the complex and admitted to being the “rock throwers.” They wanted to apologize according to their own profession and therefore ring the doorbell. Their request was immediately and brusquely rejected by the resident present. Nonetheless, a minutes-long discussion burned at the synagogue premisses; the two men were expelled from the property and, after the arrival of two patrol cars, brought to the authorities’ highrise. It is important to Carola Aßmann, of police public relations, the evidence that at the time of the conversation there was no danger for the residents.

The 20-year-old suspect came from Lübeck according to Stefan Muhtz of the Lübeck police administration. He was considerably intoxicated; a voluntary text yielded a tentative blood alcohol count of 2.23 ppm. In addition, the press speaker stated: “The second suspect is 28 year old. He comes from Tunisia and has German citizenship. He has a court-appointed counsellor. The man was only lightly intoxicated. A voluntary test yielded 0.5 ppm as a tentative value.” Both men were released again in an arrangement with the Lübeck district attorney.

The speaker for the Lübeck district attorney, Klaus-Dieter Schultz, indicates regarding the further action: “Investigational procedures were initiated in view of general property damage. But we must now wait for the results of the investivative services.” Grounds for a “commission of an act in connection with national property rights” don’t exist at the current time, said another reference. The Jewish Community didn’t wish to make a statement regarding the incident.

October 2005 was the last time the synagogue was the target of a similar attack. An unidentified individual threw a bottle at the house of worship; it broke out a window over the main entrance. The constant surveillance of the building by the police has been going on since the arson attacks of 1994 and 1995.

30 Muslims arrested after they violently protest cartoons in the city of Solingen by attacking police with stones and flagpoles, injuring three officers and a passerby

Radical Islamists attacked police in the western German city of Solingen on Tuesday in protest of a far-right demonstration where anti-Islamic cartoons had been put on display.

Some 30 Salafists were arrested after injuring three police officers and a passerby by throwing stones and wielding poles from protest banners, police said. Pro NRW, categorized as an extremist right-wing group by Germany's domestic intelligence agency, had staged a demonstration near a Salafist mosque in Solingen.

The violence erupted when Pro NRW demonstrators showed controversial cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad drawn by Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. One of his drawings was among a series of cartoons published by Danish newspapers in 2005 that led to worldwide protests by Muslims, who were offended by the pictures. Many Muslims believe that visual depictions of Muhammad should be prohibited.

"Several Salafists wearing turbans suddenly jumped over the cordon and threw stones at police officers and also hit them with flagpoles," police spokeswoman Anja Meis said.

110 Muslims arrested after hundreds of them counter-protest violently in the city of Bonn by attacking police with stones and bottles, 2 officers stabbed and hospitalized, 27 other officers injured

Clashes erupted in Germany when police tried to separate competing rallies by an ultraconservative Muslim group and a small far-right march, injuring 29 officers, authorities said Sunday. More than 100 Salafist protesters were briefly arrested.

The trouble in the western city of Bonn started late Saturday when hundreds of Muslims protested against the rally of about 30 supporters of the local far-right party Pro NRW, which has angered Muslims by showing unfavorable cartoons depicting Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Strict Muslims oppose any depiction of their prophet.

About 110 Salafist protesters were arrested after they started attacking security forces with stones and bottles, police said. Two of the injured police officers were hospitalized with serious wounds after being stabbed.

Most of the protesters who were arrested were released by Sunday, but prosecutors opened criminal investigations against them on suspicion of breach of the peace. A 25-year-old German protester of Turkish origin, who is suspected of having stabbed the two police officers, remained in custody and was investigated on suspicion of attempted homicide, police said.

"This was an explosion of violence as we haven't witnessed in a long time," Bonn police chief Ursula Brohl-Sowa said at a news conference Sunday.

About 200 Salafists threw objects toward police after the far-right protesters showed the cartoon depicting Mohammed, she said, according to German news agency dapd.

Similar clashes between Salafists and the Pro NRW party erupted last weekend, leading to the temporary arrest of 81 Salafist protesters. The marginal anti-immigration party has multiplied its public appearances in North-Rhine Westphalia state before state elections there next week.

Germany's intelligence and security agencies are closely monitoring the Salafists' actions as the group is increasingly viewed as a threat to security, according to officials.

"Salafism is currently the most dynamic Islamist movement as well in Germany as internationally. Its fanatic followers represent a particular danger for Germany's security," Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich told Sunday paper Bild am Sonntag. "The Salafists provide the ideological foundation for those who then turn violent," he was further quoted as saying.

Devout Muslim calls for the murder of far-right party members, urges the collection of personal information, including their home addresses and work schedules

A conservative German Muslim is calling for the murder of members of a far-right party that regularly provokes ultra-conservative Muslims using cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh), a newspaper reported.

According to an article due to appear Monday in the Tageszeitung daily, a conservative Muslim from Bonn in western Germany has appeared in a video on an Islamic forum in which he encouraged “the killing of all activists from the Pro NRW party”.

Members of the small extreme-right political party held a campaign event using anti-Islamic caricatures ahead of an election in Germany’s most populous state North Rhine-Westphalia on May 13.

In his appeal, he urged the collection of personal information on Pro NRW members, including their home addresses and work schedules, with the goal of attacking them. “We take this message seriously,” an Interior Minister spokesman told the newspaper, which said the man had broadcast messages for the “Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan”. Several police were injured during recent clashes between Muslims and Pro NRW members. The right-wing activists have for several years campaigned against the construction of mosques and have in some protests marched with cartoons of Mohammed (pbuh) that were initially published by a Danish newspaper in 2005, leading to a wave of violence and anger across the Muslim world.

Islam strictly prohibits the depiction of any prophet as blasphemous.

Four youths of "Arab descent" beat rabbi over the head and injure him for being Jewish, then threaten to kill his six-year-old daughter in broad daylight. Jews now advised not to dress as Jews

Four youths, thought to be of "Arab descent" confronted the 53-year-old in the Schöneberg district of Berlin in the early evening of Tuesday, asking him "Are you a Jew?" according to a police statement.

One of the men blocked his path, while three others stood behind the rabbi and his daughter. The man blocking his path suddenly hit the rabbi repeatedly, injuring his head.

"There were then insults directed towards the man, his beliefs and his mother, as well as a death threat in the direction of his daughter," the police said in a statement.

The youths fled after the attack and the rabbi was taken to hospital. Police said he was wearing "a traditional Jewish head covering."

Prosecutors have launched an investigation.

Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms," saying it was "an attack on the peaceful co-habitation of all people who live in our city."

The Jewish forum for democracy and against anti-Semitism said it was "very shocked by the act of violence."

Group spokesman Levi Salomon said the victim was "one of the first rabbis to be ordained in Germany after the Holocaust" when six million Jews were murdered by Adolf Hitler's Nazis.

He teaches religious studies at a Jewish school and has pushed for years for dialogue with Christians and Muslims, Salomon said.
After an attack on a rabbi in Berlin, Gideon Joffe, the head of the Berlin Jewish community, said he would “not recommend that any Jew go around in parts of Berlin with a kipah.”

On Tuesday, Rabbi Daniel Alter of Berlin was violently attacked while picking up his daughter from a piano lesson. He currently is recovering from surgery for a broken cheekbone. The attackers, reportedly Arab youths, asked Alter – who was wearing a kipah – if he was Jewish before hitting him in the face. They then allegedly verbally threatened Alter’s 6-year-old daughter.

Many Jewish religious leaders in the country advise their congregants against openly wearing Jewish garb in public; men routinely wear baseball caps or other hats over their yarmulkes when in public. Concern about openly wearing the skullcaps grew following an anti-Semitic attack on the Chabad Jewish kindergarten in Berlin in 2007.

Meanwhile, Inforadio, a Berlin station, reported Thursday that Ayman Mazyek, head of the Central Council of Muslims, said such attacks are “disgusting” to Muslims and pledged his organization’s solidarity and empathy with Jews in Germany.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany said the attack proved once again that violent anti-Semitism is a reality for Jews in Germany. Berlin’s mayor Klaus Wowereit decried the attack as being against all Berliners.

In 2006, Alter was among the first rabbis ordained in postwar Germany. He is a graduate of the Abraham Geiger College in Potsdam, a Reform seminary.

Police in Berlin probing second Muslim-on-Jewish anti-Semitic attack in a week, 13 Jewish primary school girls verbally abused with anti-Semitic slogans and photographed by four teenagers

A second anti-Semitic attack in Berlin within a week has prompted the launch of a state police investigation.

Berlin police said Monday that 13 girls from the Chabad Or Avner primary school were verbally abused with anti-Semitic slogans by four teenage girls fom the neighboring public school before their physical education class was to begin, according to the German news agency dpa. The Jewish school shares the gym with the secular school.

The four alleged attackers, aged 15 and 16, also reportedly photographed the Jewish pupils with their cell phones. Two young men accompanied the attackers.

A teacher tried unsuccessfully to intervene and speak with the teens, but they fled. At least one was wearing a Muslim headscarf, dpa reported.

The incident follows a brutal attack on Berlin Rabbi Daniel Alter, who was beaten by several men after they asked him if he was Jewish. Alter required emergency medical treatment. The attackers also reportedly threatened Alter's 6-year-old daughter.

Reaction was swift from political leaders and the head of the Jewish community in both cases. Following the latest incident Gideon Joffe, the head of the Berlin Jewish community, said that Muslims must confront anti-Semitism within their community.

Some 11,000 Jews officially belong to the Berlin Jewish community, and it is estimated that another 10,000 to 20,000 live in the German capital.

For some Berlin Jews, the incidents are a disturbing reminder of underlying tensions with Arab neighbors.

Ayala Goldmann, who lives in the same neighborhood where Alter was attacked, told JTA that her first reaction was to consider "wearing a silver star of David pendant out of solidarity because I don't agree that Jews should have to hide their identity in public."

"But then I thought about my 3-year-old son, and the fact that I don't want any trouble with the Arab youth who live in the social housing near the commuter train station. I decided not to follow through on this idea because of [my son]. I just don't want to take any risks."

Rabbi Josh Spinner of Berlin told JTA that "Taunts and comments from young people of Arab background are regular in the neighborhoods where they live in considerable numbers." Spinner said he advises his yeshiva students to "exercise caution" in what they wear in certain neighborhoods.

Violent attacks such as on Spinner's friend Alter are "thank God exceedingly rare," added Spinner, who is executive vice president and CEO of the Ronald S. Lauder Foundation.

The real problem is not "German-ant-Semitism but ... Germany's ability to integrate immigrants from Arab countries. In this respect, Germany is in a better situation than much of the rest of Western Europe," he said. "The problem is the same, but the will to find a response, prompted by the special moral responsibility of Germans to ensure that Jews are treated decently, is far greater than in France or Sweden, for example."

24-year Indian student in the city of Bonn is beaten and has his tongue cut out by Muslims on Christmas eve for refusing to convert to Islam

A 24-year Indian student in Bonn was brutally attacked by Islamic extremists who slashed his tongue when he refused to convert, German police said Thursday.

The Indian student was attacked on Christmas eve when he was on the way to his place in Bonn.

The men enquired about his religion and asked him to convert to Islam, warning him that they would cut his tongue if he refused to do so, Der Spiegel reported.

The student, who was not identified, told the police that he was attacked by two men from behind after he ignored them.

The attackers beat him up and slashed his tongue and flew in a car.

Police spokesman did not give details of injuries but said the information that the victim gave was credible.

A passerby found the bleeding student on the road and called an ambulance. The student was admitted to a local hospital and was released a day later.