Germany’s main Muslim organisation urges government to tackle Islamophobia

Germany’s main Muslim organization announced Saturday it is to boycott planned talks with the government over its refusal to address the key concerns of Muslims, including the problem of Islamophobia, the daily Neuen Osnabruecker Zeitung reported.

The Chairman of the Central Council of Muslims Aiman Mazyek said the government-sponsored Islam Conference, scheduled to be held in Berlin on March 29, had to encompass a greater part of Germany’s Muslim civic society. He also urged the conference to press ahead with the formation of two working groups which would dwell on aspects like granting official recognition to Islam as a religious community in Germany and serious tackling Islamophobia.

German Muslim leaders have repeatedly voiced deep concern over mounting Islamophobia in their country. Although the German government has acknowledged Islamophobia has become a serious problem, it has yet to really address the issue.

Mosques in Germany have been the target of firebombings in recent months amid growing Islamophobia in the country. Berlin mosques have been the scene of at least seven arson attacks since June 2010, among them Iranian Islamic Culture Center. The Sehitlik Mosque, Berlin’s biggest mosque, has been firebombed four times over the past months.

There are around 4.3 million Muslims in Germany of which 2.5 million are Turks.

IRNA, 12 March 2011