GERMANY - 1,000 Anti-Muslim Crimes in 2017

Arno Froese

Anti-Muslim crimes, including physical assault, threatening letters, hate speech and spraying Nazi-themed graffiti on mosques, were rife in Germany in 2017, a newspaper reported, citing statistics from the Interior Ministry.

The Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper said the ministry had recorded at least 950 such offenses, most of them carried out by right-wing extremists, with 33 people hurt in attacks.

Around 90 demonstrations against the alleged “Islamization” of Germany were also included in the figures, which were provided to the Bundestag in response to a request by the Left Party. That number does not include marches by the anti-immigration group PEGIDA.

The chair of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, told the newspaper that he was sure that the number of crimes was higher, saying there was not yet enough awareness on the part of police and prosecutors regarding anti-Muslim offenses.

The Left Party’s expert for internal affairs, Ulla Jelpke, welcomed the recent reduction in the anti-Muslim crime rate, but said there was no reason to be complacent. She also warned that “Islam haters” had made it into the German parliament, in a reference to the anti-immigration Alternative for Germany (AfD) party, which currently holds 92 seats in the 709-seat assembly.

“The haters of Islam have now made the jump from the streets into the Bundestag and contribute to poisoning the social climate with regard to Muslim life in Germany from the parliamentary tribune,” she said.

-www.dw.com, 3 March 2018

Arno's commentary

According to the Pew Research Center for Religion in Public Life, Europe’s Muslim population stands at 4.9% of the total population, with France having the highest: 8.8%, followed by the UK: 6.3%, and Germany: 6.1%. What is the reason for the growth of Muslims arriving in Europe? That question is often asked, but truth be told, Muslims were always in Europe just like in any other country or continent in the world. The same can be said historically for Christians, who were found on all five continents.

Lately, however, the Muslim population has increased primarily due to the Arab Spring that started in December of 2010 in Tunisia, and quickly spread to Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. This naturally has resulted in the displacement of millions of people, and refugees targeting Europe due to its open border policy.

Governments all over Europe are busy registering and analyzing the background of those who have arrived claiming to be refugees. Many are being returned, but large numbers are attempting to make Europe their home. That, however, would be most unlikely should the war in Syria, for example, cease, in which case a great number would return to their original homes.

What does it all mean for the average European citizen? Point in fact very little. Most European countries have well-organized social systems capable of integrating millions of refugees into their workforce. Nevertheless, the underlying reluctance of citizens to accept people from Africa and the Middle East is self-evident in the political process. Candidates who campaigned openly against immigrants, have gained votes and general public support.

Most important, however, is how does it relate to the living Church of Jesus Christ? There the answer is rather positive. Many are turning to Christ and accepting Him as their personal Savior. We as Bible believers must always keep in mind that—although this is the devil’s world, i.e. the god of this world rules—over and above stands our Lord Jesus Christ, who has overcome the world. He can and does overrule the god of this world and cause His Spirit of grace to convict millions to turn to Him for salvation. Jesus said, “I will build my Church,” and He will do it until its completion. At that moment, we shall be caught into His presence.

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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