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Germany becoming Islamophobic: Der Spiegel


Berlin : Germany is on the verge of becoming an Islamophobic country in the wake of the release of a book by a top German central banker who alleged Muslims posed a threat to German society, the news magazine Der Spiegel said in an online article Tuesday.

Referring to the scandal over Thilo Sarrazin’s Islamophobic book, the Hamburg-based weekly said, ‘Thilo Sarrazin’s comments about Muslims have triggered outrage in Germany and abroad, but have met with willing listeners among the general public.’

‘His rhetoric is slowly bringing about change in Germany, transforming it from a tolerant society into one dominated by fear and Islamophobia. Germany is changing. And although it is not yet a consistently Islamophobic society, a Sarrazin republic, it is certainly on its way to becoming one,’ Der Spiegel added.

German Muslim leaders have repeatedly expressed strong concern over Islamophobia in their country.

The head of the German Central Council of Muslims Axel Ayyub Koehler said in an earlier interview with IRNA Islamophobia had become a ‘major challenge’ for Germany.

Islamophobia has to be placed on the ‘political agenda of parties, parliament and government,’ the Muslim leader stressed.

Koehler warned Islamophobia could not longer be ignored by the nation’s political elites.

He urged ‘effective measures’ to combat the fear of Islam in Germany.

Koehler said the savage killing of Egyptian woman Marwa al-Sherbini by a neo-Nazi at a Dresden courtroom on July 1, 2009 touched off new fears in the German Muslim community.

Germany has around 4.3 million Muslims in a population of 82 million, of which 2.5 million are Turks.

Confronted with daily verbal abuse and racial discrimination, Germany’s Muslims are also battling with educational problems for their children and a chronic lack of job opportunity.