After Hanau attack, Germany steps up protection of Muslims

After Hanau attack, Germany steps up protection of Muslims

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The racist attack in Hanau showed how dangerous conditions are for Muslims in Germany. The continuing calls for more security for Muslim institutions are growing increasingly urgent.
Rarely has Horst Seehofer appeared so honest. Quiet, composed, but with a slightly raspy voice, Germany’s interior minister on Friday afternoon opened his press conference with journalists concerning the shooting in Hanau. “The racist background to this act in my view is completely undisputed and cannot be relativized,” he said. Seehofer noted that there was a very high “right-wing” danger in the country and for democracy, and that represents “the greatest security threat in our country.”
As a consequence of the attack on Wednesday afternoon, the interior minister said “sensitive institutions” such as mosques would see an increased police presence. More police are also to be deployed at train stations, airports and areas along the border, Seehofer added. He warned that copycat attacks, as well as acts of rage over the shooting in Hanau, could not be ruled out, pointing to numerous large events taking place over the coming days, including Carnival festivities. Seehofer said he had coordinated his plan with state interior ministers and had the support of the federal police.
The German government’s integration commissioner, Annette Widmann-Mauz, called for more state action to combat Islamophobia. She said she wanted to speak with her concerned ministerial colleagues about whether “we are doing enough (to fight) right-wing extremism and hate crimes,” she told the Essener Funke Mediengruppe. Muslims, Jews and people with an immigrant background are feeling increasingly threatened and attacked and have a justified fear of attacks. “It is now all the more important to do everything we can to protect them,” Widmann-Mauz said. She proposed establishing an expert commission and trusted points of contact across the country for threatened individuals. Good prevention work must get sustainable funding, Widmann-Mauz said. “We cannot wait for the next attack.”

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