Germany / 01-09-2012
Berliners demonstrate against antisemitism
Berlin - Young Jews Christians and Muslims took to the streets of Berlin in a flashmob on Saturday to demonstrate against religious hatred. This followed a brutal attack on a rabbi in the German capital last week.
Berlin's interior minister, Frank Henkel, again condemned Tuesday's “cowardly attack“ on Saturday, while hundreds took to the streets wearing traditional Jewish skullcaps in a show of solidarity.
The news of the attack triggered a discussion whether Jews in general had to fear for their safety in the German capital.
The president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, called Friday on the country's large Muslim community to do more to combat antisemitism.
Aiman Mazyek, chairman of the Central Council of Muslims, condemned the attack and professed solidarity and empathy with all Jews in Germany. Other Muslim associations joined in the condemnation of all religious hate and violence.
Evangelic Bishop Markus Dröge of Berlin warned Saturday against blanket accusations of violent antisemitism being prevalent among Muslims in Germany.
“We should not make the mistake of blaming this on religion,” he said, pointing to an affinity for violent behavior among socially disadvantaged young men independent of their beliefs.
Germany's federal office for criminal investigation has registered 436 antisemitic attacks across the country this year. Most of them were property attacks such as swastika graffiti, or verbal abuse. The German news agency dpa reports thirteen attacks involving physical violence.
Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit opened the “night of religions” event in the German capital with an appeal for religious tolerance.
Catholic and Protestant churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship are open to the public until late at night.