WORLD

Parliament speaker denounces Islamophobia in Germany

PARLIAMENT SPEAKER DENOUNCES ISLAMOPHOBIA IN GERMANY

Parliament Speaker Wolfgang Schaeuble on Wednesday denounced anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes, and urged for more respect for religious minorities in Germany.

"Any act of anti-Semitism is unacceptable," Schaeuble said during a commemoration event in the parliament to remember Holocaust victims.

He condemned anti-Semitic slogans and burning of Israeli flags during recent protests in the country.

Schaeuble, a close ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel, also warned against the rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes in Germany.

"We must worry that besides synagogues and Jewish institutes, dozens of mosques have been the target of desecration and attacks," he said, adding that many Muslims continued to face prejudices or hostilities in their daily life.

"There is no place for hate and violence in our society," he said.

Germany has witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.

Besides Schaeuble, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Chancellor Angela Merkel also attended the commemoration event on Wednesday, marking the 73rd anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz.

Around 1.1 million people, mostly Jews from across Europe, were killed at the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex between 1940 and 1945.

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