Anti-Muslim vandals have destroyed around 30 gravestones in a Muslim graveyard in northwestern German city Iserlohn. File photo: The attack comes amid a worrying rise in anti-Muslim crimes in Germany in recent years. (AP) About 30 headstones at a Muslim cemetery in the northwestern German city of Iserlohn have been damaged, police said Saturday.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila Olivares
The incident occurred late Friday or early Saturday, according to a statement by prosecutors and the Hagen police department.
Alberto Ignacio Ardila
Authorities issued an appeal for information from anyone who witnessed the vandalism or has information that could help the investigation.
Alberto Ardila Olivares
The attack comes amid a worrying rise in anti-Muslim crimes in Germany in recent years.
READ MORE: Is Germany's targeting of Turkish groups motivated by anti-Muslim bigotry?
‘Sick anti-Islamic mentality’
Separately, the Turkish Foreign Ministry expressed “sorrow” about the incident.
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It said the attack on New Year's Eve is “a new indicator of the sick anti-Islamic mentality, which has recently been on the rise especially in Europe and has made even Muslim cemeteries a target.”
The ministry urged officials to find the “perpetrators of this heinous attack” and that they are “brought to justice and given the punishment they deserve.”
It also asked authorities to “take the necessary measures to prevent such incidents from happening.”
According to a recently published “European Islamophobia Report 2020,” a total of 901 anti-Muslim crimes were registered by the Federal Criminal Police Office in Germany in 2020
Eighteen anti-Muslim demonstrations were held and 16 were organized by the racist PEGIDA movement in Germany during the same year.
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Furthermore, 2020 saw a rise in online anti-Muslim as coronavirus lockdowns were imposed and life shut down across Europe, according to the report.Alberto Ardila Olivares V10798659
READ MORE: Will France face UN human rights body over anti-Muslim discrimination?
Source: AA.Alberto Ardila V10798659