The Muslim population of Germany surpassed six million in 2017 to become approximately 7.2% of the overall population of 83 million, according to calculations by the Gatestone Institute.
A recent Pew Research Center study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe estimated that Germany’s Muslim population had reached five million by the middle of 2016, but that number is short by at least a million.
Pew, for instance, “decided not to count” the more than one million Muslim asylum seekers who arrived in the country in 2015-2017 because “they are not expected to receive refugee status.” European Union human rights laws, however, prohibit Germany from deporting many, if not most, of the refugees and asylum seekers back to conflict areas. As a result, most migrants who arrived in the country will almost certainly remain there over the long term.
In addition, German authorities have admitted to losing track of potentially hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants, many of whom are living on German streets and are believed to be sustaining themselves on a steady diet of drug dealing, pickpocketing, purse snatching and other forms of petty crime.
Islam and Islam-related issues, omnipresent in Germany during 2017, can be categorized into several broad themes:
– The social and economic effects of accommodating more than a million mostly Muslim migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East;
– A rapidly deteriorating security situation marked by a dramatic increase in migrant-related violent crime;
– A migrant rape epidemic targeting German women and children;
– Islamic extremism and the security implications of German jihadists;
– The continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany;
– The challenge of Muslim integration; and,
– The failures of German multiculturalism.
January 1. Two thousand “highly aggressive” migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East gathered in front of the central railway station in Cologne, where, in 2015, hundreds of German women were sexually assaulted on New Year’s Eve. A massive police presence prevented mayhem. In Berlin, at least 22 women were sexually assaulted at the Brandenburg Gate, despite the presence of 1,700 police officers. In Hamburg, at least 14 women were sexually assaulted.
January 2. Greens Party Leader Simone Peter accused the Cologne Police Department of racial profiling after a tweet referred to North African migrants as “Nafris.” The head of the DPolG police union, Ernst Walter, explained that “Nafri” is not derogatory but rather a technical acronym used by the police to refer to “North African intensive offender” (nordafrikanische Intensivtäter). Cologne Police Chief Jürgen Mathies added: “From the experiences of the past New Year’s Eve, from experience gained by police raids as a whole, a clear impression has emerged here about which persons are to be checked. They are not gray-haired older men or blond-haired young women.”
January 2. Hasan A., a 38-year-old asylum seeker from Syria, was arrested in Saarland on charges of soliciting €180,000 ($192,000) in funds from the Islamic State to carry out a high-casualty attack in Germany. The Saarbrücken prosecutor’s office said the man asked the Islamic State for money to purchase eight vehicles (€22,500 each) which would be camouflaged as police cars, loaded with 400-500 kilos of explosives, and exploded into a large crowd. Hasan said he wanted the money to support his family in Syria, not to carry out attacks in Germany.
January 3. Amnesty International called for an investigation of the Cologne police department for the alleged “racial profiling” of North African migrants suspected of promoting violence on New Year’s Eve.
January 4. In Köln-Buchheim, a 44-year-old Iraqi man murdered his 19-year-old daughter because he did not approve of her boyfriend. Two days later, he called the police. “I killed my daughter,” he said. The man, who may never face justice, is believed to have fled to Iraq.
January 5. In Waldshut-Tiengen, a 47-year-old Turkish man assaulted his estranged wife as she was walking with a friend. When she tried to run away, he pursued her and plunged a knife in her back.
January 5. North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) Criminal Police Director Dieter Schürmann revealed that Anis Amri, the 24-year-old Tunisian Salafist who carried out the jihadist attack on the Christmas market in Berlin on December 19, 2016, was known by authorities to be a threat to security as early as February 2016 but that they had found no evidence to arrest him. Schürmann also said that Amri had also used a total of 14 different identities under multiple names to collect social welfare benefits.
January 6. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel called for a “culture war” to defeat Islamism. “If we are serious about the fight against Islamism and terrorism, then it must also be a cultural struggle,” he said. “We must strengthen the cohesion of society and ensure that neighborhoods are not neglected, villages are not allowed to degenerate and people do not become more and more radicalized.”
January 7. A 28-year-old nurse was sexually assaulted by a group of five “Black Africans” (Schwarzafrikanern) in Hamburg. The woman, a nurse at the Asklepios-Klinik St. Georg, was walking to her car after her shift ended when she heard someone screaming for help in an adjacent park. When she went to lend a hand she was ambushed, assaulted and robbed.
January 7. Asif M., a 26-year-old asylum seeker from Pakistan, appeared in court on charges that he had raped one woman and attempted to rape five others in Berlin-Steglitz. He insisted that he was the victim: “As a refugee, it is difficult to find a girlfriend.”
January 7. A Bild am Sonntag poll found that 58% of German women think public places have become less safe due to mass migration. Nearly half (48%) said they avoid certain areas after dark, and 16% carry pepper spray when they are out alone.
January 7. Intelligence Chief Hans-Georg Maaßen warned that Germany’s Salafist scene is not only growing, but also becoming more decentralized, thus making it more difficult to monitor. He said the number of Salafists in Germany was 9,700, up 500 from 9,200 in October 2016.
January 11. The Interior Ministry reported that a total of 321,371 migrants arrived in Germany in 2016, compared to 1,091,894 in 2015. Of the new arrivals in 2016, 280,000 were asylum seekers, compared to 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015. As if the statistics were not sufficiently complicated, a total of 745,545 people applied for asylum in 2016, compared to 476,649 who applied for asylum in 2015. The 2016 figure includes migrants who arrived in Germany in 2015 but did not apply for asylum until 2016. Around 35% of the asylum seekers in 2016 were from Syria, 17% from Afghanistan and 13% from Iraq.
January 11. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said that Germany’s security apparatus must be updated in order to combat Islamic terrorism. “Our security architecture dates back to the fifties and sixties when we were dealing mostly with regional crime,” he said.
January 12. Germany’s largest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB), admitted that some of its preachers acted as informants for the Turkish government. DITIB is financed by the Turkish government’s Directorate for Religious Affairs, known in Turkish as Diyanet. DITIB has been described as the “extended arm” of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who uses it to promote Turkish nationalism and to prevent integration among the Turkish diaspora. The spies sent information about followers of Fethullah Gülen, a septuagenarian cleric based in the United States whom Turkey accuses of plotting a failed military coup in July 2016.
January 14. A “southerner” (südländischer Typ) assaulted and seriously injured an 80-year-old woman while she was working in her garden in Leipzig. She asked a passerby to take a photograph of her bloody face to draw public attention to rising migrant crime. Her picture was published by Bild, the newspaper with the largest-circulation in Germany. “It cannot be that you have to be afraid of being on the streets even during the middle of the day,” she said.
January 15. In Bremen-Vegesack, a 39-year-old Turkish man murdered his 40-year-old Syrian wife, who was nine months pregnant, because she wanted to divorce him. The unborn baby also died in the attack.
January 17. German officials knew as early as March 2015 — six months before Chancellor Angela Merkel opened German borders to more than a million migrants from the Muslim world — that Islamic State jihadists were entering Europe disguised as migrants, according to an exposé by the Munich Report (Report München), an investigative journalism program broadcast by ARD public television.
January 18. A 27-year-old Kosovar was sentenced to one year and ten months of probation for sexually assaulting a 27-year-old woman in Freiburg. The man followed the woman into a restroom at a night club, told her that he was a narcotics detective, forced her to undress and then tried to rape her.
January 18. The Osnabrück Administrative Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by a Muslim woman who was denied a teaching position when it became known that she wanted to wear a headscarf at school. The court ruled that the woman could not claim compensation because the school authorities did not discriminate against the woman “because of her religion,” but rather was applying a law which bans all religious and ideological symbols from schools. The court ruled that the Lower Saxony Provincial School Board had acted correctly with regard to the state’s obligation to neutrality.
January 19. German authorities issued 105,000 visas for so-called family reunifications in 2016, a 50% increase over the 70,000 visas issued in 2015, according to Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Almost all the visas were issued to Syrians and Iraqis. Family reunifications — individuals whose asylum applications are approved are subsequently allowed to bring additional family members to Germany — are not included in asylum application statistics. In other words, the 105,000 visas for family members were in addition to the 280,000 new asylum seekers who arrived in Germany in 2016.
January 19. Germany received some 12,000 migrants from other European countries, in accordance with the so-called Dublin Regulation, a law that requires people seeking refuge within the EU to do so in the first European country they reach. Germany took 3,700 migrants from Sweden, 1,686 from the Netherlands, 1,277 from Switzerland, 1,109 from Denmark and 763 from Belgium, according to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. The migrants had submitted asylum requests in Germany but moved on to other European countries before German authorities could process the requests.
January 19. Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel threatened to cut development aid to countries that refuse to take back asylum seekers whose applications have been rejected. The threat applies mainly to North African migrants from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia. “It cannot be that a country takes the development aid, but not its own citizens, if they cannot get asylum with us,” he said.
January 21. A 47-year-old asylum seeker from Syria was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison for raping a 44-year-old mentally disabled woman in Soest. The suspect, who has been living in an asylum shelter in Welver at German taxpayer expense since 2003, had 23 previous convictions for offenses including assault, robbery and fare evasion. A neurologist who tended to the Syrian during his 13-year stay in Germany told the court that the man is “untreatable” (Therapieunfähig). “When he is drunk, he is unpredictable,” she said.
January 23. Muslims in Hamburg are finding it difficult to bury their dead because German burial laws are incompatible with Sharia law, according to Die Welt, which wrote: “Practicing Muslims reject cremation. The dead must be buried as soon as possible and in linen cloths. It is important that the earth is ‘virgin’…the soil should not be polluted by ‘unbelievers.’ The dead must also be able to rest for eternity…a re-occupation of the tomb is impossible even if the remains of the deceased are completely disappeared.”
January 25. Social security fraud perpetrated by asylum seekers is costing taxpayers in Lower Saxony millions of euros, according to the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung. Police reported 2,644 known cases of fraud in 2016, including 487 cases by asylum seekers, up from 351 such cases in 2015. The fraud involves migrants using multiple identities to collect social welfare benefits in different cities and towns. In Braunschweig alone, some 240 migrants defrauded the state of €4.8 million ($5 million) in 2016. Police say that Sudanese migrants, many of whom were allowed to enter Germany without having their fingerprints taken, have “created a business model” out of social security fraud. Local officials have been accused of covering up the fraud. In January 2016, for instance, an employee at a social security office handed her boss a file with 30 cases of suspected fraud. After he refused to act, she contacted the police. She was fired for “overstepping her authority.”
January 26. A 16-year-old German-Moroccan female jihadist was sentenced to six years in prison for stabbing a police officer. The incident, said to be the first lone-wolf terrorist attack inspired by the Islamic State in Germany, occurred at the central railway station in Hanover in February 2016. Two police officers noticed that the girl — identified only as Safia S. — was observing and following them. The officers approached the girl, who was wearing an Islamic headscarf, and asked her to present her identification papers. After handing over her identification, she stabbed one of the officers in the neck with a kitchen knife. “The perpetrator did not display any emotion,” a police spokesperson said. “Her only concern was for her headscarf. She was concerned that her headscarf be put back on properly after she was arrested.”
January 26. Upkeep for the 13,600 unaccompanied child migrants (unbegleiteten minderjährigen Flüchtlingen) in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) will cost German taxpayers €632 million ($670 million) in 2017, according to Die Welt. Child migrants are arriving in NRW at the rate of 300-400 each month. Each child migrant costs €4,500 a month to maintain, in addition to an annual administrative fee of €3,100 (Verwaltungspauschal). The children are from more than 60 countries, including Afghanistan (37%), Syria (36%) and Iraq (11%). Over 90% of child migrants are male.
January 27. Due to positive net migration (more people entering the country than leaving it), the German population increased by 1.14 million in 2015, and by another 750,000 in 2016, to reach an all-time high of 82.8 million at the end of 2016, according to preliminary estimates by Destatis, the Federal Statistics Office.
January 27. Muslim students at the Emscher-Lippe school in Gelsenkirchen refused to participate in Holocaust remembrance activities. Some 40% of the 550 students at the school are Muslim.
January 27. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble revealed that the migrant crisis would cost German taxpayers €43 billion ($46 billion) during 2016 and 2017.
January 30. Süleyman D., a 25-year-old German of Turkish descent, was arrested for raping one woman and attempting to rape two more at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich.
January 30. The Bishop of Regensburg, Rudolf Voderholzer, said that reconciliation between Christians and Muslims was impossible. Islam is a “post-Christian phenomenon, with the claim to negate the core content of Christianity,” he said. “Only those who do not know their own faith or do not take it seriously can consider a comprehensive integration of Islam as possible.”
February 1. A leaked government report revealed that Germany will need to take in 300,000 migrants annually for the next 40 years to stop population decline. The document, parts of which were published by the Rheinische Post, disclosed that the German government is counting on permanent mass migration — presumably from Africa, Asia and the Middle East — to keep the current size of the German population (82.8 million) stable through 2060. The report implied that Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision to allow into the country some 1.5 million mostly Muslim migrants between 2015 and 2016 was not primarily a humanitarian gesture, but a calculated effort to stave off Germany’s demographic decline and to preserve the future viability of the German welfare state.
February 1. More than 1,000 police officers raided 54 homes, mosques and businesses in Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Offenbach and Wiesbaden in an operation targeting the jihadist scene in Hesse. Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth said the raid was not about preventing an imminent attack, but rather about “smashing a widespread Salafist network.”
February 2. Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said he would seek parliamentary approval to begin electronically tagging jihadists with ankle bracelets. The move was in response to public outrage over revelations that German authorities knew that Anis Amri, the Berlin Christmas market attacker, posed a threat but did not arrest him.
February 3. A 33-year-old Muslim from the Western Balkans was arrested for barging into a Protestant church in Schnaittach and reciting verses from the Koran during a funeral service. The man, who was known to police for previous criminal offenses, was charged with disrupting religious worship. “It is possible that the man did not notice that he had come to a memorial service,” Pastor Wilfried Römischer said.
February 4. Police in Cologne sent an email to all 13 refugee facilities in the city advising migrants not to attend the city’s annual carnival. After accusations of racism, city police distanced themselves from the email, which apparently was sent to protect German women from sexual assaults. Police spokeswoman Nadine Perske explained: “The email was an ‘internal’ and ‘unauthorized’ letter to district governments. It creates the impression that immigrants should not attend carnival events. Rather, they should be informed about the state institutions at the carnival and about the intensified police checks.”
February 6. Some 48,000 women and girls currently living in Germany are victims of female genital mutilation (FGM), according to a study funded by the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs. Another 9,000 girls are at risk. Most of the victims are from Eritrea, Somalia, Egypt, Ethiopia and Iraq. The problem is especially acute in Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich. The number of people affected in Germany has increased by around 30% since 2014.
February 7. A Chatham House survey of more than 10,000 people from ten European countries found that an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped. Majorities in all but two of the ten states agreed, ranging from 71% in Poland, 65% in Austria, 53% in Germany and 51% in Italy to 47% in the United Kingdom and 41% in Spain.
February 7. Omar A., a 20-year-old Syrian asylum seeker, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison for attacking passengers on a bus from Berlin to Milan, Italy. The court heard how, after watching Islamic State execution videos on his cellphone, he slashed a passenger in the face with a 15-centimeter (six-inch) knife and, “with the fist of Allah,” punched two other passengers. The judge said the attack had nothing to do with Islam: “The trial has not shown a real motive.”
February 8. Anter B., a 24-year-old Tunisian asylum seeker, kidnapped and tried to rape a woman at knifepoint at a bus stop in Hamburg. He was arrested and during questioning told police, “that’s what German women want.” He was released but a judge ordered his re-arrest after he failed to show up for a court appearance. “In the case of Anter B., there was no reason to arrest him at the time,” said Nana Frombach, a spokeswoman for the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office.
February 8. A court in Münster sentenced Amer K., a 36-year-old Lebanese man, to 12 years in prison for murdering his wife. The court heard he how stabbed 26-year-old Fatima S., the mother of his three children, in the chest and neck more than twenty times with a large kitchen knife because he thought she wanted to divorce him.
February 9. An Appellate Court in Berlin awarded a Muslim woman nearly €8,680 ($10,300) in compensation after she was denied a teaching job at a Berlin elementary school due to her headscarf. The woman had lost her initial case after the Berlin school successfully argued that neutrality rules meant no one could wear religious symbols in schools. The appeals court ruled that the woman had indeed been discriminated against and that her headscarf did not pose a danger to school peace. In January 2015, Germany’s Constitutional Court ruled that general bans on headscarves at state schools were unconstitutional unless the headscarves “constitute a sufficiently specific danger to the peace at school or the state’s duty of neutrality.”
February 10. In Ahaus, a 27-year-old Nigerian asylum seeker stabbed to death a 22-year-old woman after she seemingly offended his honor by rejecting his romantic advances. The woman, a Hindu, was employed at the same asylum shelter where her attacker lived. He was arrested in Basel, Switzerland.
February 11. Cologne Police Chief Jürgen Mathies announced new security measures for the iconic Cologne Cathedral. The measures include a ban on large suitcases, travel bags and hiking rucksacks. Visitors are also subject to search. “People should not be afraid if they go to the cathedral,” he said.
February 15. In Bielefeld, a 51-year-old Iraqi man tried to murder his 51-year-old wife by attacking her with a hammer while she was attending a German class at a local language academy. The man was apparently angry that his wife was mixing with other language students.
February 15. German police raided the homes of four imams suspected of conducting espionage on behalf of the Turkish government against followers of U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, accused by Ankara of organizing a failed coup in July 2016.
February 17. In Offenbach, Volkan T., a 32-year-old Turk, shot to death his former girlfriend, a 40-year-old German woman, Silvia B. The man said he was angry that the woman, who had two children, had ended her relationship with him.
February 17. Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen warned against turning the fight against the Islamic State into a battle against all Muslims. “We should take care not to turn this fight into a front against Islam and Muslims in general,” von der Leyen said, amid a debate in the United States over a “Muslim travel ban.”
February 19. Chancellor Angela Merkel, speaking at the Munich Security Conference, claimed that Islamic terrorism derives from “a falsely understood Islam” (ein fehlgeleiteter Islam), not from Islam itself. She also called on Islamic religious authorities to speak “clear words on the demarcation of peaceful Islam and terrorism committed in the name of Islam.”
February 21. The Turkish consulate in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) reportedly urged Turkish parents in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Essen and Münster to report criticism of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan they hear at schools, according to the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung. Parents were encouraged to tell their children to film teachers and pass the evidence on to Turkish authorities.
February 21. German officials proposed that the European Union relax some human rights safeguards so that more asylum seekers can be deported while awaiting the outcome of their cases, according to a document leaked to the Reuters news agency. Existing EU laws on human rights stipulate that asylum seekers awaiting a ruling on their cases can only be deported to countries that meet certain conditions: safety from threat and persecution; humane reception conditions; and at least partial access to medical care, education and the labor market. Some parts of this “clearly exceed” the basic safeguards stipulated by the Geneva convention on refugees and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, the document said.
February 22. The Bavarian government approved a ban on full-face veils “in the fields of civil service, universities, schools, kindergartens, in the fields of public general safety and order, and at elections.” Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann said the measure was necessary because women wearing a niqab or burqa were hindering communication and public safety. “A communicative exchange takes place not only through speech, but also through looks, expressions and gestures,” Hermann said. “It forms the foundation of our interpersonal relationships and is the basis of our society and free and democratic order.”
February 25. In Euskirchen, a 32-year-old German-Turkish man stabbed to death his former girlfriend, a 32-year-old German woman who had begun dating someone else.
February 26. There were 3,533 reported attacks on refugees and asylum shelters in Germany in 2016, an average of nearly ten attacks a day, according to the Interior Ministry; 560 people, including 43 children were injured in the attacks.
February 28. Abubaker C., a 27-year-old Pakistani man, was sentenced to life in prison for strangling 70-year-old Maria Müller in her bed in Bad Friedrichshall, and then painting verses from the Koran on her bedroom walls. Prosecutors said the murder was religiously motivated: The Sunni Muslim apparently murdered the woman because she was a devout Roman Catholic.
March 1. More than 4,000 millionaires emigrated from Germany in 2016, compared to 1,000 millionaires who left the country in 2015, according to the 2017 Global Wealth Migration Review. Before the migration crisis erupted in 2015, millionaires were leaving Germany at the rate of only a few hundred per year. Most of Germany’s millionaires, citing deteriorating security, left for Australia, Canada, the United States, Dubai and Israel. The mass exodus of wealth is hollowing out Germany’s tax base at a time when the German government is spending tens of billions of euros for the upkeep of millions of refugees and migrants from the Muslim world. The report’s editor, Andrew Amoils, warned that the wealthy are a kind of early warning system for society. Due to their financial status, education and international contacts, they can emigrate more easily than others. Over the longer term, however, their exodus portends increased emigration from among the middle class, according to the report.
March 2. Abdalfatah H., a 36-year-old Syrian migrant, was arrested in Düsseldorf on charges of murdering 36 people in Syria in the name of the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist group. He arrived in Germany with his pregnant wife and three children, aged three, five and seven, in October 2015. He had been collecting €2,400 ($2,600) a month in social welfare benefits since April 2016.
March 2. Administrators of the Johannes Rau Gymnasium, a secondary school in Wuppertal, asked teachers to prohibit Muslim pupils from engaging in “provocative praying” in public. An internal memo stated: “In recent weeks, it has been increasingly observed that Muslim pupils in the school building are praying, clearly visible to others, signaled by ritual washings in the toilets, the rolling out of prayer mats, and taking up certain postures. This is not permitted.”
March 3. In Mönchengladbach, a 32-year-old asylum seeker, Ahmed Salim, murdered a 47-year-old German woman, Nicole M., apparently after she ended a relationship with him. The man, who also used the alias Jamal Amilia, was arrested in Spain. In his asylum application, he had written that he was from Israel. In another asylum application filed in another country, he had written that he was from Morocco. He is believed to be from Iraq.
March 4. More than 900 people, including many women, left Germany to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, according to Der Spiegel. Roughly one-third have returned to Germany, while another 145 are believed to have been killed in battle. A state prosecutor warned that the returnees are especially dangerous: “They often have had extreme experiences of violence, are strongly radicalized and have few prospects in Germany.”
March 7. The German-language version of the ISIS magazine Rumiyah called on lone wolf jihadists to kill “apostate” imams in Germany and Austria.
March 8. A 22-year-old migrant sexually assaulted four girls at a public swimming pool in Oldenburg. Police said the man, who does not speak German, was suffering from “mental impairment, which makes it questionable whether he was aware that his actions were against the law.”
March 9. Fatmir H., a 37-year-old migrant from Kosovo, was arrested after he injured nine people, including two police officers, with an axe at the central railway station in Düsseldorf. Police said the man suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and was in an “exceptional mental state” at the time of the attack.
March 10. An unidentified man brandishing a machete attacked an 80-year-old man in Düsseldorf. The perpetrator remains at large. In Hamburg, six people were injured when two youths with tear gas attacked a train carrying 50 people. Those also perpetrators remain at large.
March 10. Germany spent more than €23 billion ($25 billion) on the reception, accommodation and care of migrants and refugees in 2016, according to Bundestag Vice President Johannes Singhammer. The average annual cost per migrant was approximately €11,800 ($13,000). In Berlin alone, the actual amount of money spent on migrants was twice as much as initially budgeted: €1.27 billion rather than €685 million.
March 10. The Bundesrat, the upper chamber of the German parliament, rejected a law that would have fast-tracked deportations to Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia by classifying those states as “safe countries of origin.” The German Constitution defines safe countries as countries “in which, on the basis of their laws, enforcement practices and general political conditions, it can be safely concluded that neither political persecution nor inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment exists.” The decision, led by federal states with left-leaning governing coalitions, means that criminal migrants from the Maghreb will indefinitely remain in Germany.
March 11. Police in Essen foiled a jihadist attack on a shopping center at the Limbecker Platz. Essen Police Chief Frank Richter said he had received “very concrete information” on the plot to attack the facility, which has more than 200 stores and an average of 60,000 visitors on any given Saturday. Police arrested two Salafists from Oberhausen, including one who had fought for the Islamic State in Syria.
March 12. The number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees in Baden-Württemberg increased significantly in 2016. Statistics showed a total of 251,000 criminal suspects, of whom 107,417 were non-Germans, mostly from Turkey, Romania and Italy. Of the non-German criminals, 25,379 were asylum seekers and refugees (up from 18,695 in 2015). They committed 64,329 crimes in 2016, an increase of nearly 20% over 2015.
March 13. The number of crimes committed by asylum seekers and refugees in Bavaria increased significantly in 2016. Among the migrant suspects, Syrians were the most frequent offenders at 16.1% (2015: 11.1%), followed by Afghans with 14.3% (2015: 10.1%), Iraqis with 8.8% (2015: 4.6%) and Nigerians with 6.8% (2015: 5.4%). “The increase in crime in Bavaria in 2016 is mainly due to foreign suspects, especially immigrants,” said Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann.
March 14. An immigrant from Kosovo who has lived in Germany for 28 years and is an active member of the hardline Islamic Salafist movement demanded that the Meierfeld secondary school in Herford provide his ninth-grade son with a prayer room “so that he can perform the Friday prayer on time and without disturbance.” The man also prohibited his son from attending music lessons, which he said are banned by Islam. Previously, the man demanded that the Friedenstal secondary school, also in Herford, provide a prayer room for another of his sons.
March 14. More than 400 police raided a mosque in Hildesheim. The Interior Minister of Lower Saxony, Boris Pistorius, said the Deutschsprachigen Islamkreis Hildesheim (DIK) was a “hotspot of the radical Salafist scene” and ordered it closed because it was “indoctrinating Muslims to go to Iraq and Syria.”
March 14. A 17-year-old Somali migrant raped a 43-year-old woman at a train station in Bamberg. A “southerner” (südländischer Typ) raped a 14-year-old girl at a playground in Döbeln.
March 15. A 40-year-old German man of Turkish descent stabbed to death his 34-year-old wife in front of a daycare center in Kiel. Neighbors said the couple, who were separated, had quarreled about moving their children to Turkey.
March 17. German immigration authorities are testing software that will be able to recognize the dialect of migrants to determine whether they are legitimate asylum seekers. Some 60% of migrants who have arrived in Germany since 2015 do not have identification documents. “The idea is to record speech samples from asylum seekers and carry out an automatic dialect analysis,” said Julian Detzel of the Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF).
March 18. Five Arab migrants were accused of gang raping a seven-year-old girl at a refugee reception shelter in the Bahrenfeld district of Hamburg.
March 19. Two Syrian asylum seekers, aged 17 and 23, stabbed two female passersby in broad daylight in the pedestrian zone of Dessau-Roßlau.
March 20. Three asylum seekers sexually assaulted a 34-year-old woman on a bus in Munich. When police intervened, the migrants attacked the officers. One of the migrants smashed his fist through the window of a store; another one was carrying a 25-centimeter (10-inch) kitchen knife.
March 21. Two North African asylum seekers were charged with attempted manslaughter after they pushed a 40-year-old man onto the tracks of an oncoming train at the station in Dresden-Zschachwitz. The conductor brought the train to a halt a few meters from the man, who was prevented from getting back onto the platform by the perpetrators, a 23-year-old Moroccan and a 27-year-old Libyan. Chief Prosecutor Lorenz Haase initially dropped charges against the men, concluding that there was “no evidence” of murderous intent. Haase reversed his decision a day later, after a nationwide outpouring of anger.
March 21. Three teenage Salafists were handed sentences of six-to-seven years in prison for the April 16, 2016 bombing of a Sikh temple in Essen. The judge ruled that the motive for the attack, in which three people were injured, was hatred of other religions.
March 22. The German Press Council (Presserat) loosened its guidelines (Pressekodex) for reporting crimes. Journalists are now allowed to provide information about the ethnic or religious background of suspects or perpetrators of crimes if there is a “justified public interest” in so doing. Previously, journalists were only allowed to provide such details if it was absolutely necessary (begründeter Sachbezug) to understand the reported event. The change followed complaints from German media outlets that the former guidelines were difficult to interpret.
March 23. The Mannheim Labor Court rejected a lawsuit filed by a 40-year-old Muslim nurse who claimed that she was unfairly terminated by a nursing home after only one week because she refused to wash male patients. The court ruled that the employer was entitled to dismiss employees during the six-month period of probation.
March 23. The number of prisoners in Baden-Württemberg increased by 615 to 7,400 since 2015, and all 17 of the state’s prisons are overcrowded, according to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten. The reason for the increase in the number of inmates is the influx of migrants: The proportion of foreigners among the prison population increased from 39% to 46% in the last two years alone.
March 24. The Berlin Police Department established a special task force to investigate acid attacks. At least six women in the city were attacked with acid during the first three months of 2017.
March 24. A 31-year-old Afghan migrant with a hammer attacked a 59-year-old man riding a bicycle in Hamburg. Police said the attacker, who was found soaked in his victim’s blood, was “psychologically ill.”
March 24. A 30-year-old man shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and “you are all going to die” forced the temporary closure of the central bus station in Bamberg. Police said the man showed “clear signs of mental illness.” They added that, due to his illness, an arrest warrant was not issued.
March 25. A North Rhine-Westphalia police report leaked to Bild am Sonntag revealed that police knew as early as March 2016 that Anis Amri, the 31-year-old Tunisian who carried out the December 19 jihadist attack on the Christmas market in Berlin, was planning an attack, but because he did not have a passport, he was not deported. The report stated: “Amri presents a threat in the form of a suicide attack. The commission of a terrorist attack by Amri is expected.”
March 28. Humboldt University of Berlin announced it will open an Islamic theology institute. The objective of the program is “to impart academic foundations in Islamic theology for training imams and to qualify students for a school teaching post.” Berlin Mayor Michael Müller revealed that the institute is being paid for by German taxpayers: €13.5 million ($14.5 million). This government funding will secure the institute’s finances through 2022. Humboldt University President Sabine Kunst rejected calls for a joint “Faculty of Theology” for Christians, Muslims and Jews: “The first step is to set up the Institute for Islamic Theology at the HU. We want this to be a success. It is important that this key project is not overloaded by a much broader idea.”
March 31. In Gütersloh, a 43-year-old Syrian man burned his 18-year-old daughter with a cigarette and threatened to kill her. When the police intervened, the father and his son attacked the police, who used pepper-spray to fend them off. The girl was taken into protective custody.
April 1. A 14-year-old student at the Friedenauer School in Berlin was attacked by his Muslim classmates after they found out he was Jewish. Some 75% of the pupils at the school are Muslim, according to the Berlin newspaper, Tagesspiegel. The boy’s parents, who removed him from the school, accused the principal of failing to crack down on Muslim anti-Semitism at the facility.
April 3. Government spokesman Steffen Seibert rejected calls by several members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) for an Islam Law to regulate the practice of Islam in Germany. They demanded that imams be required to speak German and that mosques be registered. Jens Spahn, a member of the executive committee of the CDU, said that German authorities “do not know how many mosques there are in Germany, where they are or who finances them.” Seibert countered that religious freedom was “one of the central promises of freedom of our constitution.”
April 3. The Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court sentenced Marco G., a 29-year-old convert to Islam, to life in prison for planting a bomb at the central railway station in Bonn in December 2012. Three other jihadists were sentenced to prison terms of between nine-and-a-half and twelve years for involvement in a murder plot against an anti-Islam politician in Leverkusen. The trial was one of the longest in recent memory: 27 experts and 157 witnesses testified over the course of 155 days.
April 5. In Leipzig, a 34-year-old Syrian man stabbed his 28-year-old wife because she wanted a divorce. The couple’s two children witnessed the attack; they are being held in protective custody.
April 7. A majority (54%) of Germans said Germany should not take in more asylum seekers, according to a survey conducted by the Bertelsmann foundation. In 2015, the same survey showed 40% of Germans holding this opinion. “Many think a breaking point has been reached — the willingness to take in more refugees has diminished significantly,” the study said.
April 11. German-Muslim author Zana Ramadani was threatened with death after she published a book, “The Veiled Threat,” which deals with the plight of Muslim women in Europe. She applied for a gun license after German officials refused to provide her with police protection. Ramadani, a former radical feminist, described the Islamic headscarf as “a shroud of death for a free society.”
April 13. German prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Abdul Beset al-O., a 26-year-old Iraqi man who was detained in connection with an April 11 attack on a bus carrying players of Borussia Dortmund, a top soccer team. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the man had joined Islamic State in Iraq in 2014 and had led a 10-man unit there. “The task of his unit was to prepare abductions, kidnappings, extortions and killings,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. The man traveled to Turkey in March 2015 and from there on to Germany in early 2016.
April 23. In Dresden, Shahajan Butt, a 29-year-old Pakistani refugee, murdered his girlfriend, a 41-year-old Vietnamese woman named Thu T. Police say the man, who arrived in Germany in December 2015, became enraged after he noticed that the woman had not posted any photos of him on her Facebook page, and suspected that she may have had another boyfriend.
April 23. In Syke, Murab B., a 32-year-old Iraqi man, strangled his 32-year-old wife, Mehe K., in front of the couple’s three children, ages one, two and nine.
April 24. The number of migrant criminal suspects in Germany increased by more than 50% in 2016, according to the Police Crime Statistics 2016 (Polizeiliche Kriminalstatistik, PKS), the official annual report about crime in Germany. The report said that 174,000 migrants were suspected of committing crimes in 2016, a 52.7% increase over 2015. “It is alarming that our society is being brutalized,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.
April 24. Jews in Germany face a “growing threat” from Muslim anti-Semitism, according to a 300-page parliamentary report by the Independent Experts Group on Anti-Semitism. “A big problem is the lack of public understanding that anti-Semitism is a current issue,” said Patrick Siegele, director of the Anne Frank Center and coordinator of the report.
April 27. Several thousand Afghan asylum seekers are claiming to be former members of the Taliban, apparently to improve their chances of being allowed to stay in Germany, according to Die Welt. Described as the “Taliban Trick,” the men claim they may be subject to torture or the death penalty if they are deported and returned to Afghanistan. German officials, required by law to examine every case, are said to be facing a “mammoth task” in determining which claims are valid.
April 28. The Bundestag, the lower house of parliament, approved a draft law that would prevent civil servants, judges and soldiers from wearing Islamic full-face veils at work. Germany’s ruling coalition said in a statement that “religious or ideological covering of the face contradicts the neutrality required of state functionaries.” The law would also require women to show their face during identity checks. “Integration also means that we should make clear and impart our values and where the boundaries lie of our tolerance towards other cultures,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière said.
April 29. Interior Minister De Maizière generated a firestorm of criticism after he wrote an article, published by Bild, calling on migrants to accept a German Leitkultur (guiding or leading core culture). He argued that Germany needs a “core culture to act as a common thread through society, especially because migration and an open society are making us more diverse.” De Maizière outlined ten core features of a core German culture, including the principle of meritocracy and respect for German culture and history. He added: “In Germany we say our name and shake our hand when greeting. We are an open society. We show our face. We do not wear burkas.”
May 2. In an unprecedented move, authorities in Hamburg confiscated six vacant residential units in the Hamm district near the city center and leased them against the owner’s will. The expropriation was authorized by the Hamburg Housing Protection Act (Hamburger Wohnraumschutzgesetz), a 1982 law that was updated by the city’s Socialist government in May 2013 to enable the city to seize any residential property unit that has been vacant for more than four months. The forced lease, the first of its kind in Germany, was said to be aimed at easing a housing shortage — one that has been acutely exacerbated by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy.
May 3. A 29-year-old Afghan migrant stabbed to death a 38-year-old Afghan woman who had converted to Christianity. The attacker ambushed the woman as she was exiting a grocery store in Prien am Chiemsee with her two children.
May 4. In Freiburg, a 33-year-old Syrian asylum seeker stabbed his 24-year-old wife, a Kurdish Christian who had moved out of the couple’s apartment, but had returned to collect some personal belongings. The couple’s three children — aged six, three and ten months — are now in protective custody.
May 5. A poll conducted for Focus magazine found that 52.5% of Germans agreed that Germany needs a Leitkultur (guiding or leading core culture). Only 25.3% of respondents were opposed. Respondents cited the German language, the commitment to the Basic Law, the equal rights of men and women as well as the rejection of radical positions which contradict the democratic basic order as the most important elements of a German Leitkultur.
May 9. A court in Kiel sentenced a 35-year-old Turkish man to two-and-a-half years in prison for shooting his estranged wife in both knees and permanently disabling her, in the hope that she would be unattractive to other men. The court heard how the man took his wife to the back of a local mosque after Friday prayers, accused her of offending his honor and shot her, saying: “Now you can no longer walk. You will stay at home.”
May 10. An 18-year-old asylum seeker from Somalia was sentenced to seven-and-a-half years in a psychiatric ward for murdering an 87-year-old woman at a retirement home in Neuenhaus. Police said the accused entered the facility through an unlocked back door with the aim of having sexual intercourse with elderly residents. He sexually assaulted a 59-year-old paralytic, entered an adjacent room and sexually assaulted an 87-year-old man. He then murdered the man’s wife, who was sleeping in the same room.
May 16. After five months of deliberation, a government task force presented a list of what it considers to be the top 15 guiding principles of German culture. Encapsulated in the catchphrase “Cohesion in Diversity,” the list consisted of mostly generic ideas about German culture — gender equality, freedom of expression, freedom of religion, pluralism and democracy — that are not at all unique to Germany. The list did not mention German culture as being the guiding or leading core culture (Leitkultur), nor did the task force explicitly demand that migrants assimilate to the German way of life. Rather, the guiding principles appeared to be aimed at encouraging Germans to embrace the foreign cultural norms that migrants bring to Germany.
May 16. Ziyad K., a 32-year-old Iraqi Yazidi, was sentenced to 11 years in prison for raping two Chinese students, aged 22 and 28, at the University of Bochum in August and November 2016. Police linked the man, who was living with his wife and two children in a refugee shelter in Bochum, to both crimes through DNA evidence. “He has never shown remorse,” Prosecutor Andreas Bachmann said. “How could a person fleeing from violence and danger come to do this terrible violence to other people?”
May 17. In Pforzheim, a 53-year-old Tajik man stabbed to death his 50-year-old wife at her place of employment, a Christian daycare center. It remains unclear if the woman was a convert to Christianity.
May 18. In Berlin, Edin A., a 32-year-old Bosnian, murdered his former girlfriend, a 35-year-old German woman named Michelle E., after she ended their abusive relationship. He also abducted and tortured her 12-year-old son, who was forced to watch his mother’s murder. Neighbors said they had repeatedly alerted the police about Edin A.’s violent behavior, but the police did nothing.
May 22. A court in Hanover heard how Nurettin B., a 39-year-old Turkish-born Kurd, tied 28-year-old Kader K., one of his three wives, to the back of a car and dragged her through the streets of Hameln. Presiding Judge Wolfgang Rosenbusch asked Kader K., who was comatose for weeks, to tell her side of the story. “The horror,” she said, began immediately after their Islamic sharia wedding (the marriage is not valid according to German law) in March 2013, when Nurettin B. prohibited her from having any contact with friends and family. She was allowed to leave the house only for grocery shopping and medical visits. She was not allowed to have a mobile phone. Rosenbusch asked: “Does he have a problem with women?” Kader K. replied: “He believes women are slaves; they must keep silent.”
May 24. Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble, in an interview with Deutschandfunk Radio, said that Germans have a lot to learn from Muslims: “In Islam, many human values are very much realized. Think of hospitality and similar things, including tolerance. I believe, for instance, that for centuries Jews suffered less in Islamic countries than in Christian-dominated countries.” Schäuble claimed that jihadist attacks such as the May 22 bombing in Manchester, England, are motivated “by a misunderstanding of religion.” When asked if Islam is a part of Germany, he responded: “Once again, the phrase ‘Islam is a part of Germany’ is a sober statement of fact. Anyone who denies it, denies reality and is therefore not a suitable politician, because politics begins with engaging reality.”
May 30. A 17-year-old jihadist was arrested in the Uckermark district of Brandenburg on suspicion of planning a suicide attack in Berlin. Police said the detainee had illegally entered Germany in 2015 and was registered as an asylum seeker. Since then, he had been living in an asylum shelter for unaccompanied minor refugees.
June 1. A Syrian migrant was stabbed to death in Oldenburg by another Syrian because he was eating ice cream during Ramadan. The murder, which occurred in broad daylight in a busy pedestrian shopping area, was an example of Islamic law, Sharia, being enforced on German streets.
June 1. The German parliament banned child marriages. The new law sets the minimum age for marriage in Germany at 18 years and nullifies all existing marriages where a participant was under the age of 16 at the time of the ceremony. The law also authorizes courts to annul marriages in which one person was between 16 and 18 years old. The age of consent for all marriages in Germany was previously 16, with 18-year-olds allowed to marry 16-year-olds in some cases. Nearly 1,500 minors living in Germany were registered as married, 361 of them aged under 14, according to the Cologne-based Central Register of Foreign Nationals (AZR). The largest group, 664 children, came from Syria followed by 157 from Afghanistan, 100 from Iraq, and 65 from Bulgaria.
June 2. Around one million non-Europeans living in Germany are now on welfare, an increase of 124% in just one year, according to the Federal Employment Agency (Bundesagentur für Arbeit). The top welfare beneficiaries are from: Syria (509,696); Turkey (276,399); Iraq (110,529) and Afghanistan (65,443).
June 2. The annual Rock am Ring music festival in Nürburg was temporarily halted because of a possible jihadist threat. Police asked the 90,000 visitors to leave the concert grounds in a “controlled and calm” manner.
June 3. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency to begin surveilling minors suspected of being involved with Islamist groups.
June 4. Mostafa J., a 41-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan, stabbed to death a five-year-old Russian at a refugee shelter in Arnschwang. The Afghan, who had been arguing with the boy’s 47-year-old mother, was shot to death by police after a standoff. It later emerged that the man had a criminal history in Germany and should have been deported but was not. In 2014, he fooled a judge into believing that he had converted to Christianity and would be killed if he were deported to Afghanistan.
June 5. A study conducted by the Hanns Seidel Foundation, a think tank affiliated with Bavaria’s Christian Social Union, found that half the asylum seekers in Bavaria subscribe to classic anti-Semitic views about Jewish power. Around 60% of Afghans, 53% of Iraqis and 52% of Syrians said Jews wield too much influence.
June 7. A 27-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and killed a Red Cross mental health counselor in Saarbrücken. The attacker and the psychologist allegedly got into an argument during a therapy session at a counselling center for traumatized refugees.
June 9. Rashid D., a 32-year-old Chechen migrant, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for slitting his wife’s throat and throwing her from the second-floor window of their apartment. He was charged with manslaughter rather than murder because, according to the court, the “honor killing” was done in the heat of passion: the man thought that his wife had been unfaithful.
June 12. Sultan K., a 44-year-old migrant from Syria, was arrested at his home in Bullenhausen on charges of being a member of the Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist group. Police said that the man’s three brothers, Ahmed K. (51), Mustafa K. (41) and Abdullah K. (39), were also suspected of being members of al-Nusra. The arrest confirmed fears that jihadists posing as refugees have gained access to Germany.
June 12. Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann called on three German states — Berlin, Bremen and North Rhine-Westphalia — to introduce random police spot checks. Local laws against “racial profiling” prohibit police in those states from stopping and identifying individuals. Hermann called it a “blatant security gap that urgently needs to be closed.” He also said he wanted to see random checks extended in border areas, around airports, railway stations and rest-stops, as well as on highways that lead in and out of the country. At the moment, such checks are only allowed within 30 kilometers (20 miles) of German borders.
June 13. The newspaper, Bild, posted on its website a politically incorrect film — “Chosen and Excluded: Jew Hatred in Europe” — that was censored by the Franco-German television outlet ARTE because it showed Islamic-animated anti-Semitism and Jew-hatred in all walks of European life. Bild’s editor-in-chief, Julian Reichelt, said:
“The TV documentary proves the rampant, in part socially acceptable Jew-hatred, for which there are only two words: disgusting and shameful. It is suspected that the documentary is not being shown on television because it is politically unsuitable and because the film shows an anti-Semitic worldview in wide parts of society that is disturbing. Our historical responsibility requires us to decisively counter the unspeakable truth that this film establishes.”
June 14. A 33-year-old migrant from Syria stabbed and seriously injured his ex-wife at a supermarket in Cologne. He also stabbed his 13-year-old son after the boy intervened to protect his mother.
June 15. A 21-year-old migrant from Nigeria went on a rampage after the manager of a public swimming pool in Rosenheim repeatedly told him that hygiene regulations prohibited him from swimming in his underwear. After police arrived, the Nigerian attacked them.
June 16. Germany’s first “liberal mosque” opened in Berlin. The Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque, which holds its services inside the St. Johannis Church in the Moabit district, was founded by a women’s rights activist, Seyran Ates, who has been hailed by some as the “champion of modern Islam.” The mosque, which allows men and women to pray together and the Koran to be interpreted “historically and critically,” caused outrage in the Muslim world. Turkey’s religious affairs agency, Diyanet, said that the mosque’s practices “do not align with Islam’s fundamental doctrines, principles of worship, methodology or experience of more than 14 centuries, and are experiments aimed at nothing more than depraving and ruining religion.” Ates, the mosque’s female imam, is now under 24-hour police protection.
June 17. A peace march organized by German Muslim groups in Cologne to condemn terrorism and violence in the name of Islam had a very low turnout. Organizers had expected at least 10,000 participants, but actual turnout was estimated at between several hundred to a few thousand. Germany’s largest Islamic association, the Turkish-Islamic Union (DITIB), refused to take part in the march because it would “send the wrong signal to suggest that Muslims were mainly responsible for international terrorism.”
June 18. The parents of a student at the Kronwerk Gymnasium, a school in Rendsburg, were ordered to appear in court because they refused to allow their child to visit a nearby mosque as part of a geography class. The parents, who are not religious, said they did not want their child to be exposed to “religious indoctrination.” No one could be compelled to enter a religious building against his or her own free will, they argued. The school insisted that the visit to the mosque was compulsory: Each parent was fined €150 ($175), which they refused to pay. The mosque in question belongs to the Milli-Görüs movement (IGMG), one of Europe’s largest Islamist organizations. According to Germany’s BfV domestic intelligence agency, the movement is extremist and virulently anti-Semitic.
June 18. Local authorities in Hereford reportedly covered up information about the rape of a ten-year-old girl at a refugee shelter in the city. The girl, from the former Soviet Union, was raped by an asylum seeker from Ghana. Police and local government officials allegedly suppressed information about the crime for more than two weeks.
June 18. Muslims in Freiburg launched an online petition demanding that the city prohibit male supervisors from working at a female-only swimming pool in the city. The petition said that Muslim women who want a “break from everyday gazes” are unable to use the pool. The petition claimed that the “presence and supervision of male staff is deeply reactionary and sexist” and called for the “creation of a dialogue to promote mutual understanding and acceptance.” Facility managers said they hired male supervisors because of a shortage of female personnel.
June 20. Police in 14 German states raided the homes of three dozen people accused of posting hateful comments on social media. Most of the raids were said to have involved “right-wing incitement” while two of the raids involved “left-wing agitators.” The head of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA), Holger Münch, said: “Our free society must not allow a climate of fear, threats or criminal violence to be found either on the street or on the internet.” Critics said the crackdown was part of an effort to suppress criticism of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s open-door migration policy ahead of the federal election in September.
June 20. Benjamin Idriz, an imam in Bavaria, called on the German government to provide language training for Islamic clerics so that they can become the “driving force behind integration and dialogue” in Germany. “The demand for imams is enormous, and too much time has already been lost,” he said. “We must begin before we lose the next generation.”
June 21. The parents of more than 20 fifth-graders at the Herder-Gymnasium, a school in Charlottenburg district of Berlin, boycotted the school because administrators refused to discipline a serial bully. The male student sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl and physically assaulted at least six other students since arriving at the school last fall. The school’s leadership refused to discipline the boy, apparently because of his migrant background, and instead lashed out at the parents for demanding a safe environment for their children: “We deeply regret the fact that because of a single populist exception among the parents such serious damage has been done to the reputation of our school.”
June 22. Aydan Özoğuz, Germany’s commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration, admitted that only a quarter to a third of the so-called refugees in Germany will enter the labor market in the next five years, and “for many others we will need up to ten.” In an interview with the Financial Times, she said that many of the first Syrian refugees to arrive in Germany were doctors and engineers, but they were succeeded by “many, many more who lacked skills.” Citing statistics from the Federal Employment Agency, the Times revealed that only 6,500 refugees of the more than one million who have been allowed into Germany during the past two years are enrolled in work training programs.
June 22. Police in Lübeck said that migrants are taking over the illegal drug trade in Schleswig-Holstein. Since May, there were more than a dozen mass brawls involving Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians and North Africans armed with knives and batons. Some of those involved are known drug traffickers. “The middle level of drug trafficking is targeting migrants in the refugee shelters, promoting them as street vendors or couriers,” said Christian Braunwarth, spokesman for the Lübeck public prosecutor’s office.
June 23. A 37-year-old migrant from Syria sexually assaulted a ten-year-old girl in Tübingen. The girl was riding her bicycle when the man ambushed her from behind. Passersby who heard the girl scream rushed to her aid. Police said the man was a “prior offender” and was known to them. Also, a “southern-looking” man (südländisches Erscheinungsbild) sexually assaulted a 23-year-old woman in broad daylight in Voerde, and a 17-year-old German-Turk raped a 17-year-old woman in Stuttgart.
June 24. An 18-year-old Syrian asylum seeker shouting “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the greatest”) injured four people with a metal chain at the central bus station in Lünen. The initial police report described the perpetrator only as “an 18-year-old” and failed to mention that he had dedicated his attack to Allah. Dortmund police provided more details only after being pressed by a local newspaper.
June 25. A police officer in Duisburg asked a man to move his car, which was illegally parked. The man refused and began shouting at the officer. Within minutes, more than 250 people appeared at the scene and began harassing the police officer, who called for backup. More than 50 policemen and 18 police vehicles were required to resolve what began as a routine traffic procedure.
June 25. Four Iraqi men sexually assaulted three girls, aged 13, 15 and 16, at a public swimming pool in Kassel. A 35-year-old migrant sexually assaulted two girls, aged 12 and 13, at a public swimming pool in Stuttgart. The man was questioned and released.
June 26. The Berlin Labor Court ordered the city-state of Berlin to pay €6,900 ($7,900) — the equivalent of two months’ pay — to a Muslim teacher whose job application at a grammar school was rejected because she wears a headscarf. Berlin’s Neutrality Law (Neutralitätsgesetz) prohibits teachers from wearing conspicuous religious symbols at state schools, but the Federal Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht) ruled that a general prohibition of Muslim headscarves is unconstitutional unless there is a concrete threat to security. In February, the National Labor Court of Berlin-Brandenburg awarded a Muslim woman compensation of almost €8,600 ($9,800) after her job application was rejected because she wore a headscarf. The judges ruled that it was a violation of the Equal Treatment Act (Gleichbehandlungsgesetz).
June 27. A “southern-looking” (südländisch aussehenden) man raped a woman at a park in downtown Cologne. Two “dark-skinned” men (dunkelhäutigen Männer) sexually assaulted a 52-year-old woman in Hüfingen.
June 28. A 23-year-old migrant from Iraq was arrested in Immenstaad on Lake Constance on charges of being a war criminal. After the man — who arrived in Germany as a refugee at the height of the migrant crisis in late 2015 — reportedly threatened to kill a roommate at a migrant shelter in Böblingen, police found three mobile phones in his room. One of the phones contained a picture of him posing alongside the decapitated heads of six jihadists from the Islamic State.
June 29. Mohammad Hussain Rashwani, a 38-year-old migrant from Syria, tried to behead 64-year-old Ilona Fugmann at a beauty salon in Herzberg. Less than a year earlier, Fugmann had offered Rashwani a job as a hair stylist at her salon and German media praised him as an exemplar of successful integration. Fugmann and her husband Michael were said to have bestowed Rashwani with “infinite goodness and magnanimity.” Mohammad reportedly had found it difficult to subordinate himself to his female boss. “I am still convinced that it is 100% correct to help other people, but we have to admit that in this case our attempts at integration have failed,” Michael concluded.
June 30. The German Parliament approved a controversial law to fine social media networks up to €50 million euros ($57 million) if they fail to remove so-called hate speech. The Network Enforcement Act (Netzwerkdurchsetzungsgesetz, NetzDG), commonly referred to as the “Facebook law,” gives social media networks 24 hours to delete or block “obviously criminal offenses” (offenkundig strafbare Inhalte) and seven days to deal with less clear-cut cases. Justice Minister Heiko Maas said the measure to “end the internet law of the jungle.” Critics said the law will restrict free speech because social media networks, fearing high penalties, will delete posts without checking whether they are within the legal limits and should actually remain online. Others said the real purpose of the law is to silence criticism of the government’s open-door migration policy, as well as multiculturalism and the rise of Islam in Germany, ahead of the federal elections on September 24, 2017.