Berlin,15 Dzulhijjah 1436/29 September 2015 (MINA) – As the influx of migrants and refugees continues, Germany’s spy chief has warned of a radicalization of right-wing groups, amid renewed xenophobic rallies and clashes in Europe’s largest economy.
“What we’re seeing in connection with the refugee crisis is a mobilization on the street of right-wing extremists, but also of some left-wing extremists who oppose them,” Domestic spy chief Hans-Georg Maassen told Deutschlandfunk public radio, On Islam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.
According to the spy chief, the country had witnessed a radicalization and a greater willingness to use violence by all extremist groups over the past few years.
As Germany expects up to one million migrants in 2015, several eastern towns have been grappled with protests against refugee homes and clashes with police.
About 22 arson attacks have targeted would-be or existing refugee shelters since the start of this year, spy chief Maassen revealed.
At the weekend, several anti-refugees and anti-Islam protests were held in many eastern states like Saxony, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Leipzig city.
The far-right protests compelled police and soldiers to guard buses carrying 100 refugees to a shelter in the eastern town of Niederau on Saturday.
Western cities have witnessed anti-immigrants protests as well, where unidentified people in Bremen attempted to set fire to a tent that was supposed to house refugees in October.
Germany has announced it is letting Syrians seek asylum regardless of where they enter the EU, suspending normal rules and accelerating a flow of migrants north and west from the edges of the bloc.
Last month, more than 100,000 asylum seekers reached Germany, which is preparing for 800,000 this year, around one percent of its population, a move with little precedent for a large Western country.
German chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated her support for quotas for distributing refugees, telling a news conference in Berlin, “This joint European asylum system cannot just exist on paper but must also exist in practice. I say that because it lays out minimum standards for accommodating refugees and the task of registering refugees.”
Deploring the soaring anti-immigration violence, President Joachim Gauck called for a broad social debate on managing the influx to ensure a humane reception policy into the future.
“Our hearts are wide open, but our capabilities are finite,” Gauck said.
“Given the rapid influx,” he added.
The government must now “promote the construction of apartments and build schools, hire teachers and kindergarten staff, adjust the labor market and vocational training, teach the German language and German law and do all of that at the same time.”
Cautioning against more tensions between newcomers and established residents, the president warned of the country’s finite capacity to absorb refugees.
He also urged massive volunteer efforts to welcome the migrants a grassroots movement of humanity.
Such conflicts could be best avoided, he said, when “neither side feels it is getting a bad deal.”
Some 350,000 migrants have made the perilous journey to reach Europe’s shores since January this year, according to figures released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Tuesday.
The IOM said more than 2,600 migrants had drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean in the same period.
A photo of a three-year-old Syrian toddler lying face down on the beach, after he and his family drowned, has sparked worldwide cry over the past weeks.
For German Muslims, welcoming refugees was a religious duty of sheltering those in calamity.
Germany has Europe’s second-biggest Muslim population after France, and Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.
It has between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims, making up some 5 percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies. (T/P006/R03)
Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)