Nazih Musharbash does not hide his frustration. Born in Jordan, he came to Germany in 1965 as a student. Today he chairs the German-Palestinian Interfaith Association in the country, which has the largest Palestinian community in Europe with almost 225,000 people.
However, since the start of the war between Israel and Hamas, Nazih Musharbash has been shocked. “I do not accept that Palestinians are all presented as supporters of Hamas,” he explains to us. “It’s unfair because those here who support Hamas are a minority,” he believes.
Aiman Mazyek shares this indignation. Born to a Syrian father and a German mother, he heads one of the country’s largest Muslim associations, the National Council of Muslims. However, since October 7, he has described a climate of “dismay”. “We experienced September 11 and did not expect to experience such a situation of generalized doubt towards Muslims again. But what we are experiencing now is worse! We are simply left out. This is much more than collateral damage from the current conflict in the Middle East », he explained this week during a meeting with the foreign press in Berlin.
Germany makes Israel’s security a priority
With six million people, the Muslim community in Germany is attacked by the political class and by certain media, including those of the Springer group. In a country which, because of its history, has made Israel’s security a “reason of state” and who is among the most loyal supporters of this country, the solidarity displayed or attributed to the Muslims of Germany with the Palestinian cause is suspect. They are criticized for not taking a sufficient position in favor of Israel, and for not denouncing Hamas enough.
Even President Frank-Walter Steinmeier and the Minister of the Interior, who met with representatives of the Arab and Muslim communities in November, relayed this message, provoking outraged reactions. “With these comments, they imply that we do not take a position. It’s wrong “, says Aiman Mazyek.
“We try to be a balanced voice, denouncing terror and calling for a political solution for the Palestinians. We are also taking action, with prevention programs against anti-Semitism and in mosques to prevent the climate from deteriorating,” he notes, fearing an increase in violence.
Risk of attacks
The risk of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict spreading to Germany is taken very seriously by the authorities. This week, police arrested three suspected Islamists who were allegedly planning attacks on Christmas markets. For the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Thomas Haldenwang, the “ danger is real » And “hasn’t been this high in a long time”.
The number of anti-Semitic acts jumps across Europe
Between these fears of attacks and a quadrupling of anti-Semitic acts between October 7 and November 7, anti-Muslim acts are, however, little reported in the media. “There have never been so many attacks on German mosques,” worries Aiman Mazyek. “There is a real problem of anti-Semitism in this country but the fight against it must not minimize the fight against all racism”.