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‘Too few’ German Muslims have condemned Hamas – vice chancellor

Robert Habeck said “Islamist demonstrations” across the country were unacceptable

Germany’s Muslim community has not done enough to condemn the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which carried out a deadly attack on Israel on October 7, Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck said. 

“The scale of the Islamist demonstrations in Berlin and other cities in Germany is unacceptable and needs a tough political response,” Habeck said in a video address published on Wednesday. 

“This is also needed from the Muslim associations. Some have clearly distanced themselves from the actions of Hamas and from anti-Semitism, and have sought dialogue. But not all of them – some have been too hesitant to do so, and it’s been too few overall,” the vice chancellor added.

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Habeck stressed that Muslims living in Germany must be protected from “right-wing extremist violence,” but, at the same time, “they must clearly distance themselves from anti-Semitism so as not to undermine their own right to tolerance.” He went on to denounce those who “downplayed” the Hamas attack, which claimed the lives of 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, as an “unfortunate incident.”

Germany has seen a surge in anti-Semitism in recent weeks, including an attempt to firebomb a synagogue in Berlin. On Tuesday, the country’s leading tabloid Bild published a 50-point manifesto titled “Germany, we have a problem!” The newspaper warned about the growing level of extremism in society, including hatred of Jews. 

Israel responded to the attack by Hamas and allied militant groups with aristikes on the Gaza Strip and has launched a ground invasion of the Palestinian enclave. More than 9,000 people have been killed in Gaza, according to local authorities.


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