BERLIN – The head of Germany’s largest Islamic group has said that anti-Semitism is considered a sin in Islam, and it should be tackled in the German society.
“Anti-Semitism, racism, and hatred are great sins in Islam, therefore we will also never tolerate that,” Aiman Mazyek, the head of Germany’s Central Council of Muslims, told the Tuesday edition of the regional newspaper Rheinische Post, Deutsche Welle reported.
The new comments followed a statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel who voiced concern about the increased level of anti-Semitism.
Merkel told Channel 10 News that “refugees and other people of Arab origin are bringing a different form of anti-Semitism into the country.”
Merkel’s comments followed reports of several anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims in Germany in recent weeks.
Though rejecting the claims that anti-Semitism arrived with refugees, the Muslim leader admitted there was a problem.
“We take it very seriously that there is anti-Semitism present among some refugees,” Mazyek told the Düsseldorf-based newspaper.
He added that the Central Council was organizing meetings to bring Jews and refugees closer.
Germany has Europe’s second-biggest Muslim population after France, and Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.
It has more than 4 million Muslims, making up some five percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies.