Merkel says refugees didn't bring terrorism to Germany

Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday refugees had not brought terrorism to Germany, adding that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution.

Courtesy of: Reuters
Courtesy of: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends the cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin

German Chancellor Angela Merkel defended her policy towards refugees, saying they had not brought terrorism to Germany. She continued by addressing the faith practiced by a majority of the newcomers, stating that Islam belonged in the country as long as it was practiced in a way that respected the constitution.

Over a million refugees, many of whom are Muslim, sought better lives in Germany last year. Fleeing war torn nations throughout the Middle East and Africa, these men, women, and children have been looked at more skeptically following a spate of attacks against German civilians last month.

Three attackers were carried out by migrants and two attacks were later claimed by DAESH, which raised a few eyebrows from an ever-growingly resentful public.

“They are seeking protection and and peace in Germany."

Merkel, squelching concerns that Germany’s policies regarding refugees are putting the nation in danger, spoke during a campaign event for her Christian Democrats party on Wednesday saying that refugees should not be held to blame for the DAESH attacks. 

"The phenomenon of Islamist terrorism, of IS, is not a phenomenon that came to us with the refugees,” she said, referring to DAESH with an alternative acronym.

Her sentiments were confirmed by a report released last week by German police, noting that refugees were far less likely to commit crimes than the average German citizen.

"The current trend shows that refugees are just as unlikely to commit crimes as comparable groups among the current population. The majority of them don't commit crimes, they are seeking protection and and peace in Germany,” Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière commented.

Die Welt, a conservative German newspaper reported on the police’s findings, saying that most crimes committed by refugees were confined to charges of using public transport without a ticket and petty theft.

Participants of the demonstration "Wir fuer Berlin und Wir fuer Deutschland" ("We for Berlin and We for Germany") protest in a street in Berlin. The text on placard reads 'The queen of smugglers. Merkel must leave'.

Rumours of refugees engaged in a staggeringly high rates of sex-crime were also dismissed, with the report showing that less than 1 percent of all crimes committed by refugees were sexual in nature. In fact, the report revealed that refugees from Iraq, Syria, or Afghanistan were far more likely to be the victims of crime than the assailants.

"We have said clearly that an Islam that works and lives on the basis of the constitution ... belongs to Germany," Merkel said.

She added that a type of Islam that did not stick to the constitution or accept equal rights for women had no place in the country.

Merkel’s popularity is still slumping in the wake of these most recent attacks. 52 percent of Germans polled think that her migration policy is bad.

Anti-refugee parties, most notably Alternative of Germany (AfD), are gaining popularity and are expected to do well in the September 4 state elections.

TRTWorld and agencies