Migrant girls targeted in two Berlin assaults

Germany has been deeply polarized by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the country’s borders to those fleeing conflict and persecution at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis. (file photo: AFP)
Updated 10 February 2019
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Migrant girls targeted in two Berlin assaults

  • An unknown man repeatedly punched two Syrian girls, aged 15 and 16, in the face in Berlin’s eastern Marzahn district

BERLIN: Police in Berlin on Sunday were investigating two separate assaults against young girls believed to have been motived by anti-migrant hatred.
An unknown man repeatedly punched two Syrian girls, aged 15 and 16, in the face in Berlin’s eastern Marzahn district late Friday afternoon, before running away. Both girls were briefly treated in hospital for their injuries.
According to a police statement, the man allegedly “insulted both girls with anti-foreigner comments” before attacking them.
In a second incident in the capital’s Neukoelln area on Friday evening, an unidentified woman allegedly tried to pull the headscarf off a 12-year-old girl, pulling her hair while voicing xenophobic sentiments, Berlin police said.
The woman also allegedly threatened the girl with pepper spray “and tried several times to stab her with a syringe that appeared filled with blood,” according to the statement.
The woman managed to abscond before police arrived on the scene.
Germany has been deeply polarized by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 2015 decision to open the country’s borders to those fleeing conflict and persecution at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis.
Since then, the influx of over a million asylum seekers — mainly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan — has fueled the rise of the far-right, anti-Islam AfD party. High-profile crimes involving migrants have sparked angry protests in recent years.
A 50-year-old German man was last month charged with attempted murder after he drove his car into groups of foreigners in the cities of Bottrop and Essen.
Eight people were injured in the rampage, including a 4-year-old Afghan boy and his mother as well as a 10-year-old Syrian girl.


Australians rally in support of Muslims after mosques massacre

Updated 22 March 2019
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Australians rally in support of Muslims after mosques massacre

  • Hundreds of Australians on Friday took to the streets in a mass show of support for Muslim communities
  • Crowds from a range of ethnic backgrounds carried banners and chanted slogans backing Muslims

ADELAIDE: Hundreds of Australians on Friday took to the streets in a mass show of support for Muslim communities in the wake of last week’s terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand, which left 50 people dead. 
A huge rally took place in the center of Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, a week to the day since the shootings in Christchurch.
And students at The University of Adelaide staged their own gathering in front of the main campus to express solidarity and denounce racism.
Crowds from a range of ethnic backgrounds carried banners and chanted slogans backing Muslims and other minority groups as they marched in the city’s Rundle Mall. They also criticized the Australian Border Force for its policies toward immigrants.
In cities throughout Australia people, shocked by the attacks on worshippers at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques, rallied to condemn extremism and racial hate.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the atrocity as the darkest day in her country’s history.